I have been a big fan of the Annick Goutal aesthetic since I first read about the perfumes in (where else?) Victoria Magazine many moons ago.
There are dozens of perfumes in the Annick Goutal range, and to be honest I have only ever tried one of them: Eau de Charlotte. Potent stuff, that: redolent of blackberry and cocoa. Not an everyday fragrance, but how many truly great fragrances are?
Unless otherwise specified, all images and text in quotations is sourced from the Annick Goutal website.
painting by Ernesto Rodriguez
* * * * *
"Petite Chérie is the scent Annick Goutal bestowed on her daughter, as a gift. Annick had already presented her with the aptly named "Eau de Camille" and later, went on to dedicate this irresistible, sensual and seductive fragrance, which she described as being "reminiscent of a young girl's cheek that you want to lovingly kiss" to her daughter.
This scent, "a mother's beautiful vision for her child, baptized with the nickname she gave me" remains, for Camille, a vibrant tribute and the most touching of gifts."
Creation date : 1998
Olfactory family Fruity, floral, musky (pear, peach, musky rose, fresh cut grass, vanilla).
Eau de Camille
"Requested by her daughter Camille who wished a perfume that smells good as their garden, Annick Goutal transcribed in this fragrance all the freshness and innocence of nature.
A delicious scent of childhood, of underwood and wet grass ...
Eau de Camille is the first composition Annick Goutal offered to her daughter when she was 8 years old. She will dedicate her a few years later the perfume Petite Chérie.
Creation date : 1983
Olfactory family Floral, green (Ivy, privet tree, honeysuckle, seringa, cut grass).
"As Camille Goutal walked through the garden in her family home in Provence, she remembered the crowns of honeysuckle that she would weave with her cousins when they would play princess.
This perfume evokes the sun, the laughter of children, and a tender, carefree scent. A time that wasn't so long ago ...
A smiling fragrance, transparent, which sings like the first beautiful days.
Creation date : 2002
Olfactory family Floral (Wild narcissus, lemon petitgrain, green notes, hint of jasmine)."
Ce Soir ou Jamais
"Infinitely secret murmur, pressing and tender proposal of a lingering and discrete perfume which intrigues and arouses desire ...
According to Annick Goutal, it is the perfume of her life, the most accomplished. Interpretation of a rose in a "priest's garden" which she stumbled upon, so much idealized in the extent that it makes one's head spin.
Fifteen years of work and determination to succeed in revealing the transparency of this delicate, mysterious, almost wild rose.
Creation date : 1999
Olfactory family Floral (Turkish rose, ambrette seed, and a blend of essences kept secret ...)"
"The name Folavril has its origins in the antique shop that Annick Goutal opened and used to work before becoming a perfumer. This is the first fragrance she originally created to perfume the skin care she developed when she started.
She wanted to capture in this fragrance the savory attraction of the tomato leaf.
Creation date : 1980
Olfactory family Floral, fruity, exotic (Tomato leaf, mango, jasmine, Boronia flower)."
Eau de Charlotte
"Annick Goutal wanted to offer her step-daughter Charlotte, a lover of the good things in life and specially of blackcurrant jam, a fragrance which reflected her personality and tastes.
This composition tinged with greed, arouses the desire to enjoy it such a red fruit and awakens in us distant childhood memories. It reveals a spirited and twinkling, generous and romantic woman, to whom it is difficult to resist.
Creation date : 1982
"Fascinated by the iris and its subtle powdery trail, Annick Goutal composed Heure Exquise as the evocation of passing time ...
The dreamy scent of reminiscence by excellence, this fragrance recalls the scene of an iris garden as day turns into night; a very private moment known as the "exquisite hour" or "Heure Exquise".
Creation date : 1984.
Olfactory family Floral, powdery (Florentine iris, Turkish rose, Mysore sandalwood, a hint of vanilla)."
"Lilly of the valley is the flower of happiness, the Talisman flower that we offer everywhere in France the day of May 1st to wish luck and joy. That day, there is smile in the air.
The little white bells which one has fun to seek in the foam of the garden still wet and dew... This is the beginning of the beautiful days when we can linger in the evening over the terrace and look at the stars. Promise of a beautiful summer.
Creation date : 2001
Olfactory family Floral (Lilly of the valley, rose, benzoin)."
"At the time, Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen were working on a formula inspired by the legendary garden of the Hesperides. Each absolute, each essence chosen added another brush stroke to their burgeoning masterpiece, to the garden they fantasized about and spoke of as is they knew every single square inch.
Then, they learned of the existence of a garden mirroring their description in every way, and immediately departed for the gardens of Ninfa, near Rome.They found a safeguard Eden, in which medieval ruins crowned in emerald green and all of the plants that had fired the imagination of the two perfumers can still be found. Through the garden flows the Ninfeo river in which is reflected the forest bark, the leaves of branches, ripe citrus fruit and luscious figs.
In the shade of a pine tree, without warning, they were overwhelmed by a shared emotion : their perfume was right there, in the air, intense around them, the perfume they had been perfecting for months. And its name came to them quite naturally : Ninfeo mio."
* * * * * * * *
Camille Goutal, daughter of founder Annick.
* * * * * * * *
In addition to the perfumes and related bath and body items, there is also the "Splendide" line of skincare. Just as prettily packaged as everything else.
Then there are the candles, which I imagine smell heavenly, and come nestled in their own gorgeous little boxes ...
... and finally, the limited edition flacons with trademark butterfly stoppers. This is just one example.
I LOVE a star motif.
A peek inside an Annick Goutal boutique ...
... and another ...
... and so on ...
... and so forth!
These photos from Chic & Geek are truly marvelous, click to enlarge:
... and then again so is an "ordinary" Annick Goutal boutiqe storefront:
That pink is the color I'm after for my apartment walls!
Photos from the 2002 launch party for Quel Amor at the Rotterdam boutique:
This arrangement was fashioned entirely from peonies!
Step inside an Annick Goutal boutique:
In Paris, there is Le Bouduoir Annick Goutal, a spa-like establishment (if these photos are to be believed) where sybaritic and restorative pleasures are delivered in only the pinkest of pink environments.
And yes, I am all forTHAT!
image: The Scented Salamander
Throw in some pink champagne truffles and this is my idea of heaven on earth.
Although I couldn't find any photos of it, there is (or was) an Annick Goutal spa in London's tony Belgravia section. An enticing review at travelintelligence.com:
"Descend to the depths of decadence at this new one-suite basement spa in Belgravia, London’s most exclusive address. Expect French flair incarnate. Not to mention French savoir-faire. The spa specialises in unique all-rose facials where every application contains rose, including an exfoliator made of crushed rose thorns. The Paris-trained Japanese therapist Naomi Pinkdia executes exquisitely the ravishing facial whilst manager Asta Stravinskaite’s tongue-in-cheek pronouncements divert. The fanciful abode in shades of soft pink recreates a boudoir and comes with its own lingerie section whose lace and satin numbers entice dangerously. Undress to kill!"
The only other perfume bottles I've seen which rival the classic, feminine beauty of Goutal's are at Penhaligon's of London. These are rather more English than French, naturally ... not quite so sensual, but demure has it's allure!
Suffice it to say that if I won a trip to Paris or London and a couple of thousand in spending money, a good chunk of it would be spent at Annick Goutal.
Until then, I can dream ...
... and I will!