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“Nature and all her wonders guide me.
Emotions find expression in fragrance.
Fragrance is the music of my dreams.
Fragrance is my inspiration”

Annick Goutal

this past weekend i rediscovered the house of annick goutal. i discovered her initially while searching for a gift for a couple friends–male and female–who were wanting for a scent. my girlfriend was looking for a “scent” not “perfume” that would be earthy and citrus. my male friend wanted a woodsy, and light fragrance. neither was interested in commercial or pop designer scents. in other words–no channel no. 5 or “with love…hilary duff.” i myself love dior and burberry perfumes, but have lately been unable to wear them due to splitting headaches that cause sick stomachs. so i’ve been coasting on my last little bit of mediterraneo by carthusia i profumi di capri–which doesn’t have a heady, musky, or typical “perfume” characteristics that make me feel ill. even my fig apricot by “fresh” is starting to turn my stomach a little. so i went in search of a perfume that would be light, fresh, delicious, and wouldn’t make me feel ill. and what i found was le chèvrefeuille by annick goutal.

all annick goutal fragrances have “stories.” le chèvrefeuille (honeysuckle) is based on a childhood memory of annick’s daughter camille:

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…Creation date: 2002 Olfactory family: Floral Composition: wild narcissus, a blade of lemon petit grain, fresh green notes, touch of jasmine

my husband likes it because it reminds him of eating honeysuckle as a child.

enchanted, i looked up other scents that i liked (but did not bring home with me, alas) to see their stories. there are a number of scents that are unisex–for men or women. and in fact, the fragrance that i chose for both of my friends was mandragore:

The mandrake, a mysterious and much fabled plant, has been the inspiration for many legends. One such tale tells the story of its roots, which, when pulled from the ground and warmed in the sun, were said to give birth to mankind. Inspired by this mythical plant, Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen have created a truly spellbinding fragrance – presented in a purple bottle to reflect the color of the plant. Creation date: 2005 Olfactory family: Citrus, aromatic Composition: Bergamot, star of anise, peppermint, sage, ginger, black pepper, boxwood, mandrake powder, ciste roots, labdanum

i almost bought petite chérie for myself–a musky pear scent. because all her scents are natural, they can be combined. they are pricey, though, so it was one or the other and i ended up with le chèvrefeuille. i will miss the pear though:

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 Composition: Pear, peach, musky rose, fresh cut grass, vanilla

i haven’t had a chance to try eau d’hadrien, and i suspect it will be similar to my favorite mediterraneo. however, it’s intriguing:

In Italy, Annick Goutal worked to compose a marvellous garden of fruit ripened in the Italian Sun. She then added cypress, a base note which would echo the Tuscan gardens and landscapes. Annick Goutal spoke eloquently of the scent that can be obtained by rubbing the branches between your palms.
The fragrance is an expression of Annick Goutal’s great love for the South. It also owes its inspiration to Marguerite Yourcenar’s novel “Memoirs of Hadrien”, a brilliant literary interpretation of the life of the emperor.
This perfume is universal and timeless, evoking the freshness of citrus fruits in the shade of a lemon tree. Creation date: 1981 Olfactory family: Sparkling citrus (Sicilian lemon, citron, grapefruit, cypress)

annick also created scents for her loved ones especially. she created a berry scent for her step-daughter–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 a distant childhood memories. It reveals a spirited and twinkling, generous and romantic woman, to whom it is difficult to resist. Creation date: 1982 Olfactory family: Fruity, floral, sweet Composition: Blackcurrant buds, mimosa, cocoa, vanilla base

additionally, she romantically fashioned a scent for her husband, sables,  to remind him of a trip they had taken together:

Annick Goutal created this fragrance specifically for her husband as a memento from a trip to the Isle of Ré during which he asked her to recreate the striking scent of immortal flowers-sprinkled sand dunes. Creation date: 1985 Olfactory family: Spicy, Woody, Amber Composition: Wild immortal scents, vanilla, Mysore sandalwood, Indonesian and Madagascan pepper

romantic, yes?

with an amazing number of scents, annick goutal offers memories, love, romance, and fresh gardens in lovely fluted bottles. pass by the worn classics, and try something new for yourself! i’m totally sold!