Saturday, September 09, 2006


Gauguin's painting from this website.

One of my NYC souvenirs is a bottle of Songes Eau de Toilette. I got a sample of Songes Eau de Parfum a few weeks ago and fell in love right away: Songes was everything I hoped to find in it – and it is now the first Annick Goutal perfume that I added to my collection. And also one of the few white florals that I really enjoy wearing.

Songes is a creamy and soft white floral, and although it has a definite presence and character, it is very gentle. Wearing is it like being wrapped in a fluflly cloud of subdued flowers from the tropics, washed by gentle rain, than dried again to excude a delicate, far more tolerable sweetness. The opening is a lush, creamy gardenia (not the heady bobmshell of Gardenia Passion), along with ylang ylang and jasmine, and than comes a creamy tuberose with incensey undertones (at this stage it reminds me of Noix de Tubereuse, less the slightly plasticky/lipstick like note there), along with slightly tea-like notes of jasmine and a tiniest hint of green and peachy fruitiness that dissipates after a couple of minutes. It's smooth and round and there is no particular note standing out, all the notes create together a tropical floral dream and a lazy feeling of satisfaction. The dry down is sweet and ambery with powdery vanilla. It's never too sweet nor cloying. Just sheer pleasure with a good measure of modesty. It's a sensual white floral with no bombarding pretence.

The Eau de Toilette is very similar in character (you won’t mistake it for a different scent), though I would have to emphasize that the creaminess (what some refer as coconut note) is not so prominent. Instead, the frangipani and ylang ylang take a first seat for a while, and than gradually make room for a gentle jasmine and a vanilla drydown. Overall, the EDT feels a tad drier and more powdery. Although I love the EDP concentration, the moon bottle, in reality, surprisingly put me off, and I settled for the modest spray bottle with the golden mushroom cap and starred organza ribbon. It does look dreamily gorgeous in this ad though:

I admire Annick Goutal as a perfumer and as person and for being one of the few women in her field. I love her approach and the personal touch that all of her perfumes have - the stories and the emotions behind them. She was a remarkable woman and I wish I was able to meet her in person before her tragically early death.

Unfortunately, most of the Annick Goutal scents do not work for me. Most of them feel too green or green or soapy on my skin, and although they are so delicate and refined, their presence is too sharp for me. I tried anything from Eau de Camille and Eau de Charlotte to Folavril, Eau d‘Hadrien and Eau de Sud and Grand Amour. But I was able to wear none of them more than a couple of times. While most of the above mentioned creations always feel to me too “perfect” and require admiration from a distance, I find in Songes the warmth and sweetness that makes me want to come closer and be able to become part of the perfume when I wear it. It is versatile (I’ve worn it day or night and in warm and cool weathers, equally enjoying the dreamy pleasure that Songes has to offer). yet has a definite character. Camille Goutal may not create the same kind of scents that her mother made, but she did not fall far from the tree in following her heart’s passions and sharing them with the world.

Top notes: Frangipani, Ylang Ylang

Heart notes: Jasmine, Tuberose

Base notes: Vanilla, Incense, Powdery notes

Bottle images and ad from Annick Goutal's website.

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At September 10, 2006 11:07 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

what a lovely review.

At December 03, 2006 1:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Songes is the first Annick Goutal scent that I've ever tried. I'm a fragrance junkie and I own a wide variety of scents but none that I love as much as this one. I've received compliments each time I've worn it. It is the most heavenly addictive fragrance. I now own the EDP, EDT, bath wash and lotion. It's really magical!


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