Soda Exquise a.k.a. Mandragore by Annick Goutal
"Give me to drink mandragora...
That I might sleep out this great gap of time
My Antony is away."
Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra
Mandragore, the new fragrance from Annick Goutal, created by the house perfumer, Isabelle Doyen, in collaboration with Camille Goutal, was inspired by mandrake. The latter is the common name for members of the plant genus Mandragora belonging to the nightshades family. Their roots, which vaguely resemble a human figure, have long been used in magical spells and witchcraft. Described as “a bewitching and mysterious fragrance, within which the feminine and masculine merge together in secret harmony”, Mandragore has the notes of bergamot, black pepper, spearmint, star anis oil, mint, boxwood, ginger and mandrake.
I will not be the first to do so, but I must note the disparity between the name and the perfume itself. The name "Mandragore" conjures certain dark, witchy images; Annick Goutal's version on the other hand is light and sparkly and not really mysterious. It starts bright and citrusy (bergamot), then star anis comes into play and that is the stage I probably could do without, but then ginger appears and Mandragore is transformed into a gently sweet almost gourmand scent.
The drydown reminds me of the scent of Fresh Index's Soda Shampoo (mint, lavender, grapefruit), which is a compliment, because I love that smell. Mandragore is an effervescent, invigorating fragrance that successfully balances bright spiciness and gentle sweetness. If it were up to me to come up with the packaging and the name for this perfume, I would have opted to stick with Goutal's regular creamy boxes and transparent bottles; lovely as the purple color of the Mandragore packaging is, it is not descriptive of the vibrant, almost frizzy juice inside. As for the name, how about Soda Exquise? On a more serious note, I really like this fragrance and it is undoubtedly “full bottle worthy” for me, even if the said bottle is deceivingly purple.
Mandragore can be found at Drugstore.com, $69.00 for 1,7oz or $95.00 for 3,3oz.
*The ad for Mandragore is from Vogue.de; the photo of Soda Shampoo is from Fresh.com
Labels: Annick Goutal