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Friday, February 24, 2006

Perfume Review: Annick Goutal Songes


Songes was inspired by Mauritius and particularly Paul Gauguin’s exotic and sensual portrayals of the island. It is a luscious, tremendously romantic bouquet of frangipane, ylang ylang, and jasmine with just the right amount of vanilla added for the extra rich, extra tropical feeling. By calling it “the right amount”, I mean that, though quite obvious on later stages of the fragrance’s development, vanilla here never overwhelms the gorgeous floral notes.* The scent is heady and delicate, succulent and transparent all at the same time. Gauguin-inspired bold, bright accords are handled with Goutal’s trademark light, subtle touch.

The scent starts with a bright, sumptuous note of ylang ylang, which is almost immediately joined by the astoundingly beautiful, soft jasmine. In a little while the sweet, creamy frangipane note comes in, and it feels absolutely natural that frangipane should be accompanied and complemented by the velvety vanilla. After that, till the very drydown, the notes coexist simultaneously and harmoniously on my skin. I admire the fact that the flowers are still apparent, albeit in a more subdued manner, in the drydown, which also has a slight hint of woods. This is a scent that contains in itself a promise of summer, of languid days and sultry nights. When I wear Songes I have a feeling of being transported into one of Francoise Sagan’s novels, of living life full of pleasurable ennui and dolce far niente in a land of eternal summer.

So, what do you love, extraordinary stranger? - I love the clouds ... the clouds passing ... over there ... over there... the marvelous clouds. (Charles Baudelaire, The Stranger)

Songes will officially launch in the States in March. Right now it is available to pre-order at escentual.co.uk, £42.00 - £57.00. Some bottles can already be found on eBay.

*Please note that the review is for Eau de Toilette, which, according to Bois de Jasmin, is lighter on vanilla than Eau de Parfum.

**The painting is The Red Dog by Paul Gauguin.

30 Comments:

Blogger Christina H. said...

Oh,this sounds so wonderful and I'm glad too because I've ordered mine unsniffed!Thank you for the review!

11:58 PM EST  
Blogger Trina said...

Well, I hope my sister likes it b/c you've described a perfect wedding scent! Now I have to track down a sample for her. I'm sure ebay will hook me up :~D

1:22 AM EST  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Oh, I can't wait to try this (although I almost hope that I like the EdP better, because that moon bottle is so beautiful)!

8:16 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Christina,
There is no doubt in my mind that you will like this, no doubt at all. Maybe you won't be madly love with it, I don't know. But like it you will :-)

9:18 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Trina,
There is a seller on eBay, specializing in Goutal, she is offering samples for sale at the moment, that's where I got mine. She has full size bottles too, for quite a reasonable price.
I am not affiliated. I am just enabling :-)

9:21 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Judith,
I didn't even realize that the moon bottle was for EDP. I haven't tried EDP yet, I am not sure how I'd feel about more vanilla. It might turn out that I won't mind it at all. Love the moon bottle!

9:23 AM EST  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Well, I finally woke up enough to realize that someone had, in fact, sent me a small sample of this (EdT) so I am trying it. At first, I thought it was too bright for me (seemed really strong--and I normally like strong fumes), but I am enjoying it more and more as it develops. Will have to try more to see if I will buy. From what I understand, both versions come in regular bottles, but the special (and rightly more expensive) moon bottle is only in EdP. I think that's right;V. would know for sure.

10:33 AM EST  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

This is such a perfect perfume for someone who loves white flowers. I do not notice much vanilla either, just a touch that is often used with jasmine to harmonize the sweetness. Vanilla is more pronounced in the EDP, but even there it is not overwhelming.

The moon bottle contains the EDP, not the EDT. It is so stunning and even more so in person! The moon halves are gilded and there is such attention to detail in everything. That is the bottle I want!

10:50 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

My Denver connection is getting ready to hook me up with a hit of this. ;-) Sounds like another potential FBW!! Y'know, if I buy any more AG I could open up a boutique... is Decants Anonymous in my future?! Have you smelled her Jasmine soliflore? How would you compare?

10:57 AM EST  
Blogger Patty said...

I can't wait to get this, I hope my bottle shows up today! It's been a while since I fell in love with a Goutal, so this should be fun.

11:24 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

It is a lovely fragrance. I keep revisiting it, and still can't decide if I need a bottle. Am guessing there is almost no way I'll like the EdP though, so the moon bottle is out for me.

12:14 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Judith,
Your impressions are practically identical to mine. When I first put it on, it (I blame ylang ylang) was almost too strong for me, too White Flower :-) But then it subsided and became so very enjoyable.

12:28 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Vika,
Even I, not the biggest white flowers fan, love this scent. It si incredibly lovely. Charming fragrance.
And I would love to own the moon bottle too *sigh*

12:29 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

March,
You make P. sound like a pusher. Which she really is, tee hee :-)
I haven't tried Goutal's Jasmin, and I really should, because I am sure it is handled subtly and delicately as well. Unlike MPG Jasmin, which almost chocked me to death yesterday. Yikes.
Is there a Goutal scent you *don't* like?

12:32 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Patty,
I would love to hear/read about your impressions!
What is your favorite Goutal?

12:33 PM EST  
Blogger Victoria said...

My sample is coming any day, any day!! I'm scared I'll love it and scared I'll hate it.

12:33 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
Even I think that I probably won't like more vanilla...but that bottle, oh that bottle! :-)

12:34 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Victoria,
I don't know if this will make you feel better (probably not)..I think you will love it :-) I am looking forward to reading about your impressions!

12:53 PM EST  
Blogger Tania said...

I got an advance bottle of this last October and am almost finished with it. I had fallen off of white flowers for a while, and this plunged me right back into love with them. I hope to get that moon bottle when it comes out. Last night I overheard a woman say that Saks was already carrying it.

2:08 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

There is not a single AG I could say I "dislike" on a test strip. There are some that I think smell bad on my skin, or just a lot better on other people. Ciel. Hadrien, sadly (both regular and Nuits). Camille and Folavril smell very sour on me. I've been loving the soliflores, though. Petite Cherie and the Passions are probably my favorites. Or Grand Amour. Or...

3:49 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Tania,
Is your bottle EDP or EDT? Was just wondering if you think there is a big difference between the two?

3:50 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

March,
Aww..Hadrien is my favorite. Well, more for me! Now Songes is perhaps my 2nd favorite, closely followed by Mandragore and Quel Amour.
I am not a big fan of Heure Exquise and Eau de Sud.

3:51 PM EST  
Blogger Cait Shortell said...

The poor provincial is waiting, still waiting for her bottle or even sample of Songes to wing its way to me. I will probably like it though someone's comment that it was "Diet Passion" sticks in my mind.

I continue my cry of VIVA! VIVA! Annick Goutal nonetheless.

4:10 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Cait,
Aww...try eBay. That is my answer to everything :-)

I honestly did not get the similarity to Passion, diet or regular :-)

7:36 PM EST  
Blogger boisdejasmin said...

I do not get the similarity to Passion either. Completely different themes, IMO.

As for MPG Jasmin, even as a jasmine lover, I have to agree with you--it is not good at all. Sharp and heady and yet it manages to smell like celery.

11:55 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

V,
Oh my goodness, not celery! I washed Jasmin off so fast, I guess the celery just did not have a chance to assault me. *shudder*

8:17 AM EST  
Blogger Victoria said...

Ok folks! I got my sample last night. Nope, it's not for me. Wayyyy too heady. Wow. I'll try it again today with a lighter hand, but I don't think it's gonna work. Why is it the ones in the beautiful bottles never seem to work for me? Cruel fate! Ahhh but I saved some cash.

12:16 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Aww, sorry to hear that, but at least, as you say, you saved some cash! :-)

12:54 PM EST  
Blogger Tania said...

I actually don't know if what I have is EDP or EDT. It came in a completely plain standard AG bottle. All I know is it's the only AG feminine I've ever loved.

8:28 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

Tania,
I would say it is my favorite feminine Goutal also, along with Quel Amour. No, actually, I like this more than Quel.

10:10 PM EST  

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