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.