Perfume Review: Annick Goutal Duel
Duel is one of Annick Goutal’s “masculine” scents, “designed for the 21st century romantic man”. As with Les Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Homme, I am surprised at the softness, smoothness, understated sweetness of this fragrance; as Rose d’Homme, Duel does not strike me as particularly masculine. I have no doubt whatsoever that Duel would smell marvelous on a man, but its dark, husky sweetness would be just as suitable and enjoyable for a woman.
Perhaps of the association with Rose d’Homme, described above, I smell a soft, sweet rose accord in Duel, yet there is no rose among the official notes. There is however iris (root) and it is the most velvety, gentle note imaginable. Leather is just as soft, no smokiness or harshness in this note here, it is only a whisper of leather, but it brings dark sophistication to the blend. Maté leaves add a certain hoarse green earthiness to the composition and tone down the absinth note, which is never too apparent here and only serves as a delicately sweet background. Duel is a masterful, extremely smooth blend, an olfactory tender caress.
I am a huge fan of Alexandre Dumas and inevitably the name “Duel” made me think of his books and especially the beloved The Three Musketeers. I am also especially fond of a Soviet adaptation of the book, called D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers (Д'Артаньян и Tри Mушкетера). When I was a little girl, I had a huge crush on Aramis, played by Igor Starygin (Игорь Старыгин). Duel would be a perfect scent for this handsome, romantic hero.
*The image of Igor Starygin as Aramis is from rusactors.ru.