Perfume Review: Cecile & Jeanne Eliel
Attention all lovers of Annick Goutal scents! There exists an obscure gem, called Eliel, created by Isabelle Doyen for Cecile & Jeanne, a French costume jeweler. Despite being right next door to Cecile & Jeanne five days a week and despite visiting often to admire the doves ( I have a thing for doves and so apparently does Jeanne, the designer), I might have never noticed the small red bottles modestly standing in a corner, have it not been mentioned to me, rather nonchalantly, that Cecile & Jeanne has a perfume too, made for them exclusively by Annick Goutal. My enthusiastic reaction must have been quite startling.
According to OsMoz (and if there is a record of the scent on OsMoz, it can't be that obscure), Eliel was created in 2005. Meant to convey an image of "radiant femininity", the Eau de Parfum has notes of osmanthus, bergamot, coriandre, jasmine, patchouli, muscatel raisins, leathery and spicy notes and sweet pea, and is immediately recognizable as a Goutal fragrance. It has the joyous, champagne-like sparkly feel of Le Jasmin, the ripe booziness of Ce Soir ou Jamais, the unexpectedly spicy, almost harsh sweetness of Vanille Exquise and the overall feel of very feminine and seemingly effortless elegance of Goutal/Doyen creations. The top notes are indeed radiant. The piquancy of coriander creates a nose-tingling sensation akin to that brought on by champagne bubbles. The fruity aspect of osmanthus is quite apparent, and together with citruses and the spicy coriander, the apricot-like note adds an almost aldehydic feel to the composition. The heart of jasmine (and undoubtedly, rose) is decadent in its sensual, inebriated sweetness, and the base notes are dark and brooding and seem to me to have a generous dose of gaiac wood so loved by Doyen. Classically chic, very French and very Goutal, Eliel deserves to be much more widely known.
Eliel costs $90.00 for 50ml and can be found at Cecile & Jeanne's Madison Ave. boutique, 1100 Madison Ave., tel.: 212.535.5700, as well as, most probably, at other boutiques. For more information on the company and the boutiques, but, strangely, not on the scent, visit cecilejeanne.com.
Image source, pariswave.com, cecilejeanne.com.