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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

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


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Duel is lovely, isn't it? Romantic, tousled and happy, a perfect summer fragrance to my nose (do you get the iced tea with lemon burst in the beginning?) And really a romantic, cloak-and-dagger, cape-and-mask-and-feathered-hat (not to mention those fantastic, loose shirts they always have in those films.... swoooooon), devil-may-care-grin kind of scent. Judging by the picture you posted, it would indeed suit Mr. Starygin, but in my imagination it is worn by Gérard Philippe in "Fanfan la Tulipe" or a similar film.

3:27 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't get much citrus but the tea note is subtle and lovely, not strong black tea at all, so I understand what you mean!

And yes, Gérard Philippe is swoon-worthy and Duel-worthy too, definitely!

9:22 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! When I get a bottle I don't think I will be sharing it with my DH. It's all for me! I love this one.

9:23 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

The violet is very very subtle on me, but then again, as you said, it all changes from day to day. This is such a lovely composition.

11:59 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

This one is a keeper. I get the same thing V does, which actually doesn't happen that often with fragrance -- it can smell different on me from day to day. I wish Mr. Marchlion would wear it *sigh*

1:18 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Be glad Mr. Marchlion doesn't wear it. More for you! :-)

1:25 PM EST  
Blogger cjblue said...

whoa, mama. This sounds goooood, and I think I'm going to have to get mr. cjblue to test it on our next outing. Or maybe I will...

Incidentally, I've posted the story behind the fetish stuff - just for you. ;-)

Thank you for your continually amazing reviews.

3:48 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I read your fetish story this morning. :-) I am still thinking about it. I hope I will be able to overcome my curiosity and not let myself go google those sites :-)

4:12 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I tried this one when it came out, but I didn't warm to it as I had with other of AG's (which I loved). I'll have to give it a spray next time I'm in Neiman Marcus.

4:13 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Was it a certain note in it you didn't particularly like or just the general feeling of the scent?
Sometimes the second sniff is a charm. :-)

4:38 PM EST  
Blogger katiedid said...

Wouldn't it be a fun game to match a scent to various Dumas characters?

I have not tried a single Annick Goutal frag, aside from random sniffs at testers that were so brief that I have retained no impressions whatsoever. Duel sounds nice, though I'd have to say 99% of that is the name and the Dumas association you've now transposed into my mind, too. Would this one be a good place to start do you think?

5:49 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

That would be lots of fun!

And Dumas is as good an association as any. Better than most, in fact. :-) I would highly recommend sampling Duel, I have a feeling- based on nothing in particular, mind you- that you might like it.

6:11 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I don't remember that there was any particular thing about it that turned me off, I just didn't think at the time that it was so very different from the three other AG's that I had nearly full bottles of that I needed to spend $95 dollars on. It just wasn't knocking one out of the park for me in the way that Hadrien or Sables of Sud did.

6:38 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

However much I like other Goutal scent, Eau d'Hadrien is still my most favorite of her creations. It is a perfection.

6:52 PM EST  

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