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Thursday, November 15, 2007

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

Image source,,


Blogger elle said...

This sounds incredibly delicious. I've been to the Soho boutique, but never even noticed a perfume. Thanks for letting us know!

10:07 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

How is the sweet pea note? I love them in real life, with leather and by Isabelle Doyen? Yummm

11:05 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooh, I'm with Tom -LOVE that sweet pea! And leather, AND muscat raisins? Yummy!

11:07 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Aargh! In San Fran, NYC and.. Bethesda, Maryland. Oh well, March can go and I'll keep it in mind for when I go next to SF.

11:09 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Oh, you've made my day!!! I love Annick Goutal, do you think I'd like it? Is it "me"?

And it's less than $100 (which is practically free these days) *and* I think that bottle is really, really pretty.

Wait -- BETHESDA? Where?!?! Have to go look.

7:46 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It's lovely, I was so surprised. They don't seem to be pushing it though, it is just standing there.

7:58 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I'll be honest, I mostly get jasmine and rose, but it quite beautiful anyway, sweet pea or no sweet pea :-)

7:59 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I think what those "raisins" bring is the booziness, which I always just love in perfume.

8:00 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

And they don't seem to have samples :-(

8:00 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I think you will at least like it. I want to believe that even if I hasn't been told that it was a "Goutal", I would have known it straightaway, because it is so...Goutal! :-)

8:01 AM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Hey, that sounds really tempting! Would I like it?

10:43 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't think you would dislike it (said she cautiously :-))

10:47 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

They have Eliel in Bethesda, 7 mins. from my house!!! SCORE!!

It's absolutely pouring here. I'm going to put on my raincoat and galoshes and go over there. Because I am a nut. :-P

11:06 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Awesome! :-) Please, please report your impressions afterwards!

11:07 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

How wonderful to discover something like this~ It sounds lovely, though perhaps not quite my thing. But maybe. . .What do you think?

11:28 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I kind of don't "see" you in it, but I also don't think you'd hate it :-)

11:29 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Reporting back! Lovely, lovely scent. And a total deal. First off, the photo doesn't do the bottle justice -- they're a jewelry line, and the bottle is charming -- the top and cap are hammered-gold colored, with a ring and that ribbon thing. It's the sort of thing you look at and want to give to someone.

I agree with your assessment of very French :-) -- it's both sensual and charming. It's fairly boozy on me, heavier than your typical Annick (that's not a complaint.) At the risk of sounding like an idiot, I'd put the scent somewhere between Bois de Paradis' spicy, sensual, slightly indolic woods and something spice/rosier? Like Ta'if without the OJ Base? If that makes sense, which maybe it doesn't. And there is definitely something dark, leathery and macerated hiding out under those sweet top notes.

It's not me, precisely, and that's fine -- it's too much for me (BdP is also too much for me). I think it's gorgeous, though, and absolutely compelling -- I can't stop sniffing it! I do think I overapplied, for what it's worth, that sparkly bergamot opening is misleading. Let's see how I feel in a few hours when it's faded a bit. Thanks for letting everyone know about it!

1:14 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You and March have turned this into a must-sniff, you bounders!

1:20 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

So is the price $90 or am I wrong?
I agree, it is easy to overapply. I did one spritz last time and, man, it lasted, and, man, it had sillage :-)
Glad you liked, even if not for yourself.

1:30 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Nyah ha!

1:30 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

Funny -- I forgot to ask! But we were chatting about Annick Goutal (the SA grew up in France) and I said something about the Eliel being very reasonably priced at less than $100 (recalling your post) and she didn't argue, so my guess is you must be very close.

You know what? I could see Eliel being a woman's signature scent -- the sort of very individual, unusual scent you wouldn't smell on a bunch of other people.

It's getting less rose-y and more incense-y, which I like.

1:50 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It is definitely signature scent material!

1:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hm, now that sounds really interesting : coriandre and osmanthus. I wonder if it's available in Europe (probably in Paris ?).

2:12 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

There is a list of stores on their site, and I am positive that it would be available in Paris for sure.

2:13 PM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

My, my !
I think this has my name on it, I do !

Perhaps in the Spring, at the next NY adventure...

3:05 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Well, then I hope you will also pop in next door and see me :-)

3:06 PM EST  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

It's a DATE, Marinochka...
Will you let me cook for you ?

4:31 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh yes I would, but we don't have a kitchen there, unless a microwave oven counts :-(

4:51 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is an amazing perfume. It is my favorite and will always be. The scent lasts a lot and is very feminine. It is strong but not in a bad way, musky, and a little bit floral. I always get compliments when I wear it and my boyfriend loves it, he says that he does not know what the perfume has but it attracts him like if it has pheromones, that obviously it does not contain. You will not regret buying this perfume.

7:48 PM EDT  

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