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Friday, October 16, 2009

Annick Goutal Myrrhe Ardente: Perfume Review

So apparently I jinxed the weather. Time to dig out comfort scents, I guess. And you know how it happens sometimes that you have a very vague idea of what you want, and think that nothing can possibly fit that idea, and then the first thing you smell is exactly what you are looking for? I had a feeling I wanted something sweet but dry, smoky but not tarry, something comforting but weird.

And voila! A random spritz of Myrrh Ardente was, miraculously, all that. Tonka bean and benzoin compliment the honeyed side of myrrh, turning the composition, in the first stages of its development, into something almost gourmand. The abundance of dark, dry, resinous wood enhances myrrh's smokiness. Midway through its development, that aspect is so strong that it becomes almost leathery but never steps into the tar territory. Then the soft, nutty sweetness of tonka softens the smoky effect, and as soon as the composition seems to have become tamed down and downright cuddly, the weird part happens. In the role of twist, of that jolie laide quality that turns a good, well-balanced perfume into an interesting perfume here is...well, myrrh itself, or more particularly its raw, mushroomy characteristic. Paired with the sweetness and the smoke, the rawness is striking and incredibly appealing.

I think, it's the beginning of a beautiful, cold and rainy weather friendship for Myrrhe Ardente and moi.

Available at Saks and Bloomingdales, $135.00-$175.00, but "masculine" bottles seem to be sold for much less at some online retailers.

Image is by Guy Bourdin.

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Blogger tmp00 said...

we're on the same page, just with different scents. It's been rainy and, well, cool (I won't bit you with the temp) and I rediscovered Rahat Loukoum. A bit of cuddly and a bit of skank; that jolie laide (why has that phrase gone by the wayside?) quality that's so great.

12:36 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard that Annick Goutal Les Orientalistes are being reformulated, thus their appearance at discounters. I recently got bottles of Musc Nomade & Ambre Fetiche just in case.


9:07 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I know exactly what you both mean.....I've fallen hard for Le Labo Patchouli 24, probably because it's keeping me very warm in this cold rainy Cleveland weather. It's just smoky and skanky enough to make me feel more than a little Goth instead of simply saddened about the disappearance of sunshine!

9:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not much success with me and Les Orientalistes, unfortunately. Myrrhe Ardente started off minty-myrrhe on me, but turned almost earthy-mushroomy. Odd?


9:28 AM EDT  
Anonymous Flora said...

I love this one, tried it at Saks recently along with the other Les Orientalistes, and all of them were wonderful. I hope they don't do to these what they did to Eau d' Hadrien! If these really are at the discounters now I may have to snap them up. These are some of AG's best work in recent years.

1:14 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Wow - *love* that photo! And it's an absolute perfect match for Myrrhe Ardente, which I'm going to have to wear tomorrow. Wonderful scent and, you're right - almost custom made for cool, rainy weather. But I'm now having anxious, stockpiling instincts about it after reading the comment by Liz that it's being reformulated. Have you heard this as well? If it's true...WHY?! And mentally adding on at least 15 anguished exclamation points and question marks there. :-)

4:35 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Liz here. I heard about the reformulation from another blogger who seems to know what she's talking about. Lots of things are being reformulated due to the new restrictions, & I know that this series was pulled from stores that used to carry it in my city. And then they showed up online suddenly. I'm just saying it doesn't look good. If it is indeed true, it's a shame.

5:00 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Thanks for the info! I knew as soon as I read your first comment I knew that it was most likely happening - just can't help but always hope that bad things (reformulations...grrr) won't happen to good scents. Definitely will have to go stockpile these at discount sites. UGH!

6:01 PM EDT  
Blogger ScentScelf said...

Lovely post, Marina; enjoyed learning about Myrrh Ardente from your perspective.

Have to agree with tmp00; the phrase 'jolie laide' just isn't in the US lingo enough. However, I have seen 'louche' come up a bit in the past year...that's worth some fun tickets. :)

May you and Myrre Ardente enjoy your stroll into the rain, and the future.

8:03 PM EDT  
Anonymous SturdyGertie said...

Mushrooms always make me think of Dans Tes Bras. Perhaps they're in more attractive company here? But you ALWAYS make everything sound so divine, Columbina. How can I not give it a try? :-)

5:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Your review caused an eruption of longing for bad, rainy, chilly weather; here the sun is balmy and kind, temperatures are at around 29 centigrade. I keep hoarding on autumn pieces of fragrance, clothes, make up, but no autumn. Not yet. When it comes, Myrrhe Ardente (as interpreted by you) sounds as removed from boredom as a wearable fragrance can be

8:44 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Yes, don't tease me with your "cold" temperatures :-) Jolie laide is a great expression and a great quality in a scent.

11:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I had no idea. Well, let's hope they are not reformulated to an extent that they are unrecognizable.

11:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

"Goth" perfumes are always welcome in wardrobe :-)

11:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

No, not odd, myrrhe has such multi-faceted smell, it's just that it did not show the minty one to me, of which I am not unhappy.

11:20 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I agree that they are some of the most interesting Goutals (probably because they are fairly non-typical for the line)

11:21 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Y'all making me want to stockpile too. :-) Did you like the other 3 Orientalistes?

11:22 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I like "louche" too, a great word. :-)

11:23 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

SturdyGertie :-)
You know that my relationship with Dans has not been particularly successful. Perhaps, it's not mushroomy enough for me :-)

11:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I want to live where it's 29C in October. I don't want bad, rainy, chilly weather. :-(

11:26 AM EDT  
Blogger klavaza said...

Oh! This review is so good, I need to smell this fragance!

2:49 PM EDT  
Anonymous Lavanya said...

I want Myrrhe Ardente and your rainy weather..:)
The weather's been strange here in SoCal. It was cool and rainy for two days and then a heat wave followed. Very strange.

1:13 AM EDT  
Anonymous hotlanta linda said...

LOVE all 4 of these, but I`m a Goutal guru! Had not heard of reformulation, but that NY Saks and BG was the only places these sold well, AND that distributor Gary Farn stopped importing these months ago; it looks like beauty online stores are doing all the `importing` direct. hotlanta linda

11:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous hotlanta linda said...

Note to all``perfumistas on a shoestring`` - has 15 ml minis in all 4 Orientalists plus Mandragore & Hadrien @ $15 each!!

11:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh my, i love mhyrre and went to spray it.. and for me that photo describes it in a great visual way.
8hrs later my hubby came home and said mmm u smell good!! thanks for a great review

5:57 AM EDT  

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