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Thursday, March 11, 2010

How Green was my Valley Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio

By Tom

I fully admit that I am an Annick Goutal fanboy. There are several that are staples (even if the new version of one left me cold), and new ones that have quickly become favorites. Even though I wouldn't wear it, the last new release was lovely and the friend I gave it to adored it.

The ever charming and kind Lianne Tio was nice enough to hook me up with this new one, based again upon Goutal's idea of the garden, this time the Gardens of Ninfa outside of Rome. If this is at all what it smells like and I manage a Lotto win, I'm there. This opens with green, tart citrus that's quickly supplanted by grasses, a touch of lavender and wood. The effect is at first a perfect antidote to winter blahs; it's a sense memory of late spring laying in the grass enjoying the sun after a long winter, when 65 degrees seems almost sinfully self-indulgent after long months of grey.

Then the fig comes in to party.

Annick Goutal has a reputation of being somewhat staid: clean and rather buttoned-up. People overlook scents like Musc Nomade, Eau de Fier and others where Goutal lifts her skirts. The fig in Ninfeo Meo is so succulent it's almost slutty, and if you've spent any time reading my petty scribblings you know that's a high compliment indeed. Casual spritzers will only get a whisper of it; I gave myself a liberal spritzing and got the Full Monty.

Ninfeo Mio is available in Europe at Lianne Tio's shop (she sent me a review bottle) and I assume in America starting at Neimans et al when it gets here. I don't know whether it will be priced along regular lines or like Les Orientalistes. I'm hoping for the former, since in addition to having some of the best scents out there, these days the price point is a steal.

Image source, Annick Goutal.

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Blogger chayaruchama said...

I really can't wait for thisone, Tomski.
All the auguries are very good...
and I adore GREEN.
Even Kermit ;-)

7:17 AM EST  
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7:29 AM EST  
Blogger dea said...

Hi Tom,

Lovely description of Ninfeo Mio! (love that name, by the way. makes me think of the word nymphette)

For what it's worth, I thought I would mention that on Denyse's blog, she interviewed Isabelle Doyen a few weeks ago, and point blank asked about the Hadrien reformulation. Isabelle adamantly denied it, saying that it has been untouched.

Maybe each batch smells different from another?


10:13 AM EST  
Blogger dea said...

another thought came to me after I posted the last comment, and I'm not trying to sound conspiratorial, but...

I wonder if the suppliers of the materials for fragrances can reformulate the materials that go into fragrances, without telling the perfumers? Then a perfumer that has kept the same formula might not know there has been a change in the final product?

10:35 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think it will love you back.

11:11 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I suppose it could be that the bottles are different, but I don't know why it so should smell SO different. Unless a bad batch got out. I'd love to have the old stuff back.

11:13 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

dea- that's a thought. A scary one, but a thought..

11:13 AM EST  
Blogger Marko said...

Hey Tom -

I think this is available at LuckyScent. Isn't that in your neck of the woods??? I've read SO many wonderful things about this, I may have to order a bottle UNSNIFFED (as if I've never done that before.....)

11:15 AM EST  
Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

Isabelle Doyen did say that once people were convinced they smelled something different, they did smell something different, and that it couldn't be helped. Not being a Hadrien wearer, I couldn't tell.
Dea, any perfumer would know straight off the bat if a material were changed. Especially since Isabelle teaches raw materials at ISIPCA, and is such an experienced perfumer.
What she said is that it was more concentrated because people complained it wasn't long-lasting enough.
As for Ninfeo Mio, it is a lovely scent indeed, and one I intend to recommend in my spring top ten. I suspect I won't be the only one.
And, yes, it *is* available at the Scent Bar.

12:24 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I just got the email yesterday that this is going to be at LuckyScent. I assume that it's also going to be at Bloomingadales as well. Maybe there one near you? I never recommend anyone buy unsniffed..

2:43 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


What's weird is that I smelled two different-smelling Hadriens in the same place: The Bloomingdale's in The Beverly Center. The tester they had in the womens area was rather shrill and not at all what I remembered from the bottle I had at home. The men's tester downstairs was the one that I remember.

If she said it was more concentrated isn't that somewhat of a reformulation? What do I know. It was odd, and I didn't like the version I smelled in the womens section. If the men's is the old, less concentrated one then that's the one I'll stick with.

2:49 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

Tom, I have been looking forward to this one very much, and your review just put the seal on it - MUST HAVE!!!

4:26 PM EST  
Blogger Katherine said...

I love love LOVE AG, and I have been so impatient waiting for Mandragore Poupre and Ninfeo Mio to make their appearance at my local high end stores. In fact, I have noticed that my Neiman's and Saks have both let their AG stock dwindle to an alarming degree... I hope this is not some foreboding sign that AG is going to be harder to get here. I want to try out the new ones and I don't want to have to pay for a sample and shipping just to do it! I know life's not fair, but... It's not fair! (cries to self)

5:13 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think you will enjoy this one a lot!

6:01 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I've read somewhere that they're using a different distributor now in the states, but I don't expect to see them leave N-M anytime soon.

6:02 PM EST  
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6:06 PM EST  
Blogger violetnoir said...

Tom, I love this fragrance! I actually won a bottle of it on a perfume blog. How cool is that? I have never really won anything before.

And now, luckyscent carries the AG line, including NM! Woo-hoo!


8:24 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


good for you!

8:47 PM EST  
Blogger Tama said...

I just want it for that beautiful color! lol

3:17 AM EST  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

Tom, you made me want it ! (You know, I'm one of those who cry over the "new" Hadrian...)

3:42 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I love the color of the bottle. especially in the square packaging

9:35 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


try it first! I've had people tell me it was too green for them.

9:37 AM EST  
Anonymous Marian said...

The original Hadrien (I still have a bottle, though it's not in the best shape) was one of my first "true loves". I have to admit I'm glad I haven't smelled a current version.
As for "Ninfeo Mio", as I'm most often complimented when I wear green scents, and because plums are amongst my favorite notes (most especially in Cambodian ouds), I think I shall mark "Bloomingdales" on my "to do" list and see if it lives up to your lovely review!

1:51 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Let us know if it does, and thanks for the lovely compliment!

10:04 PM EST  
Blogger Balutakat said...

Well, I went out and bought Filles en Aiguilles unsniffed on your recommendation, looks like this is another one I'll have to try - so far you've been spot on with all my favorites. :) (At first I looked at the bottle and swore you were reviewing Chantilly as I remember it from high school!)

11:48 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Katherine-Thank you! That means a lot to me!

2:24 PM EST  
Anonymous Linda said...

Lovely! Your description totally sums up what I feel about this fragrance (and the rest of the Goutals...) I found this one last weekend in a tinyy town in the U.K. near where I live - I'll be returning of course - and bought it at once. I love the colour of the jus, and it's perfect for today, which is in my humble opinion, the first day of spring here!
Thank you!

9:57 AM EDT  
Anonymous Alissa said...

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1:45 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


thank you!

9:38 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I'm actually wearing this one right now and I must admit that it's utterly sexy! It's a cool sexy, not very warm on me but I like it. I think that I will like it even more come summertime when I'm very hot and the fig in this is literally dripping down my cleavage:) I

1:33 PM EDT  
Anonymous Zazie said...

Tom, sorry, I love your reviews and your style, but are you basing your comments on EDH reformulation only on the base of one tester that might have gone bad?
It's a bit thin, in my opinion.
I know you don't ask people to follow and trust your reviews, but of course your followers do, so somehow one expects more thorough Due Diligence before addressing reformulation questions.
These are my, non solliceted, two cents. I hope my comment doesn't sound harsh, because really, I love to read your reviews.

4:41 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It is sexy, right?

11:55 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Not harsh at all. I did test more that one tester- at Bloomingdales, Saks and Neimans. All of them except for the tester in the Mens Dept at Blommingdales smelled different that what I remembered. If all of them were different I might have chalked it up to bad memory and the fact that my bottle was a little old. The fact that there was a marked difference (and I'm not the only one to notice- even to a friend of mine who was with me and is also a long-time Goultal consumer) tells me that I'm not wrong. According to Mme Doyen (From CarmenCanada's interview) they increased the comcentrration and maybe that's what I'm smelling but it still smell different to me and I don't care for it as much.

Of course I have gallons of the old formulation so it will be a while before I have to make the choice to stay or switch.

12:09 PM EDT  
Anonymous Laguna Pearl Jewelry said...

Thank you for all the great posts from last year! I look forward to reading more interesting topics, maybe about pearl necklace or jewelry on your blog.

8:50 AM EDT  
Anonymous Laguna Pearl Jewelry said...

Thank you for all the great posts from last year! I look forward to reading more interesting topics, maybe about pearl necklace or jewelry on your blog.

8:54 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A slutty fig? What's not to love?

Haven't tried it yet actually, I hope the juicy fig is apparent on my skin!

5:03 PM EDT  
Anonymous Scent Hive said...

Oops, that anonymous above was me!


5:04 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'd love to read how you found it!

11:38 AM EDT  
Anonymous Laguna Pearl Jewelry said...

Thank you for all the great posts from last year! I look forward to reading more interesting topics, maybe about pearl necklace or jewelry on your blog.

2:02 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Isn't hijacking comments the most obnoxious new marketing ploy out there at the moment? I for one will make a point to never shop somewhere that does this. Just sayin'

11:39 PM EDT  
Blogger Christine said...

Hunny bunny, if you win the lotto, please take this girl with you to Rome! It's been way too long since I've visited.

I will say that usually the green frags usually leave me cold, but mixed with woods? I guess I'll have to give this one a go the next time I'm in Nordstroms.

5:39 PM EDT  
Anonymous Andrea said...

I like the "it's so succulent it's almost slutty," it's exactly what the fig is like in Ninfeo Mio.
I haven't tried many AG perfumes so far, but they seem to have an imposing linearity in them. This one is quite long-lasting too.

5:25 PM EDT  

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