This conceptually reminds me of both Après l'Ondée by Guerlain (the after-the-shower garden part) and Un Jardin Après la Mousson by Hermès, (the Monsoon storm evocation ) although from the listed notes one would deduce that the limpid bog water and transparent gloom might not be there. Although Annick Goutal already has a fragrance tagged Gardenia Passion in their line, the scent actually emits the ruberry feel of a proper tuberose rather than gardenia, so it's not like they're re-hashing ideas. The inclusion of Eastern champaca is an intriguing touch. Perilla leaves is an unusual note, quite Japonesque in feel: an annual herb (it belongs to the mint family), its most common species is Perilla frutescens var.japonica or more commonly known as shiso, mainly grown in India and East Asia. The essential oil, which is extracted from the leaves of the plant by steam distillation, consists of a variety of chemical compounds, varying depending on species. The most abundant however (comprising about 50–60% of the oil) is perillaldehyde ~most responsible for the aroma and taste of perilla. (please read about aldehydes here). A fragrance focusing on perilla/shiso is Shiso by Comme des Garcons.
The Annick Goutal brand has been owned by the Starwood Capital Group since 2005, who at the time were not certain what to do with the brand. But as soon as they realized that there is potential aplenty, since Goutal's profits have grown by 14% per year on a year by year basis, Starwood is planning on almost quadrupling the number of stand alone boutiques in the next five years. Russell Sternlicht, managing director, plans to upgrade and in some cases change the locations of its stores, which can be as small as 129 square feet. Some spaces will be remodeled to resemble an 860-square-foot door already opened on Avenue Victor Hugo in Paris. New stand-alone boutiques are scheduled for Italy, Spain, the U.S. and Dubai.
The Starwood Capital Group have been apparently already working hard to bring out that potential accounting for the latest group of fragrances "Les Orientalistes" (Encens Flamboyant, Myrrhe Ardente, Ambre Fetiche, Musc Nomade) as well as the lingerie line which was introduced in the spring. Since the plan is further developping Goutal into a lifestyle brand, an Annick Goutal cosmetics line is in the works as a companion to the already existing excellent skin-care line. Potpourri, household linens and jewelry by Virginie Monroe are also planned.
We will return with a full on review as soon as sufficient quantity ends on our lap!
Related reading on Perfume Shrine: the new Serge Lutens, Nuit de Cellophane (news), Nuit de Cellophane Review, Annick Goutal news and reviews.
News via wwd and N.Branch. Boutique pic via beauty-cult blog.