All Annick Goutal perfumes have little stories behind them which adds to the enchanting, small scale appeal they have: Passion was the first fragrance which Annick Goutal created along with perfumer Isabelle Doyen in 1983 for her own use. The second one, inspired by the floral bouquets her husband offered her while courting, was Grand Amour; also a firm favourite of Perfume Shrine and to be tackled later on. Sables was made for Alain, Annick's husband, while Eau de Charlotte and Eau de Camille celebrate her daughters' childhood memories.
Passion dazzles amongst them with its headiness, its perceptible sillage and its great lasting power, "like a flower with translucent antennae and a mauve plastic heart.” Complicated, chewy, cruel, yet beautiful, like life itself, Passion made Tania Sanchez reserve one of her more poetic reviews of it in Perfumes,The Guide: "It feeks humid, narcotic, unsettling, like a moonless July night without a breeze". It could be one of those nights about which Raymond Chandler wrote: "Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks."
The artistry of course lies in how to manipulate the (excellent) materials: The exotic Ylang-Ylang has facets of banana and even coconut; sweet, buttery, creamy, almost bulemic. On its other end though it encompasses methyl salicylate which recalls wintergreens. Tuberose has facets of camphor which act as a counterbalance of its intense white floral sweetness. Pair them with a bitter green touch which supports the already present caphoraceous scheme (tomato vine leaves, the same as used in Eau de Campagne by Sisley and Folavril again by Goutal, plus oakmoss) and some vanilla to offset the "fruitiness" of the bouquet and you've got something unique!
Passion starts with a heady caphoraceous blast of what can only be sensed as vibrant tropical florals snowballing a cadenza of sweet and green notes that unify to the point where you don't know where the garden ends and the woman starts. There is something very ladylike about Annick Goutal fragrances, yet in classic French tradition the lady in question can forget all about ladylike manners in the bedroom. Passion is carnal, yet delicate and fragile at the same time, like a 22-year-old ready to be consumed by love. And even older ones...
Notes for Annick Goutal Passion: Jasmine, tuberose, ylang-ylang, vanilla, tomato leaves, patchouli, oakmoss.
Passion by Annick Goutal is available as Eau de Toilette (100ml) and Eau de Parfum (50ml, 100ml) in boutiques carrying the Goutal line and several online venues. Check Lianne Tio's Nederthelands boutique on this link as well.
Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Annick Goutal news & reviews, Interview with perfumer Isabelle Doyen
Photo from the film Betty Blue, 37.2°C le Matin via livejournal/Ohnotheydidn't. Photo of bottle of Passion by Elena Vosnaki.