Annick Goutal is no stranger to roses: From the retro-smelling rosiness of Ce Soir ou Jamais, to the refined Turkish rose on a powdery base of iris & sandalwood of Heure Exquise, all the way through the fabulous skincare which utilizes rose serum for its caring and skin-regenerating properties, high quality rose essence has a pride of place in the Goutal range, reflecting Annick's passion for the fragrant bloom. The three latest launches come as a trio of limited editions nicknamed Rose So Chic that highlight varying facets of "the king of flowers", the rose, resulting in as many permutations created by perfumer Isabelle Doyen, fit for a different woman or a different mood. Two of them (Rose Absolue and Quel Amour) are lighter interpretations of the existing perfumes in the line, while Rose Spendinde is a new release.
From lightest/fruitiest to "heaviest"/truest they are:
Quel Amour: The impertinence of peonies, the burst of wild rose and geranium rosa, combine with a sharp note of red currants, pomegranates and wine peaches, lending a sense of sweet cravings. Quel Amour smells rather innocent, with a mischievous, sweet tooth (a little whiff of lilac) deriving from a fruity heart and a wine-y, slightly sour note in the aftermath coming from the currants. Basically a berry-rose chord with a zingy, citrusy top note, Quel Amour is romantic the way texting sweet nothings is or settling a little lovers' argument through an apology on your Facebook profile: There is just something about it that appeals to the young and is completely uncomprehensible to the older generations. If searching for a fruity floral to offer to a young one you could do much, much worse elsewhere.
Rose Splendide: Fresh, green and musky, this "eau parfumée" is reminiscent of an early morning walk through gardens sparkling under the new day's dew...A composition based on the delicate, fragile Centifolia Rose, enhanced by the fresh scent of magnolias, musk and a touch of pear, for an incredibly mischevious revelation ! Rose Splendide is presented as the scent of a rose that has not been cut yet, and indeed this continuity between stem and thorn and flower is what keeps me interested. The gorgeous face creams and toners in the Goutal Spendide range have been aromatized for years with a comparable scent (Damascena rose and a bit of blackcurrant) and it was entrancing enough to keep me coming back for more, muffling the siren calls of several other high-end skincare lines. The mysterious underlying muskiness alongside the herbal/leafy touch on top (which reads as cut-grass green) is what seals the deal for me, making Rose Splendide my favourite in this trio of rose fragrances.
Rose Absolue: The quintessence of the noblest roses from the East and West : May, Turkish, Bulgarian, Damask, Egyptian and Moroccan roses. A creative folly for eternal feminity now reinterpreted in an Eau Parfumée. Like an armful of fresh roses, intense in their message, over the top romantic like bowing down on bended knee with the Seine at the background to propose, Rose Absolue is a must-try for anyone in love with roses. The light musk trail at the base notes lends it a whiff of something starting to hint at more intimacy; the love story is beginning to veer off the platonic and into the carnal but it's not quite there yet. The only drawback is the relatively lower staying power.
All three Goutal fragrances in the Rose So Chic collection are circulating as 100ml Eau parfumée spray, under a limited edition presentation of a pink/reddish organza ribbon around the neck under the "turban" cap. They retail for 85$. Annick Goutal will donate 5€ from each purchase of any of three fragrances to AVEC (Association pour La Vie Espoir contre le Cancer) between September 1 and October 31st, 2010, as a commemoration of Annick's battle with cancer.