Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Annick Goutal Eau de Ciel: Pure Innocence & Memories

Day 4 of Annick Goutal Week ~

Eau de Ciel, along with Petite Cherie, is the quintessential innocently pretty Goutal. If I hadn’t already sniffed hundreds of fragrances in my lifetime I might not realize what a masterpiece of loveliness Annick Goutal created with Eau de Ciel. But I’m here to say I’ve sniffed many, many, fragrances and very few come close to the delicate, bucolic, greenery that is Eau de Ciel. Perhaps you don’t long to smell like sweet grasses, hay, linden, violet leaves, rosewood and iris but I occasionally do and Eau de Ciel takes me gently by the hand and skips with me down the dirt paths and trails of my childhood on a damp spring day.

Eau de Ciel opens on a gentle green note. This isn’t a bitter galbanum green but a delicate sweet greenness evoking meadow grasses and hay. It bears mentioning that Eau de Ciel is an incredibly natural fragrance, to the point that it doesn’t just evoke but replicates the scent of a spring day. I feel as if Annick Goutal has captured the air, like a butterfly in a net, on the most idyllic day and bottled it. It seems improbable that this aroma is man-made. Eau de Ciel makes me think of an English countryside. When I was a teenager in the late 80’s I was obsessed with British pop music. Morrissey, The Smiths, The Cure, The Clash, New Order, Radiohead, This Mortal Coil, Ian Astbury from the Cult, these were my heart throbs. I spent a summer in England and the memories and love of everything English will remain in my heart forever. Eau de Ciel, even though I wasn’t wearing it at the time, reminds me so strongly of this summer. The privet hedges, ivy, wildflowers, teensy violets strewn across the meadows, bales of hay, mossy stones, this is Eau de Ciel. And odd as it may seem, Eau de Ciel reminds me of a particular cemetery in England where my cousin and I used to sneak off and smoke cigarettes and meet boys. The smell of this cemetery was green, mossy, damp yet sweet, and it wasn’t creepy to hang out there – it was peaceful. This also ties into a song by The Smiths, Cemetery Gates, but I digress…

Eau de Ciel is one of those fragrances where you need to spray yourself wet. But once you lavishly spray yourself it lasts all day long. As much as I’ve described it as a delicate, gentle green floral I still think it’s easily unisex. On a man, the green freshness would likely be the most obvious aspect. The gorgeous base note of Eau de Ciel is rosewood and this is one smooth and precious rosewood note. Many describe EdC as a violet fragrance and while violet is present it’s mostly violet leaves and it in no way does EdC bear any resemblance to a candy-sweet or powdery violet scent.

Annick Goutal lists the notes as: Brazilian rosewood, violet, Florentine iris and lime blossom. Lime blossom is also known as linden in English and Tilleul in French - this isn’t a citrusy scent; lime blossom is a floral note.

Click to listen to The Smiths Cemetery Gates
A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day
So I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
While Wilde is on mine

So we go inside and we gravely read the stones
All those people all those lives
Where are they now?
With the loves and hates
And passions just like mine
They were born
And then they lived and then they died
Seems so unfair
And I want to cry

You say: "ere thrice the sun done salutation to the dawn"
And you claim these words as your own
But I've read well, and I've heard them said
A hundred times, maybe less, maybe more

If you must write prose and poems
The words you use should be your own
Don't plagiarize or take "on loans"
There's always someone, somewhere
With a big nose, who knows
And who trips you up and laughs
When you fall
Who'll trip you up and laugh
When you fall

You say: "ere long done do does did"
Words which could only be your own
And then you then produce the text
From whence was ripped some dizzy whore, 1804

A dreaded sunny day
So let's go where we're happy
And I meet you at the cemetery gates
Oh Keats and Yeats are on your side

A dreaded sunny day
So let's go where we're wanted
And I meet you at the cemetery gates
Keats and Yeats are on your side
But you lose because Wilde is on mine


em said...

Tilleul is such a beautiful scent. Will have to try this when it gets warmer out.

Mals86 said...

Aaaaand another scent hits my to-test list. I love the idea of grassy, flowering meadows.

And aren't old cemeteries, tucked in among growing things, the most peaceful places? I love them.

weegee said...

I wish I'd found Eau de Ciel somewhere other than Indianapolis. It was a business trip, I had cash, there was Saks and I've never been without a bottle of Eau de Ciel since then. Linden. Herbal springtime. Extra special.