Saturday, February 6, 2010

Annick Goutal Grand Amour: Effortless Grace

Day 7, the last post in my week-long tribute to Annick Goutal

I’ve had the most difficult time with this last post. I want to write about so many more AG perfumes but this is it, the last one, and I had to make a choice. So I chose Grand Amour.

But first, I want to leave you, dear reader, with a few parting thoughts about the house of Annick Goutal, so please indulge me. Perhaps a normal fragrance customer (you know, those odd souls who have less than a dozen bottles of perfume) would immediately understand the sheer beauty of fragrances from Annick Goutal because it takes just a sniff to instantly recognize the exceptional quality and artistic creativity captured in this line. But then there’s “us,” the fanatics, the connoisseurs who have sniffed so many beauties that we’ve become jaded and bored and require so much more than simply “pretty” from our perfumes. But I ask you, is it not an enormous accomplishment, worthy of high praise, for a small artisan perfume house to create exceptionally beautiful, exquisitely high quality perfumes, time and time again? Annick Goutal is not driven by the latest fad and is never derivative or just blah. What is that you say, Annick Goutal is not edgy enough for you? Well, I would ask if have you tried AG Vetiver, Sables, Eau de Fier, Ambre Fetiche, Musc Nomade, Un Matin d’Orage, Vanille Exquise or Mandragore? The house of Annick Goutal has something for everyone – edgy, unusual and classically beautiful. And, I don’t think it’s just me, but I’ve worn nearly every single fragrance from AG and never has there been a sour or unpleasant note. Clearly, the house knows how to make perfume.Anyway, back to my last review: Grand Amour. Grand Amour was created in 1997 for Annick Goutal by Isabelle Doyen. Annick Goutal wanted a fragrance that expressed the devotion she felt for her husband, to capture that feeling of true and tender love. Grand Amour is a perfume for a lady, it is not one of the “daughter” perfumes, not particularly light or girly, but not heavy or overdone either. This is the perfect fragrance for a woman who has come into her own, and knows true love. Grand Amour is an airy blend of hyacinths, lily, honeysuckle and rose with a base of amber, myrrh and vanilla. I smell mostly hyacinths and honeysuckle, which is good for me, because I’m not usually enamored by lily. The hyacinth note is dreamy and reminds me of Guerlain Chamade, mostly because this is the only other perfume I’m familiar with that smells of hyacinth. Grand Amour is more casual in comparison with Chamade, there’s a stronger aldehydic formality to Chamade; Chamade is the beautiful woman with a full face of make-up and glamorous couture ensemble while Grand Amour is the natural beauty who knows her lover finds her even sexier without make-up lounging in her white eyelet baby doll pajamas.

Grand Amour starts off all hyacinth and honeysuckle with a tender green leafiness as a foundation for the florals. It then unfolds slowly but surely to a less green and more pronounced rose note toning down the succulent hyacinth and honeysuckle brigade. Once Grand Amour dries down it turns into a gorgeous soft ambery myrrh scent, ever so slightly powdery and delicate. Inexplicably, I think of Grand Amour as a floral for those who don’t usually like to wear florals. It’s feminine but still subtle. It’s pure class and grace.

I apply Grand Amour lavishly. About 6-8 sprays last 4+ hours on me and I have the eau de parfum. Unfortunately I can’t compare the edt with the edp because I’ve only ever purchased the edp. Typically I prefer the edp concentration because I like a more potent perfume.

This concludes my week-long tribute to Annick Goutal. In the past I’ve also written reviews for Sables, Vanille Exquise and Ce Soir ou Jamais.

PS: If anyone from Annick Goutal is reading, I think you should make more limited edition bottles! I have ideas for so many gorgeous bottles :-) Also, some new perfume suggestions: a mimosa scent would be a dreamy addition to your Soliflores Collection. Also a dry green chypre, an aldehydic oriental and a tuberose-fl-oriental (think sultry vixen) would be a great addition to the line. And don’t forget the boys, surely they could use an edgy leather.


em said...

Thank you for this week! Really enjoyed it and now I have a few more AG on my to-try-list.

guerligirl said...

Beautifully written, very informative articles about one of my favorite houses. Well done.

Ines said...

This has been a great week. You made plan on going to try all those AG scents I haven't yet (and there are many).
Your thoughts in the introduction are really true, the only AG bottle I have is Mandragore - and in my opinion, it really is strange. :) I mean that as a compliment.

Mals86 said...

Another lovely, thoughtful review. I need to smell more Goutals, and Grand Amour just made my to-test list. I do love Chamade.

You can do another Goutal week in about six months, right? Right? Please?

Tara said...

Thank you so much for the Annick Goutal week. It has been wonderful. AG has always been special for me. I fell in love with Passion in 1993 and it have been a love affair ever since. I think March or Patty at perfumeposse ot Robin at NST once said that AG perfumes have a personal, intimate feeling. I think that that is true. When uou wear and AG you feel as if you know Annick or Isabel and that they have made that perfume with you in mind. It is a very nice feeling. Often I feel with niche perfumes the perfumer isn't thinking about me, but how to be edgey or "new" or "strange" (and its not that I don't love edgey and strange, but it is not intimate) and with AG I feel like they have the woman wearing the fragance in mind at all times. That may not always be me, but when there is a match it is truly an special experience.

Tania said...

I do like this one, but for some reason mine is in a little plastic travel bottle.
IIRC, the original bottle leaked badly, so I decanted what remained (less than half by the time I noticed) into the nearest container. Of course, that was in 1997 or 1998, before I knew better, or I would have used a glass sprayer bottle.
There's even less left now, what with evaporation and all. In fact, I think it has turned....

Yes, that's the sad story of my Grand Amour ;-) Guess I need a new one!

Heather Barton said...

This sounds gorgeous, I love hyacinth. I am currently lemming some vintage Chamade.