Niche Fragrance Magazine

Paradise in a bottle: Songes by Annick Goutal

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Do you remember which was your very first niche scent? I do. This month I celebrate symbolically 4 years since everything started. The madness, I mean. One curiosity satisfied, then another and another, and so my passion for niche perfumes grew up becoming a never-ending search for perfumes that evoke emotions, far away places, perfumes that shape perfectly my moods and dreams. It all started after I found an article about perfumes connected to different destinations. The girly bottle of Songes tighten with a ribbon full of small golden stars captured immediately my attention. It was described a dreamy tropical scent. Oh, I had to try it! Short after that, I heard for the first time also about Fracas. I needed that one too and so on. My first step into niche realms was not shy at all. It wasn`t about one scent, but six. My God! Six blind bought bottles at once, no kidding. Of course I was naive and impatient and did not order samples first, I needed the full bottles as soon as possible as if it was the end of the world. To name them: Fracas and Visaby Piguet, Caron Montaigne and Bellodgia, Annick Goutal Songes and Lalique Amethyst. I briefly searched some reviews about them before pressing the order bottom, but as much as I tried to imagine how they actually smell I couldn`t. I didn`t had much experience behind regarding the notes, so I waited them to arrive with great expectations. It could turned out to be a total disaster, but fortunately it ended (almost) very good.

I immediately fell madly in love with Visa, which continues to be my favorite scent of all time, I felt myself positively overwhelmed by Fracas which I proudly wear mostly in warm temperatures (yesss, that indolic tuberose blooms erotically in summer), Montaigne was very plush and elegant, Bellodgia made me a bit confuse, it seemed too anachronic, powdery and melancholic, but at the same it showed me a different perspective compared to all mainstream scents I knew untill then, so I saw a good reason to keep it, and Amethyst proved to be such a joyful grown-up fruity with a perfect balance between tart and soft notes.

But Songes…well Songes was for me a tough one to accommodate with. It smelled so bizarre, out-of-place and indeed…exotic. I placed the bottle in the back of a cabinet and closed the file for some years. But today I opened it again (by the way, now the juice has turned reddish due to the darkening of the jasmine absolute) put two sprays on my wrists and feel completely different about this now! Here I am lounging on a Polynesian beach with a Bahama Mama cocktail in one hand. That`s a pretty great turnaround from my first perception, so I decided to put my thoughts down about it, because during these four years since I purchased it, I realize an olfactive perception changing happened to me, my sense of smell improved a lot making me become much more tolerant to ingredients I couldn`t come close to before and now I see beauty were I saw weirdness in the past. You should never abandon hope regarding notes that seem strange first, give them a second chance.

How I perceive Songes EDT today:

It opens very bloomy and intense with a remarkable amount of indolic jasmine. Not the easy jasmine to love, I know, but it has to be this way, a dewy and shy jasmine would look so unfit in the gargantuesque bouquet of exotic flowers. In the first half an hour the jasmine plays a really huge major role spreading around her fleshy narcotic scent, overshadowing the other flowers, and it`s interesting to follow how this beauty performs. When she finally decides to step back I really miss her divaesque appearance, but luckily I find comfort in the new floral accents which now are becoming more prominent. Fruity-sweet and equally natural as jasmine notes of frangipani and tiare are surrounding now the pivotal note of jasmine, adding her sweet and creamy gardenia-like shades, so the entire bouquet is becoming really mellow and smooth, very fine, with all the flowery accords melting into each other, creating a vibrant and exotic mixture. Towards the drydown the scent still feels very intense, but a lovely Bourbon vanilla note which stayed in the back untill now becomes more evident and it envelopes the flowers in a tender manner adding them some extra warmth. The base is woody-vanillic-floral reminding me somehow of the famous Ambre Solaire suntan lotion. Songes really puts me into a relaxed mood, I`m imagining myself lying on a fine golden sand, hearing the sound made by the waves that hit the rocks nearby. Sea water is running from my hair down on my spin and I`m in a silent complicity with my lover. The warm breeze carries gently a wonderful smell of exotic flowers from the lush vegetation that surrounds us. We are in Paradise.

Annick Goutal Songes EDT (2005)

Perfumer: Isabelle Doyen

Notes: Frangipani flower, Tiare Flower, Sambac Jasmine absolute, Ylang-Ylang absolute, Bonjoin, Bourbon Vanilla absolute, Patchouli, Spices – Cinnamon, Cumin, Black Pepper

Hi, my name is Raluca! I am born in Romania and live in Switzerland for many years. I love perfumes since I was a little girl and now I am an avid perfume collector and totally dedicated to the amazing world of essences. I am always looking for something new and interesting to discover and among my personal preferences are the delicate and powdery notes, but also some bold orientals. I admire both clasic and niche fragrances with a special twist in them. A good perfume for me should be able to put me in a special mood, to complete and inspire me…things I need when I paint or do photography, my other two passions.

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