Saturday, June 01, 2013
Squee-worthy juice from Annick Goutal: Nuit Etoilee

In my hay-making mode, the exploration of perfumery continues and is an anodyne to the wire-taut, keyed-up intensity of overtime-flavored tunnel-vision.

I've been fortunate to win a couple of drawings of giveaways by fellow perfumistas, and those giveaways included dozens of decants of gorgeous niche fragrances. Also, I've spent a wee bit on samples of things I wanted to try before handing over the dosh for a full bottle. Indeed, I'm a bit on the picky side and I'd say only one out of 20 or so really blows my skirt up, but when a fragrance makes me happy in my pants, it makes me happy in a big way. I'm picking my way through these scrummy scents and finding what really works for me, and I'll pass the also-rans along for other folks to try in turn.

My latest happy-pants inducement is the wondrously lovely Nuit Etoilee from the perfume house of Annick Goutal.

I only have a small sample, and will soon run out, alas. I'm hopeful I can spend some of the yields of my overtime this summer on a full bottle of this exquisite juice.

Nuit Etoilee opens with perhaps the prettiest citrus I've experienced. It's not that acidic, lemonadey eye-popping lemon or lime zest, nor is it a cloyingly tangy orange. It's a comforting little burst of citron with a faint suggestion of mint. These are the top notes which scarper off quite quickly. Top notes are the smallest molecules in a fragrance mix, and they fly away from the pack first, and are quick to evaporate. They are sort of an overture which sets a framework in which the big picture will unfold.

The heart of Nuit Etoilee is a glory of pine and fir. These notes begin to reveal themselves within minutes of spraying and present a burnished glow after the citrus/mint medley has wafted away. They quickly seem subdued, but I can smell the conifer on my arm in the evening, having applied it in morning time. This is a low-projection scent on me, and more subtle than the pong-monsters I generally crave in scent. Perfume parlance borrows the term sillage from the nautical lexicon, and the sillage is sort of the wake you trail (or do not). Some people favor high-projection scents, and most of my favorites are thus, but this one wormed its lovely, subdued way into my heart. This is probably not detectable on me more than arm's length throughout the day.

The base notes-- which are slowest to emerge but more sustained-- are angelica, immortelle and Tonka bean. Angelica is a flower, but the oil is extracted from the roots, and this is considered a green scent. Essence of immortelle is extracted from its sunny little flowers (latin name Helichrysum angustifolium, thus named for the sun), and has long been used for medicinal/therapeutic purposes. Tonka is a spicy little bean thing from South America that I've noticed listed as an accord in a huge number of fragrances. I have only seen them in photos, but I would imagine them to be similar to the resinsous, sticky properties of vanilla beans. Tonka bean seems to have a vanillic quality to me. (Vanilla is quite often used in perfumes, but can be overpowering and is not a particular favorite of mine, though it is beasting in my beloved Hypnotic Poison from Dior).

The overall effect of Nuit Etoilee is that of taking a tiny sip of limoncello whilst enveloped in a nice wool wrap, sitting by a campfire in a grove of conifers on the first cool night of the year.

I tend to favor Oriental fragrances that are woody, spicy or floral, but this is a Woody Aromatic. I may have Himself wear this one day, and I think it'll probably be more suited primarily to men, but I think the right woman can pull it off. *aherm* One more note on the formulations of this scent: this is truly a unisex scent, but there are actually two formulations available. The one I have is the masculine and is an Eau de Toilette. There is a formulation in Eau de Parfum form which I have not smelled, but also includes accords of amber (for which I am quite, quite queer) and iris, which I generally don't like in perfumes. I'll be buying the "masculine" version of this, in the squared bottle. In my opinion, convention is utterly to be flouted when it comes to scent. Aramis-- the classic 1966 man cologne-- smells wonderful on me. I think it would be a shame if I'd never tried it because a silly label like pour homme make me think a lady couldn't wear it. If something smells right on you and you enjoy it, you should wear it. Full stop.

This is available in sample form from ThePerfumedCourt and also from SurrenderToChance, but I would recommend confirming which formulation you are receiving when you order any fragrance. It would be disappointing to fall in love with a particular scent, only to find out you've committed to a full bottle of its not-evil-enough twin. As always, I recommend you purchase the larger spray decant to get a true sense of the interplay of fragrance notes. Some people don't think it makes a difference if you spray or daub on a scent, but in my mind at least, there is a difference.
Written by phlegmfatale
3 cared enough to comment!

Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
I'm unburdening.

Learn more here

September 2002

November 2002

January 2003

March 2003

June 2003

July 2003

August 2003

September 2003

October 2003

November 2003

December 2003

January 2004

February 2004

March 2004

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

March 2005

April 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

July 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

October 2016

December 2016

January 2017

March 2017

April 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

October 2017

Who links to me?