The newest perfume by Annick Goutal, Rose Pompon, is said to be an attempt at capturing an imaginary rose at its freshest, with an element of addiction to it. For some perfume wearers, freshness is a paramount quality to be had in a fragrance, yet that is not often paired with the idea of creating an addiction. That characteristic is usually ascribed to thick, unscrutable magical potions, narcotic florals and irresistible gourmand scents, you'd be ready to lick off your arm. The scent is co-authored by artistic director Camille Goutal and a new perfumer for the house, Philippine Courtière...
Rose Pompon eau de toilette opens on an absolutely delightful, fresh bouquet of roses cut through by crushed cassis leaves, bubbly aldehydes, white musks creating a continuum smelling of foam bath with hints of scotch tape and shiso leaf. This creates an effect which is not that of an old-school bubbly, sparkling top, but a more modern-feeling one, with possibly even a nod to the industrialized society we live in while remaining short of smelling like a Comme des Garçons.
The perfume is a non-classical rose bouquet composition. Even if you would logically make an association with Diptyque l'Ombre dans l'Eau upon smelling a rose and cassis accord, Rose Pompon manages to smell distinctive.
After this flash of rosy beauty, the perfume concentrates on developing a dark fruity tonality playing alongside the white aldehydes/musks. Goutal mention raspberry ; one can pick out another fruity nuance, lingonberries, a typical scent of Northern Europe (but also for others, of the Soviet period public housing!)
On a different patch of your skin, the perfume develops with less fruit and more green sappiness, so you can probably bring out a facet better than the other.
One cannot help but notice that there is something both consistently clean and Japanese-feeling about the scent, which subliminally evokes collective bathing rituals and Hinoki wood. Something in it makes you think of Lush bath bombs too.
The longer drydown is where perhaps an obvious influence appears best when the scent complexity is on the wane: the spirit of l'Artisan Parfumeur Mûre et Musc's cassis and musk accord.
Rose Pompon is a modern, transparent fruity-floral which benefits from the spirit of research of the mind of a young perfumer, Philippine Courtière ; the legacy of the house previous work with perfumer Isabelle Doyen, who in the past inserted outsider notes like shiso ; but also from the greater amount of creative freedom allotted niche labels. This higher dose of liberty is perceptible in the showcasing of a more diverse perfumer organ. The French touch of Annick Goutal, now owned by Korean group Amore Pacific, has no doubt been influenced by research trips and an overture to the Far East. Last year, they released L'Île au Thé inspired by the Island of Jeju in Korea.
The new generation of young, up-and-coming perfumers (see also Angel Muse) promises to be a more multicultural group in terms of taste and experience. Instead of thinking in terms of regional markets bound by centuries-old, stereotypical tastes, they are creating more fluid and eclectic formulations conjuring up new, transcontinental olfactory atmospheres.