Annick Goutal Nuit et Confidences (2017) {Perfume Review & Musings}


The new Nuit et Confidences (Night & Confessions) in the Oiseaux de Nuit collection (Nocturnal Birds) by Annick Goutal rightly interprets its theme in as much as it is a lasting fragrance inviting you to mark time with it from night to dawn. The story line is very narrow. The scent is meant to evoke an "elitist Parisian evening" - and you have to wonder how many people are going to feel attracted to the idea...

The brand wanted also to capture founder Annick Goutal's taste for the frequentation of artists and intellectuals. They see this taking place in an Art Deco setting. They long to recreate the "private circle" mood lit by the scintillating wit of its members. You could see this as a yearning to conjure up an atmosphere like in the film La Dolce Vita, only more guarded, snobbier, less wandering and poetic. Again, one wonders how you can hope to pull people into that kind of storytelling - and even reality.

The perfume composition by Mathieu Nardin of Robertet is a velvety, quiet but also vibrant oriental with remarkable lastingness. It behaves more like an extrait de parfum than an eau de parfum feeling close to the body, but also offering undeniable projection. It fills up space. It offers a nod to the classic Shalimar by Guerlain for its use of a bergamot counterpoint to pillowy sensations.

The Frankincense note is quite present, sweetened by tonka bean and vanilla and dancing in the air with bergamot. The resins seem to take a life of their own, almost musical in their projection. In fact it is that incense nuance which defines the composition most, never feeling church-y but rather suggestive of distant lands.

You smell a nuance of aniseed; it might evoke for some Talco Delicato by Profumi di Firenze. The fragrance has that plummy aspect, which has become a sort of running thread for the house since Mon Parfum Chéri (2011). Mathieu Nardin inserted that facet in Tenue de Soirée (2016) too - the first scent in the new collection.

White musks have been put to optimal use. It turns the scent into a fluffy ball of soft, velvet-like sensations. They make the perfume last for ever. They make it step out of that darn "privé" circle evoked by the story line - fortunately - allowing you to share the qualities of this perfume with those you encounter on your way. If you've ever felt uplifted by the incongruous irruption of a perfumed sillage in the prosaic everyday, you know how redemptive it can feel. We can be thankful to good perfumers for that experience.

Fragrance notes: bergamot, pepper / frankincense, tonka bean / vanilla, white musks.

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