Annick Goutal Passion

Annick Goutal PassionGetting ready for a party recently, I put on an old tried-but-true and realized I´d never given it much attention on the blog.  So here´s my brief, hot-weather kids-underfoot paean to Annick Goutal Passion, and the AG brand in general.

For some perfumistas, Annick Goutal isn´t niche enough.  Pick an argument – they sell it at Nordstrom; it´s too pretty; it´s not sold in $900 casks and available only on alternate Tuesdays at the general store near the airstrip on Rarotonga.  I´d counter-argue that any perfumer with Eau du Fier, Sables and Vetiver in its repertoire is plenty strange enough to qualify.  I also happen to agree with Grain de Musc´s intelligent division of the AG line into various family members, with Passion being very much in the “mama” camp.

Passion has notes of tuberose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, vanilla, patchouli and oakmoss. The fragrance was created in 1983, on the early end of the AG spectrum, and (probably like everything else) seems to have been subtly reformulated over the years – I used to remember less vanilla.

Passion is a heady, Harlequin-romantic white floral that is very much not in my personal style, which is why my continued fondness for it confuses me.  It´s not quite Fracas (what is?), but I wouldn´t want to find myself trapped in the theatre next to a woman wearing too much of it.  There is something faintly lemon-candied about it at the opening that makes me think of PdNs like Maharanih; at the same time it smells very, well, Goutal.  The hazy velvet of oakmoss is apparent from the start, grounding it while keeping it from being overly sweet.

If I were to assign temperatures to my perfume – and hey, it´s my blog, so here I go with my crazy theory – Passion is a warm scent.  Its tuberose does not have the sex-bomb aloofness of Fracas, or the chilly hauteur of Carnal Flower. There is a casual sexiness about it; it´s the sort of scent that should be sprayed on before a date, with the hope (expectation?) that someone else will be helping you out of your pretty sundress later that evening.

In terms of technical merit I´d be forced to choose either Fracas or Carnal Flower as examples of why I am “into” perfume – the creative side, if you will.  If, on the other hand, I wanted the men near me to lean in close, I´d choose Passion.  Granted, people like what they like; maybe you are aroused by the smell of gunpowder, or mint.  We´ve all seen the studies that say men dig the smell of bacon, or cookies.  In spite of the name, Passion is stealth-sexy.  If I wear Organza Indecence to a cocktail party, women look at me with suspicion.  Its vanillic man-candy vibe makes it clear that I´m toying with their drunken husbands.  Passion simply smells good; it´s the sort of scent that other women ask me what I´m wearing, while inducing cheerful flirtations from men.

My bottle is older and (knock wood) hasn´t turned, which AGs sometimes do.  I have read online that the new formulation of Hadrien is wretched – apparently it´s been IFRA´d into something that smells like Lemon Pledge.   I wonder whether the other Goutal eaux with citrus have been damaged.  I can´t bear to think about it.

Do you have a favorite Annick Goutal?  Hey, has anyone seen Mandragore Pourpre in stores yet?  It says August release… I love the original and I think the notes for this one sound great.  (via Fragrantica: bergamot, mint, star anise, amber, rosemary, geranium, pepper, patchouli, myrhh, incense and heliotrope.)

88 Comments

  1. You forgot Sables; I always counter people who say AG isn’t niche enough by stating (truthfully) that she was the original niche scent. I have several faves in this line as you know. I did note at Bloomingdales this weekend that the men’s packaging of Hadrien was the old formula.

    I think Gardenia goes to the ones that I think of lady-like sexy, in that very Fwehnsh way that AG does so well.

    I’m avoiding any idea of reformulation..

    • I didn’t forget Sables, dahlink! It’s up there on my list (I went back to check in case I accidentally edited it out…) I also owe you big-time for introducing me to the glory of Monsieur.

      I cheated on Passion with Gardenia Passion, but I went back. 😉

      • HA…that’s so funny..I too cheated on Passion on with Gardenia Passion, but went back…but the fling was fun until that Gardenia note (or whatever it was that gave me a headache) became too much!!!

        • hellz yeah! One second you’re wearing it and it’s all good. Then the gardenia whomps you upside the head.

  2. I can’t believe you just posted this review. Thank you so much for the review.

    I have adored Passion since 1990 (in edp which is not very easy to find these days). Like you, I am not sure what it is about it that I love since it very girly and pretty. However, I find it absolutely compelling. I have gone through several bottles and currently have one in use and just today purchased a backup at Bergdorf’s. It is the only perfume for which I have a backup. I just don’t know what I would do if it was discontinued or reformulated beyond recognition.

    Thanks again for making my day!!!

    • I am really surprised by the Passion love on here this morning, I was pretty sure I’d get three pity comment saying “yeah, whatev — have a nice Wednesday!” So I am happy to see other folks enjoy it as well. I find it very wearable, which is not my general response to uber-femme white florals. Cheers!

  3. Serendipitously, you and I were thinking along/about the same line: I haven’t been paying enough blogging attention to the older Goutals either.
    Passion, I’m sad to say, *has* been reformulated: it’s got less oakmoss now. I know this for a fact because Isabelle Doyen told me. It’s still a great fragrance though.
    I’ve got a teensy decant of Mandragore Pourpre which I’m thinking of reviewing imminently (same source). It’s not my type of fragrance but I find it very interesting and odder than the original. Need to do a side-by-side now.

    Actually, I don’t know which of my Goutals would be my favourite: I love both Songes and Encens Flamboyant the best, I guess. Or would that be L’Heure Exquise and Musc Nomade?

    • Great minds thinking alike?! 😉 I was toying with the AG post in my head, dropped by your blog and decided it was Fate.

      So, reformulated eh? Of course, the oakmoss. I’m probably not getting more vanilla, just less oakmoss. The oakmoss in my late 80s bottle is wonderful.

      Oh, please review Pourpre! I’m a HUGE Mandragore fangirl, unlike … well, everyone else on the Posse who thinks it smells either like pee or it’s gone in 60 seconds. I’d love to hear your take on the new one.

      • The new one also smells a bit like pee. Cassis bud I should say, though it’s not listed. But it’s nice pee, you know?

        • And that right there is a true perfume fanatic comment! Nice pee. I know exactly what you mean.

  4. For me, from the men’s, it’s Sables. Love it, though it’s thick and as everlasting as, well, immortelle… Sometimes it smothers me, but I’m still faithful in spite of those fleshy folds.

    Did have a soft spot for Duel but, hmm, well, no longer seems to work. Like the sparkly stuff enough – Hadrien, Sud – though the drydowns do little to hold my interest. Eau de Monsieur is a beauty that I should’ve bought long ago; same with the very odd Eau de Fier. I love Mandragore, though am disappointed by its fleeting nature, and Vetiver is one of the best out there – salt, iodine, air. I don’t wear vetiver scents much though… (except for Sel de Vet and Guerlain)

    • Monsieur. Swoon. tmp00 made me… it’s got immortelle in it, but not smothery like Maples– er, Sables. It’s terrific stuff, I agree. I think I can still find it online, but not sure… I should get some too.

  5. I’m with you here – Passion shouldn’t work for me, since white flowers generally tend to bludgeon me with an enormous bouquet and leave me in a smelly heap. But I love it and would never want to be without a bottle of it in the back of my fragrance collection. It’s stylishly sexy, style and class first, sexy second. Like that incredibly elegant woman with pearls and deceptively simple, almost severe little black dress who has men hanging on her every utterance and ogling her while she chats with the ladies (who love her). And possibly wears very daring underwear….

    My newest Goutal love is Encens Flamboyant, but I adore Sables, Eau du Fier and Duel. And Eau du Ciel, which I can’t wear but love for its innocence. As for Eau de Lavande – that’s one lovely and sexy lavender scent!

    • I love your description of Passion — perfect. And I see there are several Encens fans on here today as well!

      I have given Ciel as a gift several times. And I should try Lavande. I’ve tried many (most?) of the other one-notes, but not that one.

  6. The only AG that I ever committed to, on the say-so of Robin at NST, was Le Chevrefeuille. It was pretty at first, but I quickly got bored with it and now only use it in my ironing water (the eventual fate of all ‘meh’ scents). I did love the sample of Songes but have put off buying it, worried about the fatigue factor, so I’m encouraged that y’all have sustained affection for your favourites. What the hell – Songes goes up to number 7 on the must-buy list.

    • Oddly, Songes is one of the few I really don’t care for (Matin is another) but that’s a personal taste thing … Songes is a little gamey on me for reasons I don’t fully understand. But I think it’s one of the more beloved AGs on the blogs and boards, so clearly I’m a dope! 😉

  7. My fave is Eau du Sud. It’s so clean and fresh and perfect for the hot weather. I know what you mean about the turning, though; a friend gave me a bottle in the men’s packaging (bought, he kvelled, at Nordstrom for far less than I was paying for it at Saks) and the scent was definitely off; not bad, just not right. I asked an SA about it, and he said the frag should be the same–the only thing different about it was the bottle. His suggestion was that perhaps it sat somewhere on a tarmac too long. But it hasn’t gone to waste! I spritz it on my dogs when we have company.

    Passion doesn’t sound like quite my thing, but based on all the raves, I’ll definitely give it a sniff.

    And I’m always disappointed by Mandragore. I want more from it.

    • That’s another interesting use for an unloved fume – dog deodouriser 🙂

        • The dog-scenting — I don’t know, people. Then he wouldn’t smell like Doritos any more!

          • March, you’d dig our new puppy Henry–at 6 months he smells like the economy sized Dorito bag that’s been left open all night after the party. He’s half Great Dane and apparently they’re prone to the intense snack chip smell (we didn’t know). I’m actually glad to hear that people have perfumed their pups to no ill health effect…we may have to resort to this unelss our noses can adjust…

            Oh, and I vote for AG’s Ciel–maybe that’s a “meh” for some, but it was the first perfume I ever really loved. And Sud is wonderful, too…

            • Oh, sure, just a light mist and keep it out of their nose, mouth and eyes. I also like Nancy Boy’s Signature Room Mist for the same purpose. Just lovely and fresh.

            • Snack chip smell! But if you perfume them … don’t they just smell like Fritos sprayed with Fracas? Urk.

              • Oh, behave! Stop making me laugh!

                And what, may I ask, is wrong with dog-smell? As long as they are not filthy or wet, they smell like dog which, like horse, is a pretty fab scent.

                xoxo >-)

          • Doritos! I thought my sister was crazy for thinking our dog’s feet smelled like Doritos…I see she is in good company!

    • Not to pick on AG, but I’ve gotten more than one odd bottle, and the testers seem to hold up particularly poorly in the stores.

      This new Mandragore sounds stronger, and different. I find the notes intriguing.

  8. I tried many AGs early on in my sniffing passion, and found many too “pretty”-but it sounds like I may be ready for Passion now 🙂

    I rediscovered Encens Flamboyant recently at the Paris shop, and regret not buying the parfum-a smokey delight. I did find the EdP on sale recently, and it’s on its way to me.

    I love Sables, but find my immortelle fix in Eau Noire. Duel is fab, but so fleeting on me…so far, no other AGs have either grabbed me, or hung around long enough for me to be sure.

  9. I tried to love Annick Goutal’s scents, but I’ve never found one to truly love I’m afraid.

    Mandragore Pourpe is available at Liberty’s in London and is exclusive to them at the moment in the UK. I sniffed it last week and despite being completely beguiled by the gorgeous soft purple opaque bottles (it comes in both the female ribbed bottle and the male square bottle) I found it to be initially overpoweringly fruity, then showing a dry, rooty, spicy and austere drydown. It’s not for me, but if you like that sort of thing, well, you’ll like this one!

    • Hm. It could well be my sort of thing! Overpoweringly fruity doesn’t sound good, but “rooty spicy and austere” sounds like JUST MY SORT OF THING. And Carmencanada up there says “very interesting and odd…” Fingers crossed.

  10. The days I pull my favorite white silk shirt out of the closet often seem to call for Songes. When I wear that shirt, I’m relaxed, in a good mood and ready to be pleasantly entertained. Both the shirt and Songes are rare occasions, though. They’re too distracting and impractical for my usual somewhat messy occupations. Too pretty for daily life, I guess.

    Mandragore is almost at the complete other edge of the spectrum. I’ve found it very useful on occasions where I just had to get through something and needed to stiffen my resolve. I don’t know that I like it, exactly, but it does seem to fill an almost medicinal need.

    • I was trying to decide whether to channel Lady Catherine de Bourgh or Barney Fife to give you unasked-for 😀 advice on ‘resolve-stiffening’ perfumes….I would channel both but I’m afraid the monitor would explode!

      Of all the AGs I think of Duel as an armoured piece, though Mandragore, which I love, has that plummy/minty-with an oh-so-faint hit of turps and cough syrup thing going(and I say that as a Very Good Thing)….. it’s unpredictable enough to keep you on your toes.

      of course, if we’re straying off the AG reservation: for sheer ‘shoot ’em up’ resolve-stiffening, nothing beats Mitsouko in parfum strength. Scares everything but the horses!

      xo >-)

      • I love it that you can channel Lady Catherine de Bourgh & Barney Fife at the same time!

        Mitsouko seems a very Lady Catherine sort of scent to me. I wonder what Barney would advise?

        • Barney favors that bottle of bay rum he keeps in the back room of the sheriffin’ office/jail; you know, where he camps out when he and Mrs Mandlebright have a falling-out over him cooking in his room… it’s right next to his hair tonic…

          xo >-)

    • I think that’s an excellent description of how Mandragore works for you … I bought my bottle in Paris, so it is a very fond memory-smell for me. Mandragore is Paris, essentially. 🙂

      • Guet Apens/Attrape Coeur is my memory-of-Paris perfume. The amazing time-traveling power of fragrances is one of the things I like best about them.

  11. I still haven’t found an AG that I really like. I’ve thought about getting Eau du Sud but I have several herbal citruses already so couldn’t justify the purchase.
    I’m not sure if I’ve ever tried Passion. it sounds lovely so will have a spritz next time I’m in town.

    • Passion is pretty straightforward, and you will either like it or … you won’t!

      Also, wth is going on with the image illustration up there? It’s vanished again…

  12. The AGs have been intriguing me lately. I just found a small bottle of Tubereuse. This is one of the most beautiful tubereuses that I have smelled. Very creamy & buttery, with decent longevitiy. Which formulation is your Passion, March, edt or edp? I’ve been curious about this one, and almost got a decant from TPC, but the code didn’t work, and I ended up not.

    • I *think* mine is an EdT. I can’t read the bottle, but that’s much more common so that’s my guess. I’ve not smelled her straight Tubereuse. I bet it’s gorgeous.

  13. I’m not much of a Goutal wearer anymore, but I was a ginormous Hadrien whore way back when. By the way, with the number of times the word “whore” comes tumbling out of my mouth (or off my keyboard), I should set myself up on a profitable streetcorner.

    I must have drained 4 of those 500 ml Hadrien bottles; I used to wear it year round in those days, before I developed the snoot of a bloodhound and went seasonal. By the way, I’m not keeping a very close watch on the IFRA deal, but what is so offensive/irritating about citrus? I thought their target was oakmoss? Another one bites the dust, eh?

    My other fave was Petit Cherie and I had a torrid affair with Sables for a bit. See? There I go again… 😀

    • Citrus contains furocoumarins which are photo-toxic: they “mutate” proteins on the skin and cause damage with sun exposure. This is why as a girl I learned never to spray areas of skin which would be exposed to the sun.
      Furocoumarins are also involved in the assimilation of certain kinds of drugs which is why, for instance, you can’t eat grapefruit when you’re taking certain treatments.
      Citruses can be treated to remove the furocoumarin but this alters their odorant profile.

          • My response was incoherent, sorry. What I meant was, I didn’t realize there was a chemical commonality re: the photosensitivity (wearing) and grapefruit (eating). Not sure if this is any clearer. 🙂

    • So you have played the field! I see Denyse answered your other question (very thoroughly) below…

      • March, I prefer to think of it as a mutation. 🙂

        And thanks for that explanation, Denyse. I know about the no grapefruit juice with certain medications and the irritation potential of sun-exposed skin. I never wore perfume to the beach/pool ever, and I used to experience minor irritation from chlorine.

        Now if you can figure out why I get all itchy when I wear L’Artisan Vanilia, I will be forever in your debt.

  14. I used to wear Passion all the time in the summer. Must go get it out again. Another summer staple was Hadrien. Very, very unhappy at hearing about the reformulation reports. 🙁 Haven’t worn Heure Exquise for a while, but it used to be one of my main “go to” comfort scents. And I’m one of the few who really enjoys Vanille Exquise. Goes in a wonderful, yummy direction on my skin. Oh, and I adore their Vetiver.

    • Oh, I really need a bottle of Vanille! I should have gotten one last year … sigh. That was a new love for me. And it’s nice to see you!

  15. Eau de Sud and Neroli are my two current faves. Mandragore at times. Eau de Camille was my gateway AG, but it has become too cloying to me now.

    Love your new verb…IFRA’d. How sad.

    Anyway, still having thoughts of Portland in the fall? 🙂

  16. Huh – you know, I have an entire ammo box of AGs, which I never sample! Like Nava, I was heavily into Hadrien back in the Jurassic Era (and on super-hot days it can still bust a move)…..Imo see if I have a thingy of Passion – probably the name alone made me pass it by…

    covered in Fleur de Cassie right now – it’s that kind of day. Yesterday, turned upside down, as I had to attend to El O, who was in an accident (he’s fine). Funny about tried-but-true: I was wearing one of the green Rosine (can’t remember the name) and Ineke’s After my Own Heart and when I got the call I immediately changed into battle armor (you know the heavy plat jewelry and the Statement Handbag). Of course, I washed off what was left of the charming scents and donned (dunh-dunh-DUN!!!) Mitsouko. I figured, armed thusly, I could break through the mayhem that is a hospital emergency room (he’s FINE), completely forgetting that I’m in the middle of Cowtown – these people are so nice and accommodating that it shocks me! I must’ve looked (and smelled) like Godzilla! coming in there.

    xo >-)

    will come back later, when FdC wears off and I can try Passion without Cassie slapping me silly.

    • That’s hilarious! You took the time to change your perfume before going to the emergency room

      • Well, in my defense I already knew he was in no serious/immediate danger – but I guess, as I re-read that post, I do sound sort of insane, don’t I! 😀

        xoxo >-)

        • I totally understand the mindset behind it. I imagine those outside of our “ilk” might find it curious

        • Goodness gracious! I am glad to hear Bear is okay! Yes, Mitsy is certainly a gird-up-the-loins fragrance … I deploy Femme the same way. They are both my go-to “don’t eff with me” scents.

          • I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who girds up with Mitsouko – it’s gotten to the point that when my husband smells it, he asks me “whose ass is getting kicked today?”

            I have to give a couple of presentations tomorrow, so it might be a Mitsouko day.

        • Not to me you don’t, Musette: I put on Sel de Vetiver to go to the ER, myself, after I was (accidentally) stabbed in the leg with a kitchen knife by my darling late father (no sarcasm in that description of him). There I was, gouting blood from a hole in my shin, and weeping with pain and panic, and yet I still groped around on the shelves – my mother meanwhile saying, “What are you DOING?” – for sthg suitable for being seen by people in white coats. Perhaps people in white coats should come and get me now, you think?

  17. I have samples of the whole Les Orientalistes scents, and got hooked on Musc Nomade and Ambre Fetiche. My girlfriend liked them a lot, and finally gave me a whole bottle of Ambre Fetiche for my birthday, telling me that I needed to wear it and wear if often. Now we can’t get enough. We both wear it, too.

    Musc Nomade comes in second, but way up on my list. It’s pushed musc ravageur down a notch or two on my list, I’m afraid. The AG Musc Nomade works on my girl’s skin so much better. It’s bad. Good bad, you know? 😉

    • I do know good bad. 🙂 It’s a total smutfest on me, I assume that is what you’re referring to? And it’s stealthy about it too. At first spray, it’s all, oh, that’s nice. Then five minutes later, I’m thinking, holy cow…

  18. Hi there,

    I have been reading this blog for quite a while now, but this is my first post here.Passion AG is my scent of the day today.I have the EDP. No idea how old the bottle is. Not experienced enough to know how if this is pre- or post IFRA.
    It’s a perfume house I love very dearly. AG makes the ‘fumes I actually wear often.
    My favourite? Heure Exquise/Songes for the “mama” scents, Monsieur/Vetiver for the “papa” scents, I suppose but also dearly love many of the others.

    This blog is great fun by the way, it always makes me laugh!

    • Hey, welcome! Thanks for delurking, and glad to hear you had Passion as your SOTD!!! I figure every day we wear Passion out in the world and spread the love is one more chance to convert people from wearing something nasty… drop by anytime and chat!

  19. Is it me, or does Passion have tomato leaf in common with Folavril? That note just blooms on my skin! And I’ll always love the Hadriens, both eau and Les nuits.

    • There’s supposed to be tomato leaf in Passion according to some lists, but I don’t honestly know…. I can’t smell it in there, so it left it off. Could be, though.

  20. It looks like I’m alone in this, but my favorite AG is Eau de Charlotte. Without fail, my husband always grumbles, “You’re wearing that baby diaper-scented perfume again,” when I first spray it on, but the faint cocoa powder note in the drydown makes me happy. I get bored with it after a while, swap away my bottle, then find myself craving it again in six months or so. Vicious cycle.

    • Ha. We should do a post on the scents people bought, swapped, rebought, sold on eBay, rebought, gave to someone, rebought…

    • I too have Charlotte in my band of faves. Funny thing is, Charlotte’s not so much *my* fave as it is my boyfriend’s… everytime I wear it he lights up. Dunno, I”m more of a Tom Ford gal, but he really likes it on me.

  21. My favorite it Encens Flamboyant, followed closely by Musc Nomade and Ambre Fetiche. I’m happy to hear Mandragore Pourpre has more cassis, I love that pissy cassis note (it’s a good pee, as Denyse says). I wear Songes only occasionally, as screaming white florals isn’t really my MO these days.

    • Lots of love on here today for the Orientalistes, esp. Encens and Musc… that musk is a raunchy old thing, innit? I liked all three, including the Ambre, and I’m not usually an amber fan.

      I can’t wait to try the new Mandragore. Drums fingers impatiently.

  22. Eau de Sud’s my fav AG. I re-discovered it this year after many years away and was surprised how much I still loved it – especially as a crisp, dry pick-me-up on a hot, humid day.

    Eau de Camille’s another great, green option. I’m doling out the last few drops of my sample with sadness.

    Like AWench, I had a brief and intense infatuation with my new big bottle of Chevrefeuille, but now use it more as an air freshener.

  23. Just bought Mandragore Pourpre in London last week end…it’s just an amazing fragrance. I’ve been wearing Mandragore in edp (edt was too fleeting) for a quite a while and have been dreaming about a darker/spicier version for ages. Simply, Mandragore poupre went straight in my top 3 most favourite fragrances ever:)

  24. Hi March! Long time reader first time poster but unfortunately I have nothing interesting or even slightly illuminating to say.
    I received a sample of Sables a couple of months ago and have given it a few tries but cannot bring myself to like it due to the fact that to me it smells like something a very sleazy old, short bald guy would reek of. Who knows, maybe the tester is a bit off or maybe my nose hasn’t evolved enough yet to sufficiently appreciate these ‘classics.’
    It could also be because I’ve never met an 1980’s fragrance I’ve liked. As a matter of fact, I’ve never met an 80’s anything I’ve liked!
    Anyway, thanks for a great read!

  25. Songes is one of my die-for-it scents. I always seem to forget it’s a jasmine because the vanilla is so strong! It’s one of the few vanillas I find not too sweet and not BO-smelling. *le shrug* I loved it so much, I sprung for the Moon Bottle 😀

  26. I adore Passion but I only own Gardenia Passion right now – I think I need to remedy that. It’s a real class act. I love a number of AGs but I can’t decide which I want the most for the next one – the new Matin d’ Orage is great on my skin

    Unfortunately the Eau d’Hadrien story is sadly true – I tried a bottle of the new stuff at Nordstrom last week and it was just awful. So unnecessary!

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