Not-quite fall Monday: Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee

etoileeIn travel agent lingo, the “shoulder” season refers to a period between peak and off-peak travel times. And with the not-quite fall, not-quite summer temps we’re having here, it seems apt in the fragrance world, too, as I’m dithering each day on what to wear. The breezy citruses are too light, but yet it’s still too warm and humid to pull out even moderately heavy hitters. So when I stumbled upon a little decant of Annick Goutal’s Nuit Etoilee late one warm afternoon and gave it a spray, my first reaction was “Ah!”

Its gently minty, slightly herbal- sweet citrus opening was refreshing without being too fresh, and it soothed and settled me, easing my restlessness, much as a cup of mint green tea might do.

When the Etoilee’s vegetal opening subsided, the pine and balsam fir moved in to ground the scent even further with a softly resinous, incense-y woodiness that was perfect as evening descended and the temps began to drop. As I sniffed it, it reminded me of something else, and finally, it came to me: another Annick Goutal – Encens Flamboyant. But not quite as intense as that, softer and more veil-like, but still as lovely.

As you might imagine, longevity is not huge on the Etoilee, but I forgive it that, and I’m happy to re-spritz as needed. (Note to self: I need to try the EDP in this, pronto.)

And, of course, who could forget — that divine blue bottle with its lovely green juice. Perhaps one of these days when the cash flow is bigger, it will be mine.

Nuit Etoilee came out in 2012, and although I wore it for awhile and enjoyed it then, as often happens, it somehow got lost in the shuffle and sadly overlooked. But no more!

Notes per Fragrantica: citron, sweet orange, peppermint, Siberian pine, fir resin, angelica seed, tonka and immortelle.

What are your favorite scents for those shoulder seasons, those in-between times when obvious scent choices elude you?

  • Tara says:

    Do try the edp version, I find it far superior to the edt. I am enjoying some fall scents despite the heat thanks to mega AC at the office: Mitzah, Anubis, Tobacco Oud and Montecristo.

  • tati says:

    I’m enjoying Theorema, Dzongkha, and especially Iris Nazarena in the cooling temps. Still holding off on bringing out my favorite favorite patchoulis such as MFK Lumiere Noir Pour Femme.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Tati! Those are some nice scents you’ve got there. But such a huge shame that they had to discontinue Theorema. With all the fans out there who love it, you’d think they’d consider bringing it back.

  • CbSutcliffe says:

    I reach for Hermes Rose Ikebana. It isn’t quite a heavy hitter to me at least but it has more substance than what I tend to latch on to in the summer

    • Ann says:

      Beautiful choice there! I only have it in the long skinny sample that Hermes does, and i so need to put a bit in a sprayer. Do you like it best dabbed or sprayed?

  • teri says:

    There is something about MP&G’s Rose Muskissime that works well for me in the ‘tweener seasons. It doesn’t seem quite like a summer, spring, fall or winter scent, but it bridges the periods between perfectly.

    • Ann says:

      That one sounds like a winner, Teri! I love to find scents that “bridge” well; they’re so effortless — just grab and go. I need to sniff that one as well (as long as it’s not too heavy-duty on the rose).

  • Tena says:

    I am in Malle’s L’Eau d’Hiver on this sauna-like day here in NE Canada. I find in the shoulder seasons, I tend to wear the scents most appropriate to the upcoming season, plus any of those weird oddities that are always/never appropriate.

    I found a small blue bottle of NE EDP at my local discounters ( Winners) and wore the heck out of it this summer. That and Ninfeo Mio were my intros to Goutal.

    • Ann says:

      Tena, sorry to hear that you’re having sauna-like days, but the Malle is a good one for them, at least. I’m so happy that you got a blue bottle of NE — yay!! And that you’re loving it and the Ninfeo Mio as well. Nice choices!

  • JanLast says:

    This season has been unseasonable. I moved directly from Isabelle Gelle’s Coeur d’Île, a gorgeous year round walk by the shore to Slumberhouse. Grev for now, that tiny clove note peeking through the pines and fir. A little later, ‘ll jump into Ore or Rume. Or maybe a little Mario Tomas Le Poete, perfect for today. And I agree with Sherobin, fig is never out of season.

    • Ann says:

      Amen, Jan, amen! Mother Nature has been all over the place (not that I’m complaining, mind you). Enjoy your lovelies!

  • Farouche says:

    I like some of the Diptyques for early fall: Eau Duelle, L’Ombre dans L’Eau, Tam Dao, Vetyverio, and Volutes (EDT and EDP). Thanks for reminding me to pull them out!

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Farouche! Great perfumista minds must think alike, as I was just pondering when to pull out the Eau Duelle, Volutes, etc. Not during the day here yet, but we do have some high 50s/low 60s nights ahead and those would be so nice. Thanks!

  • sherobin says:

    Fig is never wrong, so the classics, like Philosykos and Premier Figuier. Also, some lighter leathers like Bottega Veneta, Mythique, Kelly Caleche, Cuir Cannage, Madame Jolie. And zen stuff (to me) like Tam Dao, OJ Woman, Encens Flamboyant, Silences. Great new seasonal classification! Have a beautiful shoulder season!

    • Ann says:

      Sherobin, i love your closing line: Have a beautiful shoulder season! We’ll definitely have to keep this category around. I am nodding my head and smiling at so many of your choices, especially the Madame Jolie, OJ Woman, Encens Flamboyant and Silences. So many greaet ways to roll into fall smelling great!!

  • katrin says:

    Hi Ann!
    For me the shoulder season stared with a really pleasant rediscovery. I had a decant of CdG’s Holygrapie somewhere tucked away and I remember not being that impressed. But it’s an easygoing,and softly powdery and spicy scent. It keeps whispering, but not in a demanding way. Unfortunately, Nuit Etoilee did not smell great on me at all, and ended up trading it.

    • katrin says:

      I also wanted to add that Fate Man is also good (better that the Women’s actually) and perfect for those first days of chill and rain.

      • Ann says:

        Hi, Katrin! Mmmm … that CdG sounds delightful. Isn’t it wonderful to stumble upon an old favorite and find that you still love it? Thanks for the tip on the Amouage; I recall trying the woman’s Fate but maybe not the man’s.

  • Dina C. says:

    Hey there Ann,
    For me, this shoulder season is all about lightweight woodsy scents. I’ve worn VC&A Bois d’Iris several times lately. It’s an all-season winner in my book. The woodsiness hints at fall to come, but the iris and other notes keep it lighter than, say, Bois des Iles to me. I’m also liking lightweight incenses like Marni. Tried buying a bottle yesterday. The following dept stores did not have it: Nordstrom, Saks, NM, Bloomies, Lord & Taylor. Finally ended up buying a little bottle on the bay when I got home. Other recent scents: Tam Dao, L’Artisan Premier Figuier Extreme, and Le Labo Iris 39.

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, lady! Oooh, so excited that you mentioned the VCA — it used to be one of my faves and I need to go dig it up. You are so right, it really is an all-season winner. Wow — Marni is that hard to find? Surely it hasn’t been discontinued already? Yikes, what is the world coming to? I used to have some samples and thought about getting the small bottle, but not now, I guess. Glad you got some to tide you over.

  • Neva says:

    Nuit Etoilee I wore this Summer and it felt perfect. Though I must say, it was a rather cold and rainy Summer this year… in the shoulder season I love wearing Cartier Declaration – freshness combined with woody sweetness. It always fits for me.

    • Ann says:

      So happy to see another NE fan, Neva! I’m glad you mentioned that Cartier — can you believe I’ve never tried it? I must remedy that soon as it sounds nice. Thanks!

  • Portia says:

    So sad they stopped the coloured glass Ann. Now the whole range is in slightly golden glass. YAWN
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      I know, Portia — bummer, bummer, bummer! That blue bottle added so much to its charm, but maybe it was uber-expensive to make. But should I decide to go FB, I’ll get my paws on a blue somehow 😉

  • wefadetogray says:

    gosh, this is a tough one. I am wearing right now Bois Blond by Parfumerie Generale and I adore it, just like that. It’s perfect when things slowly move from the density of the summer to the cooler fall nights. Yesterday was another Parfumerie General, L’Ombre Fauve. Gorgeous!

    • Ann says:

      Lovely choices there, and so glad you’ve found some nice transitional scents to love. I need to try both of those one of these days; I fear I’ve somehow overlooked the PG line mostly and must remedy that. Thanks!!

  • eldarwen22 says:

    I find myself wearing Theorema and Shalimar more and more when the transformation between summer and fall. To a lesser degree, no 5. I am waiting to break out the Epic and 1270 and finally try out my Amouage body products.

    • Ann says:

      Ahhh, Theorema, how we love thee! So beautiful and so beyond frustrating that it’s gone. Alas, Shalimar won’t even give me the time of day, so she’s out for me, but glad you love it. Hope it cools down quickly where you live so you can enjoy those sumptuous Amouages.

  • hajusuuri says:

    Hello Ann! Jo Malone Blackerry & Bay works well in the shoulder season and I think Wood Sage & Sea Salt will as well (I’ve only worn this from a sample and I am seriously considering purchasing the humongo bottle even though the 30 mL size is available).

    • Ann says:

      Hi, lady! Oh, yes, I must agree — that B&B is a nice one for in-between times. And I think the Wood Sage one would be, too. I need to find my sample and spend a bit more time with it. Thanks!!

  • furriner says:

    I have both versions, and like them both. The edt, for some reason, reminds me of backyard swimming pools in the 1960s….. Both are cool cool cool, though the edp is certainly smoother. Beauty Encounter and Fragrancenet have both versions.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, furriner! Too funny about the swimming pools, I had not thought of that! But glad you like both, and I’m eager to try the EDP. Thanks!

  • Robert says:

    Hey! Someone on FFF told me you might be looking for a FB of NE? I have one, VERY gently used (-4 sprays) for sale on FFF or you can email/pm me. It’s the edp, 100 ml., $70.00 shipped CONUS. Thanks!

  • Linda W. says:

    LOVE this scent in both strengths – Beauty Encounter has the beautiful!! blue bottles discounted 🙂