Musette is hard at work on the Chicago Thingy – a get-together with perfume and chocolate in Chicago on a Saturday in September/October. Have you been to Chicago? Chicago has: great food; interesting architecture; excellent theater; amazing shopping. And did I mention chocolate? And perfume? Anyway, that is Musette in the photo, and … wow, look at her, does she not slay? (Musette, is that your bike? I think so.) She is working on a day of chocolate and perfumage including potentially: Saks, L´Artisan, Barneys, Nordstrom, Godiva, Lindt, Ethel´s, Vosges, Sarah´s Candies … wait, sorry, I had to wipe the drool off my keyboard. We´ll also put together a list of other things to see/do/visit, in the perfume/chocolate world and beyond. I took the architecture tour on the river and loved it. We are not calling this a Sniffa – the Karens own that name, as far as I know, so we need something else. I find Chicago Thingy amusing, but Musette quite reasonably thinks we need something more mellifluous in terms of getting the stores to sponsor stuff and cough up goodies. What do you think of Chi-cocoa Scentsation, suggested by our other fab Chicago volunteer, Shelley? Any other ideas/suggestions regarding any aspect of this thingy?
* * *
Annick Goutal Sables seems to be enjoying a (deserved) resurgence, my having run across it recently on the shelf in various places. That´s one I thought would have gotten the chop by now, because it´s so odd, but I´m happy to discover it in the lineup next to the masculine bottles of Duel, Hadrian, Mandragore and the rest. But all the Sables in the world can´t really replace Eau de Monsieur.
I have been told several times that Annick Goutal Eau de Monsieur is discontinued, although I don´t know whether that´s true — it´s the sort of thing sales associates tell you when they don´t have any. I have never seen Monsieur in a retail store. It doesn´t appear on any of the AG websites that I can find, and it´s getting a bit harder to find on the internet. Osmoz calls it a woody chypre and lists citron, oakmoss, amber and sandalwood, a list that feels suspiciously incomplete to me.
I´m pretty sure it was tmp00 who sent me a decant of Eau de Monsieur eons ago, when I was on one of my immortelle benders; he thought it smelled like immortelle, and I agreed. Among other interesting nuggets in The Guide, I was happy to see Tania Sanchez describe Eau de Monsieur as having “the crispness of citrus, a mossy chypre background, all made interesting by a touch of the fascinating caramel-curry note of immortelle.” She labels it citrus mossy and gives it four stars.
Eau de Monsieur starts off as a very Goutal-ish confection of citrus, woods and the sprightly herbal greenness you get from Hadrian. At that point it´s merely enjoyable – the sort of thing, like a higher grade Muelhens 4711, that you´d throw on on a hot summer day. The oakmoss makes its appearance, but even then it is delicate and nuanced; despite its name, this barely qualifies as a masculine. I´d call it solidly unisex, along the lines of Duel or Hadrian. It isn´t until well into the drydown (30 minutes or so) that the immortelle begins its wonderful, distinctive dance on my skin, its maple-curry sweetness tempered beautifully by the dryness of the oakmoss.
I think in its own understated way, Eau de Monsieur is a perfect scent – managing to give just enough (but not too much) of several enjoyable aspects of perfumery. It doesn´t have the kill-me-now, 48-hour one-note persistence that Sables has, the only time immortelle has worn out its welcome, and then some. If it had more of a chypre feel it would conversely be less accessible in warm weather, which is when it seems most right, although you could argue it´s essentially seasonless. It´s a cologne that´s more than a cologne, by which I mean it´s not gone in 20 minutes, yet it retains that element of refreshment. In contrast, Dior´s Eau Noire is many things, but refreshing it is not, at least not to me. The only suggestion I can make to the house regarding Monsieur’s improvement would be to resurrect it if, in fact, it is dead, and place it prominently on the shelf at a Sephora near you.