Annick Goutal Eau de Camille

Annick Goutal and her daughter Camille, 1976. Image: Vogue.

For whatever reason, my wonky nose seems best able to discern Annick Goutal scents.  So when I’m really coming up empty-handed (-nosed?) I work on filling in the gaps in my AG collection.

I’ve set aside my new-to-me bottle of Eau de Charlotte for cooler weather.  Its jam-and-cocoa opening is kind of a reach for me anyway, which is why I didn’t even try to get ahold of a (vintage) bottle until recently.  I’ll revisit Charlotte later in the fall; I have a feeling it’s going to be a love-it-or-hate-it.

Which leaves Eau de Camille.  I distinctly remember taking a hard pass on Folavril, the original AG scent, and its oddball combo of tomato leaf and mango, which makes a bit more sense upon learning (as I did recently) that she used it to scent bath and body products.  It might work better as a hand cream, but still … yeesh.  If Folavril were my introduction to the line, I would have stopped right then and there….where was I?

Oh, yeah.  Eau de Camille.  Both Charlotte and Camille were gifts of a sort to Annick’s two daughters – Charlotte with her love of jam and cocoa, and Camille with her love of their garden, full of honeysuckle and ivy.  Eons ago in a quick review I loathed it – it seemed almost unbearably sour and green.

Well, something has changed, and I suspect it’s me.  I swapped for a vintage, unloved bottle of Camille recently, out of curiosity.  Guess what?  It now smells refreshing, all trimmed hedges and new-mown grass with just a hint of blooms in the distance; the scent of spring.  It’s absolutely charming, and I’m surprised how much I love it; it’s a delight in this ghastly heat.  If this sounds enticing, please keep in mind that Camille is one of the less-loved AG fragrances; I’m not the only one who’s found it a bit challenging at first sniff.

Eau de Camille was released in 1983; notes are ivy, privet, honeysuckle, lilac, and cut grass.  Here is a link to Robin’s lovely review from 2007 (which is right around when I first met her, I think).

Do you love a fragrance you used to dislike?


  • Ann says:

    Howdy, darling! Love this post and love me some Eau de Camille! It’s crisp green-ness haa always made it one of my favorites and it has that snap of honeysuckle in it, which endears it even more to me. Hope you all are doing well. Been thinking of you guys and keeping you in my prayers. Hugs!

  • Austenfan says:

    Songes was the one that I didn’t like on first sniff only to fall head over heels in love with it after a couple more sniffs.
    Eau de Camille is one of those quintessential older Goutals, I’m glad I got a bottle when I did. Don’t wear it often but it’s nice to know it’s there when I want it. I haven’t tried any of the more recent ones. I think La Nuit is the last one. Still it’s one of the best represented houses in my collection. So I always love to read a Goutal post!

  • Portia says:

    Heya March,
    Annick Goutal was one of the first niche brands that I got into in a big way. There must be 12-15 bottles here. The ones I wear most are Mandragore Pourpe, Sables, Songes and Eau de Sud.
    Some things I really loved and that have now been relegated to the don’t wear box but love the memories too much to move it on are L’Artisan Vanille Absolument and by Kilian Sweet Redemption. I’m sure that my tastes will come back to them but right now they just don’t fit.
    Portia xx

  • cinnamon says:

    Decades ago I read an article in maybe New York Magazine about pongy fragrances which mentioned Folavril. Being intrigued by the idea of ‘dirty’ perfumes, I took myself to the Goutal concession at Bendels and had a sniff. No go. In fact, sadly, the only Goutal I ever really wore was Eau d’Hadrien, though I own a decant of Un Matin d’Orage (sniff it, but don’t wear it).

  • Jerome says:

    Folabril – Crazy April – is one of my all time favourites.
    It’s a story of European adventure for me. I always get compliments when I wear it; I think it’s just unusually something that works well on me and not to many other people.

  • Taxi says:

    Camille is lovely. Charlotte gives me a rash. I love Songes for about 2 hours then I can’t get it off fast enough.. Mandragore is horrible, to me. I love Grand Passion & Ce Soit ou jamais. Eau du Ciel is pretty. Petite Cherie is inoffensive but not very interesting – all I get is pear. Many years ago I wore Eau de Hadrien & Eau de Sud but they’ve long since fallen by my wayside.
    My big AG disappointment is Nuit Etoilee which smelled great when I bought it in Paris but either It or I didn’t cross the pond well & it sits in the back of a closet, unloved, along with Kelly Caleche and a few others.
    What was awful & then “got good” was a 2nd (or 3rd) generation of Clarins Eau Dynamisante. It was my straight-from-the-shower-in-lieu-of-a-splash when it first showed up. Later, the formula was adjusted & when I replaced bottle # 2 or 3 of the original with the later edition, it was ghastly. A few years & maybe my own altered chemistry have restored it to favor. When I can’t bear to go bare but don’t want to asphyxiate the dentist, etc., this is again my “safety” that will never knock anyone over but lets me feel finished before I leave home.

    • March says:

      Interesting about Nuit Etoilee — I got a sample and loved it. I got a larger decant and liked it…. but it disappears in like 2 minutes on me. Oooh, Dynamisante! I should re-sniff. I had a friend years ago who wore it and I loved it on her.

  • Shiva-woman says:

    The Camille I love is the one for mom: Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille. I love the plummy-heliotrope-iris. My other AG are Sables and Songes.

  • Tara C says:

    I don’t have a lot of favourites in the older collection, but I do like Songes, Gardenia Passion, Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille and the orientalistes collection.
    As for loving a fragrance I used to dislike, I didn’t like L’Artisan Dzongkha at all when I first tried it, but after multiple tries I fell in love. I’ve done a hate-love-hate flip flop on Angel.

  • Filomena says:

    I used to love all these Annick Goutal fragrances. One of my very favorites isn’t mentioned as much as the others…Eau de Ciel. Loveliness epitomized!

    • March says:

      Ciel, my lovely nemesis…. I had a friend who wore it and it smelled AMAZING on her. It’s never smelled as fabulous on me, which makes me cross.

  • pjmcbride says:

    To me, Camille is the scent of where I live (southern Indiana) in the summer–new-mown grass and honeysuckle. Unfortunately, that also brings back the memory of humidity.