Sables by Annick Goutal

Heya Posse! Remember Sables? Well, quell surprise, it’s still available from Goutal! A few years ago we were told it was on the chopping block and both perfumista buddy Scotty and I went into panic mode buying and both got two bottles each. Not the original, over the top, breathtaking magical wonder that it was. This is a softer, less intense, less confrontational version. I’m seriously grateful, the original was just too huge. It was amazing but it was also like being shouted at for 12++ hours by someone whose information became repetitive, overbearing and annoying. Every time I spritz this Sables my nose and head are glad. March also likes Goutal.

Sables by Annick Goutal

Sables by Annick Goutal

Goutal site gives these featured accords:
Top: Bergamot, mandarin,
Heart: Jasmine, black pepper, oakmoss
Base: Wild immortelle, sandalwood, amber

Immortelle! That wild, sweet, strange note that is often so thick and treacle-y that it has its dedicated fans and those that run a mile. Divisive is an understatement. Funnily, Annick Goutal isn’t really known for doing fragrances like this. She was more the big blowsy tropical florals and herbaceous greens. There are/were a few weirdos but most of them have been long DCd. Australia used to have Goutal in the department stores but now we have to go overseas to even sniff them. Looking at the French Goutal site there are a few fragrances I’d thought long gone.

Sables is still big. When I wear it the citruses open but aren’t players at all. They just add shine. Jasmine and black pepper also. They may add colour and shade but the big players are immortelle, honeyed, sweet and very tobacco-ish here. Amber, lightly animalic and furry, inky oakmoss. They combine in different percentages throughout the life of the scent but always have immortelle as the lead character.

I still only need one spritz to the back of my hand to give nearly a days worth of fragrance. Yes, it’s thinner but I feel the space between the notes is like adding a little bit of water to apple juice. The whole experience is enhanced threefold.

Totally unisex and a perfect spine stiffener. Both longevity and village are above average. You’ll also smell like nobody else.

Surrender To Chance has samples

Did you ever wear Sables?
Portia xx

  • Aimtx says:

    All the time! I bought a gigantic bottle at Bendel’s when they were going out of business. I lurve immortelle – warm, maple-ish singed sweetness. Yummy.

  • ElizaC says:

    I adore immortelle in all of its rich, honeyed, curry oddness. Before I knew anything about perfume, I tried Sables and loved it. Also loved Histoires de Parfums Tubereuse 3 Animale but at that point I didn’t realize it was the immortelle that I was connecting with. Fast forward more years than I want to count and I happily own a bottle of Serge Lutens Le Participe Passé and I have two immortelle plants in my garden.

    • Portia says:

      Hi ElizaC,
      You were a very precocious perfumista indeed.
      The Lutyens is one of his best. I have it too.
      We have the immortelle growing on the side of the road in Australia. We used to pick them for Mum.
      Portia xx

    • Aimtx says:

      Oof. I also love that HdP Tubereuse 3. That is all kinds of yummy.

  • cassieflower says:

    I’ve never tried it but I’d take one for the team and give it a go. If only I saw it anywhere to try. I’ve never tried an AG that I didn’t like, with Songes being one of my desert island frags.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Cassoeflower,
      Songes would be a perfect fit should you find yourself marooned.
      Yeah, I loved them all too and also the Annick story.
      Portia xx

  • March says:

    Sables is SO weird. One of those fragrances I thought, what … is happening here. I really wanted to love it BECAUSE it’s so weird, but like you I found it A Lot. I love your analogy, it would just not shut up and calm down. But I’ve sniffed it on other folks and loved it. I’m surprised it’s still around tbh, even in a more user-friendly version.

  • Dina C. says:

    I’m pretty sure I never sniffed Sables. The AG I own and love is one of the green ones: Heure Exquise. In our area, Bloomingdale’s used to carry the Goutal line, but I don’t think they do anymore. It’s too bad. I feel like I wasn’t done exploring it before it got yanked.

    • Portia says:

      In its prime the house has an enormous array of beautiful stuff DinaC. If you ever get to Paris go try them all. It’s worth the few hours.
      Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    March introduced me to Goutal and I remember my intro to Sables. O.M.G. – that tested my perfumista soul, lemmetellya. I hung on … but only because I was too intimidated by the perfume to scrub it off. It wasn’t AWFUL – just…. alien. A bit too alien.


  • alityke says:

    Immortelle isn’t quite my Kryptonite, that honour goes to calone, but it it’s damn close. Probably as it’s less ubiquitous than calone.
    My introduction to immortelle was through Freddie Albrighton. Histoires de Parfums Tubereuse 3 Animale was enough to ruin immortelle for me forever. Smelt like sweet, curried goat.
    I did sample Sables even after that introduction, I would like to say, because I have an open mind, but I would be lying. I ordered Sables rather than Songes! Oh Holy Moses not a mistake I’d ever make again! Like a Kashmiri curry made with tinned fruit salad shudders

  • Tara C says:

    I’d love to try the current version but I don’t believe it’s sold in any stores in Canada. I have an older rectangular bottle in the house in San Diego. For me immortelle is a summer scent, it reminds me of the scent of sun-baked skin. I usually wear Atelier Cologne Blanche Immortelle.

  • cinnamon says:

    I know I sampled this at some point. Love immortelle. But, all I recall is wonderful syrup. No nuance — ie, I don’t recall any other notes bar the immortelle — comes to mind. There used to be a very strange, old fashioned perfume shop in a town about a half hour from me. Haven’t been there in years. It stocked all the Goutals, displayed prominently. Think I need to check if it’s still around and if so what hidden stock it might have.

    • Portia says:

      Ooohhhhh! I do love a secret perfume store with all the good stuff. There used to be a tiny little one inn Vienna too. I wonder if it survived Covid.
      Portia xx

  • Tom says:

    I’ve been wearing it since it debuted. I love the original but I have to admit that I don’t reach for it often- it rarely gets cold enough here to wear it (since I purchased it in winter when I lived in NYC I always think of it as a fall/winter scent) I’d be interested to try the new one. Not sure I need to pop for a full bottle of it to test. Wonder if StC has the newer one?