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Eau de Lavande – Soliflores reconsidered – March 24, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

French lavender - photo: perfumeniche.com

Perfumes tend to align to the seasons so here at perfumeniche.com we try to write about spring fragrances in spring, summer frags in summer and so on, which means we have an idea of what we are going to write about when. But experience has taught us that you always have to leave room for the unexpected, the serendipitous, the magical surprises that stop all the clocks, mute all the devices and reduce scheduling to a silly notion.

For me, that unexpected surprise was Eau de Lavande by Annick Goutal. So taken am I with it, that I want to write about it, share my excitement about it at this moment! I mean, if you saw the Easter bunny, wouldn’t you want to share the surprise, the excitement, the experience? I knew you’d understand.

I’ve always had a soft spot for some of the fragrances in the Annick Goutal line like Eau de Sud, Musc Nomade, Duel, Sables, Nuit Étoilée, Ninfeo Mio among others. But there was a time when some of them just didn’t resonate with me, especially the soliflores. And, perfumer Annick Goutal is the queen of soliflore fragrances.  

I used to think that soliflores were just too easy. They lacked magic, depth, and ooh-la-la. Then I took a whiff of Eau de Lavande and realised how naive I had been. Smelling Eau de Lavande changed my perspective on solflores and over time I’ve developed a better understanding of what these fragrances are saying and just how beautiful soliflores can be. I’ve come to deeply appreciate them and the skill required to make a good one and I’ve come to value Annick Goutal’s talent even more.

Just take the time to really experience La Violette, with its blast of metallic violet sweetened by red fruits, so that it smells like the little purple violet candies my English aunt used to send me when I was a child or Le Chèvrefeuille, with the sweet, honeyed smell of honeysuckle that evokes the tender days of spring. But now I want to talk about Eau de Lavande.

It opens fresh and bracing with lavender, not sweet English lavender, but potent wild French lavender - sharp, aromatic and camphorous. A soft floral note emerges as it moves to a warm, rich, spicy heart. I smell fenugreek and curry – I smell immortelle. Lavender and immortelle have an olfactory affinity that is masterfully highlighted here. Lavender collides with immortelle to give Eau de Lavande a gorgeous virility – think wild French lavender mixed with Sables. I knew you’d understand. As this starts to fade, the caramelized sugar aspect of the immortelle segues to a base of soft vanilla, so that the drydown is elegant, sophisticated and refined.

Eau de Lavande is a masculine fragrance, no doubt about it. And as a soliflore it is rather linear. Still, I would worship the trousers that cling to the man who wears it, to paraphrase the song. But I wear it just because I like to smell it.

 Today, we’re adding Eau de Lavande to our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00.