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Songes – Summer dreams - July 23, 2012 New Fragrance Listing

Photo – Wikipedia - Jasminum sambac 'Grand Duke of Tuscany' - Scott Zona

In her blog on Monoï, Eau des Vahinés, that great tropical treat of a fragrance, Kay mentioned Annick Goutal’s Songes - one of my favourite summer frags, it’s based on indolic Sambac jasmine and full of tropical florals. Since my BFF opened the door, I’m gonna walk right through it…

Now, I’m not a blind fool for the ‘great whites’ - gardenia, tuberose and jasmine. They can be big and overpowering, so I’m fussy about them – they have to be done right or they put me off.

There was a time when I didn’t like them at all, but over time I have come to accept, appreciate and love (some) of them. Who would want to live in a world without fleshy, wanton Carnal Flower or camphourous, indolic Tubéreuse Criminelle? Exactly.

Which brings me to Songes. The Annick Goutal web site says that “During a romantic trip, as she was walking in an exotic garden on the island of Mauritius at night fall, Camille Goutal was taken by surprise by the scent of all the exotic and secret white flowers, at dusk when the very spur of nature intoxicates the night.” Ms. Goutal was on her honeymoon – living out romantic dreams and making memories in a sultry tropical paradise. Songes, which means ‘dreams’, is the scent she developed with Isabelle Doyen to capture that moment in time.

My curiosity was peaked by this story and that’s what prompted me to try Songes at the tiny Annick Goutal shop in Le Marais.

I must confess, the first time I smelled it, I was, well, underwhelmed. There was no magic, no fireworks no Holy Grail moment. So I left it behind and moved on to try and buy other scents. And yet, I kept coming back to Songes and then I realised that I didn’t want to go home without it.

The first thing I always experience when I spritz Songes on my skin is the smell of a tropical summer from the frangipani, tiare and Sambac jasmine. So embedded is this scent memory that I can’t really separate the notes, so I don’t. I just enjoy them – their rich opulent fleshiness awakening and arousing scent memories from so many different points in my past.

These whites are big girls and if they aren’t handled just right, they can run roughshod over the whole frag. Frankincense tempers them at the heart, giving Songes a resinous depth and darkness, while French vanilla sweetens them up a bit, toning down the indolic aspect while getting the best out of it and adding a velvety creaminess. Copahu balm gives it a balsamy, camphourous note and tricks my nose into smelling tuberose, which always makes me smile. Ylang-ylang bolsters the presence of the white florals right to the woody base where vetiver and amber cut through their richness and styrax adds a note of creamy vanilla.

Songes contains some pretty heavy, opulent notes, but the fragrance, especially the EdT doesn’t wear heavy. It wears rich, warm, sultry and at the same time, tender, delicate and feminine. It is the smell of summer dreams on your skin.

Not all scent romances begin as a coup de foudre. Sometimes falling in love with a fragrance takes a little time. Now, I wouldn’t dream of being without a bottle of Songes.


Songes is listed in our  Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.