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Grand Amour – My own love story…. June 29, 2015



Lately I’ve been drawn to Annick Goutal fragrances. You know, there isn’t one fragrance in this line that I wouldn’t happily wear. From soliflores like La Violette and Le Chèvrefeuille to the more complex florals like Heure Exquise and Songes to edgier frags like Sables, Eau du Fier, Les Nuits d'Hadrien and Ambre Fetiche. They are all beautifully crafted fragrances that smell of quality ingredients.

But the ones that appeal to me the most are the ones that are based on her personal history. I mean, many perfumers create a fragrance about memories of a place, but how many relate it to a holiday with their husband and then create a scent for him? Or their daughter? Or their first store?

The personal nature of my favourite Annick Goutal perfumes gives me the feeling of an intimate glimpse into a life well lived. One that is full of gratitude and love, one that I am allowed to share in too. This is what made me try Grand Amour.

The story behind Grand Amour is this: Annick met her husband, Alain Meunier when they were both teenagers studying music – she the piano, he the cello. They grew up, they parted and their paths diverged. Twenty years later they met by chance at a dinner party. Their love was rekindled and the perfumer and world-famous cellist married. And, remained very happily so until her death. When he was courting her, Meunier, would bring Goutal a bouquet of white flowers each week, so in 1996, she had Isabelle Doyen create Grand Amour as a tribute to her love for her husband and their happy life together. That’s one hellavua story for a perfume to live up to, but Grand Amour does it easily,  beautifully and gracefully.

It opens with a note of sweet, floral lily along with nectarous honeysuckle resting on a green note from hyacinth. Hyacinth has a powdery aspect and adds that texture here. As the green settles, the a lush, rich, deep Turkish rose comes forward and leads to an opulent heart of heady broom, jasmine, mimosa and heather. It’s the jasmine that stands out on me. The jasmine aspect of honeysuckle at the opening hints at what is to come: sweet narcotic, indolic, carnal jasmine that puts a lot of passion into this love story. The florals rest on an ambery accord of amber, vanilla and myrrh – rich, sweet and resinous, warmed by sensuous, smooth musk.

I am obsessed with the EdP, where the balsamic, resinous base is heavier at the drydown. It’s fuller, denser and more voluptuous than the EdT, but with that lovely Annick Goutal refinement.  

Grand Amour has lasting power, just like all great loves and while Annick Goutal’s love story isn’t my love story, her fragrance becomes my own on my skin. I just love it.

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