A life of Good Scents Featured

The unique story of a woman who has dedicated her life to the Haute Perfume universe

by 20 May 2010

Italian-sourced lemon and citron, bigarade leaves and the essence of bitter orange combined with cypress and the milky sweetness of fig leaves: we could be in the Garden of Eden. “Ninfeo Meo”, the latest fragrance from Annick Goutal, is based on the simple happiness experienced during a stroll around the Ninfa gardens, located just outside Rome. Once again an emotion has been made into perfume! Which is just what Annick Goutal, the founder of the brand, wanted to do when she opened her first boutique in 1981 on Rue Bellechasse in Paris.

Gifted pianist turned model, her true passion emerged during a trip to Grasse. And her love of perfume has remained with her ever since. Her secret? Every creation, from her first masterpiece ‘Eau de Hadrien’ to ‘Ninfeo Meo,’ is symbolic of a moment of happiness, a feeling, a powerful memory linked to an experience or loved one. A tradition of the Haute Perfumers that her daughter, Camille Goutal, has inherited. Alongside the equally creative and inspired perfume expert Isabelle Doyon, she continues her love affair with highest quality raw materials and delicately crafted bottles. For their latest release, the pair have developed a blue-green colour frosted glass bottle enhanced with a hint of grey, in reference to the reflection of the leaves from the Ninfa gardens in the river Ninfeo. And as with every fragrance, the limited edition has a butterfly stopper painted in gold leaf by a French artist. A true work of art with only 500 pieces issued.

It is this commitment to beauty and rarity that has won the team customers all over the world. Their clients are distinctive for their anonymity. As soon as you step into the now-legendary boutique on Rue Castiglione, you enter an elegant treasure trove full of bottles with enchanting names: Great Love, Tonight or Never, A Stormy Morning, and other poetic labels for sophisticated and seductive perfumes. Mirrors, gilt and chandeliers are the perfect embodiment of the Goutal essence. Your senses will be further awakened on discovering the heavenly treatment room on the first floor. The intimate ‘Boudoir’ beauty room offers exclusive, custom-made therapies for the face and body. The two cubicles, decorated in hues of powdered rose, are worthy of a queen. Indeed, the treatments have names such as Marie Antoinette, Josephine, Queen Margot...Here they really take the time to listen to you and advise you accordingly.

A luxurious, calm and sensual universe, which has been perfectly maintained by the brand. Bath treatments, scented candles and room sprays make the experience even more pleasurable. A very personal but incredibly sensual pleasure that the brand has recently extended with an underwear collection designed by Vanina Vesperini. Dark blue silk and henna colour embroidered lace are just a few of the fabrics used in the ‘Orientalists’ collection, inspired by mythical eponymous fragrances. The scent of myrrh, incense and amber fill the air, narrating atmospheres of a beautiful journey and a wonderful tale. The story of Annick Goutal....

Further reading:
Concoctions of the Senses
Clive Christian perfume, wearable art
El Attarine, the latest fragrance by Serge Lutens
Trésor in Love – quintessence fragrances from Lancome