Picture: Wildweibchen mit Einhorn,
Kissenplatte, Strassburg, October 1500,
Unknown author, Historisches Museum Basel,
The latest creation from Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilée, created by the "house-nose" Isabel Doyen will be released later this spring. NE will capture the feeling of walking in the wild forest at night, the magical feel, the fresh minty herbs, moss and the whirls of dark, woody notes.
To me Nuit Etoilée doesn't mediate this impressions, on the contrary I get the image of a warm summernight in the asphalt jungle of a big city. NE starts with a citrusy note that for a very short while reminds of the beginning of The Different Companys chilly DeBachmakov. But very soon NE turns to be a warm fragrance, and stays warm during the whole dry down. A slight dusty jasmine note combined with mint comes forward and at this stage NE reminds me of a gentler version of Etat Libre d'Oranges Jasmin et Cigarettes. There is also a plastic note lurking in the background, but the note is not at all disturbing and fits in with the menthol cigarettes. The mint note is not as distinctive and sharp as in the mint-tea blend of Parfumerie Générale Harmatan Noir. In the basenotes a gentle balsamic firnote appears together with a quiet pine. But there is pine trees in urban surroundings, there is not the wooded, green, sharp- and freshness in the pinenotes as in for example Cacharel pour Homme.
When sampling NE it reminds me of another perfume that I can't identify at first. As NE achieved the middle- and basenotes it's all suddenly clear: NE is close to the transparent, light herbal, light spicy, flowery Turbulences by Révillon, early 2000 Edt-formula. The plastic, minty, cigarettenotes are there in both blends but Turbulences is more flowery, spicy as NE is more herbal, woody in character.
Nuit Etoilée is, according to the picture on the samplewrapper, botteld in beautiful, night dark blue bottles. The mens squarish bottle with it's dark label is the most beautiful. But unfortunately the juice (to me) doesn't quite lives up to the beauty of the blue bottles. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the blend but after the releases of the masterpiece Mon Parfum Cheri, par Camille and the distinctive, sappy green beauty Ninfeo Mio I have far higher expectations than NE can deliver. Of course I'm also affected by the fact that I perceive Turbulences during almost the whole drydown of NE.
To summarize: NE is a good perfume but it doesn't stand out among the Goutals, but compared to most mainstream releases it definitly does.NE is a very wearable perfume, foremost in spring and summer. It is classified as an unisex fragrance and I think it's the right classificationas it seems to fit both genders equal.
Update June 2012: Nuit Etoilée is one of those fragrances that grows over time, sniffed it now and then during the latest months, I have learnt to appreciate NE much more then before. In particular I'm appreciating the minty-cigarette-smoky-note which resembles the cigarette-smoky note in my favorite Carner Barcelona fragrance D600.
Rating: 3+ Updated rating June 2012: 4+ .Rating July 2012: 5 This one just grows better with time :-)
Notes: Citrus, orange, peppermint, angelica, imortelle, fir balsam, pine, tonka.
Thanks to Parfums Annick Goutal for the sample to review.