Sunday, July 5, 2009

Annick Goutal - Un Matin d'Orage

Un Matin d'Orage is the latest creation by the perfumery house of Annick Goutal, it means 'Stormy Morning'. The perfume was created by Isabelle Doyen and Camille Goutal to depict the scent of a Japanese Garden early in the morning, after an over night thunderstorm; the gardenia, magnolia, champac and jasmine flowers are gleaming with rain drops; the green leaves of shiso and ginger are still dripping with water; the soaked stone pathway and grounds are emitting the raw, sultry smell of nature under the morning light. I have to say, Un Matin d'Orage has painted the scenery pretty faithfully !

May be it is due to the signature perfume bottle, the image of Annick Goutal to me is the quintessential old fashion French perfume, very feminine, simple and lovely. However, those are usually not what I like in perfume, I prefer something edgier, greener, and dryer which gardenia is definitely not like that. So when the sales lady insists me to try this new gardenia perfume from Annick Goutal, I was quite sure I will not like it. After first sniff, I was very surprised that I like it right away! It is definitely gardenia, but not an innocent, quiet and sweet gardenia, but a complicated, agitated and sour gardenia. I think I even saw one review describes it as "angry gardenia". May be the thunderstorm has really upset the flowers !

I think the "unsettling" part of Un Matin d'Orage is greatly due to the greens of shiso. It is so dominantly in the background, although the sweet gardenia is in the center of the picture, one can not ignore the existence of shiso. Shiso is an edible herb used widely in Japanese cuisine. It emits very unique and pungent tangy scent when you crushing the leaves. Japanese people like to eat them with sushi, pickled with Japanese plum (ume), or used in tempura to increase the complexity of the flavor. The leaf itself dose not taste sour, however, the smell of tartness will make heavy dishes feel lighter. In the case of Un Matin d'Orage, Annick Goutal has created a perfect balance between the sweetness of gardenia, champac and jasmine with the sourness of shiso and lemon. I can't really say I smell ginger, although it is mentioned in the notes.

Every time I put on Annick Goutal Un Matin d'Orage, I feel like being transported to an exotic garden full of fragrant flowers and herbs; the image of a hot summer night, dinning alfresco style under the moon light, surrounding by the smell of the earth, the gardenia, the jasmine....! That's what I love about perfumes, always telling stories and inspiring imaginations !

To know more about perfumes from Annick Goutal, here is a good web site :
Photo credits by order: Little Caper,, kattebelletje, Don Nunn