Have you ever seen a blue orange?
Of course I don't mean the rotting sort of blue. But imagine a sweet, wet orange at night surrounded by leaves. Maybe it's ripe enough to rot in two days. Imagine that, and that's how Nuit Etoilee opens, and I find it interesting how a perfume can smell like such a living fruit. Usually orange perfumes smell like the oil of the rind (if they're well-made) or like fake artificial orange candy, but with Nuit Etoilee it's like I'm smelling a fresh orange still on the tree, the juice of its fruit ripe underneath the oily rind.
Later the pine, fir and mint notes become more prominent, so don't worry about it smelling too fresh and cheery--the effect is overall quite somber (dark but transparent). The scent is well-blended, so white it's possible to pick out the individual notes, nothing sticks out sharply (like the citrus in L'Occitane's Verbena, for example). Also, within a few minutes on my skin the orange is no longer the most apparent note, but it doesn't just fade away like many citrus top notes do. It stays in the background, blending with the woody notes and making them smell a little bit sweet. I guess the sweetness also has to do with the mint; and speaking of mint, it's also very subtle here. Your nose won't get a chill from smelling it.
I bought a bottle unsniffed, but I do advise you to try it first, since I think there's the possibility that the notes well blend too well on your skin, making the whole perfume smell like generic washing powder all the way through. However, if it does, try mixing it with a bit of Goutal's Les Nuits d'Hadrien to brighten it up. I actually mix 2/3 Nuit Etoilee and 1/3 Les Nuits d'Hadrien in a small splash bottle, and apply the mixture over a dab of jojoba oil. Hadrien is dry, with orange rind and spices, whereas Etoilee is cold and wet and woody.
Nuit Etoilee will work in humid summers, but it should also be good in cold weather if you're going for the winter fairy effect. It's quite ethereal in spite of the woody base. To me it's both androgynous and ageless, and it has a subtle sex appeal, if any. I happen to be a musician and philosophy student in Estonia (about how little I flirt, go figure), and it suits me better than anything else I've tried, but maybe try it first if you're an outgoing, sexy person who wants to be noticed. Because Nuit Etoilee has very little sillage, and it isn't overtly seductive, feminine, glamorous or outgoing. Anyway, whether you think it'll suit you or not, do try to smell it if you get a chance. At least it'll be interesting since it's not every day that you get to see a blue orange.
The eau de toilette lasts three hours on my skin, five hours with the jojoba oil, and longer with the jojoba oil and Les Nuits d'Hadrien. Aside from Hadrien and Din Dan by Lostmarc'h, it's the only perfume that doesn't eventually give me a headache. I can even wear it while having a headache and it won't make me feel worse. I think this is my signature scent now.
This little beauty takes a bit of getting used to as it has the rather contradictory persona of both mischievous and sophisticated playfulness. First spray and instantly it's midnight in Paris and I'm in a baroque French salon wearing a well tailored men's style tuxedo. I'm sipping a long cool gin & tonic with a big twist of lemon, followed by a shot of Sambucca and in my top pocket is an unlit cigar and an open packet of chewing gum. The first hit is gorgeous peppermint and aniseed, like those tiny little black & white striped lollies from Darrell Lea (an Australian candy store) which all stick together in their little glass jar. Add to this a hit of citrus, an earthiness I can only desribe as unsmoked tobacco, and an aromatic note that reminds me of juniper berries. Bizarre and beautiful. The listed green notes of conifers, fir and pine are a bit lost on me and instead it develops a warm and toasty feel which is the imortelle and angelica I'm guessing. At times I can almost see the starry night outdoors theme but in no way is it a walk through a forest in the night (not in Australia anyway). More like a starry night at the bottom of the garden where the naughty elves are up to no good. It's so very playful to me but in a rather sophisticated, French way. Minty and warm and aromatic for hours, it really lightens my load on a serious day. I would have found it very apt if the bottle had been blue & gold candy striped (similar to the beautiful but playful Wedgwood china) instead of just blue with gold script. This EDT lasts suprisingly well on my skin. On mornings when it's way too mischievous and light hearted for my day ahead, I layer it with amber and it does a nice job of 'orientalizing' the notes. It is a very pleasing fragrance which gives me a spring in my step all day long.
Notes: citron, orange, peppermint, pine, fir resin, angelica seed, tonka bean and immortal.
Opens with a dense and intoxicating citrus accord, a sugary blend of orange and citron. Thankfully the accord is less sweet once it settles on my skin as mint adds a cool and sparkly green nuance to the scent. A dark, aromatic pine note anchors the top notes to my skin. I like this base note very much, but sadly it is smothered by the intense citrus-mint accord. Only once the top notes begin to fade do I see the pine note more clearly, but at the same time the fragrance starts getting limp and dull until fizzles out shortly thereafter. Lasts three hours on my skin.
Annick Goutal’s Nuit Etoilee for women is said to be inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night. A worthy inspiration, to be sure. If I hadn’t known this ahead of sampling, though, I’d never have guessed it. To me, Nuit Etoilee is much more of a springtime Monet. On first sniff, I get gentle crushed mint – not sharp, not bright, very toned down and very Goutal. There is also another herbal note that brings to mind tomato leaf. It makes me feel as though I rolled in an herb garden a few hours ago and am just now scenting the plants’ oils as they meld into my skin. This is an absolutely beautiful fragrance. As it dries down, I smell angelica. Not too sweet, mind you, but a whiff of dusky floral. I should now point out that of these notes I smell, only the angelica is “officially” in Nuit Etoilee. The official notes are: citron, sweet orange, siberian fir, balsam, angelica seeds, and everlasting flowers. I’m a bit befuddled by all that, but couldn’t be happier to smell no balsam or fir. This is a perfect springtime fragrance and I must have it, even if I have to wait nearly a year to wear it during its proper season.
I love this fragrance. It's warm sensual and geourgious. It is very special .
This is a scent inspired by solitude in nature if we are to believe the Annick Goutal site. However, given the name Starry Night, I can't stop thinking of the allusion to Van Gogh's blue painting which depicts a town at night - actually from the window of the sanitarium he was staying at the time.
Anyway, this is a muted aromatic fragrance on my skin, with a dominant aniseed and maybe coriander. This may be refreshing to some noses, but I think it smells kind of flat on me. Soon a sweet mint appears and like the first reviewer, I start thinking of sweet shops of my childhood selling peppermint rock candy, here in Turkey.This sweetness continues throughout the muted performance of NE on my skin. I also get some pine and fir but they are mellow, too. I get a bit of fir cone in the immediate drydown and I think it's a very interesting note. I wish it was stronger. The deep drydown is my favourite part where there is a nice blend of balsam and floralcy- albeit very very muted.
Altogether aniseed is too strong for me to like it and in my part of the Mediterranean, it makes me think of a garden with nice herbs and a wooden table, but also some half full ouzo glasses left from the day before. 2.5
The blue round bottle, however, is to die for.
i strongly disagree with the previous poster--just goes to show how personal and subjective scents are. ;)
ok, i LOVE anything "green" scented. green tea, mint, forests, grasses. when i read the descriptions of nuit etoilee, i purchased the large bottle unsniffed, because i knew i would love it. and i do!
so what does it smell like? well, it's not super-sweet. not sure why someone would compare it to a candy store. nr do i notice any anise or jasmine--both scents that i hate, and would surely notice. on first spray, i smell pine and cedar, then a leafy/dry oakmoss scent, and then very light sweet orange. somehow this does not smell like christmas candles, it just smells outdoorsy and nice. then, i smell something reminiscent of l'occitane green tea + mint. (which is my fave of all time) the last thing i notice is the faint smell of a campfire bringing up the rear. not in a burnt/charred way, more like pine and cedar being burned in the distance, faint and slightly smoky.
all in all, i found this to be a very nice blend of green, sweet, dry, and fresh. it reminds me of camping in the woods on a summer night, as well as a bonfire in the winter.
it's an eau de toilette, so of course lasting power isn't fantastic. however, i can smell it sitting at my computer now despite taking a shower hours ago--so it's apparently tenaciously clinging to my keyboard/table.
this was my first annick goutal, and i love it. is it my most favorite perfume ever? no, but it's up there. it's unique and reminds me of happy memories, and i think it smells fantastic.
Wonderful imagery of a walk through a forest under a starry sky, the pinecones crackling underfoot. Attractively packaged in a dark blue bottle. Unfortunately the juice appears to be an afterthought. A conconction with a confectionary note of aniseed (licorice), concentrating the anisic notes form Eau Hadrien. Some jasmin (amyl cinnamic aldehyde or similar, floralozone). The fir balsam does come through eventually but is muted, insufficient to support the forest idea. Not an unpleasant fragrance if you like to be reminded of the joys of entering sweetshops as a kid. But I can't rate it more highly due to the obvious discord with the advertising copy - did they actually smell the perfume??