This is a lovely, lush, old-fashioned chypre' with a few modern twists. If you have been hankering after a bottle of Roja Dove's "Unspoken", but can't get hold of it, this is a close cousin. It's delightful and rich, but probably not the best choice for people who hate patchouli!
Annick Goutal Does Patch... beautifully, of course. This is, on the surface of the note descriptions, a very simple scent: pathchouli, iris, violet, heliotrope, plum. But as with so many Goutal perfumes, the tiny little list is not the half of it.
To start, this perfume is about patchouli, primarily. But it's a dry, almost dusty, resinous patchouli. It's drier than Borneo, but the same resinous, high quality. Accompanying it is a touch of skank -- cumin-esque, and very very subtle. It weaves in some of the heart and in the initial drydown, but is never obtrusive or unpleasant.
There's plum, but on my skin anyway, it was negligable. And then there's iris and violet. What a unique, but Goutalian idea -- patchouli with two of the most classic ingrediants - delicate powdery flowers. The powder and aromatic notes of violet perfectly compliment the dry, resinous quality of the patchouli, and the iris works nicely with the dry, woody qualities of it. And yet as MPC dries down the flowers bloom and give a clean floral counterpart to the delicate touch of skank.
The sillage is soft, and the fragrance lasts for quite a long time. Unlike some reviewers I had no extreme blast of fruit - at best it is still subtle. Also, I didn't have monster sillage. This word close the skin with a light, almost buttery patchouli/floral waft coming up periodically. The packaging is, as with all Goutals, beautiful.
A few weeks ago while in NYC, my friends and I went on a sniffing tour around the city. We stopped at the Annick Goutal counter at Bergdorf Goodman and talked to Tom, and he showed us most of the line. I found Mon Parfum Cheri, Par Camille to be the most intriguing of the line, and I couldn't stop smelling it. Every store that carried it, I'd stop, spray, and sniff it again! The plum, iris, violet, and Indonesian patchouli blend together to give it a lipstick accord. I think the lipstick's color would be 1940s flaming red. To me, it smells of old glamor; I feel like I'm channeling Lauren Bacall by wearing this perfume. Sexy, mature, and a lot of sass. I've read such mixed reviews on this one, but I personally love it. But... if you don't like patchouli at all, (even though it's not up in your face -at least when I wear it), this may not be the fragrance for you, but I recommend to smell it at least once!!!