Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee EDP Perfume Review

Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee

From the name to the copy,  Annick Goutal Nuit Étoilée brings to mind van Gogh’s “The Starry Night”. I’m always surprised when brands commit to such boldness. This is an iconic painting easily recognized that often pops up in our popular culture. It’s been discussed in every Art History 101 class. People have spent years researching and interpreting it. When one chooses such an inspiration, it comes with a lot of expectations. And in the world of perfume, expectations do you no favors.

Nuit Étoilée opens with cool mint leaves and this unusual gummy, rubber eraser accord. Mint in fragrances fades so quickly and Nuit Étoilée is not immune to this fact. The fragrance still has a coolness but it’s like an evergreen coolness with sweet, balsamic resins. But, it’s an odd one. It reminds me of gin and artist’s erasers. Instead of reminding me of forests or meadows, it reminds me of an artist’s studio. The heart of Nuit Etoilee is balsamic resins with a subtle resinous sweetness (like that of amber). The iris in this is cool and ghostly. It’s something I pick up with distance but if my nose is planted into my wrist, I mainly get balsamic resins and crème de menthe. The dry-down is a warm, modern iris with a sweetness that reminds me of a Werther’s Original/butterscotch candy.

I tried the EDT concentration of Nuit Étoilée when it first came out. I admit that I wasn’t that impressed, especially when paired with its marketing. Years later, I tried the EDP which is what I’ve reviewed. I immensely prefer the EDP over the EDT. The EDT was a waste of my time but the EDP is something worth wearing. It has more depth and frankly, it’s weirder and more interesting.

van Gogh Starry Night

Notes listed include citron, sweet orange, peppermint, Siberian pine, fir resin, angelica seed, iris, amber, tonka and immortal. Launched in 2012. PERFUMER – Isabelle Doyen

Give Nuit Étoilée a try if you like balsamic or minty fragrances. Or perfumes like L’Artisan Parfumeur Fou d’Abinthe, Phaedon Oriental Mint, Cartier Roadster, Nomenclature Iri_del, TokyoMilk Dead Sexy and/or Serge Lutens L’eau Froide.

The 1.7 oz bottle retails for $120 at Luckyscent. Samples are also available for purchase. Or at Annick Goutal. 

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONCrème de menthe, gummy erasers and a modern ghostly iris. It’s unusual but maybe not intentionally so. Regardless, I’m very happy that I tried it again. I wouldn’t surprise myself if I ended up buying myself a bottle of this.

The Starry Night tourists

The photo above is mine and this is the new reality of museum attendance. I actually missed this painting at MoMa because of the crowd. Looked around and was shocked to see this, whimsy swirls framing tourists’ heads. And then of course I had to take a picture to contribute to the problem.

Anyway, it’s a good sequence of expectation vs. reality. And that fits in rather nicely with this fragrance review.

Want more reviews? Try…

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The Non-Blonde

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Perfumed Letters

Australian Perfume Junkies


*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from Luckyscent. Vincent van Gogh ” The Starry Night”, 1889 from MoMa. The other is unfortunately my image.

9 thoughts on “Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilee EDP Perfume Review

  1. This is coincidental I’ve been getting ready to write my own review of this scent and remark how I think marketing on this was completely off the mark. To me this scent reminds of penny royal on the Oregon Coast on a summer day.

    • There is no way I’d try to tackle a well-known masterpiece. It comes with too many expectations 😉

      It does have a PNW coast thing going on – cool with evergreens – where ocean meets forest.

  2. Hey Victoria,
    Starry night came to Australia and the show had other pictures in quite close to it, the room was not so wide and basically we all shuffled past getting about 20 seconds to capture our moment with it. Thankfully it was long before the smart phones.
    Only tried the EdT and my vague memory is that it would be perfect office appropriate wear after the fun, fizzy opening.
    Thanks for the link love too.
    Portia xx

    • That painting has global appeal 🙂 You know, it is strangely refreshing to think about all these humans wanting to appreciate art and view beauty.

      It’s a great fragrance for “day wear” without being overwhelming or cliche/boring. My only complaint is that they would have kept it in that gorgeous cobalt blue bottle!

  3. I’m so torn with taking picture at museums. On one hand, i love remembering the different and interesting things that I see . And i like the ‘proof’ that i’ve seen some of my favorite works in person.

    But the crowds can be totally ridiculous. I remember getting really lucky when i saw the Mona Lisa. I hit it at a time when there were maybe five other people around it. Came back later in the evening to say ‘goodbye’ (am i the only weirdo that says bye to paintings and sculptures i love? i want to get one last look!) and the crowd was at least 15-20 people deep.

    Also- i need to remember to actually get out to the MoMa. I’ve never been! I always get drawn back to the Met again and again.

    • Honestly, I don’t care anymore. For me, it helps my memory or even helps me see details that I couldn’t (if the place was crowded, for example, I can zoom in). I also think it’s important to show scale of some thing. Dali’s are so tiny. Monet’s are huge. My Art History textbooks didn’t convey that to me. I actually share my photos with family members that can’t travel and they appreciate seeing the scale or a detail.

      Another thing is that I live around great museums so I can just come back. I’m more likely to take pics when I’m at a place I most likely won’t return to OR if the exhibit is is traveling.

      Saying all of this, I think it’s the crowds that irritate me and not the photos. Huddling around to get pics of somebody’s head…that’s stupid (and I did that, obviously). I think it’s important to take in the art, not just snap it.

      I love art museums so much. So I don’t think you’re weird at all 🙂 DO NOT go to MoMa on Friday unless it’s before 3 pm. This is my pro-tip. Pay the full-price because that’s worth it. It’s less crowded and very enjoyable. The Met is basically my favorite hobby 🙂

  4. Spooky, I was just at MoMA today! (And managed to get there early enough to see Starry Night before it was swamped–a stroke of luck.) I haven’t tried this fragrance but I too find it surprising that a brand would be so bold as to associate a fragrance with such an iconic painting. I feel like many people (myself included) would have a such a strong preconception of what a perfume interpretation “should” smell like, that it would be a huge risk. That being said, I’d rather brands be bold than tepid, so I won’t complain. 😉

    • Friday is great before “Uniqlo Fridays”. But, in the evening OMFG, awful. Like a 2 hour line for bag check.

      Anyway, good point. I whine about thoughtless inspirations but then complain when they choose ambitious ones! I like the fragrance and that’s what matters to me 🙂

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