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.
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.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Crème 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 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.
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