Annick Goutal Folavril (April’s Fool) is not a sexy or flirty fragrance. It doesn’t have an inkling of seduction in it. This isn’t a fragrance that I would see a man purchasing for Valentine’s day/anniversary. Just like slouchy cotton jersey dresses and shabby chic decor, this fragrance is a “made by woman for women” fragrance. It really is a beautiful, innocent, and comfortable fragrance. It smells nice without smelling “bat those lashes” flirty or vavavoom seductive. It’s fresh but still very feminine. I like to think of it as shabby chic decor, shabby beach cottage decor, or Brocade home. It’s just so girly without trying to be attractive to men. It seems to be a fragrance that women wear because they like it. It’s not overly floral which is what I think of as flirty fragrances. However, it is playful, but not in a coy, flirty way, but in a everyday fun way, like playing with your pup or in most people’s case, their kids. It’s a spring stroll through the park.
At first the fragrance is very different mix on me. It’s like a fusion of tropical mango scented lotion, you know that too perfect mango kind of note, and really soapy and spicy tomato leaf. The tomato leaf is a bit odd. I love the smell of tomato plants. They are crisp, bitter, and have a very specific aroma that you just know when you sniff it. This tomato leaf in Folavril is bitter, spicy, tart, and green just like a tomato leaf should be; however, it doesn’t smell of a garden. It’s just too pretty and too clean. It reminds me of a tomato leaf aroma used in fancy European soaps (I’ll get there soon). So imagine a fictional fruit that is juicy like a peach but it is green and unripe, growing on a fuzzy tomato like plant. (The greenness really is much more leafy than fuzzy, tomato vine). It’s sterile, no scent of dirt or humidity. The tarteness and the fruitiness and bitterness fades after a about 15 minutes of wear. The green, tart aldehydes of the soapy clean tomato leaf are still there. However, they are mixed with delicate ylang-ylang blossoms. It becomes slightly powdery and more of a crisp, tropical floral. It wears light and soft. Jasmine is listed as a fragrance note for this fragrance, but this jasmine is much, much softer than many jasmines used in perfumery. It’s more of a whisper of jasmine. It’s not a sultry or sexy jasmine. Usually this light but somehow refreshing floral blend is what wears on me the longest. Boronia adds a certain grounding greeness, a floraly evergreen. I feel the dry down is soapy and clean. Boronia really does have a beautiful aroma and I do think of it as clean. It goes back to a spicy green floral, but more evergreeny than the tomato leaf. The dry down on me is a soapy, fresh floral.
This fragrance was launched in 1981. It was created to fragrance a skincare line created by Annick Goutal. Fragrance is a tricky business, based on perceptions and memories. I think that I think of this fragrance as soapy and clean because I was exposed to this fragrance in skincare that my grandmother used. I think of it as her nighttime routine. Many luxurious European soaps have a green, tomato or lettuce floral fragrance. So, I don’t know if someone else would smell this and think it was clean. That being said, I think that is why I think of this fragrance as nurturing. My grandmother is glamorous but to be around her without makeup and eyebrows, you have to be family.
This fragrance is very lovely for spring and summer. It’s light, airy, and playful. It’s green without being masculine. It’s fresh without being aquatic. Sometimes when I wear it, I get more of the fruit, other times I get more of the greens, and other times I get more of the sweet, tropical florals. These notes could be emphasized by your choice of body lotion and layering. The fragrance is an EDT and wears briefly on me, about 1.5 -2 hours. Give it a try if you like green florals, Sisley Eau de Campagne , Hilde Soliani Stecca, Pucci Sole , Crazylibellue & The Poppies Les Divines Alcôves Toi Mon Prince and/or Parfums de Nicolai Eau D’Ete Fraiche EDT.
Notes listed include: tomato leaves, mango, jasmine, and boronia flower.
Update: I think this one has been discontinued. It’s not easy to find anymore.
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