Thursday, 23 June 2011

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant and Ambre Fetich

I have to admit from the outset that I have some difficulties with the Goutal line. Some are intensely blowsy, floral and feminine; others are oddly citrus, and then, with Encens Flamboyant and Ambre Fetiche, the range veers into oddly incense. I say oddly, because both of these smell offbeat to me, straddling the line between compelling, and ever so slightly off-putting. Usually I would like this in a perfume, but for some reason this doesn't translate so well for me in either of these.

Ambre Fetiche, despite the name, opens with a smoky, swirling waft of heavy incense, although beneath this fog does lie amber. It is sweet, but the smoke and incense are sufficient to balance it out. The sweetness is tinged with something sour, like citrus, but this is a feel I often detect with incense. The heart continues very much in the same vein, but slightly toned down. The fragrance becomes linear, with very little variation. In the dry down the amber finally comes to the fore, but by this stage is fairly mild, sweet and tame on my skin. I would have preferred something a bit more daring and complex, rather than the incense assault at the start and the fizzle-out at the end. Perhaps this is a bit harsh, but as far as incense and ambers go, this is not really my style.

Like Fetiche, Encens Flamboyant is jam-packed with incense. The opening is very similar, but with more incense. The incense is really heavy and if you are someone who doesn't like a lot of incense, you might be struggling. The heart again is very similar, toned down and becoming linear yet again. In the dry down the incense started to smell a little weird for want of a better word, a bit like an insect repellent. 

Of the two, I perhaps prefer Ambre Fetiche, but both are a bit heavy-handed for my taste. It's not as if I don't like perfumes with character and a bit of force, but these are too much. I find both a little easier to wear in cooler weather. In summer they just bloom and become sillage monsters, at least for me.


  1. That's so interesting because I find EF not very flamboyant at all! (though I wear this fragrance often and love it, it's a 'tame' fragrance to me...)

  2. I haven't tried Ambre Fetiche yet. I have a bottle of EF that I like to layer with CdG Avignon. They both seem too linear to me and benefit from being worn together. It also tones down some of the too sweet aspect of the Avignon.
    Your comment about summer wearing made me realise I've only worn these in winter. Maybe I should give it a go in the next few weeks-just for the experience!

  3. Frida, I guess its a matter of personal preference. While strong to me, I don't really think of it as flamboyant either.

  4. Cymbaline, that's an interesting combination - layering 2 incense fragrances together.

  5. I've tried AF recently. It feels completely foreign to AG's main line. I think I like it, especially in 20-30 minutes after the application. But I'm still not sure if I want to own/wear it: there is something in it that makes me to "work" on it and recently it's not what I expect from my perfumes.
    I will be testing it more.



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