Songes is the latest fragrance release from the house of Annick Goutal. It was created by Camille Goutal in collaboration with perfumer Isabelle Doyen, and was said to have been inspired by the scent of frangipani flowers at sunset on the island of Mauritius. The notes are frangipani, tiare, jasmine notes, incense, vanilla, copahu balm, pepper, ylang-ylang absolute, vetiver, sandalwood, amber and styrax.
Songes starts with a trio of tropical flowers: frangipani (also known as plumeria), jasmine, and a hint of gardenia. It is sweet and strong, but not quite heady, although bear in mind that I am trying it from a sample vial — sprayed, it might be quite another story. The jasmine, lightly tinged by green, takes over in the early stages, and it is simply gorgeous. It settles into a softer blend of white florals, sandalwood and resinous notes, all with a velvety, whisper-of-powder finish. The ylang ylang and vanilla sweeten the dry down, but they are tempered by an undertone of something vaguely dry and almost bitter.
It has a dusky quality about it, and in keeping with the name, it is romantic in a dreamy, almost nostalgic kind of way, although it does not have an old-fashioned feel. It is not as bright as Ormonde Jayne's Frangipani, and it is considerably drier and less vanillic than Chantecaille's Frangipane. It is probably more sophisticated than either, although nothing will ever shake the Ormonde Jayne from the top of my list.
It is beautifully done, but despite that I cannot decide yet if I really must have it or not. I would certainly recommend that anyone who loves white florals give it a try. Before you rush to order it unsniffed, though, bear in mind that while most everyone I know who has gotten their hands on it has loved it, at least one friend pronounced it a scrubber. Anyway, you should never order unsniffed, right? Or so I keep reminding myself.
Annick Goutal Songes is available in the standard gadroon bottle in 50 or 100 ml of Eau de Toilette or 50 ml of Eau de Parfum. The moon bottle shown above holds 100 ml of Eau de Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Annick Goutal under Perfume Houses