Annick Goutal Songes perfume review

Annick Goutal Songes fragrance

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.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    That moon bottle is the most gorgeous thing I've seen in ages! The scent doesn't sound too bad, either.:-)

    Looks like there's yet another Goutal in my future.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I'm wearing Chantecaille's Frangipane today, so my olfactory circuits are vibrating with interest at the mention of another frangipani scent… The Chantecaille is very sweet and vanilla-ed, though – the sweetness crowding out all that floral nonsense – so I wonder if the Goutal will be too darn flowery? The OJ is the only one of hers that I simply can't stand – the frangipani in that is just too buttery for me (I know it's your favourite, R!), but I can't imagine a Goutal being quite so assertive. 2007 is a long time to wait – but enough time for all the Europeans and Americans to destruction-test it and tell me whether it's worth it!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I would say “something dry and almost bitter” about a number of the AGs — and I mean that as a compliment. Do you find it …. Goutal-ish? Is there another AG you would compare it to in terms of weight, sweetness, whatever? You know how I love Annick!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is definitely NOT a white floral in the conventional sense! You have two friends who actively didn't like it, sorry to say. I found it murky—if it were a wine, I'd expect to see lots of sediment in the bottle ;D. And it is very strong. Couldn't get it off after repeated washings. I really wanted to like this one, too, and was quite disappointed. My experience is from a liberal spray from a bottle at Bergdor's, not from a sample. Vive la difference, though, and I'm glad to know that others like it very much!

  5. Anonymous says:

    AF really does lovely bottles…one day, I'd really like to have one of the hand painted ones on their website.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I really don't think you'll find Songes too flowery. The dry down is as much dusky woods & resins as flowers, although the jasmine is quite strong earlier on.

    Trying to decide if I'd call it assertive, and I don't think I would after 30 minutes on the skin. I probably shouldn't have used the word strong about the opening without mentioning that it doesn't stay that way…might have to go add a few words, LOL…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Ok, hate to make big changes once I've already posted something, but snuck in the word “softer”…

  8. Anonymous says:

    I agree that it is lovely, and I think that it is a gorgeous and creamy white floral, not overly vanillic at all and rather neoclassiccal. I also notice a hint of tuberose in it. I know what Laura means by murky, although that strikes me as creamy and soft–cashmere rather than silk.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm. Goutal-ish. I would say no, it isn't Goutal-ish & doesn't remind me of any of the others. But then, I'm not as big a fan as you are, so really I'm just going to wait for you to tell me ;-)

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ok, make that 2 votes for “scrubber”! Totally see what you mean by murky — my term was dusky, but would guess that we mean the same thing. I didn't find it strong once it settled, but again, using a vial is a far cry from spraying it on. Also wondering now if you tried the EdP or the EdT?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I love frangipani! This is one I will definitely have to test no matter what. I love AG's fragrances more and more, and this one sounds like it may put me over the top for good. :):)

    But, what does “murky” mean? That's the only little troubling bit…

    Hugs, and Happy V-Day!

  12. Anonymous says:

    V, It is so interesting how differently everyone describes the same fragrance. I would not have said creamy, although I can see what you mean by that too…

  13. Anonymous says:

    I don't want to speak for Laura, but what I mean by dusky is that the dry down is not a clear, bright floral, but has lots of woods & resins in the mix…and to my nose they are as pronounced as the floral notes. So L is right, it isn't a simple white floral scent. Happy Vday to you too!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I'm chomping at the bit to try this one! Chantecaille Frangipane was far too sweet and vanilla-ish for me, and OJ Frangipani was too buttery and bright, so it seems that AG Songes would be perfect. I'm awfully fond of AG Le Jasmin, so if Songes is at all similar, I think that I'm definitely destined for a bottle. Thank you for the fabulous review!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I was hoping that it would be love for you R.

    I like the murky/dusky description. It is a dark version of Ormonde's Frangipani. I actually prefer the Songes than the OJ. I know this is shocking.

    Happy Vday!

  16. Anonymous says:

    This one sounds nice, but I find the Annick Goutals a bit tricky. There are many I adore, but there are a few that are overpowering scrubbers on me. Case in point: I recently tried Gardenia Passion for the first time, and it was waaaay too much for me – just about knocked me over.

    Songes sounds like it might be more muted even thought its also a white floral. I do like frangipani too!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hello R! I was disappointed and did not find this original – especially after hearing glowing reviews from some people last year and I totally agree with Laura's impressions above. I am your third perfume loving pal who did not care for this.

    Songes was strong and did leave me rather claustrophobic reminding me of AG Passion (a diet version) at the dry down stage. AG Passion can be a nice if underapplied. In Paris – the SAs believe in spraying at least five times and that may have been part of the problem. I believe I tried the EDP. The clean scarf went to our drycleaners the next day – that is not something I would do if I loved a perfume.

    Hope you are well and belated Valentine wishes.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I am dying to try this! Your description of it as “dry” makes it sound perfect to me, since, like L., I found the Chantecaille much too sweet and the OJ too bright. And I do want to love it so I can justify buying that beautiful bottle:) But I will sniff first; March isn't that far away now. . . .

  19. Anonymous says:

    I don't find it very similar to Le Jasmin, but all the same I am guessing that you are going to love it…hope I'm right!

  20. Anonymous says:

    A, it might turn out that way, but it definitely isn't love at first sniff. Fainting over your defection from OJ, LOL!!

  21. Anonymous says:

    Have never tried GP on skin, only on a test card, so just guessing when I say this is more muted. Will be curious to hear what you think!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Whew, N, 5 sprays of the EdP would make quite an impression. I am trying the EdT, and understand it is less sweet. Hope all is well with you too!

  23. Anonymous says:

    It might be worth calling your local AG counter to see if they have a tester, I know Bergdorfs has had one for quite some time now.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Thanks–the last time I tried it wasn't there yet, but I am going to NY soon (by which time it will probably be in all the stores anyway:)

  25. Anonymous says:

    Am new here. It's wonderful to read about perfumes & all the comments. Am curious how people get samplers… Also, where would OJ Frangipani be available in Los Angeles? I'd like to sniff. My tastes right now are not fixed. Love Shalimar, Apres L'Ondee. I tried Armani's new Pierre de Lune, but in the end should have skipped it. It's OK but didn't live up to its promise. I like evocative & long-lasting fragrances, but that's so subjective I'm afraid I sound like a dope in this company.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Hi Vicki, and welcome! Unfortunately, the Ormonde Jayne line is only sold through the boutique in London ( You can order a set of samples, but with the exchange rate & international shipping, it ain't cheap.

    Other sources for samples: check the Shop page (link on the navigation bar above), almost all of those stores sell samples.

  27. Anonymous says:

    And adding: please don't worry about sounding like a dope! You're exactly right, it is *all* subjective.

  28. Anonymous says:

    i adore the packaging of Annick Goutal fragrances. at first sniff i always seem to find them a bit overpowering, but a little bit goes a long way they do the job and are always longlasting.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Agree with all of that! Hope you will like Songes.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I love, Love, LOVE Songes :)

  31. Anonymous says:

    It is a gorgeous fragrance! I heard a rumor that there will be a new AG scent in time for Mother's Day, and hope it turns out to be true.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Can anyone tell me about Anné Pliska perfume?.. i hope it does not have a bitter scent in it!

  33. Anonymous says:

    Is Anné Pliska fragrance any good?.. i would like to know about it .. i just hope it doesn't smell bitter!

  34. Anonymous says:

    You can find a review here:

  35. Anonymous says:

    The page does not exist!

  36. Anonymous says:

    I just used copy & paste with that URL and loaded it without problem, can you try again?

  37. Anonymous says:

    It's fine, i have read about in a different blog, Thanks anyways.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Has any of you heard about a perfume called “Un Air De Paris”.

    I love it, it's so rich and elegant .

    Have a look here

  39. Anonymous says:

    Oh my god, i can't believe this, while i was going through the above link i gave you, i have seen a perfume that my mother gave to on my birthday, it was like 15 years ago or more i guess.

    and just a couple of days ago i was like smelling it in my nose.

    and i also could not remember the name of it not even the company.

    But now i did. it's from a french company called “Kesling”, and the name of the perfume is “FORMIDABLE”. It a nice one.. i dont know it has something nice.

    Sadly it does not exist anymore in my country!

    Oh, sometimes fragrances creates beautiful memories.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Have not heard of either of those scents, sorry.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Well, you have to seek for them, and put them in your collection :)

  42. Anonymous says:

    I love Songes! But, I wasn't woman enough to wear the EDP. I returned my EDP bottle for an EDT bottle, and it was perfect! Ylang ylang isn't my favorite scent, but Songes is just creamy and gorgeous. It is one of my favorites!

  43. Anonymous says:

    LOL at “wasn't woman enough” :-)

  44. Anonymous says:

    I'm loving the Songes, but our bottles (not the lovely one pictured, but the classic AG style) come with red juice!

    It's scary to spray because I'm afraid of staining my clothes!

  45. Anonymous says:

    Red?!? I could swear I've seen the Songes at Nordstrom in the gadroon bottle w/ that same gold juice, am I dreaming?

  46. Anonymous says:

    Erm…my new bottle also has the gold juice. Hmm???

  47. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I'm thinking if I saw a red one I would not buy it.

  48. Anonymous says:

    I have so many samples, and I got around to trying my Songes sample this morning and I really love it. I am not a fan of white flowers, but this is a muted form of white flower, very rich and yummy. I will use the sample for a few more tries and make a decision if I need a full bottle. Somehow I think the answer is yes, I do need a bottle. (my collection is growing at an alarming rate.)

  49. Anonymous says:

    Isn't it lovely? I settled for a nice sized decant in the end, but it might go on my buy list when I've used it up.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Yes, R, it is really lovely, I have to have a bottle now.

    I am afraid to try my other Annick Goutal samples, what if I need to have even more full bottles?

  51. Anonymous says:

    LOL — that is always the problem ;-)

  52. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful fragrance! For me Songes it's one of best perfumes that have appeared in recent years.. It is my favourite, however I do agree that it is not a typical white floral fragrance. Maybe because for me jasmine doesn't smell like a typical white flower at all. In my imagination it is always yellow gold and rich. The “colour” of Songes is for me even darker and more sensual.

    In Songes my nose detects some nice duet which plays the main role in this fragrance. One side of this duet is jasmine, but the second one…I'm not sure, maybe it's plumeria?? :) … anyway, very nice combination.

  53. Anonymous says:

    It is lovely! I wish they would do another feminine floral…

  54. Anonymous says:

    tried this recently and fell in love with the opening. it was all gardenia and tuberose on me, incredibly beautiful. then the vanilla came in, which i didn't mind too much, though i generally get sick of vanilla after about 5 minutes of it on my skin. then, the duskiness. similar to gardenia passion for me – amazing, incredible opening that i wanted to own immediately, but with the signature AG drydown. i think someone on a blog said it was tomato leaf? at aedes they said oakmoss. in any case i am sticking to the less sweet and not at all dusky beyond love for now…

  55. Anonymous says:

    Sorry you don't like the dry down! I like dusky, but not swet — I think if this was less sweet, I would've bought it.

  56. Anonymous says:

    This fragrance sounds really beautiful, i love the idea of dreams and white flowers..creates a very lovely image.
    I'm really intruiged by the annick goutal fragrance line. It seems to be as french and classy as you can get as far as perfume goes.
    I am going to go try some of these on, and because there are so many i was just wondering if anyone had any favourites that they would recommend. I'm looking for something more on the sweet side..could be fruity or floral..not too musky or oriental but some spice and warmth is always good.

  57. Anonymous says:

    Most of my other AG favorites might not appeal to you — I tend to lean towards the summery florals like Chevrefeuille & Folavril. But sounds like Songes might suit you perfectly!

  58. crowllb says:

    I don’t know why I bought this – jasmine and vanilla usually are too heady for me. I also prefer the lighter AG scents like Chevrefeuille and Camille. This, however, is heavenly on me. I’m still a newbie to the perfume world, so I’m astonished to be able to identify almost every note in this fragrance as it dries down. This makes me feel . . . happy.

    • Robin says:

      Hey, then you’ve graduated to rich florals! Or maybe Songes will be your only heady floral love…anyway, it’s a great scent, congrats on your bottle.

  59. Tracy says:

    I’m new to posting here but have been lurking and enjoying the reviews for some time. If anyone can help me figure something out I’d be really rather grateful. I have only just discovered Songes and absolutely adore it. Another love of mine is Perles de Lalique. I find it quite simply the most beautiful fragrance but it just does not last on me. Is there anything in common with the two? I am a complete novice here! I have been reading about the Caron perfumes and wondered if anyone would recommend one to me based on the above. What I love about PDL is the kind of musty/damp/mossy smell if that makes any sense to anyone!

    • Robin says:

      Hi and welcome! I’m not sure what to say about the Carons because I understand they’ve been recently reformulated, as have many other perfumes. Mossy & musty is getting harder to find. I’m also handicapped because I’ve never tried the Perles. My recommendation: next time we do an open thread, ask again — someone will know!

  60. Oh, I guess this is the first AG for me. It si pretty heavy – today we have plenty of sun, august, well… might be something for winter. I like vene better then SL A la Nuit which is pure jasmine, AG reminds alos of Lily&Spice from Penhaligon’s, but sweeter and tender.
    A good one! Wait now if I get a headache from it. A tiny sample and it seems still very heavy.

    • Robin says:

      To me it is not a hot weather perfume…at least, not if it’s humid.

  61. parfumliefhebber says:

    Don’t like Songes. It remembers me of Vivienne Westwood Boudoir. Didn’t like that one either.

  62. Hey Robin (or anyone else) … that was me way back above in the comments that the Songes juice was red. I think air got in the bottle… not exactly sure. The scent is fine, just the color is not.

    I decanted a sizeable amount before we tossed it and now I don’t know whether it was Edp or Edt … forgot to mark it on my vial.

    I’m not getting any of the signature “Goutal-ish” bitterness; wondering if it is Edp? At any rate, I’ll have to retest both versions and see which I am currently loving.

    Does anyone else feel this is a refined sister to Fracas? Songes is all creamy florals and gardenia on me.

    • Robin says:

      Gosh, and reading the above, I realize that I never said which concentration I was reviewing! And of course now I don’t remember.

      (Cannot bear the thought of Fracas having a refined sister — are you saying Fracas is not refined?!? LOL…you must not insult my Fracas!)

      • Oh but I LOVE Fracas – was my first ‘adult’ scent and I still wear it often! And it is

        Okay, so I will amend: Songes is a quiet sister of Fracas… :)

        I checked and my version is EdP; I’m not terribly fond of the Edt.

        • Robin says:

          HA…it’s ok. There are only a few fragrances I will stick up for, and Fracas is one of them.

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