One of the long-running best-sellers in the Annick Goutal line is Petite Chérie (1998), a girlish fruity-floral that Annick Goutal dedicated to her daughter Camille. Camille has now reciprocated by devoting a fragrance to her mother's memory: it is a spicy floral chypre titled Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille and its composition includes Indonesian patchouli, iris, violet, plum, and heliotropin.
Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille is partially inspired by a vintage solid perfume from Annick Goutal's fragrance collection (originally a gift from the author Colette!); working with the perfumer Isabelle Doyen, Camille Goutal was also "drawn back to her childhood memories of Hollywood's wartime movies. Tempting satin. Delicate lace. Actresses and their gloved hands and ruby lips. And a memory of her mother dressing for an evening out..." For me, Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille succeeds in this evocation. It's old-fashioned, in a full-bodied, self-possessed way, and it really is most appropriate for evening wear (although I normally avoid that kind of fragrance-wearing instruction).
When I sniff Mon Parfum Chéri from the sample vial, I notice plenty of patchouli — I don't know what exactly distinguishes Indonesian patchouli from other kinds, but it's there, and it's intense. When I apply the fragrance directly to my skin, its composition turns more complex. The opening has a pinch of dirty spice that reminds me of cumin, although cumin isn't included in the official list of notes. Then there's a long-lasting heart of rooty iris and over-ripe plum, followed by a warm, musky base, and the whole thing is wrapped up with a strong but refined patchouli. If you hate patchouli (which would be a shame, but I'll try to reserve judgement!), you won't enjoy wearing Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille. But if you love or even like patchouli, particularly when it's complemented by fruity-spicy notes, then you should give this latest Goutal a try.
Overall, Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille is a dusky fragrance with an exotic feel, and its purple bottle, ornamented with a black ribbon, suits it well. This perfume does, in fact, seem like something that World War II-era actresses like Rita Hayworth or Hedy Lamarr could have applied before heading out to a nightclub. It's dressed-up, yet assertive. Something about its dark fruity chypre aspect reminds me of classic Femme from Rochas — which, coincidentally, was my own mother's evening-wear fragrance when I was young. (Grain de Musc has also compared Mon Parfum Chéri to Femme, citing the "Prunol" base that appears in both.) If Femme ever had a torrid, passing affair with L'Artisan Parfumeur's Voleur de Roses, this could have been the result.
Mon Parfum Chéri has moderate-to-strong sillage and excellent tenacity: on my skin, even the Eau de Toilette lasts through a full day. As you've probably already surmised, it's not a fragrance for the faint of heart. It also happens to smell particularly wonderful in chilly weather. This week, I've enjoyed catching a breath of it when I come indoors and remove my coat, or when it lingers on my deep-brown fur scarf. I'm trying to live up to its gutsy glamour.
Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Chéri par Camille is available as Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum, in 50 ml and 100 ml sizes. For purchasing information, see the listing for Annick Goutal under Perfume Houses.
Note: top left image is Grands Magasin du la Samaritaine Saison d'Ete 1886 page 25, via Wikimedia Commons.