Released in the early 1980s, Eau de Monsieur1 was one of Annick Goutal's first perfumes. I was surprised to see Eau de Monsieur listed on the Annick Goutal website with a release date of...2013.
- Had it been reformulated in a BIG way?
- Was it a new perfume altogether?
- Did a content editor make a mistake?
(Answers: 1: Yes; 2: Sort of; 3: No)
Eau de Monsieur disappeared from the Annick Goutal line-up a long time ago (the 90s?) and has been recomposed by Camille Goutal with perfumer Isabelle Doyen.
I have a vintage bottle of Eau de Monsieur and I wear it sparingly, on days when I feel happy or nostalgic for California (where I first wore it). Putting on vintage Eau de Monsieur is like being touched by sunshine when you yearn for warmth. Vintage Eau de Monsieur is pungent with wonderful liquor-y citrus fruit and immortelle aromas — each with a hint of saltiness. As the perfume wears down I smell dry woods (with some patchouli and vetiver?) and soft/crumbly moss. I'm addicted to vintage Eau de Monsieur; it smells great all day (and one spritz is all you need).
Wearing the current version of Eau de Monsieur (next to the vintage) is a let-down. Everything about present-day Eau de Monsieur is lighter (weaker) than vintage. "New" Eau de Monsieur presents cologne-ish citrus (much sheerer than vintage Eau de Monsieur's fruits). The light citrus mingles with furry geranium leaf and a bit of mint. Eau de Monsieur is now minimalist...a quiet and faded take on its progenitor. 2013 Eau de Monsieur smells good (and it's sold at a good price) but it (literally) pales next to the vintage version; even when applied generously, it disappears quickly on skin.
I noticed while wearing the two versions of Eau de Monsieur how the original formula was perhaps a pathway to Annick Goutal's Sables (1985) and current Eau de Monsieur backtracks to Eau d'Hadrien (1981) and 1995's Eau du Sud (but without the gorgeous and abundant natural citrus notes those perfumes possessed when first released).
Annick Goutal, the woman, was a genius at conjuring emotions and places with the perfumes that bore her name. I wonder how she'd react to the tamer Annick Goutal (the company) that exists today.
Annick Goutal Eau de Monsieur is available in 50 ml ($65) or 100 ml ($149).
1. Listed notes for today's version of Eau de Monsieur are mandarin, bergamot, mint, rose geranium, patchouli and sandalwood.