August 25 2011
Mark C O’Flaherty
At any given time, I have about 30 containers of mismatched body products rattling around in a variety of travel washbags. Many of them are hotel miniatures that I’ve liked and taken home with me. One such item is a body lotion by Annick Goutal. I can’t recall where it came from, but I believe it was from the bathroom of a hotel in Paris. What I do know is that I didn’t open it during my stay, otherwise the fragrance would have come to my attention immediately. Back home, as soon as I tried it, I had to start rationing it; I would use it before going to bed so I could drift off to sleep surrounded by its citrussy aroma of grapefruit, lemon and cypress.
With my supply running low, while on business in Paris recently I was drawn into the Annick Goutal store in the 1st arrondissement. “I can’t remember the name, but it smells quite strongly of grapefruit,” I told the shop assistant, and she directed me straight to the Eau d’Hadrien products. A quick spritz confirmed that this was exactly what I was looking for.
There’s a back story to the fragrance: apparently Goutal was inspired by Marguerite Yourcenar’s novel Memoirs of Hadrien, as well as a variety of gardens in Tuscany that she’d visited at the start of 1980s. There’s certainly the essence of a summer’s citrus orchard to it, but with a very sophisticated and compelling twist.
The fragrance comes in an eau de parfum (€98 for 100ml) and an eau de toilette (€80 for 100ml) as well as a body cream (€45), shower gel (€25), body scrub (€65) and a candle (€45). There’s also a collector’s edition of the EDP that comes in a black box with a numbered bottle (€150). I left with a refillable bottle and a candle, which will keep me happy for the moment, but I’ll be dropping hints to friends about the other products when Christmas gets closer.