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Annick Goutal Heure Exquise
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A Conversation on Arabie

A Package from Christos: Greek Sandals & Oud Cuir d'Arabie

A Package from Ines

A Package from Lavanya

A More Affordable Olfactionary

A Week of Wearing What I Like

Amouage Dia (pour femme)

Amouage Dia (pour homme)

Amouage Epic Woman

Amouage Gold

Amouage Interlude Man

Amouage Jubilation 25 

Amouage Lyric Woman

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Amouage Opus I

Amouage Opus III

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Amouage Opus V

Amouage Opus VI

Amouage Tribute

Amouage Ubar

Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie

Annick Goutal Sables

April Aromatics Calling All Angels

April Aromatics Bohemian Spice

April Aromatics Jasmina 

April Aromatics Nectar of Love

April Aromatics Rose L'Orange

Aroma M Geisha Green

Aroma M Geisha Rouge

Arquiste Anima Dulcis

Arquiste Boutonniere no. 7

At the Moment (Chanel 22 & Marshall Crenshaw)

At the Moment (Contemplating Change & Habit Rouge)

At the Moment (Marron Chic & Paris)

At the Moment (More Midsummer Delights/Epic/Geisha Noire)

At the Moment (Saki & Lubin Idole edt)

At the Moment (Secret de Suzanne /D'Orsay L'Intrigante)

At the Moment (Spring Pretties/Un Air de Samsara)

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At the Moment (Vera Wang & Fireman's Fair novel)

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Beatnik Emptiness Incense

Best of 2009

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

Bond No. 9 Little Italy

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Bottega Veneta eau de parfum

Breath of God

Byredo Green

By Kilian Amber Oud

By Kilian Forbidden Games and In the City of Sin

Calyx by Prescriptives

Canturi by Stefano Canturi

Capote, Truman & Evening in Paris

Carner Barcelona D600

Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron French Cancan

Caron Parfum Sacre

Caron Tabac Blond

Caron Tubereuse

Caron Yatagan

Cartier II L'Heure Convoitee

Cartier IV L'Heure Fougueuse

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

Chanel Bel Respiro

Chanel Chance

Chanel Coco

Chanel Coromandel

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Egoiste

Chanel No. 5 (vintage)

Chanel No. 22

Chantecaille Petales

Chantilly Dusting Powder

Clive Christian C for Women

Comme des Garcons Daphne

Comme des Garcons LUXE Champaca

Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet Nomad Tea

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Coty Ambre Antique

Coty Chypre

Coty Paris

Creature by Kerosene

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie

Creed Virgin Island Water

DSH Perfumes Bancha Extreme

DSH Perfumes Quinacridone Violet 

DSH Perfumes Vert pour Madame

Deneuve

Devilscent Project

Dior Diorissimo (vintage)

Donna Karan Black Cashmere

EnVoyage Vents Ardents

EnVoyage Zelda

Estee Lauder Private Collection

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma & Noel au Balcon

Faberge Woodhue Cologne

Favorite Fall Fragrances

Fendi Uomo

Fragrances for Sweden

Frapin 1697 Absolu Parfum

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée

Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

Frederic Malle Dans Tes Bras

Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur

Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose

Frederic Malle Noir Epices

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel

Ghosts of Perfumes Past, Present & Future

Gone Fishin'

Gucci Eau de Parfum

Gucci L'Arte di Gucci

Gucci Pour Homme

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Jicky

Guerlain Mayotte

Guerlain Parure

Guerlain Samsara Parfum

Guerlain Un Air de Samsara

Guerlain Vega

Guerlain Vetiver (vintage)

Guy Laroche J'ai Ose (vintage)

Happy Solstice

Hermes 24, Faubourg

Hermes Caleche (vintage)

Hermes Eau des Merveilles

Hermes Hiris

Hermes Iris Ukiyoe

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Histoires de Parfums 1740

Histoires de Parfums 1828

Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine

Hometown Portrait, State College, PA

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY

House of Matriarch Carmine

How I Store Decants

Il Profumo Cannabis

In Memory (w/mention of Lanvin Arpege)

Jacomo #02

Jacomo #09 (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Jean Patou Joy

Jean Patou 1000

Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense

Jo Malone Sweet Milk Cologne 

Juliet by Juliet Stewart

Kai Eau de Parfum

Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant

Kenzo Summer

Lancome Magie Noire (vintage) 

Lanvin Via Lanvin (vintage) 

L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'Aube

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

La Via del Profumo Balsamo Della Mecca

La Via del Profumo Hindu Kush

La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan Project

La Via del Profumo Sharif

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

Le Labo Gaiac 10

Le Labo Iris 39

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Le Labo Poivre 23

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Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate

M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) eau de parfum

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles

Message In A Bottle 

Michael Storer Winter Star

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien

Miscellany

Missoni (original) by Missoni

Molinard Habanita

Mona Di Orio Nuit Noire

Mona Di Orio Oud

Mona Di Orio Vanille

Montale Black Aoud

Montale Boise Vanille

Montale Intense Tiare

Montale Patchouli Leaves

Montale Red Aoud

More Roses (rose cookie recipe)

My Heart Has Skipped a Beat (summer smells)

My Perfumes Have Theme Songs

Nasomatto China White

Neila Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

Nez a Nez Ambre a Sade

Northern Exposure "A Dash of Chanel No. 5"

Odin 04 Petrana (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Omar Sharif Pour Femme

Oriscent Pure Oud Oils

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

Oscar de la Renta Oscar for Men

O Tannenbaum Joint Blog Project

Parfum d'Empire Azemour

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Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

Parfumerie Generale Indochine

Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu

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Parfums Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Parfums Retro Grand Cuir

Paris, je t'aime

Pascal Morabito Or Black 

Perfume Quotes - The English Patient

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue

Pretty Perfume Bottles 

Prince Matchabelli Aviance Cologne (vintage) 

Profumum Roma Acqua Viva

Profumum Roma D'Ambrosia

Puredistance I

Puredistance Antonia

Puredistance BLACK

Puredistance M

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Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Ramon Monegal Pure Mariposa

Recipe for Socca

Regina Harris Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc Perfume Oil

Robert Piguet Fracas

Robert Piguet Visa

Rochas Mystere 

Rome Vacation Photos

San Francisco Holiday

Sarah Horowitz Parfums' Joy Comes From Within & Beauty Comes From Within

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Scents of the Mediterranean

Scentuous Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Serge Lutens Arabie

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834

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Serge Lutens Five O’Clock Au Gingembre

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Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle

Serge Lutens Un Lys

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Slumberhouse Rume

Snow Days

Sonoma Scent Studio Incense Pure

Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille

Sonoma Scent Studio Voile de Violette

Sonoma Scent Studio Winter Woods (brief mention)

SoOud Ouris Parfum Nectar

S-Perfume 100% Love {More}

Stone Harbor, NJ Vacaton pix (non-perfume related)

Strange Invisible Perfumes Lyric Rain

Sweden Is For Lovers

T is for Taxes

Tauer Perfumes: Incense Extrême, Incense Rosé, Lonestar Memories, & Reverie au Jardin

Tauer Perfumes Vetiver Dance

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector

Tightly

Tokyo Milk Ex Libris

Unlocking an Unknown: Webber Parfum 6T

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Bed of Roses

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus, or How 3 Perfume Bloggers and a Husband Took Rome

Vero Profumo Kiki, Onda, and Rubj

Vero Profumo Mito

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What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise: Exquisite Chemistry

You wouldn’t have to visit my perfume journal often to realize that I’m an incurable romantic, embarrassing as it is to admit at my age. Whenever I smell a perfume that is either really beautiful or incredibly sexy, I think of romance or sex, although on occasion I might think of a stirring landscape, for those figure quite strongly in my personal psychology, too. Rarely do I think of comparing a perfume to a painting, sculpture, or a piece of architecture, which is odd and rather inconvenient, considering I minored in Art History in college. I would love to tell you that when I smell Annick Goutal Heure Exquise, I envision Egon Schiele’s Boats Mirrored in the Water or even Van Gogh’s Starry Night, but that is not the case. When I smell Heure Exquise—in English, the “exquisite hour”—I think of dusky city walls and the twilit streets that lovers walk down when they are first finding each other. I think of the quiet intoxication of Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke’s one-night romance in the 1995 film, Before Sunrise.

Consider that film for a moment: it’s about the chance meeting of two people who have immediate chemistry and only a small window of time to get to know one another. They’re both riding a train—she’s on her way home to Paris, he’s due to catch a flight home to the United States the next morning from Vienna, the city they are quickly nearing and where, unable to afford a hotel, he’s planning to pass the evening and, in fact, the entire night, roaming the city streets. When they arrive and it’s time for him to disembark, he asks her to consider the crazy thing one normally wouldn’t entertain under such a brief acquaintance—to get off the train with him and continue the conversation they’ve only a short time ago struck up, keeping him company until his plane leaves early the next day. She agrees, and their romance—and thus, the entire film itself—takes the form of a running conversation between two people who are connecting and baring their souls to each other for the first time. It’s one of those films in which there is little plot, yet the experience of watching it feels real and deeply engaging. It’s also a film that strikes me as far greater than the sum of its parts, creating a sense of magic—natural magic, the kind we yearn for and think is reasonable to believe in—mainly through dialogue, tastefully simple cinematography, and the chemistry of the two actors playing the parts. And that’s the way the perfume I am finally going to talk about strikes me, too: magical in a way that is greater than the sum of its parts.

When I smell Heure Exquise, I smell its four distinct notes—galbanum, rose, orris, and sandalwood—as if they stand out in high relief from whatever other notes constitute the fragrance. They are easy for my nose to separate out, and because each one is so distinct, it gives me the impression (or the illusion) that here is a remarkably simple perfume formula. Even so, the way these notes interact with each other is nothing short of stunning: they have immediate and perfect chemistry, each of them winking at one another and seeming to operate on some kind of axis by which they continually pair off and perform pas de deux’s, exchanging partners back and forth. The galbanum and orris have a masculine bent in this fragrance; the rose and sandalwood here are über feminine. I suppose that if any one note “steals the show” for me, it’s the rose: it’s lush and tea-like and pretty as all get out. Flirting with the creamiest sandalwood note I’ve smelled in a long time, it only gets prettier.

Other perfume reviewers have referred to the orris in this fragrance as powdery, but I find just the opposite. Orris sometimes presents itself to my nose as having a stiff leather smell (like the smell of a very new pair of shoes) before turning powdery, and this more austere expression of orris is what I predominantly smell in Heure Exquise. Reinforced by the green galbanum note, it lends a deep, twilight-sky feeling to the fragrance that makes the lush rose and sandalwood notes pop, as if they are the blinking points of light in this olfactory firmament.

A mostly linear fragrance, Heure Exquise—like the film I am comparing it too—doesn’t require a complex unfolding of elements to create a profound sense of beauty. As any romantic can tell you, the most potent element in any formula is that rare and precious thing we call chemistry. Whether it happens instantly or develops over time, true rapport is the only thing that matters. When the sky deepens and the evening star appears on the horizon to wink at the moon, I will always be looking up—and I’ll forget again to write the review I planned, the one where I compare perfume to art that hangs on walls.

 

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise eau de parfum can be purchased from a number of boutiques and department stores, including Nordstrom, where a 100-ml bottle is currently priced at $120. My review is based on a spray sample sent to me courtesy of my fellow perfume blogger Undina.

Images: movie still from the 1995 film, Before Sunrise, featuring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy is from www.cinema.de; Annick Goutal Heure Exquise bottle photo is from Nordstrom.com.


Posted by Suzanne Keller, 9/15/2011.


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