Goutal's Latest Scent a Dream
PARIS — Annick Goutal has dreamed up a romantic reverie for Songes, its latest women's scent.

Songes (Reveries in English) is the Paris-based fragrance house's 31st women's scent, a highly concentrated floral Oriental that's meant to boost the brand's lineup of "sensual" fragrances, including Passion, Gardenia Passion and Grand Amour.

"Our bestsellers, such as Eau d'Hadrien, tend to be fresher fragrances, so we wanted to enlarge our range and to work more with exotic flowers and single notes," said Frederique Picard-Giannesini, general manager of Annick Goutal Parfums. Goutal launched the scent exclusively at Le Bon Marché department store here Monday and is set to roll out Songes in France and the U.S. over the next two months.

Songes was inspired by the aroma of white frangipani flowers at dusk, which Camille Goutal, daughter of the house's founder and now the brand's creations adviser, experienced while vacationing on the island of Mauritius.

"I knew exactly what I wanted to re-create," she said ­­— "the sensuality and the smell of those flowers filling the air as soon as the sun sets."

Songes' top notes consist of accords of frangipani flowers, combined with tiare and jasmine notes. For the middle and base notes, Goutal said she took creative inspiration from the works of English painter John William Waterhouse, in particular his "Ophelia" painting. Heart notes include incense, vanilla, copahu balm, pepper and ylang-ylang absolute. At the scent's base are vetiver, sandalwood, amber and styrax notes.

"We have used exotic flowers, which are carnal, almost Oriental, to evoke passion," said Isabelle Doyen, the perfumer from Aromatique Majeur, who worked for five years on the project with Goutal.

"It's definitely the most complex, sophisticated fragrance [Camille Goutal] has done," said Alison Farn, president of Gary Farn Ltd., which distributes Annick Goutal products in the U.S. Speaking at an interview there, Farn noted the Goutal business has gained momentum as U.S. consumers have become more familiar with the brand over the past year.

Industry sources estimate Songes could generate retail sales of $1.2 million in its first 12 months worldwide.

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