Having recently received 25ml of Songes generously gifted from a Basenoter - I’ve been more keen to explore the Annick Goutal line. I’ve been surprised, I have really not paid this house enough attention!
One fragrance that caught my eye (pretty bottle) was this one. It was pretty much a love at first sniff – well, not quite love, but you know ;)
I bought a bottle the next day (last week), so have been wearing this regularly and discovering numerous complicated goings-on in this gorgeous gardenia.
Un Matin D’Orage has a complicated opening that is presented with great simplicity – a bitter greenery in the leafy style of many of the Goutal openings, is flung off the skin with a bunch of sparkling (but not aldehydic) ozonic notes. Ozonic notes have a bizarre texture on the skin, they almost smell “fuzzy”, like the scent of radiation if that makes sense. There is also a dense aquatic accord, it may be calone with its dense, melon like scent – paired with the ozonic notes though it smells more ethereal than cologne-y.
However, the leading role in Un Matin D’Orage is the gardenia – which is apparent after seconds when the first few futuristic notes have settled. The gardenia initially opens voluptuous, almost indolic, with that slightly off “cheesy” smell that makes them so damn appealing! Gardenia is similar to a tuberose, only slightly greener, a little more translucent, less rubbery, with a lactonic savoury smell that many associate to blue cheese – but it’s not intense or off-putting at all.
Un Matin D’Orage is meant to smell like a gardenia bush after a storm, and it does. It’s a lovely olfactory image that is portrayed perfectly in this fragrance, and the clever use of aromachemicals whilst, yes, making it smell highly synthetic, are put to great effect in the opening. But here’s the wierd thing: of course there is no natural gardenia oil/absolute as the scent cannot be extracted, so where Annick Goutal’s Gardenia Passion uses tuberose to achieve the gardenia effect, here (along with the florals I’ll mention later) the perfumer has used an aroma-chemical with a prominent fig like aroma (my guess is Stemone). So the reason why that is weird is because, paired with the jasmine grandiflorum (the watery green kind I don’t normally enjoy), and the merest hint of tea-like champaca creates a pretty good, but unusual rendition of the gardenia flower.
Going off topic and back to the actual scent for a minute: along with the “gardenia accord”, a waxy, lemony magnolia creeps in, dragging the little bit of citrus in the opening into the heart of the fragrance. Now, I realise it all sounds like a huge flower bouquet – it is, but smelt through a dense aquatic/ozonic sheen, an almost greenhouse like aroma. The dewy freshness is very soft and sheer, Un Matin D’Orage is a light white floral from start to finish and it’s presence on the skin after the initial opening is transparent and ethereal.
Back to the gardenia accord (sorry, toing and froing here): If someone held this under my nose and said “Smell this fig perfume” I’d go “Mmmmmm yeh” and if they said “Smell this gardenia perfume” I’d also go “Mmmmmmm yes, lovely…”. This is why Un Matin D’Orage is strange, it has two completely different personalities – yet fig and gardenia smell nothing alike… well, now I’m not so sure. So whether you want to make this out to be a cheap trick at trying to pull off a gardenia, I’d understand, but it’s undeniably clever.
Un Matin D’Orage is relatively linear. The ozonic notes fizz off into the atmosphere pretty early on, with the original dash of calone clinging onto a few of them. The jasmine and hint of champaca, paired with a big blob of synthetic leafy fig, or what we call “the gardenia accord”, stays with you until the end. There is always that dense aquatic note representing rainwater (successfully) sitting in front of the entire composition – it creates a blur over every note so that it smells as though the florals are in the distance. Yes, it smells like a bomb of aroma-chemicals, but I think it’s fantastic. It is gardenia almost Comme Des Garcons style, and without a doubt one of the most interesting fragrances I have smelt in a long time!
Un Matin D’Orage 50ml EDT Annick Goutal – £60 houseoffraser.co.uk