Sables – Annick Goutal

My bottle of Sables arrived the other day so I thought I’d write about it. I wouldn’t quite say Sables was a blind buy – but I had only gave it a passing sniff before, on paper, twice.

Sables comes out the bottle medicinal and boozy, before an instant uproar of hot, dry spice flies to the foreground, the curried scent of fenugreek blooming under the nose. Up close the immortelle is rich and syrupy, a hit of pepper gives it lift, some cinnamon adds heat, and I also get an unusual but prominent anise note which is an absolutely perfectly inclusion that I haven’t heard mentioned before…

If I spray it on lightly, the curried quality of immortelle comes out on top – spicy, with a savoury gourmand quality. If I spray it on heavy, I get a much more syrupy sweetness with the anise more prominent… I spray it on heavy! It’s gorgeously rich, the immortelle giving the anise a more dense, liquorice quality. The immortelle is the most prominent note from start to finish, and if you don’t like it’s aroma then it sounds more than obvious to say “stay away!” – it’s presented here in full flower, but in a perfect harmony between the sweet and savoury spices.

The notes of curry are uncomfortable if you’re not familiar with the note, but if you are – then Sables is actually tamer than expected. For a more full-blown curry fest, try Fareb by Huitieme Art… that’s gruesome. I do really enjoy the spice, it’s cosy, warm and just teeters on the edge of edible.

As it begins to settle it tames every so slightly; a golden amber joins in from the base, along with a dry sandalwood. At this point the syrupy quality dries out until the immortelle of Sables smells more like a scattering of heavily scented powder. It gives the fragrance a more spacial feel – losing it’s density and becoming more of a landscape than an up-close portrait. It’s aura and sillage is wonderfully ever-changing, flickering between a fragrant curry (but not so literally it could be mistaken for food residue), and sweetly spiced amber. Bone dry and dusty in the end, it’s power is still impressive – lasting hours and hours.

I find Sables easier to wear than I expected and am thrilled to have it in my collection for the coming cold seasons! Recommended :D

Annick Goutal Sables 100ml EDT – 85 Euros annickgoutal.com

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20 thoughts on “Sables – Annick Goutal

  1. I have read rants and raves about this love it or hate it scent. Is sounds like it may be similar to Parfum d’Empire’s Fougere Bengale which I really like. I may have to run to Nordstroms this weekend to check this out!

    • Fougere Bengale does have a prominant fenugreek to it – Sables is that note extracted on it’s own.
      Thanks for reminding me about Fougere Bengale I was thinking about that one the other day – it is a fantastic fragrance.
      Another great use of the note that pushes on the curry boundaries extremely heavy is Ladamo by O’Driu (which I need to revisit too).
      Do check it out, it’s worth a sniff at least :) I don’t LOVE it, but I enjoy it.

      • OK, you prompted me today to order a bottle of Fougere Bengale. I looked for my sample and I was out. So I guess the only thing to do was to buy a bottle :)

      • :D FAB! I think I will end up with a bottle one day, mainly becuase the juice looks so pretty against the label :’) But yeh, great purchase Houndyyy – it’s a really wonderful fragrance.

  2. Undina says:

    There are at least a couple of the current AG’s scents that are not available from any of the stores around that carry the line and Sables is one of these perfumes (I’ll be very surprised if Steve finds it at his local Nordstrom). I hope to try all of AG perfumes eventually because I like this brand (though at least half of the perfumes do not work for me – go figure :) ).

    Nice review and congratulations on your new bottle.

    • Thanks Undina. I agree completely – I really like the Goutal line, but only 50% have worked for me so far. There often seems to be a downside to ones I like too. Un Matin D’Orage is one of my favourites in the line, but it quietens so quickly, as does Songes.
      A nice house though, I enjoy their use of bitter greenery so much in otherwise pretty florals, like a sly introduction of tomato leaf here and there :)

      • Undina says:

        My favorite perfumes from this line are Petite Cherie, Heure Exquise and Ambre Fetiche. The last two have decent tenacity on my skin. Petite Cherie EdP behaves differently every time – sometimes it stays long enough, sometimes disappears in an hour or so. But I still like it. There are a couple more that I like and plan to add to my collection.

      • I have wanted to try Heure Exquise for a while now.
        What else are you planning to add? I really wanna explore more of these now D: Gah, I’ll grab ahold of some samples some how.

      • Undina says:

        I like Encens Flamboyant and Musc Nomade. And I need to test more some samples I have to see how those play now on my skin.

      • Musc Nomade is just a tad quiet on my skin – Encens Flamboyant I have really enjoyed when I tried it and need to give it another shot.

  3. Christos says:

    I am so happy every time I read someone saying how much they liked this, almost as if it were my brainchild. I can’t explain why but I have an affinity to this scent. It is everything a cologne shouldn’t be, everything a Goutal shouldn’t be and it is so amazingly rich and unconventional. And yes, most of the people who wear it find out that it is not as monstrous as it smells on paper. It is pure sensuality. I do not think that it has a lot in common with Fougere Bengale, I do not get fenugreek from FB and it certainly smells like a fougere, an unconventional one but definitely a fougere. The only other perfume that comes close to Sable in my opinion is Eau Noire. But were Eau Noire smells contrived and perfumey, Sables is simply a force of nature..

    • Yes Eau Noire is not quite the beast that Sables is – and doesn’t quite have the same effect. I get a pungent curried fenugreek from FB and really struggle to see it as a definite fougere – definitely a distorted one yes.
      I don’t love Sables yet, but I’m sure I will in time – I mean, I have 100ml to get through!

  4. lucasai says:

    Congrats on your new bottle. I think Sables is a gorgeous perfume but after a longer debate between me and me I concluded that although I think it’s great I would not wear it often enough to go for a full bottle.

  5. I do love Annick Goutal and am always happy to see a review of one of the house’s fragrances. Sables is beautiful and if, some day, the fragrance fairy would gift me with a bottle, I would be a happy girl!

  6. laniersmith says:

    Great review and recommendation is noted in my little black perfume book. (I carry with me when I go shopping to keep things in mind) and with immortelle which I love then it must be wonderful.

  7. [...] Freddie (Smellythoughts) reviews one of Annick Goutal’sperfumes that I haven’t tried yet and now I want to – Sables: Its aura and sillage is wonderfully ever-changing, flickering between a fragrant curry (but not so l… [...]

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