I almost forgot just how much I love Annick Goutal's Mandragore. I adore it, really, so the comments from readers talking about its awesomeness for weird weather and/or bad mood were right on target. I played with it again today and once again questioned myself about not having a full bottle. Was it longevity issues? No, not really. It requires serious sprayage but when I do it's there for four hours in full force, and a few more as a quiet woody wrap. The thing about Mandragore and my skin is that unlike just about any other perfume I can name, my favorite part of this Isabelle Doyen for Annick Goutal creation is the opening. I can't get enough of the spicy anisy citrus from the top notes. It's peppery, ginger-like and very rooty. Mandragore is so full of life and enthusiasm for adventure I'd think it's a wonderful perfume to wear when embarking on a road-trip scent.
The thing is that once the mayhem subsides,things get really confusing. I smell iris- both the powdery and the earthy kind. I love iris, of course, but somehow find its presence here distracting and out of place- when wearing Mandragore I don't necessarily want to feel introspective and serene. The iris goes away eventually, but the powder remains, this time as a dusty coat over bleached wood. There's some cedar, I think, an incensy resin and a thin slice of lemon. Mandragore is lovely, wearable and like all Annick Goutal perfumes, very well-made. It's a can't go wrong with it, wear anywhere without being boring scent. My friends here are right- it works well in the heat. Mandragore also smells a lot more natural than most perfumes you can get at a department store. I know absolutely nothing about the mandrake root that supposedly inspired this fragrance. I don't think I ever gave the plant a second thought before reading Harry Potter for the first time and seeing the somewhat disturbing illustration in the book. I kind of like the idea of wearing a perfume made with something that grows in Professor Sprout's greenhouse.
Mandragore by Annick Goutal ($99, 50ml EDP) is available from Luckyscent, most decent department stores and other authorized Goutal sellers.
Image: illustration of a pulled mandrake root by Mary Grandpre from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 1999 (scanned by me).