Most Annick Goutal fans know that there's a significance difference between the EDT and EDP formulas of the most fragrances in the line. Mon Parfum Cheri, Par Camille is the first time I found myself enjoying the EDT a lot more.
I first tried Goutal's Mon Parfum Cheri, Par Camille earlier this fall in Paris. The testers were of the EDP and I sampled MPCPC twice, and found myself feeling both attracted and repulsed. Not a typical reaction to an Annick Goutal perfume (I love many, like most and avoid only one or two). It was clear that Mon Parfum Cheri, Par Camille was a very opulent fragrance, larger than life, somewhat baroquish. It's also a variation on the fruitchouli theme, only with a big dose of iris. I wore it for several hours and found the plum to be a bit too much. Still the memory of the perfume haunted me weeks after I came back home.
I had to smell it again, and the only place to do it in the US at this time is Bergdorf Goodman. Tom, the master of the Annick Goutal counter (who alone is a good reason to visit the store) helped me figure things out. Apparently, the EDP version of Mon Parfum Cheri, Par Camille I tested in Paris were, indeed, a plum-patchouli fest. The thing is, there was a distribution decision not to bring it to the US. We only get the EDT. And for the first time ever, the EDT is not only different but perhaps more interesting and sophisticated.
Now, if you ask my husband, it doesn't matter any. He found the EDT almost as revolting as the EDP, but this time I don't care. I bought a bottle because to me Mon Parfum Cheri, Par Camille is a wonderful iris perfume.
I smell iris from start to finish. Bitter, dry and full-bodied. It's a very perfumey scent, something that might have been found at a perfume counter back in the day when department stores were really all that (Bergdorf is perhaps the last place standing that embodies that particular bourgeois glamour). The patchouli in the EDT is prominent, but it's not red and fruity. Instead, it has a very chypre-like kick and a presence that takes my breath away with its bold femininity, pearls, vintage hats, curves and cleavage.
Mon Parfum Cheri, Par Camille is Joan from Mad Men (yes, I know she was seen dabbing Shalimar before a big date, so what?). It evokes other eras, other women and takes me back to a time when people were not so scared of perfume, without assaulting the environment Giorgio-style. It's probably more of an evening perfume, because there's a certain formality created by the fur stole of the iris that wraps itself around me. Still, worn during the day it encourages me to put on higher heels, a darker lipstick and stand up straighter. You can't slouch when Mon Parfum Cheri, Par Camille serves as your armor.
Notes: patchouli, plum, iris, violet, heliotrope.
Annick Goutal Mon Parfum Cheri, Par Camille ($125, 100ml EDT) is supposed to be exclusive to Bergdorf Goodman and is finally listed on their website. It has also made other online appearances this week (Google is your friend).
Art: Fabian Perez- El Espejo