--(yes,a unicorn!), and the inspiration story (see Katie Puckrik's meeting with Annick Goutal's perfumer Isabelle Doyen) makes you expect great things from Nuit Etoilée: depth, mystery, romance... A lot more than the nice green pine thing that comes from the blue bottle.
Nuit Etoilée opens with a cool burst of mint and citrus. It's kind of like an upscale lemonade, far brighter than the nocturnal theme suggests. I preferred it on the husband than on my own skin, which is often the case for me with mint fragrances. Things get better, though, and the majority of what I smell in the heart and early dry-down of Nuit Etoilée is incense, smoke, green pines, balsam, and angelica. It's rich and sappy, and I enjoy the contrast of sunshine over tall trees, cool breeze, warm wood, and a hint of the Mediterranean air.
I don't get a starry night effect (or unicorns). To me, Annick Goutal's Nuit Etoilée is an early morning and fresh air, pretty much like the landscape in the painting above, Early Morning in Rome by Dmitri Danish. This is what I see and smell in the two to three hours Nuit Etoilée lives on my skin. The fragrance eventually dissolves into a nondescript woody-something-or-other before disappearing completely, and that's a big disappointment. I could use less unicorn and a lot more bite.
Notes: Citron, Sweet orange, Siberian fir, Fir balsam, Angelica seeds, Everlasting flowers
Other reviews of Nuit Etoilée can be found on NST and Bois de Jasmin.
Annick Goutal Nuit Etoilée ($85, Eau de Toilette 1.7 oz.) is available from Saks 5th Avenue. I got the sample for this review at my local store.
Images credit: Annick Goutal and Dmitri Danish.