Annick Goutal Sables, 1995

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(image maple taffy on snow, Recettes du Québec)

Perfumer Annick Goutal

Sables follows a classical drydown arc: top, heart, basenotes. The real trick though is that is that it takes you from one genre to another over this progression.

Starting with immortelle dissolved in amber, Sables gives you either a strictly sweet maple syrup candy, or a sweet and savory curry with fenugreek and raisins. It’s up to your nose. For me it’s the latter. Either way I find it principally gourmand.

Where Sables winds up, though is in the sandlewood/amber range. While the spice-like immortelle fades in the heartnotes, by drydown, there is a light, peppery sharpness that gives the amber drydown a mineral/dry inflections not miles from that of Ambre Sultan’s scent of hot stone. Sables is the only fragrance I can think of off the top of my head that isn’t categorized so much as a hybrid (eg. floriental, leather chypre…) but as a fragrance that starts in one genre (gourmand) and ends firmly in another (amber/oriental.)

A gorgeously constructed fragrance, appropriate across many genders, but would be a smart statement of devil-may-care appreciation of prettiness on an assured straight man.

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