The Beauty of Scent, Scrutinized for Pleasure

Friday, April 8, 2011

Annick Goutal Mandragore Pourpre

When I ordered a sample of Annick Goutal Mandragore Pourpre, I was expecting something intensely deep and spicy, of the Oriental variety. I was initially attracted by the Mandrake note, but I confess that I hadn't smelled Mandrake to my knowledge prior to testing this perfume. What Mandragore Pourpre ended up being for me, is more of a fresh-spicy scent, heavy on the anise.

Notes list:
Bergamot, mint, star anise, rosemary from Spain, geranium, black pepper, patchouli leaf, myrtle from Morocco, incense and heliotrope

Mandragore Pourpre is akin to a walk through the depths of a dense forest on a cool day, knowing that the sun is shining above the treetops, but being unable to detect it where you tread. This fragrance is frigid in temperature, and as the dry-down approaches, starts to develop a masculine leathery quality that is really quite beautiful.

The mint is subtle, but the anise is pervasive, and stayed with me for the entire duration of wear. After the scent settled on my skin about a half an hour after application, the leather (even though it's not listed in the notes, I can smell it on me) and incense merge to create a nice salty-balsamic base that I would venture to guess might work best on men. I can also swear I detect vetiver, but again, not listed.

The overall impression of Mandragore Pourpre is that of cool earthiness, it is a strange scent and it's very pretty, but it's not quite for me. I'm looking forward to trying more Annick Goutal scents, I do have a feeling there's at least one out there for me. 

Annick Goutal Mandragore Pourpre is available at several retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue,100ml for $115.

[sample was purchased by me]


  1. I have a sample of this and have yet to try it. I love Mandragore, it's one of my favorite AGs.
    The anise is what makes this one appealing to me. I love that fresh spiciness of that note.
    I like 90% of the AGs but 80% of them aren't for me. I appreciate them, but most are too sheer and pretty for me.

  2. I love this scent! It comes across as very peppery to me. I'm surprised I didn't notice the anise because I hate anise. I'll have to try it again.

  3. I have a sample of Mandragore on the way too, looking forward to trying that as well.

    Sue, maybe you're thinking of the orig. Mandragore? It would be really hard to miss the anise in Pourpre, it's intense!

  4. So true, there are some AGs that have that coolness, but I like that a lot, it's an antidote to my sometimes feverishness (hot flashes). Un Matin d'Orage is strange and cold but very beautiful, I love it, tho I understand it is not being sold in the U.S. anymore.

  5. I don't think I've tried any Goutal scents.
    I've always thought Goutal scents might be too "precious', but you've just proved I am wrong!

  6. Hi Joanne! I just today recieved a sample of AG Le Mimosa (which may end up being precious, but I wanted a nice warm weather scent, and today, it hit 80 degrees here in Chicago! waahhh), as well as a decant of Ambre Fetiche, which has gotten a lot of attention from bloggers, so I'm all about it. That is, unless I hate it. :)

  7. I like the bottle so I really wanted to like the scent but it seems not to be working on my skin.
    I have a small project coming this week: I decided to wear one AG scent every day and then try to write mini-impressions for each of the scents. I'm sure that I have six perfumes/samples but not sure about the seventh. So if not I will do a trip to the friendly Nordstrom over the next weekend and re-try Mandragore.

  8. Undina, that's awesome. Hopefully you'll blog about your week of Annick Goutal trials.

  9. Carrie, I keep trying Mandragore, because I feel like I *should* like it, but it's pretty much a no-go on me too. I want to like Annick Goutal scents, because I love Ambre Fetiche soooo much, but it seems like AF is just an anomaly in the collection; Vanile Ezquise is pretty, but not for me, and Se Soir ou Jamais (sorry about my spelling!) is pretty enough for me to keep my decant, but there hasn't been a single thing either before of after AF that really captured my interest.

    It's not you, Annick Goutal, it's me.


  10. Aww, Dee. I hope my own AG story won't mirror yours. I haven't tried the original Mandragore yet, but will probably review that too once I get my sample. Ambre Fetiche is right up there with the best amber scents, I think. Another interesting one is Eau du Fier, I'll have to give that one some serious time and thought, but so far, AF is the only one I immediately loved.

  11. I like this one but prefer the original , Carrie. I love the purple bottles though.

  12. I loved Mandragore Purple more than the original Mandragore (I'm almost anosmic to it, I don't know why).
    I would love to have a full bottle of Mandragore Purple but I have to finish some other perfumes before buying more. Oh well... someday.

  13. interesting, I have tried this and moved on but I love anise so it might be worth revisiting, thanks

  14. I adore Mandragore - have got to try this version! Thanks for the review, Carrie!