In England, there are two perfumes. The overwhelmingly predominant one is inoffensive, aimiable, but rather low IQ-seeming vulgar floral Vanilla ( EVERY fragrance wearing woman who has passed me smells like this; D is nose-weary of it as well; no matter the contemporary female-marketed contemporary perfume’s starting notes, it will end exactly the same, to the point of complete indistinguishability : Perfume = Thick Synthetic Crass Vanila: Thick Synthetic Crass Vanilla = Perfume ( please memorize this important equation).

The other perfume of the two that are available to UK citizens ( far fewer, say, than the number of haircut styles available in North Korea), is brain aching synthetic oud – one I endured from someone metres ahead on the street combined this plague on the olfactory senses with a rich caramellized inner heart and a biting, ozonic top, which made me both physically and psychologically quite nauseated, while others slip the note into the classic macho fresh sport fougere. for football boys milling around the bar area at the pub.

I exaggerate of course ( but not actually). The Rules can be circumnavigated : I experienced a nice light figgy green on a woman by the Windsor Hotel breakfast bar; on the way to the PCR testing pharmacy ( the hassles and stresses we have gone through on this trip; cancelled flights, hellish, endlessly time consuming administrative infernos, head exploding psychodramas …) , a Meditterranean man pleadingly walking by us in an alluring, herbal aromatic almond musk, but 99% of the time, in truth it would seem that there are only the Nationally Validatd Two Options. And my does it get depleting.

Which is why it was so nice to meet up with my old university friend Emma in Norwich one day ( there have been a lot of lovely, reconnecting and emotionally cathartic experiences on this visit too ), to walk around the beautiful streets of this ancient cathedral city with someone with the sense and taste to wear a scent that has real elegance, elusiveness, and crisp citric chypric freshness, rather than being clobbered unmistakeable over the head with the aforementioned industrial mallets. It was the perfume man’s inhalation of Fresh Air.

Reminiscent of classics such as Eau Sauvage and Cristalle, Eau Du Sud is less prevalent than its close relative and perennial favourite Eau D’Hadrien, but is drier, more herbal ( mint and several citrus peels ) alongside jasmine and a deft touch of natural patchouli. It has lasting power, but not ‘persistence’, which is a quality I have come to really object to in a perfume – I don’t know : maybe I am now just too Japanese.

At any rate, Eau Du Sud accompanied our strolls and conversations quite delightfully as a soft, ethereal skin soundtrack, as we reminisced and examined our current state of affairs, over leisurely local ciders and ales, wondering where all the time had gone, while living vividly : immersed in the actual moment.


Filed under Flowers

28 responses to “EAU DU SUD by ANNICK GOUTAL (1996)

  1. Lucy

    In nyc i feel like the vast majority of the young (under 25) men and women both, have fully accepted the marketing of sweet perfumes as the only kind that are young and sexy. Caramel predominately. Everything else smells old to them, especially florals. Some boys do like the essences of diesel fumes and stale cigarettes as long as they demonstrate ‘performance’

  2. Another fab post , thankyou ! You hit the nail on the head I think.
    I am struggling to find a new fragrance to “ replace “ Byredo’s Seven Veils and almost everything I have smelt so far absolutely falls into the two categories you write about !
    What has happened to the interesting beautifully crafted fragrances ? Where have they gone ? I haven’t tried the Eau de Sud that you mention ( and which sounds delightful) , who makes it ? Also I wonder if you might have any other suggestions for me to try please?
    I have worn Diptyque Philosykos ( spelling?? I call it Figgy ! ) for a long time and it’s still a lovely thing , I would like to try something else though so any ideas would be very much appreciated! Thankyou 🙂

    • I think you should try Eau Du Sud. I have smelled Seven Veils before – is it lily ?

      • Hi ! I think Seven Veils had been described as a “ spicy oriental with hints of vanilla flower and Indian Sandalwood “ I am very bad at describing smells myself !
        Thanks for suggesting I try Eau de Sud , I have taken a leap of faith and ordered some , it does sound lovely

  3. OnWingsofSaffron

    Eau du Sud! I love(d) it so very much. Don‘t use it any more even though I have that exact vintage boxy „men‘s“ version on the first photo. Seeing it now, I wonder why it wasn‘t right there at the very top of my perfume choice for our Athens/Paros/Antiparos holiday?
    Brought along a Vent Vert (not the original but the first reformulation from the 80-ies), Serge Lutens L’Eau Froide, Farmacia SS Annunziata Patchouly Indonesiano as well as Sammarco Ariel. Due to a extremely annoying midnight switch of hotel rooms due to a leaking airconditioner the Ariel has gone missing! Damn!

  4. emmawoolf

    Very humbled, flattered and a bit embarrassed by your lovely words and photo (exceedingly flattering – how on earth do you do it?). I’m very pleased indeed that you like this fragrance as much as I – I think it is perfect for that late summer/early autumn transition, and somehow works on a steely grey day, such as we had last week as well as warmer cerulean ones. Perhaps it’s the patchouli, which I’d never thought about before. Thank you. It was a very lovely afternoon and I really wish we’d had that extra drink and talked for longer. Your friend xxx

  5. Welcome back! I’m glad you were able to refill your emotional tank, which is so needed.
    A while ago I’d read that London smelled of Baccarat Rouge 540 everywhere, although I didn’t know what that was like. In the last year or so in the US, I’ve noticed a pervasive Ambroxan-like sillage and finally found out it was BR. Personally, I’d prefer the vanilla if given no other choice.

  6. Wild Gardener

    Round here its Ambroxanambroxan. Everywhere. Or Spiky Woods, so tiresome…

  7. Before the great Plague descended upon us – I was in Miami, September 2019. Same crass and cloying cheap vanillin + ersatz berry/synthetic caramel ethyl maltol stench pervasive everywhere. Nauseating. Even the high end department stores reeked of it.

    • It has got worse. APPALLING !

      Luckily there is a lot of beautiful scent out there : I just so rarely smell it on anybody !

      • OnWingsofSaffron

        Yes, isn‘t that just so! Why don‘t I ever smell a wonderful fragrance on a person??
        In Germany young men up to 24 wear those nuclear waste scents, and only a few young women wear pink sugar candy thingies. Grownups somehow don‘t wear scents anymore. People don‘t dress interestingly, they don‘t smell alluringly, they don‘t eat particularly well, the level of conversation is rock-bottom.
        I know, I know, I drone on like an ancient foggy, yet I cannot help but looking at an endless trek of wildebeest.

  8. Hamamelis

    Amidst the beautiful Chanels and Vero’s, and countless other perfumes I own, Eau du Sud is the one I wore most. I emptied it a few weeks ago, a first time. I just hope it will survive the Ifra oakmoss cull.
    ‘Persistence’ in fragrance always makes me a bit worried. It so often equals a kind of claustrophobic quality in fragrance.
    What a lovely photographs.

    • Thank you.

      And what timing – given that you have just reached the end of your flacon.

      I would rather get an ebay old bottle rather than chance a tedious reformulation, personally

      • Hamamelis

        I had a look on Ebay but paying more than 230 euro’s for an old bottle of Eau du Sud (would those citrus notes not have gone off…?) was not an option! So I bought a new one, and it has maybe lost a little of its depth, but I am happy with it. I just saw Goutal is back to the older bottles, and Eau de Sud hasn’ t gotten the chop so far.

      • Very good to hear. I agree about the pointlessness of ropey lemon top notes – as long as the main sensation is still intact, it is basically still worth wearing

  9. carole

    Funny-I usually prefer Eau D’Hadrian, but I wore Eau de Sud all last week. The British Beauty blogger describes this scent as being explosively feminine-i know scents have no gender but I love the idea of an explosively feminine fragrance. But this would smell awesome on anyone-limes and herbs and patchouli. I also have the body creams and OMG they’re just sinful-they’re so perfect. The cream works to really sink into the skin and the scent lasts and lasts. Your friend Emma is so beautiful and I wish you had all been able to have more drinks and more time together.

  10. My but Emma is quite the beauty!! I always love when I can put a face to a name. Such a gorgeous fragrance choice as well.
    Eua de Sud, I still have my vintage bottles, which were new to me once upon a time, is just perfect on a hot sumer’s day.
    I rarely smell anyone else’s fragrance, since I am not out much, but I can only imagine how uninspiring they must be, and you have confirmed that.
    So happy you had such a lovely time.

  11. Robin

    Emma looks like a wonderful human being. I get the warm fuzzies just looking at that photo! Welcome back, Neil.

    • It was a very intense trip back, but it was also really good to reconnect with people. I think the last few years have made many people, me included, ‘distanced’ emotionally, fractured, fractious: I was nervous about meeting even my best friends but was really glad when I did.

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