A Continuous Enchantment

Writer Vivienne Tang | October 25, 2013

Camille Goutal carries on her mother’s legacy, as she creates honest and real fragrances for the Annick Goutal brand.

Camille Goutal isn’t interested in creating alluring and deceiving scents for the masses. For her, a scent needs to be honest, and there needs to be a real emotion attached to it. Her fragrance Songes for instance, captures the memory of her honeymoon in Mauritius.

“I wouldn’t know how to do it differently,” Camille Goutal says about creating the famous Annick Goutal fragrances. “They would give me a marketing brief, and it would be like Chinese to me. It doesn’t mean anything to me. I have to work with something that I have experienced. So it could be something that I’ve seen, something that I’ve tasted, or a trip that I went on.

“Honesty was always very important to my mother, and when I was very young, I remember her telling me that I mustn’t lie. So I’ve always tried to be honest with myself and other people, and I think when I create a fragrance, there is a link. There’s that honesty that comes with it, and that’s why I also need to experience everything before I recreate it.”

Real connection and authenticity have always been trademarks of the Annick Goutal brand and can – to this day – be felt and smelt throughout the entire company.

Similar to her late mother Annick, the eponymous founder of Annick Goutal perfumes (a former pianist and model), Goutal entered the world of fragrances rather late in her life. She never intended to follow in the footsteps of her mother, yet she has adopted the same values her mother used to apply to her creations.

Goutal, who was never pushed into perfumery, as her mother wanted her to find her own passion, was pursuing a career in photography when her mother succumbed to breast cancer in 1999. She then decided to join her mother’s longtime collaborator Isabelle Doyen in the laboratories. Doyen, who has known Goutal since she was a little girl who spent her spare time in the laboratory, started to teach her the trade and how to create beautiful olfactory concoctions. Today, they carry on the legacy together. “I was a photographer”, Goutal recalls, ”and to this day, it’s like my camera is my third hand. I love it. So when I started to work for the company I was only 24. I had just had my first child, and my mother had just passed. I continued photography for a while, so it wasn’t an instant transition. It was a natural progression.” Resembling the strong bond Doyen had with Goutal’s mother, the two of them work very closely together, and the smells become conversations on their own, where both are able to finish each other’s sentences, or in this case their formulas.

The difference between us and other brands is that I can use as many natural ingredients as I want, no matter what price
~ Camille Goutal