Reflections on Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen, Annick Goutal
The other day I sat down with Perfumers Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen at the Grand Opening of Annick Goutal’s first U.S. boutique in NYC. Before any words were spoken, I could immediately feel their connection and friendship. I had the feeling they could easily finish each other’s sentences. The incredible Mme. Doyen worked with Annick Goutal, and she told many stories of Camille as a child and adolescent and how she possessed a discernible nose. Doyen clearly holds a nuanced perspective of the house-its past, present, and future.
Then something happened that I didn’t expect. When Mme. Goutal stepped away for a moment, Mme. Doyen asked me if I was familiar with the line, and it hit me that Eau d’Hadrian was the first niche perfume I had ever purchased. I was a dancer living in NYC, and I saved up to purchase my first bottle of Eau d’Hadrien.
Toward the end of the conversation I retold my story to Camille, and she had this to say, “This is very touching, because many people, even in Paris have told me this. Now niche fragrances are so very expensive, but in the beginning, compared to other fragrances in the market we were pretty expensive given the quality of the materials and the bottles. So many people have told me that they were saving money for months to buy our perfume. I don’t think many brands have this kind of story related to their clients… We have seen teenagers saving money for their birthday or for their mother on mother’s day. Doyen added, “Annick did something very special at the beginning. She was on her own she made very huge samples, this was very expensive for her to do at the beginning and she would hand them out to everyone. Annick would meet young girls who loved her fragrances, but found it too expensive. Annick would say, here take these three samples and put it in a bottle and you will have the same amount (as a bottle). Very generous, she was very generous.”
Here’s to all the perfume lovers that somehow find a way. Read the full interview here on CaFleureBon.