Annick Goutal’s Passion (1983)

Annick Goutal's Passion © Victor Wong
Annick Goutal’s Passion © Victor Wong

I used to find Annick Goutal’s Passion merely a beautiful floral perfume, may be a little unusual and simple, but now I find it absolutely interesting, even funny.

You might have already noticed, on Facebook the most common adjectives to describe a perfume are “full bottle worthy”, “absolutely stunning”, and “continental US shipping only”. However, there are professional reviews that I’ve come across that use more descriptive adjectives such as “resinous”, “indolic” and “shitty”; but I am always stumped by the words “balsamic” and “camphorous”. With Passion I finally know what a camphorous perfume smells like. (Reluctantly I was enlightened by Tania Sanchez’s review in the book “Perfumes”.)

To make it simple, mothballs are camphorous. I wonder if Ms. Goutal’s true passion was pure cashmere sweaters instead of hunks, and her determination to protect them from moths. Adding just a little bit of a camphorous note to an otherwise typical and tropical ylang/jasmine/vanilla perfume was truly surprising and literally refreshing, (I think it’s the tomato leaf that she added) and the amount she added was just enough to make it minty and not make you think you are wearing a sweater taken out from an old dresser set up with poisonous darts and mothball canisters.

Now that I cannot un-notice there’s a nano mothball floating in my bottle Passion, nevertheless it makes it an unique perfume in my collection.


Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit or for more info!

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