Let’s go to the South!

A review of Annick Goutal Eau du Sud & Atelier Cologne Sud Magnolia

22nd day of June marked the beginning of a calendar summer… Really? It felt more as if we were about to witness autumn and leaves falling down the trees. Here where I live summer started cold and ugly, with a lot of rain. But summer is summer and most of us already have some plans as of where to go for holidays. Many have decided to go abroad, seeking warm sea water, pleasant climate and breathtaking sights to see. That’s when you make a decision to travel to the South (well, at least when you live on the northern hemisphere) and get closer to the tropic and equator. Where life seems to flow more peacefully and with no concerns…

Eau du Sud from Annick Goutal can be considered as an old perfume now as its launch dated 1995 (I was 5!) It’s a very fresh and summery take on fragrance that goes really well with the South idea (french – Sud) in the name. On my skin it blossoms with a beautifully verdant aroma of verbena. Now, verbena is not a very common note, to me it smells something like a blend composed of green tea and lemongrass. It has a nice refreshing vibe to it which is then followed by a gentle and crisp aroma of basil. After 15 minutes the greens fade down to some pastel shades.

They make room for lively and brisky citrus accords that include such vitamin bombs as grapefruit lime, mandarin and bergamot. At first I smell much more peel that is zesty and exhilarating. As the notes accomodate on skin the impression develops into something more juicy. There is also a lovely touch of peppermint in Eau du Sud which makes the perfume feel less cold. Plus it provides that funny minty lemonade effect. There is also sheer & luminous jasmine, very pure and inoffensive.

Base of this fragrance is composed around the note of vetiver. To my joy there is nothing earthy or rotten about it, it feels woody instead and a the same time it doesn’t weight too much and is not a dominating aroma material here. It initiates the warm, sunny dryness that is then continued by an oakmoss note which I pretty much like in Eau du Sud. To me this perfume is half citrus-aromatic, other half citrus-chypre. It’s a light perfume, it tends to stay closer to the skin but it provides an enjoyable refreshment. My opinion – smells best after you’ve taken a cool shower on a hot day.

As an opposite to the aforementioned perfume, I have Sud Magnolia, a very new fragrance from Collection Azur, a line released this year by Atelier Cologne. When I smell it immediately after spraying it on my skin, I detect a very nice combination of sweet and juicy citric tones coming from pomelo that entwine with more zesty, slightly sour and bitter fragrance of bitter orange. Very shortly after the initial citrus opening I can smell magnolia. Now, this has an interesting scent.

Magnolia smells very fragile and very innocent. At first it has this pure, slightly aquatic aspect that slowly develops into something made of creamy delicacy and sheer floralties. In time it gains more strength with a pretty much detectable scent of rose. Rose in Sud Magnolia has petals of a very pale color and faceted smell. On one side it smells slightly green, even reminiscent of geranium. On the other side it smells like tea – tender and warm, made by pouring hot water over a couple of leaves and floral buds. It’s very refreshing and calming, like deep tones of smooth jazz saxophone pouring gently out of the radio as you sit on a patio. You can relax and “float away”.

Base of this fragrance features some cedarwood. It is a solid note in Sud Magnolia, but it’s not rugged or rough, ideally fitting the concept of ethereal perfume like this one. Sandalwood has a creamy smell here and its more like it was creating a background rather than becoming a first plan note. There is also some fluffy musk that is just like a whipped cream. There’s even some sweetness about it but this has been countered with naturally bitter-ish blackcurrant. There’s not much of the latter one but it stands out in the drydown. Where I would wear Sud Magnolia? I would spray it on to have as a companion on a warm day when I decide to go sightseeing around a local town. It’s undemanding and easy to like. It’s not powerful but is durable.


Which one would you take to the South with you? Or is there any other fragrance of the South that would be worth packing into your holiday suitcase?

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10 thoughts on “Let’s go to the South!

  1. jillie says:

    What a serene review, Lucas. You have made me feel very calm!

    Thanks to you, I know and like the Sud Magnolia and feel it’s like lying down on a bed of crushed petals.

    But, wow, the Eau du Sud sounds just like the citrusy juice I revel in when it gets hot – I have always liked AG’s Eau d’Hadrien’s lemon peel zestiness and my mourned-for Eau de Camille, whose wet green ivy and honeysuckle slaps me in the face, then caresses me with rose, so this will be one to test.

  2. hajusuuri says:

    Nice reviews, Lucas! I own and love Sud Magnolia. I have no impression of AG Eau de Sud but your review is prompting me to seek this out!

  3. Cornelia Blimber says:

    Verbena is an old fashion note, I guess! Guerlain used to have a wonderful Verveine (if that is the same) a long time ago. I love it, maybe I should try Eau du Sud, although I am not fond of Goutal’s perfumes. Your review is convincing.

  4. Holly says:

    Great reviews, Lucas! I have a mini of Eau de Sud that I should pay more attention to as it’s great in the heat we’re having. I’m looking forward to trying Sud Magnolia as you know I’m a huge fan of Atelier!

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