Not really green, but green tea, drunk from a leather cup. That is Annick Goutal´s Duel in short. Green enough for Green Week.
I received a generous (and adorably cute) 15ml mini with a purchase sometime last year. I was happy to get it (it was a free gift, who wouldn’t love that?), but it was not something I would have actively sought out at the time, this one was just not on my radar.
Duel is marketed in the “Boy” bottle, by which I mean the more masculine 100ml flacon rendition Goutal fragrances come in. That I find astounding, and it probably was the reason I never felt great interest for Duel, because I am not looking for explicitly masculine leaning perfumes. In my opinion though, Duel is nothing if not perfectly wearable for women and men.
Green Maté absolute, Paraguay petitgrain, iris root, absinth, gaiac wood, leather, musk. These are the notes listed on Annick Goutal´s website. I can smell each and every one, they unfold perfectly, one after the other, which immensely appeals to my sense of law and order. ;)
Upon spraying on the skin one is greeted with a beautiful citrus accord, that is instantly mood- brightening and uplifting. Then a distinct green tea note emerges, perfectly balanced between earthy and airy. There is an underlying sweetness to Duel, that is provided by the soft absinthe note.
In the heart a delicate iris rests on a bed of woody leather and musk. The drydown is a bit more masculine, since the leathery, woody musk dominates, but incredibly smooth and tender.
I don´t like leather scents. Strong ones make me nauseous even. But the leather note here is so soft and merely hinted at, while still being clearly present and distinguishable as well as bedded in such delicious surroundings, I have regained hope that not all leather is lost for me. ;)
The longevity of this Eau de Toilette is surprising for such a delicate composition. It holds on strongly for about for hours, then I have to reapply.
I enjoy Duel for days when I want something delightfully uncomplicated and easy going, that still has personality and doesn´t blend into the surroundings and disappears. Duel surprises me whenever I catch an unexpected whiff of it during the day.
Upon further thought, that actually makes it pretty special.
Picture source: thedifferentscent.de, Green Tea Leaves from wikipedia.de, some rights reserved, thank you!