On a summer evening cool enough to turn off the A/C and open the windows, or with evening rain dropping the temperature, I like to have the warm scent of perfumed candle burning while I am reading or writing. Taking advantage of summer's cool humidity to carry and magnify the fragrance, I can also use the flame to serve as a point of contemplation when stopping to look up and think from time to time. Then the perfume in the candle creates an atmosphere for my mind's fascination in the flame.
As is well known of the Annick Goutal house, each of the fragrances is inspired by a personal association or individual who has been closely connected to Annick Goutal, or now to her daughter, Camille, who continues this practice. Petite Chérie, inspired by Camille's emerging beauty as a teenager, is the one I have been using this summer. The fragrance, marketed as a "young" fruity floral, actually works best for me in candle form. I can enjoy a perfume celebrating the sweeter adolescent qualities in a candle when I wouldn't so much want to wear a fruity floral fragrance myself. It's a very clean take on the warmed fruit and green scents of the summer season, as renewed every year by Nature, in an extremely feminine, refined tone.
The Petite Chérie prettiness is indeed sweet but softened by the candle's light and heat; peach and grass are predominant with the vanilla and musk rose warming them up from the background. (The notes are officially listed as peach, vanilla, musky rose, and grass). It's especially good for me in these hotter months; it brings the scent of a well-cared-for fruiting garden into my urban space, while still subtle enough not to turn intrusive or overbearing. The reach of the perfume is maybe about eight feet out from the burning candle, so it's a pretty closely contained experience. The cleanliness and subtlety of the general effect lends an air of olfactory sweetness and light to the humid, heavy air of summer in the city.
The Annick Goutal Petite Chérie candle is presented in a heavy-bottomed glass horizontally striped with gold, which seems to mark the burn down like a perfumed time device. The glass flares open slightly at the top to make for better distribution of the scent. The full size of 175 grams lasts for approximately 45 hours and is $52. Long lasting and with a very clean burn, it also exudes a subtle fragrance unlit, so it's worth the price over a season's use.
For buying information, see the listing for Annick Goutal under Perfume Houses.