Annick Goutal Mandragore

One of my favorite biblical stories is the story of Rachel, Leah, and the mandrake. Although Rachel was Jacob’s most beloved wife, she remained bitterly childless while older sister Leah had four sons. One of these sons, Reuben, thoughtfully brings his mother some mandrake root, which was believed to have magical properties that we today would associate with Viagra. Rachel, desperate for children, begs Leah to give her the mandrake root. Leah’s all “You want my man AND my mandrake? Bish, please.”

Rachel then proceeds to ho her husband out by promising Leah a night with Jacob in exchange for her mandrake. Leah takes full advantage of this arrangement, becoming pregnant yet again. Rachel, however, is as infertile as ever, no doubt because mandrake is actually a hallucinogenic drug rather than an aphrodisiac. Poor thing probably thought she was rappelling down Mount Vesuvius or something.

I was totally fine. I’ve never even been to Mount Vesuvius.

I’m sure the original purpose of this story was to illustrate the folly of believing in superstitions rather than in God, but I just like that Leah comes out on top for once.

Despite Rachel’s apparent lack of success, many still believe that mandrake root has aphrodisiacal properties and can help women conceive. Enter Annick Goutal Mandragore. Much like its namesake, Mandragore’s powers as an aphrodisiac are dubious at best. Like many Goutals, Mandragore is a quiet fragrance with little lasting power. Mandragore is heavy on the black pepper, with a vegetal note that I can only assume to be the mandrake lurking in the background. It skews quite masculine. Mandragore has a bit more character than your average Goutal citrus, but it still doesn’t live up to the dark allure of its notorious namesake. Recommended mostly for the fabulous purple bottle.

10 thoughts on “Annick Goutal Mandragore

  1. I love that purple bottle. (Too bad I don’t own one – I do have a mini, but it’s in the clear glass with a purple sticker. Cheesy.)

    I actually rather like the fragrance, especially considered next to its cousin, the classic cologne. It’s got the same light, refreshing sort of vibe, without the citrus and orange blossom that bug me.

    All the same, I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I simply don’t care for cologne, and it is Perfectly Fine that I prefer my girly florals for summer. I yam what I yam. (My daughter has snitched Mandragore anyway…)

    1. Oh, and I’ve always felt sorry for poor Leah, anyway. What kind of rotten life is that – your dad finds you a breeding stud so he can hang on to the stud’s physical labor, and then said stud would rather be bonking your sister? Gah.

      A blessed Rosh Hashanah to you.

      1. Thank you so much, and a happy new year to you too! I honestly can’t think of an occasion when I would rather wear a cologne than a floral. If it’s THAT hot outside, I’d probably just go without anyway.

        Leah definitely got the short end of the stick, if she even got an end at all. There’s at least one other story in the Torah pitting the beloved wife against the fertile wife (Hannah, Samson’s mother), it seems to be a fairly popular theme.

  2. Mandragore gives me a very clear image of a 1930’s style office girl in a perfect suit, tappity-tapping along in heels and a little hat. Like The Front Page, say. Actually, it gives me the vibe of _being_ that office girl. I like that.

  3. LOVE Mandragore. Discovered it this summer. And I bought the men’s bottle – better than the women’s IMO, though I think it seems a bit “cheaper” looking in person than it does in the photos.

    1. I’m really starting to be quite fond of Goutal. LOVED Ninfeo Mio, and all of the Goutals seem to have this great natural feel to them. Shame about the bottle, though!

  4. I quite like some of them: Mandragore, Grand Amour… but I only LOVE *Passion*, *Heure Exquise* and one of the recent limited editions called *La Violette* (sadly discontinued in most of places although in A.Goutal’s official site it’s still available, as I see).

  5. “Poor thing probably thought she was rappelling down Mount Vesuvius or something.” Hahahaha, this has got to be the funniest thing I read this week.
    I personally love Mandragore Pourpre, which is Mandragore’s stronger sister/brother/conjoint twin? It’s got a witchy feel to it, but alas my bottle hasn’t aged well. Methinks it kept fermenting in my closet cause the sparkling purple quality that first attracted me to it has gone the way of a beige vegetal odor. Weird.

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