Where is the myrrh, and why does this smell like root beer?! That was my first reaction. But I have to admit, I like this creamy root beer scent. It smells like somebody singed some dried herbs, made root beer with them, and then added some vanilla ice cream. I have always loved root beer floats. I used to always buy this particular brand that tasted especially dark and intense, and this reminds me of it.
Again, I ask: Where is the myrrh? Upon close inspection and numerous attempts to scrutinize, I do detect it. Myrrhe Ardente features the most common myrrh, the kind burned in a Catholic church, the sacred C. myrrha, not to be confused with sweet myrrh, a.k.a. opoponax (C. guidotti). The former has more of a dry, slightly bitter, woody scent whereas opoponax smells a lot sweeter and more balsamic. Myrrh is present, but it is not particularly obvious. It's as though the perfumer wanted to take the resin and play up some other things that compliment its scent, rather than building a myrrh soliflore. Myrrh is the keystone, not the bridge.
Why root beer? I still can't explain it. Root beer is a mix of many different herbs and spices. I have scoured the internet, and I can't find one single note pyramid that includes herbs or spices...nor root beer, for that matter. But I smell nutmeg, licorice, star anise and fennel at the very least. I was also sure this was as much an immortelle perfume as it is a myrrh perfume because of its sweet, syrupy, herbal profile.
One component of root beer is honey, and it's easy to detect some creamy beeswax in the base.
I tested Myrrhe Ardente many times over the course of a couple months, and I have only just begun to wrap my mind around it. I may never understand it. I honestly may never come to truly appreciate it. There is something about it that I simply don't "get". Perhaps that is why it was discontinued--it doesn't connect with its audience? We expected myrrh, but we got root beer instead? I'm on the fence: either this is a myrrh masterpiece, or it's just an oddball that is rightfully discontinued.
In any case, I absolutely love Myrrhe Ardente. It's warm without being stuffy. It's creamy and comforting like a root beer float on summer evening. I have never smelled anything even remotely similar to it. And it actually works well in either warm or cold weather. It's an absolute keeper.
Forgot to mention that my bottle is a "vintage" bottle. According to Fragrantica, this perfume was introduced in 2007. My bottle is from 2008. I believe there was a re-packaging and reformulation a few years later, and I can not speak to any newer bottles. To my knowledge, the fragrance is now discontinued, but there are certainly bottles of it floating around online.
I discovered Annick Goutal perfumes at Nordstrom when I was a teenager. I have been sniffing them for years, and I always wanted to buy one. Myrrhe Ardente is the first one I have ever owned, AND it was a blind-buy, so I think I got lucky there!