Reviews of Eau d'Hadrien Eau de Toilette by Annick Goutal

Eau d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal (1981) is inspired by the 1951 book Memoirs of Hadrian, plus Annick's own personal experiences in Italy. This fragrance helped launch the Annick Goutal house, and was considered a signature scent for the celebrity-turned perfumier herself. Completely unisex and based around citrus, following a tradition set down by Ô de Lancôme (1969), Eau de Guerlain (1974), Yves Saint Laurent Eau Libre (1975), Eau de Patou by Jean Patou (1976), and Sisley Eau de Campagne (1976). Goutal's version of the unisex aromatic citrus chypre is very fundamental, and some may say bare-bones, focusing mostly on lemon verbena, grapefruit, ylang-ylang, and a woody/mossy base. As an eau de toilette, wear time is also a bit longer than you may expect too.

The opening is pretty straightforward, with lemon, mandarin, grapefruit, and green verbena notes boosted by a bit of galbanum. Aldehydes also boost projection but burn off fast, as the jasmine and ylang-ylang filter in. Some creamy woody tones of santal and cedar move in, with just a pinch of undisclosed lavender and sage for roundness in the aromatic department. Still very chypre however, the oakmoss and labdanum settle this down into a clean long-legged subtle wear, while the lemon and grapefruit in particular shine on. Performance is very cologne-like for the first few hours, booming bright and fresh, but then becomes a whisper for about 6 to 7 hours. This could be a signature if you just wanted a subtle clean skin-scent, but the typical perfumista or "cologne guy" might be disappointed.

The hard-to-beat simple goodness of Eau d'Hardien set a standard to be followed into the 80's with fragrances like Heure Exquis (1984), Sables (1985), and Gardénia Passion (1989). Several flankers followed, including an eau de Parfum in 1988 that only shuffles the cards a bit to get more of a creamier and muskier finish, burying the lemon and grapefruit somewhat into the drydown. Since both versions of the fragrance are extremely alike outside of moving the equalizer faders to the left or right, I count one review with a few modifications as representative for both concentrations. However, Les Nuits d'Hadrien by Annick Goutal (2003) is a true flanker and entirely different. Francis Camail did good work alongside Annick Goutal herself, although some may argue subsequent reformulations of both EdT and EdP haven't been kind. I leave that up to you. Thumbs Up
1st June 2022
TLDR: Excellent (4/5). Among the very best citrus EdCs money can buy.

JackTwist's review below gets it exactly right: citrus without too much sweetness. The dry grapefruit makes this scent something special. Great aldehydic pop and sparkle throughout the early and mid notes of this fragrance. There is a synthetic woody note in the base of the current formulation, but it is nice enough and seems to have some fixitive properties because the longevity here is very good for such a hesperidic fragrance. Moderate sillage blossoms considerably in high humidity.

Utterly unisex with good presentation & a very good atomizer. A great EdC!
13th May 2021

I liked this from the opening. A bracing, aromatic cologne with hints of fougere. Cypress and perhaps rosemary very evident in the beginning. This dies away to a deceptively long-lasting citrus with the support of aldehydic florals. Such a challenge to get those citric notes to last this long, but that's the artifice here. A new favourite cologne? Well, it could have been, but for some reason the FWF household did not approve nearly as much as I did. I think for the same reason I liked it: some early doors rough edges and contours. Could it be considered a touch old-fashioned? Perhaps, but not many scents so successfully evoke the Mediterranean as does this. Light on and not great staying power, but that's most colognes for you.

I note a lot of buts and hedging here. I don't care.
27th August 2020
A nice cologne, very fruity; almost only fruity. It lacks something to be great.
2nd April 2020
Goutal – Eau d'Hadrien

One of the greatest eau de colognes ever created and one with a unique twist on the usual combination of citrus notes (bergamot, lemon, lime) usually contained within an edc. This adds the pungent and very dry notes of grapefruit and mandarin to its lemon center, anchoring it with the tiniest, but very unobtrusive, bit of cypress, which lends it the dryness it needs. The ylang may round it out, but I do not detect that almost always identifiable ripe banana signature note.

It is heads above all the other edcs in the market and is my very favorite of all I have experienced. Dry, Dry, Dry Citrus and the perfect summer scent, equally suitable for office, home and evening wear.

A real top drawer winner, in my estimation. If you love summery scents, and edcs in particular, don't miss this one.

11th September 2019
I have two factory samples of Eau d'Hadrien, one from about 8 years ago, and one recent, and they're completely different perfumes. I'm not talking about the way that topnotes can turn with time, but literally different perfumes.

The older sample is the Eau d'Hadrien I love, a timeless classic cologne, perfectly matched lemon and bergamot, slightly sparkling and given grit with lavender, a touch soapy in the drydown.

The newer sample is clearly Creed-inspired. It's still lemon, but with a big shot of dihydromercenol on top and some vague melon and greens underneath, coming across like an extremely lemony Millesime Imperial.

The classic Eau d'Hadrien is iconic, a textbook example of a perfect classic citrus eau de cologne. If it's been replaced by this more modern aquatic lemon, it's a real loss for perfumery, though I must admit that the newer aquatic version is decent for what it is. Hopefully, I just got a mis-bottled sample, but I'll admit to being worried.
7th September 2018
Insofar as all perfumery is artifice, what with extracts from natural sources often diverging from how the thing itself smells and the most ‘natural' smelling soliflore recreations often dependent upon a battery of synthetics to achieve that verisimilitude, the judgment of what the nose perceives as synthetic is often a dubious one. And yet, being creatures of subjectivity, the perception of the synthetic (mental shorthand for ‘unauthentic') plays a crucial role in deciding whether we take to a perfume which aspires to present us with a vision of ordered nature. (Unabashedly abstract creations are a different matter.) Citrus scents suffer especially from this perception and I am among many who can dislike their chemical ‘screech'. So finding a good ‘un is cause for celebration.
And yet, there is, of course, no universality to this perception - some still dismiss Eau d'Hadrien as Lemon Pledge, whereas I find it zings as if it had just issued from a squeezed rind.
This is a sprightly, refreshing, non-sweet citrus (lemon is the most prominent in the mix) with subtle tones of pepper and celery that make it even more bracing. There's an undertow of bitters common to citrus peels and the whole thing is simple, direct and elegant – the kind of perfume one can safely wear on stressful days and feel lifted rather than burdened by it.
3rd April 2018
Love this fragrance!! Fresh with subtle base notes. It burns off quickly, but a fresh application is intoxicating.
10th February 2018
Starts with a big, concentrated lemon, and fades into a nice creamy heart.
31st October 2017
We are moving into summer here in the Antipodes. I bought Eau du Sud long before sampling Hadrian and can't imagine why anyone could prefer Hadrian but it has its devotees. I think Eau Sauvage is on the Turin/Sanchez Top 100 list this week that is the honeypot thread so it's a good time to comment. Edmond Roudnitska composed Eau Savage for men but hoped it would appeal to women. It surely did, and Eau de Hadrian is one from that genre, except that it has nothing of the trill that announces the beautiful Herbes de Provence fragrances that we love.
( plus Basil, Verbena, Mint, Caraway, Thyme)
Hadrian seems more caraway to begin with followed by a hot lemon drink scent, a toddy, and the furniture polish of Neopol. I don't like Hadrian until it is no more than a skin scent and it is here I marvel at it, a field of wildflowers leaves its own particular zest. Eau Sauvage, Eau de Rochas, Eau du Sud, Cristalle and the like carry their appeal up front, while Hadrian exits with it. I can't mention caraway without thinking of Luca Turin and his vibrational theory, so I commend anyone to watch the BBC Perfume series that covers his early attempts at recognition.
31st October 2017
I really enjoyed this, and then my bottle turned! Instead of being a light, lovely, summery, lemon-woods scent, it became a giant pile of on-the-turn celery with only a hint of lemon buried somewhere deep within. Yuck!

There are many other things I've tried that will take its place though--L'Etrog, Cedrat Enivrant, etc. As nice as it is, it is not particularly unique.
17th July 2017
I am really on the fence with this one. One day I like it, the next, I don't hate it.

Once upon a time I was addicted to these little tins of candies. Sometimes I bought Cavendish & Harvey's. Other days it was La Vie Les Citrons. Piercing, screaming, little drops of sour lemon. This frag is the liquid version, incarnate.

24th May 2017
its a nice lemon flavor ..but lacks the engulfing aura of a creed ...or any of the classics ..stays close to the skin ..and something about the lemon is piercing to my nose ...its not a smooth soothing lemon but a piercing lemon as if the lemon is poking u ...with a sword maybe due to the green mandarin note or the citron which is in there ..also I could notice some spice ..which is weird as the lemon is already harsh and then u have the tingling of spice ...a weird combo......all in all a citrus flavored linear fragrance which doesn't project and stays close to the skin ...

Not a happy picture ...
17th August 2015
Inky and synthetic out of the bottle - sort of smelled like the synth I got from a sampler of Chanel Sport Homme. Did not like this inky scent.
24th May 2015
Absolutely lush! I always thought Alvarez Gomez Agua de Colonia Concentrada was the best lemon scented fragrance available but now I've discovered Eau d'Hadrien...WOW! The lemon in Eau d'Hadrien smells so akin to real lemons - I can detect notes of lemon peel and pure lemon juice overlaying herbal and woody undertones. Bearing in mind this fragrance stays close to the skin, sillage and longevity are not robust or overpowering but decent enough. I think Eau d'Hadrien is worth the cost as it delivers what it was designed to evoke: a beautiful Tuscan landscape with lemon trees.
13th May 2015
Wow, I really do like Eau d'Hadrien, but with one single major drawback - it faded way too fast. The citrus combination is clean, crisp and smells fresh. I would love to just bathe in this, but I only have a sample. I wish it would've lasted more than 30 minutes, because I was intoxicated for a brief period of time.
16th April 2015
Something about the aldehydes and the mandarin gave me a BO vibe, thought it started out well.
23rd November 2014
Genre: Citrus

Eau d'Hadrien opens with a very appealing (if not terribly original) blend of crisp citrus and green notes that's pure Mediterranean. As others have noted, it's also more than a little reminiscent of lemon scented furniture polish. To stretch the analogy, the furniture polish is soon applied, as a strong woody base emerges from beneath the citrus as the fragrance ages.

Over the course of the next half hour Eau d'Hadrien reveals a powdery note that rounds out the citrus and somewhat diminishes its resemblance to a household cleaner. Some light floral elements (is that a bit of rose I smell?) join in as well, and lend the fragrance welcome depth and some extra complexity. The citrus fades down pretty quickly, so that by the two hour mark I'm left with some woods and powdery musk, with just a hint of fruit and flowers shifting in and out of focus. All and all it's pleasant enough, but nothing I'd get too excited about. For woods and citrus I go for the richer and far more complex Iskander from Parfum d'Empire or the more exotic and long-lasting Bahiana by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier.
13th June 2014
A pleasant, clean, classic citrus cologne with the typical Goutal's touch – kind of a paler and more masculine version of Nuit Etoilée. Nice and lively, but there's plenty of other similar scents which do the same job. Quite light and not much persistent.

16th April 2014
In summer, Eau d'Hadrien is my signature fragrance. It's a wonderful fresh, breezy perfume that is a perfect accompaniment to a balmy Australian evening or a Sunday afternoon barbecue. My husband doesn't like it on me - or on him - but my best friend will always come up close to me and sniff my neck. I find that the lemon can sometimes turn bitter, depending on when I am wearing it, but that's just another facet of this interesting fragrance. The EDT has no longevity at all, so I wouldn't recommend it. I wear the EDP, which also has longevity problems. So if you are out for the day, it might be worth bringing the bottle with you for a re-spritz, or layering it with the body cream. Combining Éau d'Hadrien with the orange/mandarin of Mandragore also delivers a beautiful Italian citrus combination. I've tried many other lemon-dominant perfumes, but keep coming back to my Annick Goutal.
4th April 2014
Pleasant opening with lemon-grapefruit vibes is pleasant, but more on the elegantly restrained side. The aldehydes are not unpleasant, especially later in the drydown when a woody note is added that later las ylang-ylang added in the base. A pleasant lemon summer scent, maybe a bit too tame; there are more straightforward or refreshing lemon scents in the fragrance universe. Nonetheless, a good elegant citrus for the office.
25th January 2014
My review is based on my experience from my 100ml EdT of Eau d' Hadrien in the bottle that is supposedly for men, the one in the golden box. I purchased this blindly at Winners Toronto for 80CAD two days ago. My suggestion: if you love citrus notes don't buy this, and in any way don't blind-buy. Although I like the effervescence of citrus notes I am not fond of overly fresh, light or sallow compositions. Eau d' Hadrien is a total disappointment on many levels. It starts with a citrus blast. In half an hour I can detect tarty bergamot. From then on Eau d'Hadrien becomes a lightly sour and linear bergamot. Cypress is barely traced on my skin. Finally a light accord of bergamot and neroli, stays close to my skin 5 hours after application. Eau d'Hadrien is a very average composition. Even if the longevity of Eau d' Hadrien is good (its silage is not) I am not interested because what follows the first 5-10 minutes is really not appealing and especially the dry down is a great bore.
27th April 2013
Right from the start, a very appealing and realistic lemon scent. Sweet, but not saccharine or candied. Sour but not unreasonably so, and without the use of bitter herbs. And just floral enough for you to be aware of it in the background. It stays relatively pure in the way that many of the English barbershop lime scents do, so I was worried at first that that it would peter out quickly and into utter nothingness. After a few more minutes, I can tell that it's dropping off a bit less steeply than I thought it would. I'm not really sure how much of the trace woody base comes from other things they've added and how much is from the vague natural base of the lemon itself, but I definitely notice that the lemoniness has lasted far longer than I expected it to, much like the (relatively) long-lasting limeyness of Truefitt's surprisingly good lime scent. I don't like lemon as much as lime or grapefruit, but this is quite plainly the benchmark for lemon, and I don't recall any others I've tried beating it on longevity, initial strength, or the naturalness of the scent. Well done!
23rd October 2012
I feel like a million bucks when I wear this! Love the high citrusy notes mixed with the cypress and woody notes. The only downside is that the scent doesn't last on my skin. I note with interest that some reviewers have the same experience, whereas others experience the opposite. It works well with my skin in warm weather, and it was the only fragrance I brought with me on a trip to Italy in May.

This is my "power" fragrance for important days at work, and yes, I would wear [a drop of] it to a job interview. I would not, however, wear it on a date - it's for business, shopping, or sightseeing to me!
9th September 2012