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Mitsouko – Holy Grail - September 29, 2010

Photo - Wikipedia, Champs Elysee, Paris

We’ve had a lot of inquiries about Mitsouko, the benchmark chypre which was created by Jacques Guerlain in 1919, so here’s my story about this iconic perfume. 

 
Mitsouko is my Holy Grail perfume. Period. Mention Mitsouko and I can immediately smell it, the imprint of its unusual scent is so indelible on my brain cells. This has nothing to do with my better-than-average perfume knowledge because I was wearing and loving Mitsouko long before my obsession appeared, and long before Luca Turin ever picked up a pen and wrote The Perfume Guide, so it has everything to do with my real life.

I was twenty and living in Paris when I was given a small bottle of Mitsouko parfum by my French boyfriend. He said he wanted me to have a sexy fragrance, one that he loved smelling on me, a perfume that would have meaning for both of us. I was thrilled because no man had ever given me perfume before so I wore it with abandoned pleasure, and often nothing else. I liked it, not just because he gave it to me, but because it was different, so different from the perfumes that I knew, like Chanel No.5, and Joy, which were floral, sweet, and rich, but linear and predictable. Safe.

Mitsouko was then, and still is, a whole different experience.  Mitsouko is made for skin - in fact, skin should be listed as one of the ingredients. This stupendous fragrance doesn’t reveal itself in a predictable way, but I can tell you that you’ll smell sun-warmed peaches, a whiff of orange blossom, plums, roses, jasmine, soft vanilla, damp green moss, sea salt, dried herbs, woods, leather, smoke. Not in sequence, alternating, repeating, maybe together, maybe separately, perhaps strong, maybe just a whiff, almost sweet and then not sweet, filled with light then darker, mysterious, open, playful, satisfying, but always leaving you wanting more.

Mitsouko is sensual in the purest sense of the word - the scent becomes part of you, like a second skin, always engaging your senses on some level. It’s an intimate scent, made for closeness and passion. My French boyfriend knew what he was doing when he gave me Mitsouko, because it truly did make me feel sexy (how do French guys know this stuff? I’m certain their mothers don’t teach them). However, because of its unique sensual nature, this fragrance doesn’t suit everyone. It must be tried, and taken for a test-run, not by sniffing the bottle, but by spraying or dabbing on your warm skin, and then letting the experience embrace you for the next few hours. 

If you’re reading this blog, you probably love perfume, and I believe that everyone who loves perfume should smell Mitsouko on their skin to experience one of the greatest perfumes ever created. So if you haven’t done this yet, leave the safe-zone and order a sample. You won’t regret it.

 

Mitsouko EdT is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $4.00 for 1 ml.

 

Divine Mitsouko

When I first smelled Mitsouko, first in the bottle and then on a blotter, I didn't understand at all what the fuss was about. It seemed too sharp-edged, too discordant and even a bit soapy on top of that. Not for me, I thought--I didn't even bother to try it on my skin. But I kept seeing references to it, on blogs and in books, and thought, okay, as you advise here Kay, let's give this a shot on my skin. Wow! What a difference. It is unusual, and a bit of that sharp edge is still there but it's the edge of confident intelligence--it's Helen Mirren or Susan Sarandon--beautiful, but smart enough not to put up with much nonsense. Just divine!

Re: Divine Mitsouko

You're dead-on with those charactarizations - intelligence, confidence, class, passion, compassion. If you're considering buying Mitsouko, I recommend the parfum extrait - because it's more intense I think it's most like the original formula. I bought the small purse atomizer refill - 8 ml.  - for under $100 which is affordable. You only need 1 spritz for the full effect, sprayed on throat and shared with wrists, so it lasts a long time.
To my nose, the pure perfume rounds off the sharp edges, making the scent truly divine, more divine than you might have experienced. However, it all depends on your own preferences for perfume strength - you might like the EdP - some people even prefer the EdT.