Today was the annual screen porch clean-off day, finally. It’s a three-hour job involving children, brooms, garden hoses, scrub brushes, bleach, and lots and lots of squealing over icky dead bugs. This year’s wet spring led to a particularly generous deployment of bleach on my part to combat the heedious mildew, and unfortunately I have just enough pride you will not be getting the Money Shot of me in my standard porch-bleaching getup: hair up, rubber gloves, ratty old swimsuit and my gold-toned kayaking Crocs with the orthotics. Diva wanted a photo of me to put up on her Facebook page, in an album no doubt entitled Further Proof My Family is Crazy, or possibly The Bitter Pill of My Everyday Existence. I’ll reek of bleach until Thursday at least.
But all that screen-porch scrubbing and lazy summer dreaming got me thinking about mint in fragrances. I have several patches of different kinds of mint in the backyard, and any of you who’ve grown it free-range know how obnoxious it can be; I’m pulling it out all the time where it’s riding herd right over some other plants. I love mint in tea, and in foods, and even picked right off the plant for a meditative chew while I glare at the mile-a-minute vines choking my rose beds, but as a dominant note in fragrances? Not so much.
I tried, I really tried, to wrap myself around Geranium Pour Monsieur, but on me it’s just one Giant Squeeze of Minty Freshness. I get none of the subtlety and leafiness and other notes that many of you discerning fans get. Seriously, it might as well be called Demeter Mint (which probably exists, right?)
One mint I really do like and brought out for the occasion (and to take the edge off the bleach smell) is Jo Malone’s White Jasmine & Mint. I find the fragrance cheerfully tackola – like it should be spelled Jazzmin n’ Mint. There’s something fakey about it in a good way. The jasmine is sweet and effervescent rather than indolic, and it’s the perfect match for the mint, which is cool and sharp in a way that makes me think more of vetiver and less of Crest or Peppermint Patties. That’s pretty much the whole story, and it’s a nice, simple scent for summer.
I was trying to think of any other fragrances I like that have a strong hint of mint to them, and it seems to me that one of the Comme des Garcons Leaves series I tried and liked had mint – maybe I was thinking of the actual Leaves: Mint, which seems to have been discontinued (? along with Shiso?), although you can find Tea (which I love, maybe that’s the one with the mint in it?), along with the other two, Calamus and … something. Sneezy? Dopey? Oh, never mind. Lily. Let Me Google That For You. Hah, I love that.
Or … wait. Maybe I’m thinking about a CB I Hate Perfume? Something with tea in it? Maybe Russian Caravan Tea, but that’s not it, but on the other— hey, look, on the CBIHP website there’s 2ml travel sizes of many of the absolutes, where have I been??! Also it’s only available in the shop, but he has a Mint Tea, I need to get back to Brooklyn at some point.
Late night sniffing and – yep, the White Jasmine & Mint is still going strong. How do you feel about mint? Does a little become Too Much fairly quickly? Do you find it refreshing, or annoying? How’s that Guerlain AA Mentafollia? And is Lemon Fresca the greatest perfume name ever? You know it is, I could drink one of those right now. Any of you ever try that particular AA? I think Herba Fresca has mint too…