She likes me, she really likes me. Channeling Sally Field at the Academy Awards in 1985, this post shares a very pleasant surprise for me: finding favor at long last with Mme. Mitsouko. I want to thank the Posse’s Musette for loving it and mentioning it often, and Roja Dove for several of his creations, which helped whet my appetite for scents of this nature. Now I am no fragrance expert, so this is just one perfume lover’s take on a formerly avoided classic.
In the past, I never had any luck with the great Guerlain lady, no matter how I tried. In my defense, though, most of my trials were early on in my fall down the rabbit hole. And the ones I attempted were all of unknown modern vintage and most likely the EDT, although I do remember spritzing the EDP a time or two. (Does anyone have any idea how many times this has been reformulated?) Not to mention there was no telling how long the various store testers had been sitting out on counters and shelves in the light and heat.
On each try, I recall there being a vaguely murky unpleasantness about it, almost a mustiness, and that, combined with an undercurrent of bitterness, overpowered everything else when it hit my skin. “This is what people are waxing poetic about?” I asked myself, puzzled, although I knew in my heart that Mitsouko was a sophisticated, complex scent and difficult to pin down. I just figured that maybe I just wasn’t cut out to be a Mitsy person.
But I’ve heard so many folks testify over the years about how the vintage or parfum version of something turned them around, that I knew there might be hope for me.
So after loving other chypres, and also several of Roja Dove’s beauties, and knowing of his background and history with Guerlain, I figured his Diaghilev (and several other of his chypre-ish creations) couldn’t be all THAT far-flung from Mitsouko. And maybe my nose had developed a deeper appreciation for such over the years. So I took the plunge and got a teensy-tiny sample of vintage parfum. I opened my mind, opened the vial and gingerly applied.
The heavens did not open with angels descending singing “hallelujah” or anything quite so dramatic, but this time Mitsouko’s beauty was plainly evident, unfolding in lovely succession. At the start, the bergamot, rose, jasmine and peach were present, gently glowing, and as it wore on, a dusky warmth ensued as the florals, fruit and spices mixed softly, giving it a plush creaminess and pleasing fullness that had been lacking in my previous attempts. Then, at long last, its woody, mossy drydown rounded everything out to create a smooth and happy ending.
Now I probably won’t be reaching for this very often, and I don’t feel the need to scour the ends of the earth to get a bottle of the vintage, even if I could find it and afford it.
My experience is from dabbed, so I am a wee bit curious about spraying, but cost and availability aside, do I really want to push my luck? Not so much. I’m just happy that Mitsouko has deigned to glance my way and give me a slight nod and the hint of a smile.
Now if only I could get Shalimar, Jicky and Chanel No. 5 to love me …
Have you ever battled with a scent, trying to “get” it and failing time after time, and then one day, for whatever reason, it just clicks?
P.S. I realize the Sally Field quote above is not accurate as to what she actually said in her acceptance, but is a common misquote. But I like it, anyway, and it worked for me.