Annick Goutal Ninfeo Mio

Sometimes life just hands you out these wonderful surprises when you least expect it.  Something lost that you gave up on and then reappears. Is it too much to hope that my lost Chanel earring would emerge from the  mists of lost jewelry?  Ah, perhaps, but I remain optimistic that one day, as I’m pulling things from the washer or vacuuming the carpet, it will appear.

I am one of those stubbornly optmistic people. Even when life is crashing down around me and raining tears, broken puppies and poisonous snakes, I am confident that it will get better from where I am that moment and also from where I was happiest.  I blame my dad. Not that my mom is any slouch in the optmism department, but he was amazingly undeterred from anything life threw at him.  Hail ruined the wheat crop that year?  Well, it comes, it goes, we’ll make it back on corn.  You know, all of my brothers and sister have that same ridiculous ignorance that things might not improve.  It is the one part of my familial inheritance that I feel grateful for every day.

Some perfumes do a great job of capturing the joy and optmism of life, but the one today that’s really blown my skirt up is Annick Goutal’s Ninfeo Mio.  Some Goutals work for me, some are too heavy or contrived. I like them in theory, but never wear them.  Ninfeo Mio has notes of Italian lemon, citron, petitgrain, bitter orange, galbanum, lentisque, conifers, lavender, fig leaf, and lemon tree and was ceated by Isabelle Doyen.  March reviewed it back in January, and I don’t think I can improve on her review at all, except to say ditto.

It does burst out of the bottle, with its  nose all wrinkled up, tartish, sassy pepper tossing its head, and then it doesn’t work its way down, but leaps off its joyful little cliff into a lovely, soft, comforting fig tree, with the milk of human kindness just oozing from its little molecules.  It’s light,  joyful, comforting, but with sharp points that let you know you’re alive, the sharper things that make you appreciate all the softness that is there.

It’s incredibly lovely, and perfection for spring and summer, though it will wear well any time of year.  Okay, that’s two full bottles in a week I’ve needed.  My sample came from Luckyscent.

Do you wear perfumes to improve your  mood or match your mood?  I tend to wear them to match my mood – joyous, playful, sensuous, slutty.  I can almost never pull off putting on the perfume that I want to feel like, there’s always a disconnect.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I really don’t know if I try to match my mood–not consciously anyway. I just reach for something and if it feels right intuitively, I put it on. Sometimes what I reach for surprises me but then I apply it to see where it’ll take me.

    To Maidenbliss: I liked what you said; especially about surrounding yourself with people who have good energy.

  • Winifreida says:

    OOOh no I thought we had entered an era of everything green! I hope so, suddenly I am obsessed with it, even though its Autumn here and I suppose I should be doing more spiceys etc. I’ve realised however that nearly everything I liked apart from Mitsouko nearly always was a bit green…anyway I’ve sent for a sample! The previous one of theirs didn’t float my boat tho’….

  • Ms. Christian says:

    It stinks. Badly.

    Someone posted on MUA that it smells like Brach’s Neopolitan Sundae candy, a disgusting, overly sugary shredded cocnut candy from the 50s and 60s. I heartily agree. On me it went from a minute of fig to an hour of Brach’s gross candy and the lovely dry down was stale urine (not that I enjoy the fresh stuff…)

    To each their own.#-o

  • maggiecat says:

    I find that, just as I crave certain foods when there’s something in them my body needs, I crave certain scents when there’s something in them that my soul needs. lately it’s been citrus and/or neroli – perfect for difficult days following my dad’s illness and death. Lavender cravings emerge when i’m under stress, and cold days make me crave spices and vanilla. Perhaps “perfumista” is just another word for “aromatherapist”?

    • Musette says:


      Do come back tomorrow – we’ll be yarking on citrus big time!

      xo >-)

      ps. I am in total agreement re perfumista = aromatherapist!@};-

  • Disteza says:

    See, this is why it takes so durn long for me to get ready for anything–I have to match my mood, my outfit, the weather, the event, the season, my SO’s pick….I’m amazed I make it out of the house at all. 😮

  • Tom says:

    definitely use it to improve my mood. Sometimes use it as a preemptive strike when I know I’m going to have a difficult day.

    Ninfeo is a great one for both..

  • Tiara says:

    I wonder if perfume folks are more optimistic than the rest of the population. Can you imagine getting a bunch samples and thinking, “Oh gosh, I just know I’m going to hate the whole bunch.” Maybe because I am optimistic I think I’m going to love them all but grateful when a few turn out to be duds. Easier on the budget.

    I received the sample of Voyage d’Hermes I won (thanks, Patty) yesterday. Ripped it open and put it on right there in front of the mailbox. Tart is a great description of the opening and the drydown is pretty. Today we’ll be on the beach but can’t wait to put it on again this afternoon.

    • Suzy Q says:

      Tiara, I got mine yesterday, too. (Thanks Patty.) My first impression was “eww, medicinal”. But as soon as the top notes vaporized it turned into something truly lovely, I agree.

  • maidenbliss says:

    Since entering the fray of perfume blogs I find myself spritzing according to what I’m reading. I didn’t think Ninfeo was something this skankalicious woman would like, but after reading the comments I’m going to have to try it. I’ve always thought of myself as resilient as far as life in general; you fall down and get back up, see the silver lining, the glass half full, etc. It’s an innate quality for some and for others I’m guessing it has something to do with whoever raised us or made an early impression. I think having a sense of humor is the backbone of optimism and surrounding oneself with ‘good energy’ people.

  • k-scott says:

    I’ve been hoping that Perfumed Court would get this soon because I’ve been dying to try it. I love all things AG and this sounds like something right up my alley- and none of the local biggies (Saks, Neimans, etc) have it yet, and may not ever get it if the SA was correct. :((

  • Musette says:

    Funny you should cover this topic of ‘match or aspire’ today – for the first time in awhile I actually had to stop and 😕 about what would match my mood. Since 5a the morning has been, shall we say, challenging? I was going to wear Brillante today but realized that I don’t want that scent equated with a nasty morning – it gorgeous brittleness is no match for a crappy day – so I chose Charmes and Leaves. It sort of just tinkles along on its silvery way, laughing. “Get OVER yourself, already”, it giggles. “It’ll get better soon enough. It always does!!”

    And so far, Life (and Charmes) has done just that.

    You are blessed with such a lovely heritage of optimism. My parents weren’t all that optimistic but I willed myself into it at an early age and it’s amazing what optimism can achieve.

    xoxoxo >-)

  • My internet’s about to expire! Swear I’m just resting my feets! XOX we are having le blast.

    • Silviafunkly says:

      How long are you there for? Donanicola and I are taking the train from London on Thursday eve…

  • I’ve discovered that many pastries and bottle of wine improve my mood immensely.

    • Musette says:

      Did you give Pieree Herme my 😡 and ^:)^ ???

      Tell Celine (and her dad) “Gomer says hey! (hey to Gomer)”

      xoxo >-)

  • Suzy Q says:

    Patty, you are so fortunate: I was raised by parents with exactly the opposite outlook as yours. It’s taken years but I’m happy to say you *can* learn to be an optimist. Perfume helps keep the mood positive. Ninfeo Mio makes me smile every time. It’s so bright and happy but not dimwitted.

    My scent choices are identical to Silviafunkly’s. Add to that: I never experiment with anything new on a long hard work day. Those days call for something loved and reliable. With back-up vials in my purse I’m ready to reapply or to wear something different mid day. Fresh scent is such a pick-me-up.

  • Ruanne says:

    Yes- definitely to match my mood, although what I’m going to be doing and what I’m going to wear are usually the variables that get more weight (frankly, I’m looking for a system to pare down or organize all the factors that run through my mind while I’m deciding.) Weather is another important one, whether I’m hungry or not, if I’ll be able to reapply, if there are 2 I want to compare, etc. etc. I probably should have picked a simpler obsession. Socks, perhaps.

    As for the Ninfeo Mio, I’m going to resample now. I too, loved the top notes, but then, on me, it just…goes away. Also, am I insane? I get a whiff of something coconutty.

    • Suzy Q says:

      No, you’re not insane! at least not about the coconut. 🙂 That’s the fig. You get some of it in Phylosykos and tons of it in Heeley’s fig, or at least I do.

      • Ruanne says:

        Aha! Well that’s educational, because I wasn’t quite sure what fig smelled like.

  • Silviafunkly says:

    I was also pleasantly surprised by Ninfeo Mio, somehow my mind was set on it being really aquatic :-& but it was lovely, just as you describe it.

    As far as making a choice, if the mood is negative, I tend to go for a “curative” scent (comforting, calming etc); if the mood is positive, I choose something to amp that good feeling. That takes place within the framework of the season and of course one has unexplicable cravings that cancel all of the above :-@

    Personally I rate optimism higher than good luck as a contributor towards a happy life.

  • ScentRed says:

    I too am anxiously awaiting a small split of Ninfeo and this review makes my mouth water. I match scents to both my mood and the weather. Too day is a blustery, rainy day and I’m exhausted – Donna Karan Gold is what I reached for to protect me from the elements and my own mood 😉

  • Shelley says:

    Someday, I’m gonna smell this Ninfeo Mio. And I think I’m going to have a good time.

    Scents + mood … yup, sometimes. I know what you mean about not pulling off a perfume that smells like how you *want* to feel. Definitely can pick a perfume that will protect how I feel (a la the armor Francesca mentioned…protection that lets me not be exposed/exposes my vulnerability), but not one that will out and out change it. I *can*, however, tweak my mood with fragrance. Sometimes. Has more to do with augmenting or teasing out an already existing element, though.

    As for hubba hubba? If I’m in that mood, the perfume is ALL about augmenting. :>

  • Francesca says:

    Can’t wait for my decant of Ninfeo Mio to arrive!

    I’m with Joe–usually choose on basis of weather or season, but sometimes I do what others (Musette? Ida? Both?) do and pick something as “armor”if I have a meeting or am anticipating a rough day at work.

    • Musette says:

      Armor is good. I am not one for ever exposing my vulnerability, perhaps to my detriment -but when I am feeling most vulnerable is when I don my strongest armor. Or when I’m feeling really :-w

      or when I’m really 8-x

      …and I wonder why folks steer clear of me? ! /:)

      xoxo >-)

  • Joe says:

    You know, if I wore skirts, this Ninfeo would blow mine up too. :d Such a joyful, springy, citrusy, green thing. Who wouldn’t smile when smelling this? AG did good.

    I’m not sure if I pick scents to match my mood. When I start my day, I’m usually pretty even-tempered. The main variable is whether I’m fairly rested or tired as hell, but that’s not exactly a mood. What I choose in the morning has more to do with the weather or time of year, or whatever grabs my fancy as I’m looking over the bottles and decants. But sure, if I’m going out for a nice dinner or a concert, I’ll choose something more “elegant,” and sometimes what I choose can amp up how elegant or refined I feel.