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Mystère - A vintage worth knowing (March 4, 2011 New Fragrance Listing)

Perfumeniche photo - Mystère by Rochas - 20 ml parfum c.1980's

A top of aromatic spice, a heart of herbs mixed with dry and indolic florals, and a base of woods, moss and musk. Oooweee, sounds like my kind of scent!

Also comes in a fantastic bottle - oblique, off-kilter angular shape, with an oblique off-kilter rounded black cap - looks like it's been shaped in a wind tunnel. Very chic and very modern.

But it's old, from 1978, and it's Mystère by Rochas, created by Nicholas Mamounas who did several of the Rochas classics. A forgotten treasure it seems - here's a couple of comments from Frangratica:

"One of the most fantastic scents ever created. Virtually impossible to find. I mourn it's absence..."

"Rochas is out of their mind not to carry this one anymore! It is like Guerlain saying, let's stop with Shalimar!!"

It was discontinued, and is currently not listed on the Rochas  website, but apparently it's "back as good as ever" since the company was bought by Proctor and Gamble, says Tania Sanchez in Perfumes: The Guide". It's back, thank god, although still hard to find, and you've probably never heard of it.

What's it smell like? Well, it's icy-cool and green at first, which leads into a smooth quiet floral heart - a little dry, a little spicy and definitely not sweet - and finally the drydown takes you into a forest darkening in the blue of twilight. The smell of evergreens, damp moss, wood and musk merge into an achingly beautiful accord, which has a hint of the unknown about it.

Mystère, a chypre, is richly complex, with a wonderful balance of warm and cool, which I guess creates the "mystery" element. Marcel Rochas said "You should smell the scent of a woman before you’ve even seen her…" To me, Mystère is the scent of a woman, and in a word, it's elegant. But not cold or austere, not "look, but don't touch" haughty elegance, but quietly approachable, with an allure that hints of intelligence and passion, as in "behind this cool exterior, I have a mind and heart that is worth knowing". Tania Sanchez describes it as "cold hands, warm heart", which I think is dead-on.

My bottle is the original parfum,  so sillage and duration are both excellent. One spritz makes me instantly elegant, and quietly mysterious for hours.

Mystère is a vintage scent you should try for yourself. It's worth knowing.

Today, we're adding Mystère to our fragrance decant offering. Samples are $5.00. Vintage decants contain .5 ml, not .7 ml as in our regular non-vintage samples, due to their higher costs.