Blog post by Gwen
Growing up, I had a cousin whom I adored. She's a few years older than me, and I thought she was perfect. As a late teen, she did a bit of modelling; she travelled to Europe in her early twenties, spoke French and had excellent taste in clothes. Oh, the clothes! She often passed along the clothes she didn't want anymore. I loved them, but I had to alter them to fit me. Leaning over the sewing machine, taking in the seams of some gorgeous dress, I'd get the most beautiful scent coming off the cloth. The more I sewed, the more intrigued I became by the smell. Finally, I asked her what it was. She told me it was Mitsouko Eau de Parfum and said that if were ever to wear it, to only wear the EDP. In time, she married and moved to New York. I missed her and the closeness we had. And then, a few years later, I was culling my wardrobe and came across some of the dresses she gave me. They smelled of her, and just like that, she was in the room with me. Not long after, I bought a bottle of Mitsouko EDP.
Like many classic Guerlain fragrances, Mitsouko was inspired by a love story. Jacques Guerlain named his creation "Mitsouko" after the heroine in the 1909 novel 'La Bataille' by French author Claude Farrère, a close friend of Guerlain's. Mitsouko was a beautiful Japanese woman, married to a noble Japanese Navy officer, who falls in love with a British officer. During the Russo-Japanese War, both men go off to fight, while Mitsouko waits to see which one returns to Japan and her.
The Mitsouko EDP perfume story opens with a note of sparkling bergamot flanked by tart, bright lemon. In the novel, Farrère says the name Mitsouko means 'honeycomb' and honey-faceted mandarin orange along with the honey blossom aspect of neroli are a nod to the character. The sweet juiciness of the orange, along with the sweet, floral neroli, smoothes out the tartness of the bergamot and lemon. As it progresses, a note of fresh, juicy peach comes forward. It's not really peach, but C14 aldehyde, which smells like a peach with aspects of apricot, mango, and apple along with milky undertones. My nose processes it as peachy, fruity, creamy, fatty and stunning! A note of clove warms the fruit so that it smells like a sun-drenched peach just plucked from a tree. Peaches are a luscious, sensual fruit - juicy, fleshy, covered in soft cashmere-like down, they call out to be held and caressed, so when its scent is joined by heady, opulent jasmine and rich, sweet ylang-ylang and lush, deep rose, well, there's no going back. The story continues as the fruits and flowers settle on a woody, spicy base of patchouli and cinnamon balanced by a bitter mossiness and sweetened by vanilla.
The drydown is elegant and wonderfully warm and sensuous. Mitsouko EDP really comes to life on skin - your skin – because more than any other fragrance I know, it responds to each person's skin differently. The pacing and development are different, notes can be different (you smell plum? Not me), but the unfolding of a timeless, classic, fabulous fragrance happens on all skin.
Check out Mitsouko EDP in our Shop.