Thursday, December 24, 2015

Peach, war, and the golden age of perfumery: Mitsouko by Guerlain

Mitsouko by Guerlain


Believe me being an 80's child is not a very good coincidence to celebrate when it comes to perfumes! I'm an 80's production and the worse part of my olfactory journey is confronting a bunch of crap modern fragrances with no character came into the age of techno music as we blossomed in youth. A series of considerably more characteristic items that have been worn by elder siblings of ours, have been gone out of production and reformulated under name of adaptation to the new world, which left us in doubt. We are the generation of change! Reformulation, an immeasurable intervention that is nightmare of every perfumista, used by marketing policies to cover watering down a perfume to fit it to newer criteria of design, fashion and health; and I really want someone to answer me why the hell this term is synonym of dilution and not improvement?!

By this complain I indicate, yes, my review pertains to my Mitsouko which is a reformulated version produced in September 2014 and unlike the wooing reviews in some blogs - which I wish are written upon the original edition - I would indicate that my perfume is a misfit to my expectations! Although I'm so satisfied by the price I blind bought and I like it, there are some facts which I like to share to clarify my objection.



One aspect of chypre fragrances which I love is their straightforward manner for which you either love or hate them. If you're in oakmoss and peach classical compositions then welcome, Mitsouko is yours. But if you look from the opposite angle to maximalistic compositions of the past and believe they're perplexing and baffling, then you simply reject classics.
But it happened to almost all chypres to be reformulated under restrict forces against rumors about unhealthiness of compositions. Maybe I'm paranoid or so picky about reformulation, but my EDP apparently lacks something and it is the identical spot on every chypre creation: oakmoss.

Jacques Guerlain, like many artists of the post-war years was amazed by the splendor of far east. That reminds me Henri Matisse when he cited "all we have is from the orient". This enthusiasm was in fact the theory behind the title of the perfume that comes from a novel character of La Bataille written by Claude FarrèreMitsouko is about love affair of a British naval officer and wife of a Japanese admiral.



In fact everything is fine about Mitsouko and it has everything to charm me; animalic nuances, fruity chypre, oakmoss, powdery aspects, and indolic aura. But there is something which I'm not satisfied about my Mitsouko and it is grown lactonic theme (C14 lactone; a peach aroma which is usually miscalled an aldehyde) that overpowers poor oakmoss and pushes it down. I have heard that the original and vintage versions are museum of oakmoss, and my EDP, which is a 2014 format, is a castrated fragrance by IFRA's restrictions that forced to reduce the oakmoss level and turned a oakmoss museum into peach marmalade. This is when in such condition some bloggers say the 2013 version (that contains my 2014 EDP flacon as well) which Thierry Wassaer - Guerlain's in-house perfumer and formula knight - built, is the most successful edition and the nearest to the original formula. I wish I could believe that, cause rationally a chypre has a certain definition and my nose, by default, searches for a composition that spins around particular amount of absinthal oakmoss, petrolic citrus, and spices, but all I get after an hour is dire creamy waxy grown peach as in Gucci Rush!



My Mitsouko opens with intense tone of hesperidic citruses and greens that promise for a lush chypre heart. Soon later, animalic hints (not listed among notes) beside ylang-ylang say hello. It's probably civet and I really like the way it makes a hot intimacy out of composition. This opening is so perceiving and complex as excepted. I love the touch of iris/orris powderiness in the beginning. The formula employs both root and flower to intensify the powdery effect. It mingled with pepper and cloves and gives a strong boost of earthy soapiness to the green vibe of opening. The green vibe is not fresh, it's dusty and earthy with hint of rug smell that classics are notorious for. I apparently get oakmoss in the opening but not after the fragrance settles in the core. Dramatically the composition lacks the accord badly to an epsilon level. Doesn't a camera without lens look odd?

Later, gradually lactonic nuances come up and peach takes hegemony and solidly performs. This is where I dangle and wonder where all those notes have gone? It's like the sidewalk is trimmed and ended. And peach goes and goes like there's no end for her neither.
Overly ripe sweet smell of peach regulates and becomes mere ruler of the composition soon after the opening settles and greenness set itself free. The peach is indeed fat and rounded with kind of plasticy appearance. Sort of woodsy dimension in the dry down encapsulates the whole and the composition, and the fragrance goes with fruity sweet woodsy theme.

Mitsouko EDP 2013 edition has very potent and very long lasting performance on my skin which guarantees more than one whole day and even more if I don't wash it off in the second day. Apparently this is gigantic record for longevity but corresponding to such power it suggests mediocre or a little bit more projection. Soft, velvety, sensual, sweet and harmless in the core.

Members of Fragrantica has marked oakmoss for the boldest note and it is totally wrong for EDP version. Also the webpage says it's made in 1919 which is wrong. The actual version in not the vintage one. However, if you're looking for decent reliable information about everything of Mitsouko, you may like to read this page. Also, the most delicately written review on Mitsouko without misjudge upon excitements is Perfume Shrine's.

Carpe Odor!

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