The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective

Mitsouko by Guerlain

26 Comments

Every once in a while there is a fragrance that for some reason calls to me like some siren song begging me to check it out.  Mitsouko by Guerlain is one of those scents.   I am certainly not the target market for this fragrance but that’s not going to stop me.  Maybe it’s the bottle, it seems very old-fashioned and stylish, but whatever reason here it goes…

WHAT I SMELL:  Mitsouko goes on herbal and medicinal, it’s very strong and rounded.  It then moves into a warmer phase that is hard to describe,  still herbal, a little sour and eucalyptus like with hints of Jasmine and Peach.  Mitsouko’s drydown sits in this light and powdery spiced peachy understated chypre stage that is soft and subtle.  I have to admit, this is really a hard fragrance to describe.  The blended notes are masterfully composed into a scent that is very unusual and distinct.

From the Guerlain website:

Fruity chypre Mysterious, Balanced, Velvety.  A masterpiece of balance and originality, Mitsouko marries a fruity note of peach with jasmine flowers and May rose. The mysterious dry-down of the fragrance blends spicy notes with those of underbrush and vetiver.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  When I first put this on, for some reason it reminded me of my dentist office growing up.  Maybe someone there wore this or something similar or maybe it is that medicinal edge that first comes out.  But at the time, the dentist office was already an older building from the 1930s so it had this kind of deco feel about it.  Mitsouko also had that feeling of being from a bygone era.  My hubby said it smelled like an old lady.   I don’t know if I agree, but it definitely is a scent for the more mature.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE MITSOUKO: exotic, unique, full-bodied

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MITSOUKO: Bois de Jasmin, I Smell Therefore I Am, Scentsate 

BOTTOM LINE: I will revisit this scent again.  I can’t say that I love it, but I do believe that Mitsouko has stood the test of time for almost 100 years for a very good reason.  It’s not for everybody, but I know that if I wore this on the right day, it would be perfect.

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Chypre Fruity
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense: Varied, in EdT and EdP (review based on the EdP version)

Author: The Scented Hound

Just a normal guy with the nose of a beagle!

26 thoughts on “Mitsouko by Guerlain

  1. This sounds really nice! I’ll happily try if I’ll have a chance to get a sample by swapping or so… I agree with you that the bottle is pretty nice. Elegant. From those classic Guerlains I recently tried L’Heure Bleue, really like it.

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  2. Hi Steve!
    All your lovely lovely samples arrived in the post the other day – have tried a few but grateful of the opportunity to wear properly and review. Others I have been sniffing over the last few days – well – there is a couple new true loves in there believe it or not 😀
    Bizarrely I thought of Mitsouko when I Acqua Di Parma Profumo – they’re like, nearly identical! Haha.
    Anyway, I’m not a huge fan either, I have owned a bottle of Mitsouko before I even started my niche discovery – but I’m more of a L’Heure Bleue person… still not enough to buy one!

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    • L’Heure Bleue is on my to try list. Funny you mention Profumo as a comparison. I believe that there are similarities in the drydown, but Mitsouko is more complex than Profumo and Profoumo is more linear and powdery. Glad you found something you like. Let me know what you fell in love with and I can send you more (if I have it)!

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      • Ah I haven’t done a side by side comparison – but someone called easily hold Profumo under my nose and say it’s Mitsouko and I wouldn’t bat an eyelid. Will have to review it properly soon 🙂

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  3. I find it hard to wear Mitsouko too. It just doesn’t feel like me, but I do appreciate it for it’s status as a classic perfume. Were you reviewing a vintage formulation or a more recent one?

    Oh, if I may suggest something for your list of “try its”, how about Vol de Nuit? While I didn’t like VdN when I first tried it, I’m actually warming up to it now and might have to go back and eat my words soon! 😀

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    • Hey Kay – I tested the current formula. I keep reading about the difference in the vintage vs. the new. Maybe one day I’ll get a sniff of the old. Funny, have not tested Vol du Nuit but read a review of it just the other day and put it on my “to test” list.

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  4. Mitsouko is a classic Guerlain that I, theoretically, could wear if I had no access to other perfumes (as an opposite to, for example, L’Heure Bleue, in case of which I’d rather go scentless) but it wouldn’t be my choice. I keep coming back to it once every 6-8 months to see if I changed my mind – no luck so far.

    I second Vol de Nuit! You should definitely try it. And keep in mind that it’s vry different in EdT and parfum forms.

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  5. Definetly not easy to wear, but parfumista must try and definetly to try more often-this one is not for a bad mood and only to wear when very self confident. I see some opening resemblance with the L’Heure Bleu but just for a split moment. Both the current versionsof course.

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  6. I haven’t fallen for this one yet. After reading your review I’m wondering if there’s an association in my mind as well with the dentist office. I’m going to have to sniff it again and see. I hate the dentist.

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    • I don’t like the dentist myself. But I have to admit, memories of the old dentist don’t bother me so much. And in fact, my childhood dentist did have that mint green equipment which was spotless and awe inspiring in it’s mechanics!

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  7. I love Mitsouko because it’s dry…I don’t think they make too many dry scents anymore. Especially not dry with that mouthwatering peach note. Thanks for the link btw.

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  8. Mitsouko is not my favorite Guerlain. L’Heure Bleue definitely is. I hope you’ll get to try it some time. Did you try the vintage, un-reformulated Mitsouko or the new, gutted one? There is a very big difference between vintage Guerlain, pre-IFRA regulations and post. It’s actually sad beyond belief, particularly for Shalimar.

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    • I’m afraid it is the new formulation. I would love to smell the original as I’m sure it’s smooth as silk. I’m not a big fan of peach, but if was really earthy, I think I would dig it.

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      • If ever you’re curious about any vintage scent, Surrender to Chance carries a ton of them from rare Chanel’s (like the original, super old Cuir de Russie) to the new Exclusif version to more mainstream, regular fragrances like these Guerlains. Their prices for sample vials and decants are really the best, imo, and enable one to give something a test drive. That’s what I do, if I don’t just buy something flat out on eBay. Those are really my only two options, given my huge issues with reformulated scents. Hope that helps, if you didn’t know it already. 🙂 BTW, I’m not an enormous fan of peach either. I think you’d prefer the L’Heure Bleue.

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