So sad, this was a perfume I loved many years ago and wanted to sample again - and I can't smell the beautiful peach and mossy notes at all. It just smells like wet towels. Or maybe it's my nose. But this is not at all lovely, in fact it is rather nauseating, and I feel so sorry for all the people who expect the former great classic scent and end up with this miserable parody.
For me the best way to enjoy Mitsouko, whether vintage or current formulation, is to wear the extract. Its the smoothest, prettiest version of this peachy chypre and it wont leave you scratching your head like some of the other incarnations can. The challenge of the EDP and EDT comes from that distinct peach skin accord of the opening notes. Its an abstraction, an idea of a natural smell recreated with persicol, oakmoss and other chemicals that will have varied reactions. Some swear they smell a photorealistic peach plucked from the tree. Others like myself smell something both bitter and shrill, like champagne laced with strychnine. But the extract is different. Its for Goldilocks. Somehow the peach comes off sweeter and golden, like it is linked to the milky warmth of sandalwood in the basenotes. This Mitsouko is the one that immediately validates her status as legendary because she is such a timeless, unique and addictive concoction with layers of interest and complexity. It is easy to imagine a person of 1919, 1960, 1989...etc. being faithful to this bottle and wishing that it never change. That isnt to say the EDP and EDT dont have their own devotees, but it will depend upon how you react to that opening accord. When people talk about classic perfumery, French-style, abstract composition, theyre talking about Mitsouko. Its the reference chypre, the Mona Lisa of Grasse. The unlikely to be pretty Bergamot, Patchouli, Cistus and Oakmoss accord tinted and Guerlain-ified with fruit and flowers. A perfectly judged, impossible to duplicate, enduring, mysterious masterpiece.
This is reviewing a 50ml refill bottle of the EDP I bought online in August 2019. I don't know what the edition is, yet I am quite sure this is one of the most recent formulations, because yes, it is different from the formulae I have always known.
I will hasten to add that it smells wonderful... So it's not *bad*... just *different*.
Brilliant, nose-prickling aldehydes slowly evanesce to reveal a head of bergamot, and possibly delicate accents of sweet orange, a phantom lemon, petitgrain and neroli to create a brilliant citrus head. And the famous fruity, dry peach, kissed with a discreet anise.
To my nose, this new edition has more musky quality, with perceptible deermusk, civet and ambergris (all synthetic, I'm quite sure). Being a big animalic fan, I like this quality.
In years past, it would be at this moment that I smelled a certain urinaceous quality-- likely castoreum-- smelling for all the world like deer urine in a Texas cedar forest, its floor covered in moody, mulching autumn leaves. I'm really not getting that note here now... the peach/citrus is more juicy and "present".
To my nose, the spicy qualities have also been ratcheted down and made more linear, less "3D"; I suspect the famous clove note of the classic formula also had to be refomulated here, as the barky, non-sweet cinnamon is nearly as prominent now as the clove.
I am getting very little floralcy here, truth told, yet I am picking up on a salty Play-Doh heliotrope, girded with the French thyme "medicinal" or "Band-Aids" note that some describe. I'm not sure I'm getting any rose or lilac at all, and the result is, this formula smells considerably more masculine than ever, beginning to approach the brassy warmth of, say, KNIZE TEN. The pencil-ly cedar note is more discreet now, too.
The absence of oakmoss means that this formula is not quite as rounded, fungal, darkly sweetish and Art Deco-fusty as the old mixture used to be; it is also less "melancholy", as this perfume is so often famously described. Our forlorn geisha waiting for her British beau seems to have cheered up a bit, clambered up onto her tatami sandals and put on some Shiseido tangerine-colored lipstick.
And yet, I cannot melodramatically decree that MITSOUKO has been "ruined" here; the hand that has blended this is obviously expert and of the highest skill. This is still some fine, fine French perfume. In fact, some might say that this new EDP is more "wearable" than it ever was, more of a tous-les-jours candidate today, and not quite the distant and difficult "monument" she has always been. She might even be more "lovable" now (yet still removed from the sweet 'n' naughty hooker-with-a-heart that Rochas FEMME is). I cannot fault this *jus*, and she actually may find more modern lovers in this new guise.
Verdict: significantly tangier and juicier than earlier formulae; musky animalic notes more "present" now, though less urinaceous; very little perceptible floralcy and overall more masculine aura; less sweet and funky/fusty base.
Still gorgeous, bold, golden-glowing and compelling.
(UPDATE---->) Okay, now I'm getting the lilac. Surprisingly, it is not a head or heart note, but rather comes out to play in the late development of the EDP, after the spices have settled down! Mingled with an obvious iris, it smells both powdery, pastel purpley, and rubbery, like wet latex paint. Intriguing!