Vintage Mitsouko Extract Buying Guide?

Rinx7

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2021
Hi all. My girlfriend and I love chypres and she particularly likes Mitsouko in its current EDP rendition. I have been wanting to get her some of the vintage extract at some point this year, but after doing some reading I have seen a lot of conflicting information on what exactly one should look for when buying. Most consistent pieces advice I have seen have been the following:

- Look for sealed bottles as Mitsouko and other chypres aren't as hardy as say Shalimar and can go off if not stored optimally for most of it's life.

- Try to find bottles that have lighter juice as darker fluid suggests that it has gone off or lost most of its top and heart notes.

- Following these two points look for early 1990s or 1980s bottles of extract. If you can find an older bottle in very good condition that can work too.

Is this all-together an accurate assessment? Also, what sort of price range is reasonable? I see a pretty wide range for 1oz bottles of extract from ~100 dollars for partials to 300+ for sealed examples. Thanks!
 

grayspoole

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 4, 2014
Hi Rinx7–

All of those points seem good to me.

If you haven't already, check out the blogpost below for additional tips, including a guide to the Guerlain codes.

http://raidersofthelostscent.blogspot.com/2013/10/how-to-recognize-guerlain-perfumes.html

Prices vary with age and condition, but around $350 for a sealed 80’s or 90’s 1 oz bottle in good condition seems like a fair price to me. On a good day, you might do better. You could also go with a smaller bottle, just to be sure she likes it, and then you could always get more. :thumbsup:

Do pay attention to the color of the parfum—it should be a golden amber, not dark brown.

Good luck, and I hope she enjoys it. Let us know how it turns out.
 

saminlondon

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2011
I agree. It looks like you're on the right track. Late 1980s and 1990s are the sweet spot as far as I'm concerned (the gold and black box from this period is a good sign).

There's a plentiful supply out there, it seems, so take your time to choose something with lighter-coloured juice and a decent price.
 

Rinx7

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2021
Thanks for the advice guys. I'll give the PDT a look and lie in wait for a good deal on some extrait to come up.
 

Rinx7

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2021
Another vote for the PdT - it's a beautiful concentration. There's a law of diminishing returns in trying to get anything older than late 70's/early 80s in my experience. Personally I'd stick to 80's bottles to be sure, as there's a point in the 90's where things start to change in the formula. Sealed is generally better, but a badly stored sealed bottle can have suffered and will not show well. One of the good things Theirry Wasser has done at Guerlain has been to rescue Mitsouko from a rather poor version of the noughties, and really today's EDP and extract are both gorgeous and for everyday wear are the best value.

I assume the formula change probably took place around the LVMH acquisition in '94 right?
 

saminlondon

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2011
I assume the formula change probably took place around the LVMH acquisition in '94 right?

Around 2000 is when the first major IFRA restrictions came in, following which Mitsouko went through a troubled period, to the extent that an external perfumer was brought in in 2005/2006 to reorchestrate it (which met with a mixed reception). It didn't really hit its stride again until 2013-ish.

PdT is good but it is also nuclear in strength, so it all depends what you're looking for. It certainly won't have the same effect as an extrait.
 

Anamandy

Well-known member
Dec 27, 2018
Also, when you do a search on eBay, search under collectibles. A lot of people list rare perfumes there.

I have a spray bottle of extract. It's a 1/2oz that I purchased from a seller from Russia with 100% rating on Ebay. It was very reasonably priced and smells wonderful with no disintegration of top notes. It's a sweet little sprayer. Very classy bottle design. The glass bottom of the bottle is ribbed and the top sprayer part gold and red. Unusual. I recommend going with a spray as opposed to a dabber, especially if used, because you don't know how the bottle was handled and if the user even had clean hands at the time of usage, and also because human oils will get mixed in with the extrait and degrade it over time. Not to mention the fact that the bottle is opened and resealed numerous times, which also degrades the fragrance. A spray bottle with a cap puts an end to much of that.
 

theladymay

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 6, 2015
One other tip or caveat: watch for sealed bottles that aren't.
There are a few sellers who retie the string and yet claim it's unopened and sealed - if they're that dishonest they're also dishonest enough to fill a bottle (partially or just to make it look perfect) with edp. With Mitsouko - and I'm an old lady, people don't come much fussier - you're better off buying a slightly less romantic looking bottle with the plastic seal over the stopper and a date between 75 and 98 than what someone is claiming to be a 1940 Baccarat bottle. Good luck!
 

N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer

Semi-Retirement
Basenotes Plus
Jul 1, 2011
One other tip or caveat: watch for sealed bottles that aren't.
There are a few sellers who retie the string and yet claim it's unopened and sealed - if they're that dishonest they're also dishonest enough to fill a bottle (partially or just to make it look perfect) with edp. With Mitsouko - and I'm an old lady, people don't come much fussier - you're better off buying a slightly less romantic looking bottle with the plastic seal over the stopper and a date between 75 and 98 than what someone is claiming to be a 1940 Baccarat bottle. Good luck!

I've heard about this, there are ways to manipulate the strings to free the stopper without cutting them so that the seal remains intact. The bottle on the right, I just couldn't get myself to want to destroy this perfect condition extrait. I'm living off of my PDT and my vintage bottle in the center.
GUERLAIN MITSOUKO 1940s.jpg
 

theladymay

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 6, 2015
I've heard about this, there are ways to manipulate the strings to free the stopper without cutting them so that the seal remains intact. The bottle on the right, I just couldn't get myself to want to destroy this perfect condition extrait. I'm living off of my PDT and my vintage bottle in the center.
View attachment 151572

That's a pretty excellent way to live. Either of the two open bottles alone have to be divine - a bit of both, heaven. Now that my children are raised and I can buy things I don't technically need, I have almost all of my stuff in extrait and a lighter version, and it's how I prefer to wear most scents. If I really had to choose only one it would be extrait in almost every case - but if it was Mitsouko I'd actually take the pdt. I think it's perfect.
 

N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer

Semi-Retirement
Basenotes Plus
Jul 1, 2011
That's a pretty excellent way to live. Either of the two open bottles alone have to be divine - a bit of both, heaven. Now that my children are raised and I can buy things I don't technically need, I have almost all of my stuff in extrait and a lighter version, and it's how I prefer to wear most scents. If I really had to choose only one it would be extrait in almost every case - but if it was Mitsouko I'd actually take the pdt. I think it's perfect.

Same for me as well, the extrait is my preferred choice in concentration for any of the classics. I do admire the PDT for Mitsouko, it's an acceptable alternative to the extrait. I have to be careful with my usage of the extrait as its a special bottle that dates back to the 1940s given the red/blue sticker on the bottom. It smells great after 70+ years.
 

Latest News

Top