After having read and heard about how beautiful vintage Mitsouko is, I had to get my hands on a half ml vial of the stuff to see how it was for myself. I like the new Mitsouko just fine but she pales in comparison to the vintage for good reason.
In Bottle: As fragrance restrictions were increased and time went on, something happened to Mitsouko. She doesn’t smell like this vintage and the difference is immediately noticeable. Vintage smells like a smooth fruity chypre, the peach is detectable, the chypre scent is distinct. It’s a beautifully layered, and beautifully composed fragrance that smells like rich history.
Applied: This smells heady, dense, very distinctly a chypre with a very smooth, soft peach note. This reminds me of Chypre de Coty for good reason, I can see how these two fragrances came about and I can smell how and why they were beautiful. It makes it even sadder that they don’t come like this anymore–Chypre de Coty being discontinued, Mitsouko having been reformulated into a sharp, powdery ghost of its former self. It opens with a gentle citrus with a touch of heady floral. It goes into the mid-stage into a smooth beautiful fruitiness with a soft peach scent intermingled with a rose and jasmine ensemble. Now, this isn’t peach in the Bath and Body Works sweet peach body mist kind of way, it’s a feminine but very grown up peach scent that lacks any silly girly-girl sweetness to it. The fade is a complex blend of oakmoss, spice and woods that makes Vintage Mitsouko smell so personal. Then there’s that familiar Guerlain base that lingers for an incredibly long time and makes me feel like I could totally pull off wearing a ball gown to a baseball game.
Extra: Any perfumista can write novels about vintage Mitsouko, but instead, you got me. What I can say about vintage Mitsouko is that it makes me sad in the way that smelling old vintages like this makes me sad. Because perfumes aren’t made like this anymore and it is a real shame.
Design: I do not own a bottle of vintage Mitsouko but I eye them very jealously. Guerlain has put their classic fragrance lines under a few redesigns over the years and they have always remained elegant and beautiful designs. Linked above is a newer bottle of Mitsouko. It’s a limited edition collector’s item dressed up in Baccarat and available for $7000. It is not how the original bottle looks. Too rich for my blood, and besides, I’d rather spend the money on a vintage. I always feel like something of a clown judging vintage bottles because I can only say that they’re beautiful and elegant and they certainly do not make them like they used to.
Fragrance Family: Chypre
Notes: Bergamot, peach, jasmine, rose, oak moss, spices, vetiver, woods.
I would love to own a bunch of vintage fragrances because I have yet to smell one I didn’t like. Vintage Mitsouko and its newer formulation is close. Guerlain did what they could with the new stuff but it isn’t the same. The new formulation is noticeably sharper, more powdery, and has a slight imbalance that doesn’t hit the mark quite as well as the vintage stuff.
Reviewed in This Post: Mitsouko, circa 1950, Eau de Parfum.