Perfume Directory

Mitsouko (1919)
by Guerlain

Advertisement

Mitsouko information

Year of Launch1919
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1013 votes)

People and companies

HouseGuerlain
PerfumerJacques Guerlain
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
Parent Company at launchGuerlain

About Mitsouko

Mitsouko is a feminine perfume by Guerlain. The scent was launched in 1919 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Jacques Guerlain

Mitsouko fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Mitsouko

This perfume has a little something in it for everyone. Herbal? Check. Gourmand? Check. Sweet - but not overly so? Check. Sexy? Major check. The base notes come out early, rounding out the middle notes into a robust, sexy scent, that dries down into something more somber and thoughtful. Quite an amazing journey. Plus, I do love a good peach scent... If you like Bond No 9 Chinatown, this will be up your alley.
22nd April, 2015
Edt Version. A smooth yet bitter chypre with a surging moss note that seems to rise up from the center of the composition.

Mitsouko is pretty great. It highlights the complexity of Guerlain’s compositions, managing to form a wall-of-scent effect but without clobbering you in the process. It's the ideal merger of florals, citrus, spices, and moss with the latter two items sitting in the front seat. To me, it’s a smoldering kind of perfume that seems to move away from the pyramid structure we’re familiar with to create instead the impression of a primary green core with the secondary notes rippling out in concentric waves.

As it settles, it takes on more of a wood/grass kind of a role but with a prominent peach poking through. The spices play a more focused role here as well, with cinnamon and something that smells a little like clove creeping into the mix. It never turns full gourmand, but it does seem savory and edible at moments. Ultimately, it’s a great chypre with a warm, comfortable edge to it despite its brisk opening.
28th December, 2014
This was my first Guerlain purchase, when after reading much about the brand's history and creations, I rocked up at my local department store, determined that I had to find one to suit me. The sales girl told me that I was definitely a Shalimar girl, then sprayed me with it, and Mitsouko, and left me to think about it. Half an hour later, I was back, hooked on the latter, whatever anyone said.
For me, it was not so much the fruity peach-skin note that did it, instead I was taken by the combination of oakmoss and spices (I sniffed cinnamon in particular), which reminded me of Christmas, perhaps in a wintry, foresty setting. It has a richness and warmth that speaks of drama and history, of people with stories to tell doing interesting things. But it is not just a plush, expensive perfume - the oakmoss, for me, sets it apart and makes it that little bit different.
I have to admit, though, it is exclusively a cool-weather fragrance, and works particularly well on grey overcast days.
18th December, 2014
Okay I've taken the plunge. The citrus is pretty obvious and so is the rose (which is similar to the rose on Habit Rouge EDT but stronger). Pretty quickly the middle notes approach with a nice blending of all those notes. The peach gives the floral a slight gourmand reaction. I found it to be pretty quiet in the first couple of minutes but now it keeps drumming on in a good clip with three sprays on my wrist. The florals give it a slightly "fresh bread" smell and the peach/oakmoss combination seems like the core of the scent. It all blends very well. I don't see this particularly being too feminine and I would recommend it to those who like, gourmands, rose scents, citrus and oakmoss. I think this could be suitable anytime of year but personally there is something cosy about it in regards to the spices and would be even better in the winter. The spices really move the scent forward. It doesn't scream of headache inducing florals but stays close to the skin and is very tasteful. It may seem stronger if you sit in one place collecting wafts of the scent. The true beauty appears in the drydown where the spices meet the woods.
22nd November, 2014
"I've lost too many to be happy..."

What is the scent of melancholy? This bizarre child of some post-war Europe is staring at you with its beautiful slanted eyes and smiles wistfully. Noone is certain how it was baptized with that delicate and mellifluous name anymore. A name that steps in two different worlds. The one of mystery and the one of the morning light. A name that involves a British officer, a Japanese Fleet Admiral, a heart split in twain, a French writer and member of Académie française, an Austrian diplomat, the daughter of a Tokyo antique seller tycoon, and a small part of the world called Hellas... The journey begins...
In 1909, Claude Farrère wrote a novel under the title "La Bataille". It was about the forbidden love between the wife of Heihachiro Togo or Marquess Yorisaka and the naval liaison Commander Herbert Fergan. When both of them headed for the Battle of Tsushima she promised that she would spent the rest of her life with whoever would come back alive. Noone did... Love and duty were drown in the Korea Strait, leaving her a lonesome widow. Her name was Mitsouko...
On May 16th in 1892, Heinrich von Coudenhove-Kalergi, descendant of a Byzantine family, married the tiny daughter of Aoyama family despite both families' opposition to that act. A few years later they moved to Europe. She never saw her country again... The had seven children. One of them, Richard Nikolaus Graf von Coudenhove-Kalergi, was one of the pioneers in the idea of a United Europe. This remarkable woman managed to learn French, German, Geography, History, Law and Economics in order to stand her ground in her new country. Her name was Mitsuko...
According to the fascinating stories which are many times woven about the christening of a fragrange, one of these two women gave her name to the myth. A name which, in its language of origin, means "Child of Light" and not "Mystery" as Jacques Guerlain would like us to believe. As for the "o" that turned it into "Mitsouko", it is simply the French pronunciation of the Japanese phoneme. But alas, although the name points to something cheerful, the perfume itself is one of the most melancholic scents I have ever sensed... Aloof, like the locked heart of a maiden who waits her dearest to return from a lengthy, perilous trip to some far-flung corner of the Earth... Want-clad, like the sad remains of a forlorn love, lost in the paths of time... A scent of unfulfilled promises and enslaved desires... There is an old Cretan folk song that says:

Everyone asks me "Why crying?".
But who do I annoy?
I came unwanted in this world
to make your hearts my toy...

I thik that it fits perfectly... Mitsouko is not the loud expression of a grief asking to be the centre of attention. It is the wise and silent agony for a world long gone. A certain story has it that L'Heure Bleue marked the beginning of World War One and Mitsouko its end. Like the symbols of a parenthesis that the world was hoping never to endure again. Mitsouko, despite closing this catastrophic parenthesis, is not an optimistic scent. Maybe because while looking back it saw the towering woes and looking frontwards saw the next war coming...
I do not know if you have ever had a feeling like this, but Mitsouko makes me yearn of someone I never met... It brings me memories of things I never lived...
I see a woman dressed in a mofuku kimono. Every dawn she walks with light steps to the wooden balcony of her house in Shirahama. There, she stands wreathed in morning dew and gazes the vast ocean...
I see Sergei Diaghilev, founder of the renowned Ballets Russes, to remind the stage workers not to forget to douse the tabs in Mitsouko, for the scent to fill the sybaritic hall of Theatre de Champs Elysees, every time the coryphées enter the stage...
I see the luminous Art Deco main hall of the "Normandie" where the passengers are swirling blithely to the tunes of the orchestra, while the magnificent ship floats her way on the frigid Atlantic...
I see Charlie Chaplin sitting ostracized and brooding in the lounge of Manoir de Ban, over Lake Geneva, staring without seeing at the bleak sky. Ostracized from a country which, a few years ago, worshipped him. And brooding... He who made everyone laugh... Everything around him reeks with Mitsouko, his favourite scent...
I see the audience in a live club located in Aix en Provence in the late 80's, pulsing with the sounds of a strange mixture of punk, rock, synth pop and jazz which the band on stage hands out generously. The name of the band is Les Rita Mitsouko...
And finally, I see a penniless painter in a musty attic in Paris during the Années Folles. He stands mesmerized by the window, trying to descry in the crowd his model who has just left. The lingering scent of Mitsouko caresses fondly the unfinished painting. The very same painting to which he confesses his love every night. The love he feels for her but never dared to speak out loud. Mitsouko solaces him and promises that it shall be with him as a reminder of her, untill the next time they meet...
I humbly apologize and ask for your understanding if this review is way too lengthy and borderline "delirium" but how many words are enough to describe a mythos?...
23rd October, 2014
This is a love it or hate it scent for me and for a number of my friends.

There are days when its earthy, sharp cinnamon/carnation blast seems totally unique and intriguing and other days when I ask myself why I am enjoying smelling like I just rolled around in fresh loam. And I am one of those who can not detect peach in this at all.

What amazes me is that the strong carnation/clove note is not listed in the ingredients. What olfactory trick is being played here.

Top notes: Peach, Bergamot, Hesperides
Middle notes: Lilac, Rose, Jasmine, Ylang
Base notes: Vetiver, Amber, Oakmoss, Cinnamon, Patchouli, Cedarwood, Black Pepper, Ambergris

I tried very hard to like this classic, but ultimately have decided after using a full 100 ml bottle over 9 months that I will not be replacing it. Wanting to love it, but can't.
06th October, 2014

Add your review of Mitsouko

You need to be logged in to add a review

Shop for Mitsouko products online

Shop for Mitsouko at online perfumeries

Search Amazon for Mitsouko

Member images of Mitsouko

There are no member images of Mitsouko yet. Why not be the first?

You need to log in or register to upload images

Private Notes

You need to be logged in (or register here) to use Private Notes.

Advertisement

Advertisement