Basenotes Member's Wardrobes: #1 - Mimi Gardenia

07th March, 2012

In a new series, we feature the Perfume Wardrobes of Basenotes Members. Who better to begin with than Mimi Gardenia? Mimi has been a member since 2008 and has the rare distinction of having her own Mimi Gardenia Appreciation Page. She is based in the US.

Without giving away your identity, tell us a bit about yourself - what area do you work in, what kind of life do you have?

My passion is yoga and yoga dance. I have a very international life – it always feels like I’m packing to go away again.

How often do you wear perfume? Why is fragrance important to you?

I think anyone who reads Basenotes regularly knows I change my perfumes sometimes up to three times a day ! Mostly, if I do, I choose scents that layer well together or scents that will not dominate for the entire day. Suffice to say, I am never without some kind of fragrance!

That second question is loaded! I cannot think of anything else I can carry with me throughout the day, on my person, that is so close, personal and speaks so much about myself or how I feel - without revealing everything! Fragrance for me can be a mood setter, a mood booster, time travel to memories and a way to express yourself, project yourself, your personality, in a subtle way. Fragrance for me is sensuality and art in a bottle.

Looking at your Wardrobe Collection, I'd say you're quite a fan of the classics, would that be correct?

Yes, the classics are the foundations of modern perfumery, to me. The classics came from a Golden Age. The connotations of the classics are quite different from the modern, in my opinion. The classics say things differently, speak of different eras, thoughts and yet are still available to us today – in the form of an aroma. Fragrant portraits from the past that are relevant today. That’s cool.

What are your favourite recent releases?

Tell us about your penchant for Shalimar - you've got the EDT, EDP, Vintage and new Extrait. (Is there a similar thing developing with Mitsouko....?)

I have a huge love for many of the Guerlain heavyweights - L’Heure Bleue, Mitsouko , Shalimar, Vol de Nuit. They enchant me as they are all fragrances that seem to be personifications. Each has a character, a history, a story and a personality. Even within the different concentrations and versions of each perfume, they are a little different and yet the same. It’s fascinating. For example, to truly know Mitsouko, you should seek all concentrations and if possible smell the vintages or older formulae.

Interestingly, in the case of modern day Mitsouko, I find that the Eau de Parfum is a truer representation of Mitsouko’s character than the new Edouard Flechier parfum extrait. I think if you are deeply passionate about a scent, it drives you to discover all of it. It’s a way to make the scent alive for me and learn of all the facets of one treasured scent.

I have different concentrations of other perfumes too. Most of the time they are not radically different, but it’s most definitely worth playing around with several concentrations to see which you love the best and which suits you (Especially with the Houses of Guerlain and Chanel eg. Chanel No.5, Bois des Iles )

Pure perfume extrait is usually the most accurate character of a fragrance, that the perfumer is trying to present to the wearer-it is the ‘original scent’ which is why I often go for extrait. (As well as the one's I've mentioned already, Caron extraits are simply divine). Parfum extrait seems to be out of favor with many modern perfume houses and that saddens me.

You're known for helping newbies, what advice would you give to somone starting out on their perfume journey?

Don’t stop being a fragrant newbie – it’s the only way to learn. After several years of fragrance immersion, I am still a newbie - we never stop learning and we cannot know everything. I’m just a newbie who’s just been learning/’smelling’ a little longer, that’s all.

Immerse yourself in smelling everything you can – classics, niche, natural perfumes, oil. It’s so exciting when one is a complete newbie - a whole Disney like world opens up! Challenge your nose with sampling. Buy samples first and decants before you commit to a full bottle. Try not to blind buy full bottles and if you have to, get the smallest size!

Read the excellent perfume blogs and perfume reviews out there eg. Helg’s Perfume Shrine, Denyse Beaulieu ’s Grain de Musc and Victoria’s Bois de Jasmin.

Engage other members of Basenotes for help and advice.

Keep an open mind about what you are sampling.

Your taste in perfume may change in the future - something you despised may become a favorite later !

‘The Kick’ – you may find yourself attracted and obsessed with particular notes – you’re on a kick .

If we were to send you to a desert island (you are allowed to choose which one!), which three perfumes would you take with you?

Bora Bora- send me there! Only three perfumes – for survival one needs at least 10! This is the skeleton crew I would take …

With thanks to Mimi Gardenia! If you would like your entry in MY WARDROBE featured. Please message Lila Das Gupta.You can see Mimi's Wardrobe here

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About the author: Lila Das Gupta

Lila Das Gupta is a London based journalist with an interest in all things olfactory. Lila also organises the Perfume Lover's London meet-up group.


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    • Larimar | 7th March 2012 15:20

      Oh, a nice idea! Thoroughly enjoyed Mimi's thoughts and explanations! Thanks!

    • Mimi Gardenia | 7th March 2012 16:45

      Oh ! It's up ! Thanks Lila and Grant ! :) :vrolijk_26:

    • scentsitivity | 7th March 2012 17:04

      Great start to a certainly interesting series! A good read! Hopefully many to follow!

    • Nostalgie | 7th March 2012 17:19

      Great interview, Mimi!--and Lila. I like this new BN feature very much.

    • SoGent | 7th March 2012 17:24

      EXCELLENT idea. Ms. Gardenia was a perfect starting point.

    • JON RODGERS | 7th March 2012 19:00

      Great !. Thanks to Mims and Lila for a fascinating read.

    • MonkeyBars | 7th March 2012 19:02

      Love your attitude Mimi. Thanks so much for your contributions to the community.

    • fazilicious | 7th March 2012 19:53

      i frequently visit basenotes and especially noted Mimi's comments and profile for her infinite amount of thoroughly deserve to be profiled!!

    • Primrose | 7th March 2012 20:43

      Wonderful! A peek inside the perfumed thoughts of our own Mimi Gardenia!

    • CHSeifert | 7th March 2012 21:02

      Great idea and initiative :)

      Interesting to hear what the regular base noters have in their wardrobe and among their favorites :o

    • teardrop | 7th March 2012 22:14

      What a lovely idea. Great work Lila & Mimi, thanks for this! :)

    • Francop | 7th March 2012 23:02

      Thank You very much; most enjoyable and entertaining the sensible advice that Mimi shares with us...Thank You...:-)

    • jPhx | 7th March 2012 23:19

      An excellent new feature ... looking forward to others :thumbsup:

    • rtamara41 | 7th March 2012 23:44

      Very enjoyable read! Great desert island selections, by the way :)

    • 30 Roses | 7th March 2012 23:50

      What a great idea! And an interesting read as well.

    • Grottola | 8th March 2012 05:02

      Love this new feature and I love Mimi. I'd love to see an interview of Foetidus or Pluran.

    • Primrose | 8th March 2012 07:02

      I would like to see our Redneck featured. What a nice way to feature a key Basenoter.

    • Melvournis | 8th March 2012 07:25

      This site just got a whole lot more interesting than it already was.

    • knit at nite | 8th March 2012 09:55

      Nice feature and a great Basenoter to introduce it!

    • kbe | 8th March 2012 11:58

      Red for #2! :evil:

    • PerfumedLady | 8th March 2012 15:28

      What a great way to add some excitement around here! Wonderful questions from Lila; interesting & well thought out answers from Mimi. I knew when I saw that desert island question that Mitsouko would be on the list! Excellent work, both of you!

    • teardrop | 8th March 2012 17:00

      +1 for Red, & a vote each for JaimeB & Sugandaraja! :)

    • Le Grand Duc | 8th March 2012 17:52

      That was a fun read. Gotta love miss Mimi!

      I know I'll love this series.

    • Katie Puckrik | 8th March 2012 17:59

      What a fun feature idea and a great way to get to know our fellow fumies!

    • acjigga | 8th March 2012 19:01

      This is such a great way to get to know fellow Basenoters! Great interview Mimi!

    • MikeNY | 8th March 2012 21:58

      A wonderful wardrobe for a wonderful member of Basenotes. Mimi exemplifies all that is good about Basenotes! I really enjoyed this!

    • Redneck Perfumisto | 9th March 2012 03:12

      OMG - feel like I'm being drafted - but in a good way! :grin: Although I would LOVE to hear more from foetidus, pluran, mr. reasonable, JaimeB, rogalal, hednic, and some of our other friends, whose quiet waters of true knowledge run much deeper than my own. We have some real opportunities here to learn from them!

      Love this feature, and *love Mimi*! Mike is right - Mimi exemplifies all that is good about Basenotes. A model perfumista if there ever was one! :beer:

    • KarmaLee | 9th March 2012 04:37

      I loved reading this, Mimi! I have read many of your posts and feel a kinship, since I seem to be a bit obsessed with the classics. I own eight iterations of Shalimar and five of Chanel 5. I am now on the hunt for some vintage Mitsouko.

      Thanks for sharing your passion!

    • Diamondflame | 9th March 2012 04:42

      Great start to an interesting series! I'm loving it!

    • | 9th March 2012 05:56

      This is the most interesting post I've read all week, since I've drifted back to basenotes. I'm in an out all over the web. Thanks to Lila and Grant for coming up with this idea! Thanks also to Mimi for being a great sport to all new comers and BN veterans. Who's Next Up? Gotta keep on the watch for these little gems. :D

    • le mouchoir de monsieur | 9th March 2012 13:45

      I side with Primrose on this one: the Great Doctor REDNECK PERFUMISTICO'S SECRETS MUST BE REVEALED!

    • Lila Das Gupta | 11th March 2012 18:17

      Thanks for all the great feedback everyone, it's really appreciated, and thanks to lovely Mimi too for taking part. So pleased that we started with her.

      Don't you worry - I had Redneck in my sights already! We're planning on running this series fortnightly. The brilliant thing is that people have such different collections, so it's going to be fascinating.

      Don't forget to message me if you want to take part - I'm really happy to hear from anyone who wants to put a spotlight on their wardrobe collection.

      Thanks again.

    • Mimi Gardenia | 12th March 2012 05:02

      Thanks Lila - for having me take part ! :) It's been a lot of fun.

    • Foustie | 19th March 2012 16:29

      I have just seen this feature. How fantastic to profile in house! How lovely to start with Mimi. What a lovely interview! Looking forward to many more. Thank You.

    • galwaygirl001 | 20th March 2012 22:20

      Great Idea! Looking foward to reading all the profiles!

    • Indie_Guy | 22nd March 2012 09:07

      Mims, I just got around to reading this. Very good interview! :)

    • Nukapai | 24th March 2012 09:31

      One of the best concepts here for a long time! And Mimi, your interview was so lovely :)

    • heavenscent1 | 27th April 2012 16:02

      Nice feature, thanks for this. I'm planning to try Amber Oud and glad to see it mentioned here.