Reviews of Mitsouko by Guerlain

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
Genre: Chypre

How, in the course of reviewing close to 800 fragrances, have I managed not to write about Mitsouko? To answer with a question, what more could I say about it that hasn’t been said already? Nobody needs to read more analysis of its structure, more rapturous praise, more speculation on gender-appropriateness, or more nit-picking over the various concentrations (I like the parfum) and reformulations (the latest is brighter, thinner, and more obviously fruity, but still recognizable). Mitsouko is a monument in the history of perfumery. You may or may not like it, but if you care about fragrance you should wear it at leas once.
19th June, 2014
I tried this for the first time last Sunday. I liked it at first. It was earthy and fresh. Then it dried down to "little old lady" smell. It just didn't work for me. However, My elderly mother and Aunt liked it
24th May, 2014
I was a fun, no it is not correct: I was in love with Heritage, de Gueralin, amd indeed the parfum version was my signature. Nowdays, it seems that the eau de toilette has been reformulated, loosing its body, while eau de parfum, is missing.
Since I am in love with Guerlain house, for imstamce eau du coq, eau de guerlain, etc. I come to test Mitsouko.
Here you go: I am a man, amd now Mitsouko, the eau de parfum, is my new signature.
A fantistc chypree, light but present, as intermal flame that show you the way.
I do not care of marketing, to me fragrances are comimg without sex.
This is a masterpice of perfumery.
The utilization of peach in combination with mossy undertones is simply genial!
09th May, 2014
Mitsouko is by far the most fascinating, and at times frustrating, perfume in my collection. I have a complicated relationship with her. How I feel about Mitsouko depends very much on what she decides to show of herself to me on any given day. Some days, she is cold and reserved, and whatever glimpse of peaches I get is more like a pan of hard, unripe fruit being simmered in formaldehyde in a far off room than the ripe, juicy fruit of which others speak. Oh but when she decides to relent! There is nothing better than Mitsouko when she is in a good mood. Slowly, she will drop her standoffish reserve and part her musty curtains to reveal a bed of spiced peaches on a dark, mossy bed – this Mitsouko is playful and mysterious.

I am working on a theory that you can break Mitsouko a little, or at least try to bend her to your will by placing her in situations where she is forced to come out of her shell. I discovered this when I spritzed it on one day in Spring this year before going for a long, six hour walk through the city with my husband, young son, baby daughter and my mum. By the end of the day, Mitsouko had taken on this salty, outdoorsy, herbal aspect that merged with the faint sweat on my skin. It was if both Mitsouko and I had finally learned to stop pacing edgily around each other and just chill out a bit.

Part of my frustration is her unpredictability. I can never know which one of her Janus faces she will show me on any given day. I own Mitsouko in many different concentrations and vintages: the 2013 EDP, a 1970’s EDT, a 1960’s EDT (onion bottle), the modern pure perfume, and lastly, a 1970’s spray deodorant. Each one of them smells, and behaves, slightly different on my skin, and none of them are consistent in what they reveal to me of their character. For example, today, to write this , I sprayed the 1970’s EDT – a version with real oakmoss listed on the back of the bottle – on the back of one arm. It is usually the friendliest version of them all, for me. But today, its opening was rather severe and unforgiving.

Two hours in, however, and I get a surprise! For the first time in my relationship with Mitsouko, she is giving me a glimpse of her spiced floral mid-section, the rose, ylang, and jasmine that when combined with the peach and moss, manage to smell like freshly proved bread dough. It’s delicious. I am not sure how long this little détente will last, so I am holding my breath, hoping not to alert her to my presence. If it is not clear by now, then I will say it openly: Mitsouko is not a perfume you own. She owns you. As for me, she’s grabbed me by the short and curlies, if not my heart strings, and doesn’t seem like she’s letting go anytime soon.
06th May, 2014 (last edited: 17th December, 2014)
Queen of Chypres

There isn't much more to add to what has been said. We know it's significance. It has it's place in history of perfume, it's been called the best of all time etc...

It's Oakmoss and Peach and rose and many other things, it's like a secluded garden in a forest full of flowers, with the smell of rain still in the air. Jacques Guerlain wanted to evoke with this "the smell of a woman's skin". I understand what he was trying to do.

I also don't see how anyone would not like this. It's floral, fruity, but so deep and earthly and rich and very hard to describe. I find it very unique. A wonderful mossy, beautiful fragrance, and a wonderful experience to smell. I really think everyone should try this. I don't think "old lady" or other labels. It really doesn't smell like much else and it was the inspiration (like Jicky and Shalimar), for not just many other classics, but also much of what we have today in the world of perfume.

I think this should be preserved forever as something really special. It has no gender, time or place. It should stand as something for all and everyone, and for all time. Real art in a bottle. Wonderful stuff!
01st May, 2014
Splendid, invigorating, evocative, balsamic, flower, baroque.. a celestial symphony. One of the best fragrances ever made – easily in the top three at least. And speaking as a man, one of the fragrances I enjoy wearing the most. As far as I know, it's also one of the few scents that have not been "mutilated" with bad reformulations... the EDP is still pretty good.

04th April, 2014 (last edited: 26th April, 2014)
It's unfortunate...

that I have to give this perfume a poor review based on reactions from women I know. Two took a sniff of it, one is obsessed with perfume, and immediately wrinkled noses and comments like "What the hell is that?" and "Smells like old ladies". I guarantee you 99.9% of women under 40 will not like this perfume. I'd highly recommend trying this out before deciding to purchase.

17th October, 2013
I rather liked this in the original formulation.

A lady I know and respect wears this as her signature fragrance... in its original formulation. Apparently she has a stockpile of the vintage perfume. Unknowingly, I bought her a bottle of the new formulation as a gift. She eyed it warily when given, complemented me on correctly identifying her selection and then said to me "let me teach you something about perfume." So excused herself, and apparently went and bathed and changed clothes, and applied my gift. What a difference! A muted presence, so much lost. That's when she told me "Only old perfumes are worthwhile. The regulations imposed today make perfume simply awful." In the case of Mitsuoku, she is entirely correct. It's not that the new formula is disgusting, but that it is only a pale imitation of the original. It feels somehow... soulless in comparison.

20th August, 2013
Hubar Show all reviews
United States
I purchased Mitsouko EDP recently, and have tried wearing it just twice. Although I do not dislike this fragrance I could not understand the raves I've read about it. It is a little too sweet for me.

Today I tried a sample of vintage Mitsouko pure parfum. What a difference. I love it. It is so much smoother it's like drinking a great champagne vs. a cheap one. I know that's not a great analogy, but is the best I can do right now. I only wish this could be made by the vintage formula, of course I've wished that for Joy also ( and a few others, LOL).
22nd March, 2013
before i tried vintage PDT i could not appreciate this scent enough,

for me this is beautiful galbanum note, spicy, strong , amazing experience yes ,i love how Bal a Versailes put it. Oak moss is not that green here, but gives feel of something aromatic and natural behind, that takes breath away!

when i smell it from the distance i get old lady vibe , when i put my nose closer to the skin its soo gorgeous, one has to get used to it, becasue modern perfumes just lost it, from that old lady vibe i think there must be some animalic notes too

EDT version is much sharper, in a masculin kind of way, the differenc is huge to my nose, its more mossy, less spicy, and less beauty for me

05th March, 2013
The most beautiful smell in the world. I know they say do not mix your fragrances but I wear this with vintage rochas femme, the two together smell sublime, try it you wont be disappointed.
28th February, 2013
The beauty of this fragrance is obvious in many parts: the balanced flowery jasmine and rose, counterbalanced by the bergamot, and all enveloped in a creamy note that bears the hallmark of a classic. A gentle note of pepper and wood emanates in the drydown. Recalling an older formulation, however, a lot of the richness and luxuriant intensity has gone; it has become leaner, more "modern" and a bit duller. Whilst the Louis Vuitton version veers towards the neutral overall, the total score over the years remains a thumbs-up for this classic. Projection is average, but even the new version lasts five hours on me.
29th November, 2012
this is only for the sexy and kinky type of guys, you wanna be dusky and sexy? this is for you obscure lovers out therer!
23rd October, 2012
MItsouko is not a fragrance but an experience. This is mine. Take an eight week old baby from it's crib at 4 pm. It's bathtime. Droplets of breast milk have run down into the creases of his neck where they smell interesting but not offensive. The soft scent of cotton wafts up from baby's skin and there is just the faintest trace of fudgy excrement on his bottom, mixed with the protective barrier cream, Amolin, I think, slightly almond. the kernel of the peach. His wispy hair smells divine and he burps a tiny hiccup of gripe water and you recognise the dill and fennel. In spite of the active biology of his skin you desperately love and desire what is so unique and you know that in minutes he will smell of sudsy baby soap and talcum powder.
Mitsouko in repose, after the initial burst has gone, smells of love, breath, breast, sleep, innocence and desire, milk, cotton, fennel, almond and urea.
09th October, 2012
This review is for the modern extrait;

The opening is very retro in feel, with an underlying creaminess that quickly becomes more prominent, & sweeter, almost cloying. After an hour though, it is softer & mossier. And although l don't really get the peach note, l do get the "fuzzy peach skin" vibe others have mentioned. Three hours in, l get salty oakmoss along with an ambery sweetness, & the whole thing is still traceable after seven hours on my skin.
l didn't expect to love Mitsouko, although of course l respect her classic pedigree. l can imagine growing to like her a lot after a few more wearings though, especially having read that she tends to show different facets of her character at different times. She isn't bitter & green on my skin as l have found other chypres to be, but l think it's the addition of galbanum that usually causes this. Mitsouko is prettier & much less "dark & mysterious" than l expected, in fact she is surprisingly easy to wear, & makes me feel very put-together, grown-up & in control.
12th June, 2012
My favorite of all time, owning 3 bottles.

A must try for every Perfumista.

This is simply became an Icon in the perfumes world.

This is probably the only bergamot scent i encountered which

in the opening you are not hit with bergamot ( contrary to aqua di parma)

which surprised me, in other words, perfectly blended
29th April, 2012
Emily Show all reviews
United States
Chypre isn't a genre. It's a 'tude. With that being noted, I have to admit I don't carry much of the chypre 'tude, but I certainly get it and like it.

Mitsouko is the wonderfully weird abstract scent that is a godmother of hard to categorize perfumes. It definitely smells like all the noted ingredients were baked and dried for an oddly flat, yet soft affect. I remember my first sniff 5 years back was a slam of peach and cinnamon with dirty herbs. Today I get more of a soft melting of the two worlds. The marriage of the peachy floral warmth to the dry green woodiness is clever and cozy, but still a wee bitter for my tastes.

The unmistakable oakmoss and woodsy finish is pleasant and sophisticated like a rich grandmother who buys tailored tweed blazers. She seems like she would be harsh, but she would actually like to take you out for ice cream and shopping.

It has so far settled into the sample paper for 21 hours and has left unmistakable traces front and center. That is staying power people. Mitsouko isn't my favorite Guerlain, but I prefer it to L'Heure Blue which is pretty, but too dry and filmy for me to wear.

I notice that different batches sometimes look....different. Some juices look peachy amber, others pale acid yellow.
27th March, 2012
I still have a lot to learn about chypres, so it made perfect sense to try one of the world's most famous chypres, Mitsouko.

'Perfumes: The Guide' uses Mitsouko as their chypre reference, hailing it as one of Guerlain's best masterpieces. I'm young, not really a big fan of chypres, however I do agree wholeheartedly on that definition.

Mitsouko is warm, slighty spicy, mossy, citrusy and dry. This fragrance tends to be so complex that it is difficult to pinpoint any particular note at any given time.

While this fragrance may be classic and extremely well-known, there is a sense of timelessness in this fragrance. It doesn't age as it makes an easy transition into a new century.

The classic Guerlain's continue to amaze me. Mitsouko is just as worthy of praise as those very distinguished Shalimar and L'Heure Bleue bottles. It is a pity that Guerlain now produces fragrances that don't live up to its renowned name.

While mostly green, crisp and earthy to my nose, (a scent that I'd also recommend to men), I feel a sense of velvety softness, something that settles on my skin like a harmony of silky florals and creamy goodness. This contradictory experience both confuses me and allures me at the same time.

Perhaps the reason why this fragrance is such a masterpiece is because it can evoke so many different feelings and opinions. Mitsouko is not something I can imagine myself wearing, however it is something that I could have the desire to smell every few seconds if I had the opportunity.
22nd March, 2012
Mitsouko’s most charming quality is that it suggests an aging face. Remember back in the day when people aged visibly? Qualities like patience, endurance, maybe even wisdom suggested that there was a reward to having come out on the other side of youth and middle-age. Of having gained something. There is something deserving, and in the best cases, generous to be found in an old face. Something implicitly handsome and attractive.

Perhaps for worse, but, with hope, for the better, I’m aging. Mitsouko suits me more as time passes. I imagine there’s the lucky young person who can wear Mitsouko with aplomb, but I like to hope that wearing Mitsouko with that powerful grace of age is one of the better things in life that awaits me.

19th March, 2012 (last edited: 18th May, 2015)
When I was tried this, it was overwhelmingly sweet, but the longer it stays on your skin the better it gets. It fades to a lovely powdery sweet smell with hints of spice then a subtle peach and a final lingering woody smell. It's not 'the one' for me, but if you can get over its first overpowering sweetness it's like wearing a sweet summer's day with the promise of exotic travels.
08th December, 2011
Alityke Show all reviews
United Kingdom
My favourite Guerlain scent. Reading these reviews reminds me I should replenish my wardrobe and buy more
27th November, 2011
The first time I smelt Mitsouko I was so excited. I'd read Luca Turin going on about it and was expecting some sort of divine revelation.

I went into a department store and smelt some on a smelling strip. My first reaction was - Wax Crayons?

However, I'd been told that you needed to try this on your skin and keep going back to it (I've also learnt that the first time I smell something complex my brain defaults to a smell it already knows).

So I kept on trying but it still wasn't opening up for me. Then on the seventh(!) try, I'd sprayed it on and had gone into another shop (I still remember it vividly). Suddenly it opened up around me. It felt like I was at the centre of a 3D scent mandala whose constituents were constantly shifting and revolving around me. I was totally lost in the enchantment of it.

Ah Mitsouko, what are you? Hyper-synthetic peach layered with rich florals, or bright citrus with deep dank moss? Sometimes you feel like a misty morning, others like a bright clean summer's day, or musty dark green undergrowth in the rain, or a candy violet treat, or......... Whatever you are smelling like though you really hit the sweet spot in my brain and smell just darn GOOD!

Mitsouko's genius, I believe, lies (like the language of Shakespeare) in indeterminacy. By remaining complex and open, generations of people are able to project their own interpretations into its structure. True Art.

It wasn't quite divine but I definitely got my revelation!
02nd September, 2011
I've actually changed my mind about this fragrance. The first time I wore it I thought I didn't like it, probably because it comes on very strong when I first apply it. However, I gave it another chance today and I actually like it a lot more! I think how I feel about a fragrance can vary a lot depending on my mood. Also, Mitsouko is very different from most modern fragrances so I think I just wasn't prepared for the way it smells. Today, I've been wearing it for a few hours and I find I really enjoy the way Mitsouko smells when it dries down. When I first apply it I mostly smell the dry woody and green notes a lot, but dried down it smells like exotic spices on me and I find that I want to keep smelling it! I don't think it's a fragrance I could wear every day but it's definitely a really nice sexy evening scent! I actually do recommend this one to everyone who likes chypre and spicy exotic fragrances.
22nd August, 2011 (last edited: 02nd September, 2011)
Bought this for the wife based on all the reviews and so thought it was going to be something amazing. But I couldn't wrong enough,Mitsouko smelt awful!! It smelt like an elderly women's wardrobe. Very strong and very flowery....its so strong it would knock out any bee in your area!!
19th July, 2011