Reviews of Mystère by Rochas

    Find out more about Mystère by Rochas in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Chypre

    Mystère is a grim, glowering green chypre – a Givenchy III or Y that‘s gone over to the dark side. It’s wonderful.

    Chanel No. 19, with its bitter green accord and iris, has been called sharp, cold, and intimidating, but it’s got nothing on Mystère. This fragrance doesn’t beat around the bush for an instant. It s opening salvo is all bitter green notes, galbanum, and aldehydes, and these stay in place as dark leather, patchouli, and an enormous load of oakmoss establish a sepulchral chypre accord that yields no quarter even to Piguet’s Bandit in its brooding, craggy physiognomy. A powdery amber and a cold, venomous iris worthy of Lutens’s Iris Silver Mist eventually soften Mystère’s texture, but they render the scent not a jot more affable or cozy. Indeed, Mystère remains stubbornly true to its name from start to finish: always rather stern, veiled, and glacially aloof, eventually yielding, but never, ever warm.

    Don’t imagine that Mystère’s reserve amounts to shyness. It’s actually quite potent and enduring, with ample sillage and the capacity to project well off the skin. The drydown features plenty of that cold, powdery iris root, alongside so much moss that I doubt Mystère could be re-released in its original form under current EU regulations. Too bad. It’s not ever going to have broad appeal, but it’s a fascinating sent that takes perfumery about as far as I can imagine in its particular direction.

    19 June, 2014

    JackTwist's avatar

    United States United States

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    The original Mystere, now sadly discontinued, was one of the best floral chypres ever created. Sophisticated, warm, dark, powdery - very elegant. I am reminded of a lady wearing furs at the opera.

    Coriander and Hyacinth combine with a floral heart of Rose, Jasmine, Tuberose, Orris, Carnation, Ylang Ylang and Muguet. This floats over a base of Cedar, Oak Moss, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Musk, Styrax and Civet.

    The prominent notes are the Coriander, Carnation, Styrax and Civet.

    When looking for vintage, buy only the oval bottle with the square black top, as pictured above. Quite expensive but worth every penny. The reformulation going under the same name and displayed in a clear bottle is just awful. Shame on Rochas for trying to dupe its loyal customers.

    06 April, 2014 (Last Edited: 06 June, 2014)

    TerryM's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is one of my all-time favorite scents. I was walking down the halls of the Smithsonian in D.C. where I worked at the time (early 80s). I kept smelling this incredible aroma and was trying to follow it to its source. I eventually traced to another employee down the hall and around the corner; I only caught the trail of the scent that she left exiting the lady's room. I cornered her and found out the name and immediately went to Garfinckel's (sadly RIP) angdbought a bottle, a big splurge on my income at the time. It has been in my scent wardrobe ever since, even thought it was discontinued for a while and then resurrected (hate the new bottle). Warm, dark, woodsy and slightly herbaceous, mysterious and slightly possibly dangerous. You don't wear this to an early AM meeting; too heavy. But once the sun goes down . . . . a very ambery scent, and a brave man could wear this as well.

    03 September, 2011

    JessicaGrace's avatar

    United States United States

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    I have a little vintage mini, not sure of it's condition. On me, a very dry cooking-spice note dominates the top and hangs on into the heart. Coriander is listed; I would have guessed cumin. No other note makes it through the fog. I smell like a sink full of dishes at a noodle house.

    Eventually, some florals worm their way into the mix and soften the cooking-spice a little bit, but by this time the scent as a whole is fading. Remains dry, and would make a decent masculine. I don't smell enough moss to identify this as a chypre.

    Overall, not a favorite. I was surprised to see it compared to Magie Noire in "Perfumes: The Guide" as that is scent that sends me straight over the moon. Perhaps my sample has aged ungracefully or maybe coriander is just too difficult a note for me.

    16 June, 2010

    Johannes's avatar

    Norway Norway

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    Incredibly complex, but still collected, bouquet. Absolutely unique and, well...mysterious. Mystère makes you dream.

    29 April, 2010 (Last Edited: 03 June, 2012)

    euphoropia's avatar

    United States United States

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    I adore this classic, warm, chypre scent. I hope someone resurrects it!

    30th September, 2009

    Lisaandtheword's avatar

    United States United States

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    Unique, deep dark oriental, also seems like chypre. Spicy oomph at first, exotic & not too sweet. Tames down, a little.. dries to a cobalt blue silkiness, with rich dark wood underneath. pretty good sillage & duration. Drydown reminds me of Knowing- cool dark woods & flowers w/soft musk. But this has alot more pizazz! 2nd try- Full moon clear sky kind of feel.. not so soft & cozy, more moody. I love this but just for once in a while.

    02 December, 2007

    margi's avatar

    England England

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    I first wore this when I was 21 and considered myself very grown up and chic. Then it was one of the most mysterious frags I had used. It seemed very chic and french as FroFro commented. I recently began to use it again now I am in my 40's and found that either it had changed or possibly I had grown up. I found it mildly sickly and shallow. Still woody but also too sweet! I was disappointed and still grieving as I had lots of lovely memories wearing this frag. I won't buy it again, just good to remember it as it was. For those trying it first time, try before you buy. Goodbye old friend!!!

    05 April, 2007

    flathorn's avatar

    United States United States

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    I was prepared to love this classic chypre, but after three tries I'm only guardedly positive. There are just so many other chypres out there I like more. The main drawback for me was nose fatigue - after five minutes I couldn't smell it anymore. I could detect the sillage wafting around from time to time, so I knew it was still there. While that meant others could still smell it, I like to be able to smell my own fragrance - it's part of the enjoyment for me.
    On me it was a somewhat dry and non-sweet chypre, not at all objectionable, but I had a hard time wrapping my feelings around it, or feeling too much of anything, really. I have a mental ranking system that puts this in my category of "Would wear this if gifted with a bottle, but wouldn't buy it".

    18 January, 2007

    lefay's avatar



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    The first time I smelled this out of the bottle, my jaw fell open. Perfect, I thought; ethereal. It's a classic mossy chypre, a wooded glade at twilight. But it also seems to vary dramatically on my skin from application to application -- sometimes soft, sometimes sharp -- so I can only wear it occasionally. It can also have a similarly disturbing effect on my mood as Mitsouko, which I still consider a masterpiece. Unusual and elusive. Love the oblique bottle, and the black oblique cap.

    13 February, 2006

    FroFro's avatar



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    I got this one as a gift when I was around 20, and, surprizingly, loved it even then (this is a mature scent, not really suitable for young girls). After that, I've bought it with some regularity (last time about a year ago, I guess).

    I'd describe this as "very French"; it does tend to be somewhat strong, so use sparingly if you're not into heavy scents.

    It's an oriental woody; bergamot, tangerine and ylang-ylang, blended with notes of vanilla, musk and amber. None of those really stand out on me, so I end up with a very nicely blended scent, not immediately identifiable. They really balance each other out very well.

    04 February, 2006

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