Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Ninféo Mio by Annick Goutal

Total Reviews: 21
Annick Goutal is one of the earlier purveyors of niche perfume out there, having gotten her start as a pianist and model-turned perfume entrepreneur after she was involved with perfumers to create a scent for a facial cream. From that pivotal genesis point, she moved into making perfume full-time and enlisted the help of several perfumers she knew personally. When she passed away in 1999, the company was picked up by her daughter Camille Goutal, who utilized mainly the talents of Isabella Doyen, the perfumer behind this fragrance. Ninféo Mio (2009) is an interesting and extremely green woody floral musk with a prominent fig accord that really stood sharply against what was common or popular at the end of the 2000's, since fig itself was something of a flash in the pan around the late 90's into the beginning of the 2000's decade. Had Ninféo Mio been released right around Y2K instead of 2009, and it might have seemed downright mainstream, but that's not the niche way of doing things. Ninféo Mio is also sold in both male-marketed and female-marketed Annick Goutal bottles, although it is the same juice inside regardless, and Goutal is infamous for packaging changes anyway.

The biggest make or break facet of Ninféo Mio isn't its fig, which may surprise some people since fig itself can be a polarizing accord, and ask anyone who has smelled Diptyque Philosykos (1996) or Salvatore Ferragamo Pour Homme (1999) for confirmation, but the real trouble with Ninféo Mio is tomato leaf. The opening of this scent is loaded down with tomato leaf, in all of its glaring and chlorophyll-laden green. The sharpness of this note is further assisted by galbanum, which itself imparts an extremely grassy edge all its own, meaning haters of this kind of green will find Ninféo Mio to be their anathema. Once you get past that, things become a bit more conventional with lemon, bitter orange, and the fig. In this case, the citrus and fig fill the empty spaces left by the stinging green of the opening, which itself is eventually replaced by musky wood notes as the bases comes into form. There really isn't much of a heart to Ninféo Mio, as this barrage of green and fig immediately steps aside to join a base of mastic, vetiver, musk, and dry cedary wood note into a linear finish. At eau de parfum strength, sillage is tight but can be intense if over-applied, so be careful. Something this unapologetically green is definitely for the outdoorsy garderner/botanist/lover of nature, and I can't really think of an urban context where this fits, so wear where you like. This is unisex and strictly feels it to me, but regardless of gender, you might want to save this for spring or fall seasons, as the musk note can suffocate in summer, while this may be too sharp for winter's chill.

Ninféo Mio will certainly give lovers of green something to talk about, as if the galbanum-infused chypres of the 70's weren't enough, this will satisfy that hunkering you may have to literally smell like a hedgerow. The tomato leaf recalls my father's own tomatoes grown in the backyard (big Maryland beefsteak tomatoes), and overall I like Ninféo Mio, although I do find it to push my fondness for green to extremes that proves a little challenging even to me. Overall, this is spring time in a bottle for lovers of horticulture, fig, or sharp wood scents. Ninféo Mio sits somewhere between the aforementioned Philosykos and another Diptyque scent called Tam Dao (2003), which goes the extreme route with wood. If you toned down the fig of Philosykos, smoothed the wood of Tam Dao, and gave it a shockingly large injection of tomato leaf/galbanum, you'd get close to the overall effect of wearing Ninféo Mio. This is not a scent for those timid about green things, or just those timid overall, as anyone walking by you with this on will instantly recall the kind of shrubbery the scent emulates, as the leafy aroma here is almost photo-realistic. Ninféo Mio is a winner for me, but not something I'd want to wear enough for a big 100ml bottle. Sample this before listening to the moderately large amount of hype surrounding the scent, as it really isn't casual at all. Thumbs up!
15th March, 2019 (last edited: 16th March, 2019)
Beautiful fragrance.

It is all about figs.

Good projection & longevity.

Thumbs up!
11th March, 2019
One of the better offerings by Goutal. It is slightly sweet, spicy, citrusy, nutty, and woody. Creamy dry down.
13th June, 2017
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Another quality recommendation from the BN forums. Opens with a massive punch of citrus, but oil rather than juice; galbanum's in the mix to give an opening that's all crushed stems and bitter orange oil. Next come tomato leaves, keeping the sharp green theme on the go before it all settles into a lovely smooth and rounded joy of woods and milky figs. Ninféo Mio is one I can't stop sniffing and it makes me grin everytime I do.
07th March, 2017 (last edited: 08th March, 2017)
A clean scent yet surprisingly magnetic.it is incredibly refreshing and even seductive in it is honest breezy charm.Ninfeo Mio gives a clean feeling but in a very natural way and very unisex.the scent is all about citrus but i find the balance of fresh lemon and bitter woody/aromatic notes.it is especially refreshing in the heat and humidity and suitable for daytime and office use.Soothing,Safe, Elegant,Green, Clean, Modern yet Traditional,Cute in an irresistibly light way.

It opens with a magnificent burts of refreshing, lemony, slightlty bitter scent that disappears in minutes but then takes a pleasant turn more toward woody and earthy as this dries the gentle fig leaf combine with a classy woody note makes a real uplifting and calmint citrusy aromatic scent which is healthy.the opening appears more feminine but the dry down is quite masculine and woody.i recommend this scent after a warm bath or first thing in the morning.put your airy dress,pearls,sunglasses and two spray for yourself and your lover and enjoy to walk with him at a summer afternoon.

Sillage?Moderate.

Longevity?Good on my skin.

7.25/10
18th July, 2016 (last edited: 19th July, 2016)
Opens zesty with spot on natural smelling citruses that are mouthwatering. Soon, the fig makes its presence adding a milky coconut smell, but the fragrance feels very green and fresh overall. Later, in the dry down, the fig/coconut smell is backed up by woody notes that are replacing the tart citrus.
Ninfeo Mio paints a picture for me, one of a green tropical forest in the morning.
07th April, 2016
This is my "happy" perfume! It's the last vestiges of summer to me. Bright, green, wet, juicy. It's lemon drizzle cake and tomatoes ripening on the vine, it's garden parties and the hay harvest. Sends me out of London (where I've lived for 20+years) and back to the sunny Norfolk countryside of my youth. Fizzy and happy, sherbets and sunshine. I hope IFRA don't mess with it.

Edit: a Realised recently that this (Brit TV allusion coming up) that this is equivalent to wearing The Great British Bake Off - it's not sexy in any way, it's homely, gourmand (tomatoes, figs and lemons), fun and warm. The ultimate comfort scent. Happy and juicy. No sex. But please - we're British!
26th September, 2014 (last edited: 07th November, 2014)
This was another blind buy for me, having spotted a small bottle in TK Maxx, & having read a few positive reviews on various blogs. l'm not usually a lover of very green scents, but this one won me over. lt starts out with bright citrus notes of lemon & grapefruit, with a herbaceous edge. As it develops, l get a bunch of different impressions; there's the tomato/ tomato leaf, & perhaps a little blackcurrant bud. ln fact on my skin the heart is very similar to L'Ombre dans L'Eau, crossed with the lemongrass/ lime leaf/ coconut Thai curry vibe of Fils de Dieu. There's also some dry lavender & later on, a waft of incense. The projection is good & it all lasts a very respectable twelve hours on me. l don't really get the fig until way into the drydown, but when l do it's milky & delicious. These complex & varied impressions all somehow succeed in working together.
l think this fragrance would be perfect for cutting through heat & humidity, & l look forward very much to testing this out in the summer.
04th April, 2014
the opening is so bright, intense, and zingy, full of deep limes, bergamot and fresh fig. i could live in this cloud forever. the party calms down after 30 min into a much greener, tomato leaf & fig vibe that stays comfortable for a respectable 4-6 hours. at some point, the wife detects "cat pee", which i've noticed others have noted. i ascribe that to certain noses due to a clash between a subtle, rich wood note and the chlorophyll in the green notes that you smell in the garden after heavy rain (but i ain't no organic chemist...) this is (along with eau du sud, another goutal) my favourite summer perfume. marvelous!
29th April, 2013
i agree with blood orange, this is a very natural scent and i love every minute of it! it is so fresh and green, even in the hot southern hemisphere summer at the moment. on my skin it does not change a lot, stays more or less the same - and stays for a decent period of time (well, for a fresh scent - so definitely not a whole day). there is also this one aspect about it that makes me love this perfume even more - haven't been to greek gardens yet, maybe this is how they smell, but to me it smells of the nettle thicket in the wood on the sunny early summer first hot days, when the woods are still cool and dump. probably this is my imaginary nettle scent, i haven't been near nettle thicket since childhood. nevertheless, this association made me love the fragrance and buy the whole bottle.
09th December, 2011
Ninfeo Mio, is quite possibly the most natural smelling scent I have managed to come across. The greeness that is experienced in this particular fragrance, smells like that of a thriving vegetable garden.

If you don't like particularly earthy or bitter green scents, Ninfeo Mio probably won't delight you. I honestly couldn't imagine myself wearing such a scent, however I am very drawn to Ninfeo Mio. I find it very appealing and in some ways, pretty.

The citrus opening is more tart than sharp and sour. I initially detected a tomato-like note hidden in the composition, that made me think of freshly cut vegetables.

Lavender is what tends to give Ninfeo Mio that unisex and aromatic touch in the heart. The whole composition is quite astounding in the way that it's dry rather than wet.

In the drydown I swear that I can smell smokey incense. It has a very exotic/garden temple feel to it. Every now and then I have to remind myself that Ninfeo Mio is a perfume and not just my natural surroundings.

The lasting power is amazing and the sillage rather commendable. Because this fragrance is so unusual, I don't believe that everyone is expected to like it. Ninfeo Mio, is in my opinion, is an excellent example of a green, herbaceous scent done to perfection.

25th November, 2011
mumsy Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I'm transported to Greece and I've just broken a branch off a fig tree. Heat, sun and green figgy notes. Delicious and evocative of a garden abroad.
11th September, 2011
This is a wonderful summer fragrance or a memory of a summer during the colder months. It transports me to my grandmother's summer house and garden, the smell of the tomato vines in the warm sun if front of a wooden wall, the coolness and smell of fresh water of the little rapids an a pond and the milky scents of food and baking from the kitchen.
It is divine but I cannot wear it to work. It is so combined with dolce far niente that I probably could not get anything done. :-)
09th April, 2011 (last edited: 12th April, 2011)
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This is the scent of elfs and fairies in the woodlands. The aroma of this fragrance projects in my olfactory imagination the perfume waving around an ethereal Eden's garden located in a magic woodland with streams, fruit trees and ponds, a bit swampy and shadowy, featuring a woodsy, earthy, incensey smell of fig-peach with a chemical citrusy undertone. The beginning is sour (orangy-lemony combo which is rooty due to a wonderful petitgrain) with an hint of lavender. The fragrance soon becomes a bit resinous, green-musky and incensey (thanks to the galbanum aroma, sort of an incensey one, at least in my perception) with nuances of fig and peach. I detect far more a green-earthy temperament than a fruity or floral one. I agree who with asserts that the note of fig provides an earthy feel which becomes resinous and creamy due to creamy woods, milky notes and resins. I associate myself who with detects a laundry mark. The feel of chemical detergent is one of the nuances by me perceived while inhaling such woodsy, silvan, creamy scents and i associate it to orange-resins (or balsams) links. Really, really interesting scent from a great brand whereof the creations talk about nostalgia, childhood and enchanting gardens.
21st February, 2011 (last edited: 12th January, 2014)
For me the best launch in summer 10! Ninfeo mio is a very green fig with a strong green lemon opening, it's truly fascinating and the sillage is extremely powerful for a summer perfume. Can't live without it on these days!!
04th September, 2010
(revised)
Notes: bergamot, citron, petitgrain, bitter orange, galbanum, lentisque (mastic resin), lavender, fig leaf, lemon tree wood.
This has a marvelous dry-herbal-woody opening, with a hint of lavender. I wish that lasted longer. The scent is very lemony, but it is round and not acidic. Lots of creamy fig notes which at times seem like coconut and at other times somewhat peachy. The mastic resin combines with the wood and fig to give an earthy, compelling and even haunting quality. This earthy quality earns this the "garrigue" designation. My reservation is the fig. I appreciate it but don't like it on myself. I usually find that creamy-sweet note is not quite my style. Still, this is a marvelous scent. I don't get anything starchy, cold or skanky here...
15th June, 2010 (last edited: 28th January, 2011)
Wonderful and amazing fragrance. Opens with citruses and galbanum. The middle notes (lavender and fig leaves) is like being under a fig tree, smelling the grass and lemon wood. Herbal-citrus with a sweet touch. Unbelievable!. It lasts in my skin more than five hours. In the clothes (t-shirt) lasts for ages. I have a paper card with Ninfeo mio and smell really good +1 month after!!!. A masterpiece. 10/10
13th May, 2010
Finally a fig scent I can appreciate. The combination of milky and green notes in most fig scents tend to make me nauseous, but while this is recogniseable as fig (that is, the perfume version of fig - I know nothing of fig tree smells) it has none of the usual creamy/milky/coconutty aspect. Instead, it's green and aromatic like tomato leaf and geranium. Very plesant refreshing garden type scent.
10th April, 2010
AnnS Show all reviews
United States
Ninfeo Mio is everything I've ever looked for in a cologne/fougere or even a "green" floral, and I just adore green florals. It is another classic, naturalistic, understated masterpiece from Annick Goutal. It is just breathtaking, and I was all prepared to hate it since I normally think boxwood smells like cat pee, and it is present, but the entire composition is so well balanced and tempered, that the boxwood accord only plays one part in a symphony of naturalistic garden-like notes and accords.

The opening has a tart citrus cologne style opening that smells like a Goutal: Hadrien, Mandragore, Les Nuits d'Hadrien all have it, so you know you are smelling a Goutal right away. The use of petitgrain is especially refreshing for tying the lemon citrus to the other dry green woody notes taken from a dark green "ivy" like aroma and boxwood. Aftter the delightful citrus/cologne opening, the fragrance remains very well balanced between the dry green (ivy, boxwood), aromatic lavender, and wet milky accords (fig and musks). I swear there are even breaths of some orris, green violet leaf, and even orange blossom to round out the composition, adding a perpetual feeling of very fresh, dewy air. The lemon, lavender and galbanum all dance around each other in a swirl of very naturalistic aromatic accords, and all of them play equal parts which keep Ninfeo Mio from getting too much of any one. The galbanum is very well handled in Ninfeo Mio – it never brings that whallop of heavy green galbanum is normally used for. It just adds a feeling of everlasting, “fresh cut” green to the composition. Ninfeo Mio maintains a transparency and variety such as you would indeed smell if you were outside in a vast garden with many fresh, natural aromas. The light, transparent touches of florals here and there give Ninfeo Mio a sparkling attitude and keep the woods, lavender, galbanum, and fig from smelling heavy or linear. There are no cloyingly sweet or synthetic musks to content with – Ninfeo Mio is a true representation of nature. It is like taking a breath of fresh air in a large, old, dewy garden, just as the image of the marketing conjures. I highly recommend testing this. I can't really say what else it smells like as I've never smelled anything like it. However, the use of the dewy hay accord in Ninfeo Mio is similar to the same in Eau de Ciel which overall has the aroma of a fresh dewy aromatic meadow.
30th March, 2010
This beautiful and *very* green fragrance may be just a bit too green for some. The gorgeous citrus topnotes remind me of lemon and orange peels when they are still a bit unripened, and a tad bitter. It is bracing and fresh. Then the scent begins to warm up a bit and it is green leaves and stems, fresh and cool and juicy. Love this part of the scent. It never gets very sweet to me, but as the scent progresses there is a bit of a warm, powdery sweet tone to this - some say coconut and some say almond, but to me it is a shifting nuttiness - not exactly tropical, and not exactly almond. It is more the impression of a slightly powdered creamy note, that just hugs the edges of the scent to give it a bit of lushness. I absolutely adore the story this scent tells, so wonderful! It will for sure be an addition to my collection as soon as LuckyScent gets it in stock!!
25th March, 2010
The very pronounced citrussy top-notes evaporate quickly, giving way to a green, rather "aloof" kind of Eau de Toilette slightly reminiscent of Ellena's wonderful "Un Jardin sur le Nil" which is a bit nicer, by the way. Ninféo Mio progresses from the high-pitched top-notes to woody, green and dark shades, thus avoiding the monotony many modern fragrances have come up with recently. This aspect alone makes it superior to many common Eaux on the market. Ninféo Mio is perfect on a hot summer day, the dry-down leaves a masculine touch on my skin. Staying power is poor (as with most Annick Goutal fragrances).
20th March, 2010