Sunday, 22 July 2012

Mitsouko Moments

My Girlfriend gave me an empty bottle of Mitsouko for my birthday. She thought it would be a lovely addition to my collection. What she did not know was that she was giving me back a memory I didn't know that I had. One waft and she was there, conjured up like a genie out of a bottle, my Grandma. I didn't know that she wore this perfume, or rather I never knew its name,but here she is in the room with me now.
Mitsouko was created by Guerlain in 1919, it falls into the Chypre category with top notes of rose, bergamot and jasmine. Mid notes of ylang ylang, peach and lilac and base notes of vetiver, oakmoss, cinnamon and amber.

I describe them as:
 Top notes:
 Forget me not lined pathways to the vegetable patch,or standing outside at the mangle with freshly washed bedsheets.
Dressing tables of face powder  and hair pins coloured with turquoise jewels of large rings and brooches.

 Mid notes :
 Duck egg blue painted wardrobes filled with colourful clothes, hats and moth balls.
Silken,quilted eider-down beds of night time dreams filled with the passing lights of cars on their way home from the coast or journeying to London.
Chaise longue , dreamy hours of story-books and historical romances.
Piano keys, crochet hooks and sewing scissors with bird handles next to wooden button boxes as exciting as jewellery collections. So metals, wood and ivory also feature . With a middle name of Violet my Grandmother was always two people to me, my Grandma and a woman in her own right. So this perfume has a hint of violet for me. A reason to use your middle name to be a different person, a different character.

Base notes:
Knowledge gained from shelling peas at the kitchen table hearing adults talk their talk. I absorbed stories with the taste of each pea popped into my mouth.Travelling as a form of ladies companion to visit relatives at the coast and to Canada, to hear stories about South Africa, the war, love, marriage, men and childbirth, to find my family tree and part of my genetic past. This was also my own coming of age moment. This is where I would run to when times were difficult , to walk and talk or just be with unconditional love.

This perfume is layered with a memory, a past echo. It is not a young woman's fragrance. It is a perfume for a woman who has lived, loved, lost and learnt in life. A woman who can offer comfort and non-judgemental love. A fragrance which is patient, evocative, well travelled with a hint of mystery and knowledge. But also a woman who is confident and secure in herself, a coming home sense of being.


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