As happens for many wearers, Mitsouko prompted musings far beyond my sniffing experience. I drew steps closer to the fragrance, still experiencing it as "old," but liking it more. I even found the peach, which had eluded me until now. (If you happen to have trouble smelling it, too, try holding your sniffer a few inches away from your skin rather than burying it against your skin. That's where I found the fruit...dangling, if you will.)
I'll come back for more dances with Mitsouko. Meanwhile, what I'll take out of our recent time together is not so much the sniffery, but the reflections that resulted. As I spent time with Mitsouko, I realized that I didn't necessarily love it--yet--but I wanted it to survive. Just as it was. Not modernized. Because I might not love it, but I value it.
Around this point in my ruminations, my thoughts hopped onto a different subject: my former house, and my current house. My old house was old; today, it is more than 110 years old. I loved the full timber beam that ran down the middle of the basement, the balloon framing, the original wavy glass windows. It was challenging to live in: 2 closets for the whole house, a layout meant for entertaining in another era, and a "modern kitchen & bath" that were over 50 years old (and remuddled at that). We waited to collect money to rebuild the front porch right; solid cedar columns, tongue & groove panelled ceiling, a hint of our personality in the rail baluster pattern. We did projects we could handle on our own -- ripping up carpeting to expose hardwood, stripping paint from moldings and linoleum tiles from a fireplace mantle, etc. --according to what revealed the house's innate beauty. We were still waiting for the right money to fix the kitchen appropriately, faithful to what that house called for, when we moved.
That house had personality, and earned my respect and devotion from the day I first slept in it. I still mourn leaving it. But...and this is the critical insight my latest dance with Mitsouko taught me...that house was not the best reflection of me. The architecture I currently inhabit, for all I bemoaned it, reflects the actual me more than I cared to admit. Friends of mine saw this long before I did. I dismissed the new house; I was disappointed by what it didn't have that the old house did. I had spent so much time making sure the old house was honored that I fit myself into it. And, it did reflect a layer of me. A few layers of me, in fact.
But this house I live in now, it is more honestly who I am. Can geometry reflect personality? I think so, even if I cannot explain how. An open floor plan, multiple levels visible from one spot, plenty of closets to store stuff, clean lines with the fussiness placed here and there but not something that need be edited at the very bones...this "landscape" is more me. I will defend, love, and admire the old house always. And it is a part of me. But it may not be most of me.
I will also do all that I can to preserve and protect a classic like Mitsouko. Folks should. But, truth be told, a more "modern" scent composition may be a better, fuller expression of who I am.
Time will tell.
(And I'll try to remember that the fruit might be just beyond where I am expecting to find it.)