Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Mitsouko Musings

It was time for another whirl around the dance floor with Mitsouko.  I'd been practicing, I've learned a few more steps, there was probably a chance for me to better understand, if not appreciate, it.

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.)


Rose said...

It took me quite a while to find the fruit too! I think L'heure Bleu is more 'me' but I really admire and enjoy Mitsouko and funnily have got quite a few compliments when I have worn it, which suggests it suits me, even though I feel it's cousin is better.
That's very interesting what you say about houses, who knows why some places fit, it's weird home chemistry.

ScentScelf said...

Funny you mention L'Heure Bleu -- I had it as part of the post a couple of times, but figured I'd come back to it separately. Because I, too, find that LhB could actually be a true "me" perfume.

But that is my perception; you bring up an interesting point about the reaction of *others* to a perfume on you. Wonder if it is parallel to how others perceive my houses "on" me? :)

Perfumeshrine said...

What an amazing journey from architecture to psychology to scent...thank you for providing an original angle on a well-troden path. Brava!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

I can't do Mitsouko either. I've tried but it's just not me.

Loved your analogy to your old house... so true!

ScentScelf said...

Thanks, Elena. As a "starting to be knowledgeable about perfume person," I am quite aware of the iconic status Mitsouko has--and how frequently it is the topic of conversation. Yet, part of my not-quite-newbie mission is to be honest to the experience of learning.

But, I should also have SOMETHING new to say...otherwise, this is all just for me.

And I *do* like chatting...with others... ;) How else would I get to enjoy perks like your comments?

ScentScelf said...

I'll keep trying Mitsouko, but no promises. ;)

As I mentioned to Rose up above, there ARE vintage scents which seem to sit better on L'Heure Bleu.

Rose said...

Hi Scentscelf, yes it could be true about how people see our properties 'on' us.

ScentScelf said...

Hey, Rose, while you're back...thanks for the Fragrantica nomination!

Anonymous said...

Ormonde Jayne Perfumery in London's Old Bond Street would be delighted to send you the new Sample Programme with all 11 perfumes in EDP strength including the new ZIZAN for men.
Ormonde Jayne is a luxury perfume house with a range of scented candles, parfum and bathing range all created by Linda Pilkington using rare exquisite oils like Black Hemlock, Champaca, Sampaquita & Black Iris sourced from around the world.
Sarah Ehrlich
PR for Ormonde Jayne

Rose said...

Hi Scentscelf! You're very welcome! I really love your blog too so I thought I would return the very kind compliment.

NathanB said...

Okay, can I just say how hilarious I think that Ormonde Jayne message is -- as if you've never heard of them before. But it's wonderful that they want to send you a sampler. I already purchased a sample several months ago (darnit!).

But SS, and this is something I addressed in a comment to you on my own blog, you need to have an email address posted where people can reach you. I've been trying to get your mailing address for weeks so I can send you some samples . . .

ScentScelf said...

Ah, so!! It shall be done, this contact thingy!!!

Yes, I loved the "blind call" from OJ; d'ya think I can pull off responding with "Ormonde Jayne who?" ;)