Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus by Guerlain - When flanker has a purpose


Continuing to write about flankering, Guerlain also launched in 2009 a Mitsouko flanker called Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus, to celebrate Mitsouko's 90th birthday.
A lot of controversy was raised, stones were thrown by Mitsouko's most fervors and purists fans, but frankly I think it had a positive goal. One single note of Lotus flower was added to please one very specific market: The Japanese. The japonization of a French perfume, tailored to have a delicate watery- flowery touch, did please this blogger and probably all the Japanese customers JPG wished to please.


The original Mitsouko was a chypre fragrance launched in 1919 in response to all the romantic feminine fragrances sold in the market at that time. Considered till today the quintessential of chypre and one of the most beautiful perfumes ever created, Mitsouko had an un-sweetness masculine aura with notes of bergamot, patchouli, vetiver, labdanum, cedarwood and oakmoss. It was a ground breaking event as Aldehyde 14 - a synthetic peach aroma, was also introduced by Guerlain for the very first time. The velvety peachy amber-y fruitiness made Mitsouko a very special fragrance. (Orris, rose, jasmine, black pepper and clove were also the notes of the perfume).
A bit mellow, a bit earthy, luminous and spicy, Mitsouko is still a Guerlain hit, even after some reformulations that had to be done to fit IFRA regulations.
Mitsouko name comes from a novel called La Bataille, written by French novelist Claude Farrère, about the love affair between a British naval officer and the wife of a Japanese admiral, during the Russian-Japanese War. 
A very common Japanese name for girls meaning "bright child". So the perfume Mitsouko had a Japanese inspiration, a Japanese name, it was the best selling fragrance in Japan, but fragrant-wise speaking, had nothing to do with Japan.
I read other reviews and comments about Mitsouko's flanker Fleur de Lotus, and I must go against the flow. It makes sense to me, and it is not only one more decision to capitalize a fragrance, but it is, in my opinion, it is a celebration of the Japanese people.
Lotus flower ou Nelumbo nucifera is an aquatic flower native to tropical Asia and it represents virtues and sexual purity, but the olfactive result is a watery-flowery note that smells fresh and clean. Pink Lotuses have a distinguish green aspect and a sultry floral. bouquet. Being very popular in Japan and recognized a a very "Asian" perfume note, it makes sense to add it if you wish to make a delicate, brighter version of the original to a Japanese market.
Since I am not a purist, I tried this fragrance with an open mind, leaving all the other negative comments aside.
At the very first whiff I must agree with Marina from Perfume and Smelling Things. It contains a Chanel 31 Rue de Cambon aura. They are indeed very similar for the first 15 minutes. What's not to love? I love Chanel 31 RDC, so I am in love with this opening. 
The delicacy of the Lotus flower is presented as a caress on the skin. It feels soft and silky, not watery. I loved it.
Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus is for Mitsouko what Eau Premiere is to Chanel Nº5 - a brilliant modernization, that not only Japanese women would applaud, but also the grandchildren of the Original Mitsouko wearers. 
Truth is, we are very far from the post World War I era and the joys of rediscovering luxuries that war has taken away from women. We are women of the millennium.
if it is a necessary perfume to have in your collection...well, it all depends on how much you love Guerlain and how much you are willing to spend on fragrances.
Since Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus is no longer an easy fragrance to find, Mitsouko lovers will stick to the original, thank you very much.
You can purchase a decant at The Posh Peasant online shop.

Sample of Mitsouko Fleur de Lotus by Guerlain was provided by my dearest Henrique Brito.
Lotus picture credit: photo


lady jicky said...

you know, it never came to Australia.

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

It never came to Brazil too :-(
But have to have an incredible friend like Henrique to share his vintage sample with you...

sherapop said...

I was a skeptic, I'll admit, Simone! Not that I would have been seeking out this Mitsouko flanker--had I known of its existence, which I did not. I was simply too disappointed with the results of the reformulated Mitsouko to take anything bearing its name seriously anymore.

I must admit that I also would have balked at the idea of lotus being the focus of a Mitsouko flanker. Why? Why? Why? is of course the question which comes immediately to mind.

Your explanation of the aspiration to create an updated version of the classic to please modern Japanese women does make some sense, I have to admit. Well, as much sense as a flanker can make (which is not that much, in my view)...

+ Q Perfume Blog said...

Flankers are a disease...but I found one exception!
Another flanker that I enjoyed was the cuir editions of Mugler fragrances - I loved them more than the originals...


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