Mitsouko (perfume)

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For the actress, see Maryse Guy Mitsouko.
Fragrance by Guerlain
Type Women's fragrance
Released 1919
Label Guerlain

Mitsouko is a 1919 perfume by Guerlain. Its name is derived from the French transliteration of a Japanese female personal name. Its top notes are a fruity chypre, with floral middle notes and spice base notes.


Mitsouko was created by perfumer Jacques Guerlain in 1919. The perfume has remained continuously available ever since.[1]

Mitsouko is preserved in its original 1919 formulation in the archives of the Osmothèque, donated to the collection by Jean-Paul Guerlain.[2]


Origin of the name[edit]

One account of the origin of the name is that it was inspired by the name of the heroine of Claude Farrère's novel La bataille (The Battle). The novel is set in Japan during the Russo-Japanese War, and chronicles a fictional amour fou between a British Navy Officer and one "Mitsouko", the wife of Fleet Admiral Baron Heihachiro Togo. Both Togo and the British officer sail to war, and Mitsouko awaits with reserve to see which of the two will return alive to her.[3] The other possibility is that it was inspired by the story of Mitsuko Aoyama, the mother of Richard Nikolaus Graf Coudenhove-Kalergi

Meaning of the name[edit]

One possible rendering of the personal name "mitsuko/mitsouko" in the Japanese language use of Chinese characters is mitsuko (密子?)).[original research?] The "mitsu-" part of that compound means "mystery" or "mysterious". However it is an unlikely character ever to be used in personal names in Japan. Another possible (if less glamorous) meaning is "third child" with "mitsu-" the Japanese combiner for "three" plus "-ko" denoting a female child.[original research?] Some sources cite this as an additional meaning for the name of the perfume.[who?][3]

Fragrance notes[edit]

Its top notes include bergamot, its middle notes peach, rose, iris, clove, and jasmine, and its base notes vetiver, oakmoss, and labdanum.[1][3]


External links[edit]