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Monday, May 22, 2006

Perfume Review: Keiko Mecheri Mihime and Ume


Mihimé and Umé are two new fragrances in the prolific Keiko Mecheri line. Both are said to have been “inspired by the timeless Orientalist pieces of Parisian couture houses in the Art Deco period” (from Luckyscent.com). Mihimé, with notes of hawthorn petals, bergamot, violet leaves, rose petals, ylang ylang, narcissus, peach, amber, vanilla, heliotrope and white musk, is a an airy, citrusy-green rose scent on my skin. The potential sweetness of the rose, the syrupy fruitiness of peach and the doughiness of the base of vanilla, amber and heliotrope are nicely balanced by the bracing bergamot, the chilly violet leaves and what I perceive to be an agreeably metallic lily of the valley note. The result is a scent that is bright, subtle, very pleasant and extremely wearable. It does not, however, have enough richness, oomph and originality to successfully pay “homage to the classic chypres of French perfumery”. Luckyscent praises Mihime’s “beautiful spare quality that keeps it modern”, but as far as I am concerned, the scent is too spare, too indistinct and generally pales in comparison with scents it was meant to honor.

My first impression of Umé, a “meditation on umé, the Japanese plum”, was that such meditation was being done in the temple worshipping Angel. The beginning of this scent has intense fruity richness not unlike that of the Mugler’s sumptuous creation. When the candied top accord of mandarin, persimmon and wisteria subsides, the scent, although quite sweet, loses some of its richness, with fresher floral accord and slight woodiness keeping the sweetness in check. Having said that, and I know I sound annoyingly hard to please, for what the scent is trying to do, i.e. be reminiscent of the decadence of the bygone era, it is almost not sweet enough, not rich enough, and like Mihime, rather hazy and indistinct. Furthermore, it smells like a multitude of scents, including the aforementioned Angel, both Flowerbombs and too many others to name. Even the fans of this fruity-gourmand genre (and, to an extent, I am such a fan) might judge Ume to be too similar to the scents they already love and own.

Mihimé and Umé are available at Luckyscent, $80.00 for 2.5oz.

*The images are from Luckyscent.com

22 Comments:

Blogger Cait Shortell said...

Aha! I see Keiko Mecheri is guilty of pandering to the Angel-nose of the masses, too. I just experienced this with Allure Sensuelle.

2:11 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Cait,
See, I have nothing against Angel as such. What I am tired of is that every other scent on the market smells like it. One is simply bored of that kind of scent by now. :-)

8:47 AM EDT  
Blogger katiedid said...

I'm almost wondering how long it will be before everyone gets over their gaga phase with Angel, so that they sort of use it as a leaping stone for inspiration, rather than as direct inspiration. I similarly wonder if perhaps way back when, the same affliction did not occur to perfumers for a while after Coty's Chypre was introduced. Or perhaps the corporate pressures are such that innovative change will come slow or not at all. (Sorry, that's a bit of a tangent there!) On the other hand, whatever the new Angel will be, everything will start to smell like that for a while, too. Sigh.

8:50 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Katie,
'Tis true what you say...
I only hope that the next landmark scent to launch thousand smell-alikes will not be aquatic. That's all I am asking for. I can deal with anything else :-)

9:02 AM EDT  
Blogger Patty said...

These two sound pretty boring. I still haven't more than sniffed a sample of a KM perfume yet, just nothing drives me to explore them more. Is there something in the line that is more interesting? NOt the Loukhoum, no, no, a thousand times no.

9:51 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Patty,
Oh, not Loukoum, oh no. Scary stuff, that. Indestructible. *shudder*
Perhaps Genie de Bois (violet-wood blend)? Apart from that, KM line leaves me quite cold.

9:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Christina H. said...

I've heard about others also complaining that these 2 left them disappointed also.I really was waiting to see how people would like these and it certainly doesn't sound like I need to run out and persue these.I really haven't been enamored by this line either but,sheepishly saying,I do like the Loukoum!

10:24 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Christina,
I was very, very fond of Loukoum as well. I must have overdone it or something, because now the mere thought of it send shivers down my spine. But I did use to think it was gorgeous. I am fickle, I know :-)

10:28 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I thought the KM line didn't really go far enough is most of it's scents (Even Loukhoum for me was a bit of a fizzle, but I have SL's Rahat Loukoum to compare it with). They aren't bad, they just seem afraid to commit to something as vulgar as actually smelling of something. I think I like Grenades the best of them, although the florid description at Luckyscent is a bit much for what is a pretty light and airy scent.

12:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Erin said...

I just sampled Gourmandise, and liked it - also got a positive review on Bois De Jasmin. Found it too light on sillage for it to be FBW for me, but I liked the medicinal saffron and the drydown did indeed smell like suntea, as one MUA'er described it. The rest of KM I found kind of ho-hum. BdJ had a review describing Ume as just like Euphoria. I think Euphoria is a hard cider version of Angel (indeed, I guessed it would be before it was released from the notes!) so I guess we've come full circle.

12:11 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

T,
"They aren't bad, they just seem afraid to commit to something as vulgar as actually smelling of something." - he he he
True!

12:12 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Tigs,
I agree that Euphoria also worships on the altar of Angel (well, what scent doesn't, these days? :-) ). Ume isn't nearly as rich and intense as either Angel or Euphoria, but it is still a (humble) relative of theirs.

12:14 PM EDT  
Anonymous anna said...

I will pass , until something better comes along.

12:47 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Not the best in the line, I agree. Didn't care for either of the two, although if I had to pick one it would be Mihime.

12:47 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Anna,
Me too :-)

12:52 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

R,
Same here. if I had to have one, I'd choose Mihime, hands down. But not for $80, no way.

12:53 PM EDT  
Anonymous sybil said...

I've tried a bunch o'stuff from the KM line (not these two), but I think I'm learning. All the scents seem to dry down and disappear in a flash, and for the price, seem to be missing staying power, at the least. They're pretty, but wispy, and they don't really satisfy my nose.

1:32 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Sybil,
"They don't really satisfy my nose." I love this, can I use this expression? When I don't like something I'll just say {puts on a fake upper class British accent}, It does not satisfy my nose!

1:53 PM EDT  
Anonymous sybil said...

Sure :-)!...didn't mean to sound pretentious, though :-( (Review more vetiver on Wednesday, please!)

8:06 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Sybil,
I loved the way it sounded! :-)
Will do vetiver!

9:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a humble question (or two) from a long-time lurker : does anybody know the perfumes of Mandy Aftel ? What do you think about L'Artisan Parfumeur (i.e. "Dzongkha"?

7:45 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, I don't agree with your review of Ume (haven't had a chance yet to smell Mihime). True, I can't say it reminds me of "timeless Orientalist pieces of Parisian couture houses in the Art Deco period", but it certainly doesn't remind me of Angel or Flowerbomb either. I hate both and can't stand them anywhere near me, but this is fruity and fresh, not cloying at all, with only a touch of spices and dries down with a lovely subtle musc note that stays on my skin until the next day. I'd definitely recommend trying it!

9:44 AM EDT  

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