Today, we dive nose-first into the whimsical world of Mandragore by Goutal. Goutal is one of my favorite brands, and Ninfeo Mio is one of my signatures. Among many other things in Goutal fragrances, I like that they tell a story, every single one of them, and Mandragore isn’t an exception. It’s like a magic potion that decided to take a day off from being in a fairy tale and turned itself into a fragrance instead.
The scent opens with bergamot and spearmint, like a refreshing minty breeze that just completed a yoga class and feels particularly rejuvenated. It’s zesty, invigorating, and probably what a mint leaf would smell like if it could go on vacation.
The punching line is a bang, or maybe a mythical Mandragore’s scream of bergamot (classic bergamot, has to take the stage from everyone) – think of it like a citrus party where everyone’s invited. The bergamot is the life of the party. It’s refreshing, energetic, and like that friend who’s always up for anything.
Then, there’s the heart of the perfume, where Mandragore starts to show its true colors. It’s spicy, but not like a hot sauce contest, more like a sophisticated spice market where all the spices wear bow ties and discuss philosophy. The citrus steps back, and suddenly it’s all about anise, mint, and ginger. This phase is green, fresh, and zesty, as well. It’s surprisingly light and translucent. That is one of my favorite things about Goutal fragrances.
After this spice adventure, Mandragore gets a bit shy. It becomes soft, and subtle, almost like it’s playing hide and seek on your skin. It’s there, but it’s not shouting about it. And after about 4 hours, it’s like Cinderella at midnight—poof, it’s gone.
Now, let’s talk about the bottle. It looks like it should contain an ancient elixir or a secret to eternal youth. It’s the kind of bottle that wouldn’t be out of place in an alchemist’s lab, probably sitting next to a book of spells and a crystal ball.
The aromatic and spicy stages at the beginning are great, but they’re like a short vacation – amazing, but over too soon. It’s a bit of a bummer that it doesn’t last longer. You might find yourself reapplying it as often as you check your phone.
But don’t let that stop you from giving it a try. Mandragore has a twist that’s hard to describe, like explaining a dream after you wake up. It’s something you have to experience for yourself. And who knows, maybe the EDP version will be like finding the director’s cut of your favorite movie.
READ ALL about perfume house Goutal HERE.[Fragrance notes] bergamot, black pepper, peppermint, star anise, ginger, sage, iris, and labdanum. [Fragrance group] green.
Perfumers are Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen.