Chypres are supposed to go with food. Now this is the sort of statement I like to put to the test and since mixology and foodiness have both been brought to bear on perfume, here is my take on the problem of food, wine, and fragrance.
I could have chosen other perfumes for this little foray into the world of the palate but absent Coty Chypre, Mitsouko is the grand dame of chypres and the most venerable of her line, so I invited her to dinner.
Menu was my first worry. what do you feed a grand old French lady who has probably eaten it all in her time? It pays to remember what Mitsouko brings along with her to any dinner: bergamot (she’s a Guerlain after all. They all bring bergamot) lemon, neroli, and then peach, or more specifically an aldehyde that mimics peach, namely C14. The heart of Mitsouko is full of jasmine, rose clove buds and ylang ylang and sometimes pepper, so you need a red wine and something hearty and spicy to accompany her.
Finally Mitsouko ends her evenings with oakmoss, benzoin, sandalwood, labdanum, myrrh, cinnamon and musk. We are talking very high sensuality quotients here. What to serve?
Clearly a light little dinner was not on the cards, so I decided on champagne Bellinis, a nice lemony melon to start, and a beef mushroom Stroganoff with petit pois. To end chocolate cake and a cinnamon mocha icing, as well as a good Pinot Noir to go with it all. This may not be the most sophisticated dinner Mitsouko ever attended, but it will be one of the tastier ones.
Actually Mitsouko’s invitation coincided with my Hub’s birthday, but never mind the Bellinis alone with the overture of Mitsouko are pure heaven. Peach brandy (it turns out) is a near neighbor to aldehyde C14. You just roll your eyes back in your head and wait for the main course.
Once upon a time many long years ago the Hub and I went to a now defunct Russian restaurant in the theatre district of NYC. The Hub had wonderful Stroganoff and the owner kept on giving us flavored vodkas ( I think for his own reasons) but we had a scintillating if slightly blurry time of it. I’ve tried to recreate the Stroganoff. The Hub said I missed it, and I think now there was vodka in the stroganoff as well as in us then.
The results of mine were quite rich and melded with Mitsouko well. A glass of red wine rounded off the entree until I produced my devils food cake with mocha frosting. Oh yes, we were all quite mellow by that time and so was Mitsouko who had been lulled past her most assertive points and filled up with sour cream,beef, and spinach noodles until she was was quite convex.
The woody, cinnamon finish of Mitsouko does go pretty well with chocolate, and frankly this particular chocolate cake had already got outside of twelve oz.of the good stuff together with a criminal amount of butter. Mitsouko could find nothing to complain about. She dawdled over her slice until it was quite late and we ended with a large cup of Oolong tea to keep her awake long enough to go to bed.
This morning when Igot up at five to go to the skating rink Mitsouko was still with me, faintly.
Have you ever invited Mitsouko to dinner, or any other chypres for that matter?