Chanel Chance was my very first perfume, but the original Prada fragrance was the first perfume I ever really loved. That Prada is an absolute patchouli boooomb, as described by the following horrified MakeupAlley review: “It smells like a chain-smoker and an alcoholic, who hasn’t showered in days, eats spicy food every day, and decided to mask it with a perfume.” (All credit to poetic user “happygirl1”.) I mention this to prove my patchouli cred. I am a hardened patchouli veteran, and I was ready for whatever version of patchouli Mistral Patchouli had to offer me. You can imagine how disappointed I was when I realized that out of all of the possible patchouli fragrances that Atelier Cologne could have made, they went with a “where’s the patchouli?” patchouli.
Mistral Patchouli’s most prominent notes are grapefruit and “fraction of patchouli”. As far as I know, this is a novel combination, and in theory I like it very much. In execution, however, Mistral Patchouli is just too damn clean. The grapefruit note lacks the vibrance of past fruity Atelier Colognes, such as Orange Sanguine. The patchouli is much too sheer and is so far removed from the natural earthiness of patchouli that the relation is barely visible. Robin at Now Smell This correctly labels Mistral Patchouli as “a patchouli for patchouli haters” in her review, and mentions that this is now her favorite fragrance of the line. I have to say that it’s my least favorite. There’s nothing wrong with Mistral Patchouli. It smells very nice. But it just doesn’t have as much character as past Atelier Colognes like Orange Sanguine, Vanille Insensee, or Rose Anonyme. I think I’ll stick with my alcoholic/chain-smoker patchoulis.