Misia starts with subtle citrus smelling like bergamot and mandarin to my nose
The combination of these citruses smells bright and juicy, giving a fresh sweetness on the top. At the same time, an elegant violet bouquet shows off its green, sweet-powdery, and slightly woody side that blends well with the citruses. This violet accord portrays a classic cosmetic scent that speaks class and elegance, yet playful and entertaining.
A pink rose emerges from underneath the violet and merges beautifully with it
The rose gives a charming floral touch, smelling sweet and green like freshly picked roses. The combination of roses and violets creates a pleasant basis for the cosmetic accord. However, there is an exciting note in Misia that enlarges the backbone and strengthens it, making it firm and compact. That is the tonka bean.
For me, the tonka bean is beautifully present since the beginning. Its sweet and herbaceous facet gives boldness to the cosmetic accord, especially the powdery aspect. Together with violet and rose, the tonka creates an illusion of a delightful and creamy lipstick.
Interestingly, a fresh-metallic and minty silhouette reminiscent of geranium comes peeking underneath this accord. Although not potent, it illuminates the fragrance and makes it compelling and inviting. This facet makes a bridge between the cosmetic backbone and Chanel’s floral aldehydic DNA.
Indeed, it is not Chanel without its legendary floral aldehydic accord
However, Misia keeps its Chanel DNA in a precise spot and reveals it gradually. Instead of taking the stage and taking place as the leading dancer, it spotlights the cosmetic accord and provides even more radiance. The aldehydes complement the fragrance’s powdery scents, smelling clean, and at the same time, give velvet textures to the composition.
As we go deeper into the scent, a spark of cinnamic and balsamic notes becomes visible, reminiscent of benzoin and styrax
I imagine this spark like the jolt of emotion when watching ballerinas do the ballet jumps. It moves the heart as it gives surprises, excitement, and amusement. These spectacular moves leave the audience in awe of their grace and beauty, and at the same time, keeping the audience engaged to the show. The cinnamic facet enhances the cosmetic accord in a similar sense. It adds complexity that lifts the floral aspect and simultaneously gives gravity to the powdery notes and making it more tenacious.
Towards the dry down, the floral, powdery, and balsamic facet is still intact, and it smells delightful. The transition is smooth and almost invisible. However, the iris note is more visible here, showing off its creamy and suede texture and giving woody tonalities. It works in synergy with the tonka bean and balsams to form a delicate and harmonious powdery finish on the skin.
Misia is a tribute to Gabrielle Chanel’s best friend, Misia Sert
She is an artistic lady whose circle is famous artists. She was the one who introduced Coco to the Ballet Russes in Paris. The perfume takes inspiration from the Ballet Russes’ backstage, including the make-up and changing room, and the old l’Opera Garnier’s smell in Paris back in the 1917ish.
Olivier Polge, the nose behind Misia and also the in-house perfumer of Chanel, wanted to picture the smell of the ballerinas’ make-up, the big and heavy velvet curtain on the stage, and the old parquet. Misia truly has this vibe.
Misia’s cosmetic DNA is very well-balanced
It is rounded and balanced with a compact backbone consist of rose, violet, tonka, and balsams. What I adore about this fragrance is each layer is clear, vivid, and beautiful. I love to wear Misia during the day because it has a lovely floral sillage, and the powdery facet gives me comfort.
I read that many people compare Misia to Lipstick Rose (Frédéric Malle) as it has similar DNA. However, they are quite different, in my opinion. I found that Misia is much lighter and has more refined powder textures compared to Lipstick Rose. Lipstick Rose has a more pronounce cosmetic accord, smelling like a real lipstick. Both are amazing and have their own unique character, so I don’t think it can replace each other.
Do you have Misia in your collection? Tell me about your experience with Misia in the comment section below! Or feel free to write some comments or questions.