Monday, February 01, 2016

A Summer Garden: Ninfeo Mio by Annick Goutal

Last year I was bemoaning the lack of fig and then I found a very true to form fig in Lucy B's Apothecary Royal Green Fig and Vanilla . Somehow in my years I had never gotten around to sniffing Annick Goutal's Ninfeo Mio, I regret it, because Goutal released one of the most interesting fig scents I have ever smelled.

Ninfeo Mio is the scent of a summer garden for me. All the ad-copy will suggest watery spring garden in Rome but for me Ninfeo Mio is an early summer garden with the last remnants of spring holding on. Ninfeo Mio starts with a buzzing candied citrus note combined with the friendliest galbanum note you have ever met. I can't help but think of bees buzzing around in a grove of citrus trees with blossoms and ripe fruit at once. There is a sweetness in the scent that suggests the imagery of candied citrus or lemon peel in honey and yet not an ounce of this is cloying because Isabelle Doyen is keeping it all in check with an easygoing galbanum. The green herbacious note of galbanum is the perfect balance note to the buzzing sweetness of the citron and lemon. It also plays the chauffeur to the next stage of the scent.

Fig is frequently paired with galbanum, galbanum playing well with fig's green notes, yet sometimes they can be an overly harsh pairing on me. Not in Ninfeo Mio, the fig of Ninfeo Mio is all creamy goodness, this is the afternoon of the garden. The buzzing of the bees is gone because everyone is taking a nap in the heat, the citrus keeps going combined with the figs and galbanum, the effect is a milky green quality. It reminds me of the color of celadon.

The third stage of Ninfeo Mio is perhaps the one that catches everyone off guard the most. I like to think of it as the early evening stage. Everyone is awaking from their naps there is a tinge of clean sweat, you can smell the evergreen trees giving off the their resinous scent with the coming of a cooling evening. The animalic note of sweat is utterly there but instead of being off-putting Doyen is genius because it is balanced with resinous note of mastic and creamy fig. One thing I noticed about this clean sweat note is that it is far more pronounced if you spray the perfume but if you dab Ninfeo Mio on it is relatively mild.

Finally Ninfeo Mio settles into creamy resinous combination of fig and mastic there are still hints of citrus but the overall effect is milky green. The effect of Ninfeo Mio feels like going through a full day in a garden on the first warm day of summer, the green is still there, in fact it is peaked at its most lush levels but dry summer heat is edging in.

Try Ninfeo Mio if you like Miller Harris's Figue Amere, Coriandre by Jean Couturier, Lo Mejor di Mi by Mario Tomas, or Le Temps d'une Fete by Nicolai.

First Image from
Second Image from Frances Benjamin Johnston
Third Image from Hellen Van Meene
Fourth Image from Tom Killion


marzipan said...

I remember having this in a body lotion and for the life of me I cannot remember what it smelled like now!

and by the way I am LOVING the Dame Soliflores!!!! I got all six of them and thus far have sniffed them all but worn only two (Narcissus and Tuberose...surprisingly love them both as they remind me of vintage I wore in the 80s- Tatiana and Fracas)

Jennifer Koth said...

Marzipan, so strange you can't remember the scent of Ninfeo Mio, I find it very original, but I sort of wonder if something happened to the formula when transferred into lotion forma.

I received my samples too. Getting ready to review one of them.

marzipan said...

yes thinking the same thing...the lotion may have been quite different from the fragrance...

Can't wait for your reviews on the Dame!!!! Tomorrow I will be wearing the Mimosa :)

marzipan said...

This has been bothering was Un matin D'orage that I had the body cream of...not Ninfeo Mio!!!! I happen to really like fig in perfume (SSS Fig Tree, Pacifica's Mediterranean Fig before reformulation and Jo Malone's discontinued Wild Cassis and Fig) so I could not figure out why it did not leave an impression on I know!

marzipan said...

Oh yeah and LOVING the everybody nourish hair shampoo and conditioner and also the body oil with tiara...thanks for the suggestion on the first two! No Vetiver in them but they do smell lovely (citrus /coconut), lather extraordinarily well in my hard water and leave my hair smoother and less frizzy!

Jennifer Koth said...

So glad the Everybody products are working for you. I am right now using their volumizing shampoo and conditioner and it has a very different smell from the balance blend.

And that explains why you don't remember Ninfeo Mio :-).