There are perfumes that make me smile immediately. Just like that, one spray, and that inner feel-good spark brightens up my day.
I feel then like hugging that perfume, hugging myself and the whole World – to share that feeling, and make you feel the same.
This happened while I was running like crazy around Esxence Milan on its final day (check out my overview: “Ave Perfumes” here).
I guess that the fear of missing out hit me like a truck: will I miss something important? Where should I go first? I asked couple of friends if they have any recommendations for me. Strangely enough, a few of them told me the same thing: “Go and try Menta y Menta by Miller et Berteaux if you haven’t yet!”
Some more rushing around, and there I was: what I first noticed were mint plants placed on the center stage of their stand. I was greeted with a kind smile: “Would you like to smell a perfume that features mint, but doesn’t smell like toothpaste or breath freshener?”
Yes! (Please, let it be good…)
It was good: it put that “Mona Lisa smile” on my face. Not that I associate mint with toothpaste: my childhood memories spin around most horrid strawberry-flavored, sickeningly sweet pink mess squeezed on my toothbrush, the one for which I always thought it made more damage than good for my teeth.
Mint or Mentha for me means pitchers of cold lemon-water with mint leaves on a hot Summer day after wandering around the island in the Adriatic Sea early in the morning, before sunrise, looking for herbs and picking small leafs of dark green wild mint, to be used later in salads, cold drinks and cocktails, or dried to take home and brew some strong mint tea. Another thing my grandma taught me: always keep a mint plant on your dining table if you are eating outside in the evening, rub its leaves every now and then: mint keeps mosquitos and ants away!
There have been quite a few mint-themed perfumes around lately, it’s refreshing and cool notes flirting with Mojito associations, paired with chocolate, citruses, or just spearmint-peppery sharp fresh not-so-demanding compositions. Menta y Menta is different.
It smells…so sophisticated in an unobtrusive way! It’s style is minimalistic, both in perfume construction, in presentation and packaging – yet there is something compelling about it.
Menta y Menta greets you with a cup of freshly brewed mint tea in a simple, delicate porcelain white cup.
As you squeeze just a couple of drops of lemon into it, soon after taking the first sip you forget about the tea itself: the bright greenery made of small mint leaves forms a comfortable shade all around you, feeling just slightly refreshing-peppery.
A single jasmine flower drops in your teacup and swirls around it, white, dainty, and fragile, adding a slight touch of smoothness and delicate warmth, weaving its whiteness through all this greenery in a relaxed rythm.
It’s a perfect day, and all is well. Simple as that, so I won’t attempt to write an extensively complicated review.
The perfume remains very skin close and airy on my skin, moving with me as I move around, quietly present and unobtrusive.
Contemplative, contemporary, refined minimalistic. Lovely in its seemingly uncomplicated appearance. Classy, with moderate longevity and sillage: nothing ravishing, just joyful!
Parisian designers Francis Miller et Patrick Bertaux have been present since 1985. They have stores in Paris with clothing, home decor, and cosmetics. Partners, travelers, artists, making gender neutral perfumes:
“Fragrances for the body and the soul, dedicated to those who choose the balance of being and appearance.”
Notes: mint, tea leaf, citruses, roasted coffee beans and jasmine.
(mentha spicata / menthe marocaine feuilles de thé, zests d’agrumes, café torréfié, jasmin évoqué)
Menta y Menta (released in 2019) is available online here, Eau de Parfum 100 ml/99 EUR.
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The Plum Girl
Photos: The Plum Girl, Miller et Bertaux
The sample was graciously given to me by Miller et Bertaux at Esxence Milan, opinions of my own.