The Woman In Me / Looking For Mitsouko


who is mitsoukopsd.jpg

When he knocked on my door and entered the room 
My trembling subsided in his sure embrace 
He would be my first man, and with a careful hand 
He wiped the tears that ran down my face

Nick cave & The bad Seeds

Guerlain’s Mitsouko perfume is one of those mysterious fragrances that isn’t easy for me.Every single time I smell it I have to decide not only if indeed I really like it but also how I like it. It seems to change its shape every time, it seems to reveal a different aspect upon each wearing. It opens as a  cold green yet spicy floral but warms up gradually. One thing is certain;  it’s an intriguing composition.

Mitsouko in the snow.jpg

Created in 1919 by Jacques Guerlain, Mitsouko’s creation  was inspired by the heroine of Claude Farrčre’s novel ‘La bataille’, a story of an impossible love between Mitsouko, the wife of Japanese Admiral Togo, and a British officer. The story takes place in 1905, during the war between Russia and Japan. Jacques Guerlain had the incredible and daring idea of combining a chypre with a very fruity peach note, giving this unique fragrance all of its modernity.who is mitsouko-.jpg

For me,  the perfume seems to have so many different appearances and evokes so many different emotions- I found it hard to capture it in just one drawing.So I made various drawings, each depicting an imaginary Mitsouko: Mitsouko wearing a very heavy dress while getting lost in the snow, Mitsouko resting her head on her own lap , Mitsouko plotting a scheme and gazing into a starry night. All the time I was wearing the perfume, and wondering ; Just who is Mitsouko? And by wearing it, who am I?

twins mitsouko.jpgHow does this perfume  communicate when I wear it? With Misouko- I’m never sure, it’s a love-hate relation, with the love coming from the fact that it continues  to intrigue me. I don’t usually like perfumes that are too accessible – which ,to me at least, Mitsouko certainly isn’t .Another important aspect of Mitsouko , is that for me it has something healing about it, something calming.

I have ended my ‘search for Mitsouko in image quest‘ by drawing a self portrait while wearing Mitsouko. It’s my way of meditating on this wonderful fragrance and translating it into a drawing- it’s my way of finding the Mitsouko in me and loving her.



Becoming / The Woman In Me, 30x30cm pencil,gouache & ink on paper.copyright Chester Gibs 2017

Untitled / The Search, 21x21cm, pencil,gouache & ink on paper.copyright Chester Gibs 2017

Fire In The Sky, 21x21cm, pencil,gouache & ink on paper.copyright Chester Gibs 2017

Close Your Eyes And You Will See Neon Lights, 30x30cm pencil,gouache & ink on paper.copyright Chester Gibs 2017

find out more about the  fragrance here.


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