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Mistral, a Fragrant Local Find: Scent Sommelier

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Mistral, long revered for its lush fragrant soaps, is now earning well-deserved success domestically and internationally for its fragrances. Mistral’s small boutique is based in Solana Beach, California, where the founder and President, Matthew Tilker, is highly involved with the perfumery process—working closely with his lab in France to create some of the most fancifully far-flung fragrances you can find …


Balinese Vanilla Eau de Parfum


Mistral’s brand new line of eau de parfum is based on some of its most popular soap fragrances. The fifth eau de parfum in Mistral’s fragrance line, to be released at the end of August 2007, is Balinese Vanilla, a sweet and spicy combo, evocative of shopping for spices that mingle and blend loosely in baskets. So soft and natural and unlike those spices you find sealed in plastic bags or bottles, this soft, feminine scent goes well with a suitcase packed with flowing linen shirts, a favorite pair of leather sandals, and a woven hat, plus perhaps a locally dyed sarong. Plunge your hand into a basket of seed pods and scan the hand-lettered sign in Bahasa Indonesian to see if you understand a word … it’s better when you don’t. Balinese Vanilla conjures up a simple elegance not so often found in our daily lives, a fragrant sojourn into the beauty of understated, un-adorned sophistication and Eastern allure. When you wear it, all of life is a roadside stand—unique, appreciated, and treasured.


Smell it for yourself: Balinese Vanilla, Eau de parfum, $48 for 1.7 ounces, at Mistral and select boutiques. This fragrance is also available in body lotion, shower and bath gel, and scented candles.


Jasmin Impérial Savon Extra-Fin


Mistral’s shea butter soaps are perhaps their most famous product, and the latest addition to their decadent line is Jasmin Impérial (Imperial Jasmine). Each soap carries a high percentage of perfume so the fragrance lingers on your body, not your shower. As you move through your day, this delicate scent moves with you. The beauty of Imperial Jasmine is that it smells like jasmine flowers, as jasmine tea does, rather than acrid, like many other jasmine perfumes. By blending jasmine with green leaves, other florals, clove, and ylang ylang, Mistral has elicited the essence of jasmine: light and fresh, like silk on your skin or a gently sweetened breeze that blows in over a rich garden.


Smell it for yourself: Jasmin Impérial, Soap, $7 for 7-ounce bar, at Mistral and select boutiques. This fragrance will also be available in other products in January 2008.


Photograph courtesy of Mistral


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