A gourmand woody fragrance like nothing you’ve ever smelled. Affecting Mind by M.INT is a striking and unusual scent, quite likely to have an effect on even the most stalwart of minds.
Ginger, cardamon, sesame, hazelnut wood, cedar wood, suede, amber and musk.
Nobody could accuse the M.INT range of scents of being dull, and thankfully, Affecting Mind is no exception. The fragrance opens with a dense, woody, spiciness which is, quite frankly, stunning. It’s bold, invigorating and full of pizazz. Bold cardamon and zesty ginger vie for attention and the friction between them causes sparks as the fragrance leaps from the bottle. There’s a tinder dryness here which threatens to take your breath away if you let it, and sometimes, when it’s sprayed, the initial bursts of scent feel flammable (and we mean aside from the alcohol content of perfume!).
The ginger in the top of the scent is zesty, and has that freshly peeled zing. There sits alongside the warm earthiness of soil, heat-baked in a way that us Western Europeans don’t often experience unless we travel to places much closer to the equator. This is a plant which has taken the qualities of the hot sun and made them it’s own, translating sunlight into taste and smell.
The cardamon that vies with the ginger is warm too, woodier, and flecked with the barest hints of green. It’s inclusion here is very clever because not only does the interplay between the ginger and cardamon bring a real sense of excitement to the scent, but the greenery in the cardamon acts as a narrative thread to draw us onwards to the hazelnut and cedar as the perfume develops.
Once the ginger and cardamon have stopped their fight, the perfume settles and opens beautifully on skin. The most gorgeous, intoxicating hazelnut note blossoms and you can almost taste the sweet, woody, and slightly earthy texture of the hazelnut’s flesh. This was the single most beautiful moment of a very good perfume to us. The hazelnut smells toasted, and continues with the dryness which began in the top.
As Affecting Mind wears, a milky hum appears in the background. Again, it’s quite sweet, but it gives the scent a smoother, more rounded character the longer it is worn. The milky nuance polishes away the sharp edges of the zesty ginger and the feisty cardamon and a saffrony mellowness also appears. It made us think of things like spiced chai tea with milk and sugar: warming things, cosy things, things which make you feel snuggled and comfortable.
One of the things we really enjoyed about this scent was the clear thread that works through it: the cardamon leads to the hazelnut which in turn becomes the soft leather in the base. These clever ingredients form a path through the scent beautifully and give it a real sense of structure and thoughtful construction.
The suede-leather-woody base is the perfect finale to this fragrance. It retains enough of the spicy dryness to make sense in the overall composition, whilst bringing another new tone into play thus keeping us interested. It also gives the scent a classy wearability which we very much enjoyed. Despite the zesty, fiery notes in the top, this ends as a fragrance with gravitas. It’s a scent with strength, and a texture throughout, which will delight lovers of gourmands with bite.
The other stuff
The longevity of Affecting Mind is great. We get all day performance from it following an early morning application. The sillage, or projection, of the scent is also good, going to about handshake distance. This makes it office appropriate without being overbearing.
In terms of the gender of the scent, we felt that it was very unisex, possibly sitting slightly more towards the masculine end of the spectrum. Take that with a pinch of salt though, and wear whatever floats your boat regardless of your gender.
We can imagine this scent performing really well on the hottest of summer days and, conversely, on the coldest of winter ones. It feels like the sort of scent that will energise when the sun’s out and warm you up when it isn’t!
M.INT are the product of a husband/wife team and their brand represents the culmination of many years’ work and love of fragrance. Their website tells enigmatically little about them apart from the usual marketing spiel of triggering emotions, high quality materials etc etc.
The 20 fragrances from this brand are arranged into four colour lines and they, rather excitingly, have a new fragrance coming out very soon.
The M.INT fragrances are very much a luxury product, with exceptional presentation. Their bottles are gorgeous; black knit covering a coloured bottle so that hints of the colour peep through. The whole bottle is then housed within a metal tube which is great, firstly because it will protect the perfume when travelling, and secondly because it will exclude light entirely thus helping preserve the quality of the juice. Really good idea!
Affecting Mind is available from Bloom Perfumery London where it is priced at £190 for 70ml of EdP.
You can also buy Affecting Mind from M.INT’s web boutique.
We were very kindly gifted a full bottle of Affecting Mind by M.INT at Esxence 2019. This was a no-strings attached gift freely given by the company. We would very much like to thank them for their generosity.