Mint is having a moment in perfume, but can you wear it without smelling like mouthwash? This wonderful fragrance answers that question with a resounding YES!
Mint, tea leaves, citrus, coffee, jasmine.
Mint is a bit of a thing in perfume land at the moment, it’s everywhere all of a sudden and given that it’s a wonderful smell generally, we’re quite pleased about that here at The Sniff. Not all mints are created equal though and it can be difficult to find a mint abstracted enough that it no longer reminds you of toothpaste, but true enough to the mint that it still smells, well, minty. Thankfully, Miller et Bertaux are here to answer our prayers on the matter.
Menta y Menta doesn’t open with fanfares and choruses, its slow, quiet at first. It smells damp and green, fresh yet not over-enthusiastically so. It smells real, like real peppermint does when you go out after a rain shower; muted, cool, and just quietly getting on doing its thing. Which is pretty much how this fragrance opens.
One of the beautiful things about Menta y Menta is that it is a builder. Although the fragrance starts off fairly unassuming, it increases in volume, really getting into its stride in the heart. It ramps up quietly so that before you realise it, you are enveloped by a cloud of the most beautifully verdant mint leaves.
There’s something wonderfully nostalgic about the mint that Menta y Menta uses. It’s clean, it’s fresh, it’s bright. All the things you might reasonably expect from a mint scent. The real masterstroke of the fragrance though is that the mint isn’t overdone. It’s not blown out to unreal proportions which spoil the effect. It’s not a fake mint, a mint of the imagination, a mint that no longer smells real. Instead it feels very genuine, very innocent almost. A little spicy, a little green, most definitely mint, but something tangible and beautiful, no artifice (or so much sleight of hand that it no longer matters, we have bought the illusion hook line and sinker, and who cares?!).
As a child, our Editor was often sent out to pick mint from the patch that grew right outside her grandma’s back door and which would then be snipped over hot, buttery new potatoes. Every so often the mint would start to take over the whole garden and we would pull it back. The pungent mint smell would stick to the palms of sweaty hands and last for what felt like days. This is the sort of mint that Menta y Menta evokes.
The mint in the fragrance is held and supported by the softness of florals to polish away the bitter green edges. Where the harsh boundaries of the mint could have been, instead, we get a gorgeous floaty jasmine floral. It isn’t immediately obvious when you wear the scent, but the effect that it has on the overall composition is beautiful. It makes Menta y Menta smell entirely unlike shower gel or toothpaste, and given the frequency with which mint makes an appearance in every day cleaning products, the skilful perfumery that has side-stepped this shouldn’t be underestimated.
Once Menta y Menta has really hit its stride, it becomes a fairly linear fragrance, but the tune that it is playing is so delightful that we didn’t mind that one bit. A muskier tone does creep in towards the end of the scent’s evolution, the coffee perhaps, and it deepens and enhances the overall tone. What we have towards the end is a darker green which yields a subtle sexiness that we loved.
In perfume land, it is easy to fall into hyperbole, but surely this has to be one of the best, most wearable mint perfumes out there? Soft, moreish, cooling yet very friendly, it’s easy to imagine this working for many occasions, especially in the summer when a cooler tone of fragrance wears really well.
Menta y Menta is surprising in that it’s really hard to smell something as familiar as mint and be moved by it. It’s likely that twice a day mint assaults your senses in the form of toothpaste and is forever associated with all things dental in one’s mind. That’s before we get on to the numerous other products you might encounter it in. All that said though, Miller et Bertaux have managed to make a mint scent which does surprise, which does delight, and which takes mint away from the boring confines of toothpaste and shower gel and into something chic and wearable as fragrance. And for that, it’s hats off to them.
The other stuff
The downside to this clever fragrance is its longevity which is limited to two to four hours or thereabouts. If you’re willing to take a travel spray with you and top up throughout the day though this shouldn’t be a problem.
The projection of Menta y Menta is also fairly conservative. We felt that it probably went about as far as close contact or hugging distance. It’s a fragrance which is unlikely to annoy your co-workers though, or people you have to share public transport with.
We felt that Menta y Menta was very wearable by people of all genders. Like mint products, it has a ubiquitous vibe about it which stops it being pinned to one end of the spectrum or another.
Menta y Menta would wear wonderfully in spring or summer when its quiet optimism will bring a smile to your face, and its cooling tones will give you a sense of serenity and calm.
If you liked Menta y Menta you may also enjoy PG 9.1 Komorebi by Parfumerie Generale, You or Someone Like You by Etat Libre d’Orange, Saint Julep by Imaginary Authors, or indeed some of the watery stylings of Run of the River by Parterre.
Miller et Bertaux are a brand we have admired from afar for a while. The are possessed of that clean-lines-and-thoughtful-minimalism which is a cornerstone of modern tasteful design. Their stuff is really understated but very nice indeed. It’s quality that doesn’t have to shout from the rooftops, it makes more of an impact by just quietly oozing confidence and style.
A French house, Miller er Bertaux also have an extensive range of fragrances (many of which are inspired by their voracious appetite for travel), a range of home fragrances and candles. They’ve been around for the past 30 years and are well worth checking out if you want to coordinate so your house smells as classy as you do.
Miller et Bertaux aren’t all that easy to get hold of in the UK, so you’re going to have to order online via their website if you want to try them. On the Lothantique web boutique Menta y Menta is priced at €99 for 100ml EdP.
We were gifted a no-strings-attached sample of Menta y Menta by the Miller et Bertaux brand at Esxence 2019. Thank you to them.