L’Occitane Voyage en Mediterranee Mimosa, Jasmine : Fragrance Reviews



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Even for someone like me who loves winter and snow, there comes a time when the oppressive, gray light of winter begins to feel draining. Therefore, L’Occitane Voyage en Méditerranée crossed my fragrance path at just the right moment, resonating with my desire for an escape and my yearning for the sun. It is a collection inspired by the olfactory landscape of the Mediterranean perfumed with the aromas of jasmine, iris, myrtle, and mimosa. While Voyage en Méditerranée focuses on the raw materials, by and large, the fragrances are not solinotes and have a nice complexity. L’Occitane has come a long way since 1976 when Olivier Baussan founded it with the distinct purpose of capturing the spirit of his native Provence. Now it is a large company, with a significant stake owned by Clarins. In fact, Voyage en Méditerranée fragrances were developed under the creative direction of Pierre Aulas, who was also responsible for Thierry Mugler Womanity.

Mimosa de L’Estérel, developed by perfumer Jean-Pierre Béthouart, caught my attention, because the scent of mimosa is one that I associate with spring. It is very bright, uplifting, with a delicious green cucumber freshness that is characteristic of mimosa fragrance. This note set against a warm almond-violet accord gives Mimosa de L’Estérel the same honeyed, powdery sweetness that one notices when smelling a blooming mimosa branch. While it is not as nuanced as L’Artisan Mimosa Pour Moi, L’Occitane’s mimosa rendition has superb lasting power and a bright, cheerful character.

Jasmine, created by perfumer Karine Dubreuil, is a classical jasmine interpretation which highlights the jasmine note with green citrus and orange blossom. While Jasmine is transparent and petally, it is not just a generic, luminous white floral. A subtle indolic facet is carefully woven into the composition lending it a seductive, animalic touch. The sheer woody drydown is not particularly exciting, but overall, Jasmine is a pretty, refined bouquet of white flowers.

I have a hard time detecting the zesty, green character of neroli in Néroli, which is essentially a warm, oriental composition. A rose-mimosa accord folded into a milky sandalwood and vanilla accord gives it a plush character reminiscent of Guerlain fragrances, particularly Insolence and Samsara. The orange blossom is a fruity, sweet note (rather than the promised green and sparkling neroli,) and it melds really well with the creamy balsamic undercurrent. Created by Fabrice Pellegrin, it is a very appealing fragrance, which has retro connotations of violet-scented lipstick.

Iris by perfumer Amandine Marie is not the rooty, earthy iris, but rather a soft floral bouquet of violet and jasmine. Hazy and green at first with a hint of pink pepper, it quickly takes on a warm, almond sweetness. Too indistinct to be memorable.

Inspired by the warm, ambery raw material, Labdanum de Séville starts with a very appealing citrusy-peppery accord, which lightens the warmth of labdanum. For those who love sweet, ambery notes, it might be something to consider. I find the overly camphorous and sharp drydown to be a turn-off.

Created by perfumer Alexis Dadier, Cèdre/Cedar opens up on a bright grapefruit note, and with its combination of sheer, blond wood and effervescent citrus recalls the brightness of Terre d’Hèrmes. The drydown of Cèdre/Cedar and Labdanum de Séville are actually quite similar in their sharp, woody-ambery notes, although Cedar is less sweet. I did not find it particularly interesting.

Myrtle, which inspired Myrte, another fragrance by Karine Dubreuil, is a flowering evergreen plant with a fresh, green camphorous aroma. Myrte emphasizes the fresh facet of myrtle, creating a modern chypre composition around it. The watery note woven through the ambery-patchouli heart makes for a pleasant touch, while the softness of moss and musk in the drydown gives Myrte an elegant finish. Myrte is reminiscent of Narciso Rodriguez for Her, especially once it dries down. While not a new idea, Myrte is an appealing scent.

I would not call it particularly original, and it is a nicely crafted and wearable collection. My favorite fragrances from Voyage en Méditerranée are the florals, both for the richness that comes from their warm oriental notes and the elegant drydowns. I particularly enjoyed the sunny brightness of  Mimosa de L’Estérel and the classical richness of Jasmine. Even if they will not make the snow melt, at least, they help me to pretend that the spring is on the way.

L’Occitane Voyage en Méditerranée is available from L’Occitane boutiques as well as online. The cost is $66 for 2.5oz bottle of Eau de Parfum, slightly higher than the rest of the L’Occitane fragrance collection.

Samples: my own acquisition



  • axum: I sniffed my way through this line last week, so reading your review was an even greater pleasure (first time I could compare notes:)). Interestingly, my responses to this line were in some ways the opposite of yours…I found the Myrte, Cedre and Labdanum more appealing than the florals. To me, the Egyptian Jasmine had an unpleasant note that never transformed into anything else (it reminded me of, er, snot. Honestly.). The Mimosa was so light it disappeared almost as soon as it dried on my skin. Labdanum worked the best for me – warm, slightly spicy, grassy, not too sweet…like a dry summer field in late afternoon. Ultimately I agree with you, though – these are well made, easy to wear, but not particularly memorable scents. February 2, 2011 at 1:34am Reply

  • Olfactoria: This promo picture is so beautiful…
    I tried these in store lately too and was not overly impressed. My favorite was Mimosa as well, but it still wouldn’t move me to part with 65€ for a bottle. February 2, 2011 at 2:23am Reply

  • Ines: I love that Labdanum and have it on my wishlist for quite some time now. 🙂 It just works for me from start to finish. 🙂
    I’m glad to see someone is giving L’Occitane more thought, I like their products very much and I think they are doing a good job with their fragrances as well. February 2, 2011 at 3:26am Reply

  • OperaFan: Assuming the formulas haven’t changed since I sniffed and purchased some of these several years ago, the Mimosa reminds me of the mimosa note in Guerlain’s Champs Elysees (in the pink packaging) and the Jasmin (of which I have a small travel spray)is somewhat comparable though not as complex as OJ’s Frangipani. I agree the florals overall are sheer and quite lovely! Thanks for writing about these. February 2, 2011 at 10:12am Reply

  • Marina: A certain company has always thought that a certain other company is much inspired by their ideas. So now I see L’O is doing voyages too 🙂
    I do like the ad a lot, that mix of blue and yellow! February 2, 2011 at 8:33am Reply

  • Victoria: I do not believe that there is a single successful brand or a perfumer out there who DOES NOT think that someone else is inspired by their ideas. And they are right! 🙂
    I did not even make a connection with Hermes at all, probably because I was mostly focused on fragrances, which are much more traditional than Hermessence. February 2, 2011 at 9:03am Reply

  • Victoria: I admit that I used to like their older fragrances more, especially the whole Feuille d’Herbe series created by great Pierre Bourdon. However, I just bought Green Tea and some candles, and they are wonderful. Plus, the price point is very appealing ($19 for a small bottle of Green Tea, $23 for a candle.) February 2, 2011 at 9:05am Reply

  • Victoria: 65€ would make me pause too. Even $66 is not that cheap.
    I love the promo photos for this whole collection. Their website has a few more that are very nice. February 2, 2011 at 9:06am Reply

  • Victoria: I just may be sensitive to the woody-ambery note in the drydown of Labdanum and Cedar, plus, I get rather excited seeing a classical mimosa rendition. They are not that common.
    Myrte was another one I liked very much, but it is very close to NR for her in character as well as numerous other modern chypre that I could not justify $66.
    Overall, if L’Occitane wants to push more into the luxury fragrance market, I would love to see more creativity. February 2, 2011 at 9:10am Reply

  • Marina: Not Hermes :)…although that makes sense too! February 2, 2011 at 9:50am Reply

  • Victoria: Well, if there is more than one, then they are all copying each other. 🙂 February 2, 2011 at 10:07am Reply

  • Victoria: I definitely see what you mean about Champs Elysees. In general, a few from this collection made me think of Guerlain, because of the combination of floral notes, coumarin, violet, musk, etc. I can even seen Myrte and Idylle sharing a few traits.
    In general, it is a fun collection, and I like the premise.
    Was curious not to see rose, although I suppose that they have several roses already, including Rose 4 Reines (which does not really smell of roses to me.)
    February 2, 2011 at 11:31am Reply

  • Olga: I do like Mimosa. It is very realistic and made me think of the beginning of the Spring when I smelled it everywhere in my hometown. I did not buy a full bottle, but I did get a mini (7.5 ml at $10 is a good option I believe). February 2, 2011 at 10:52pm Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, 7.5ml bottles sound even better. I did not see them at my local store.
    I love the scent of mimosa, makes me think of spring and March 8th, Internal Women's Day holiday. February 3, 2011 at 9:07am Reply

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