I recently purchased a few small plants to create a summer "container garden" — basil, dill, peppermint. I've done this before, although not last summer or the year before (I must have had something else on my mind?) and I'm looking forward to having a supply of fresh-picked herbs again. And, of course, there's the smell factor. The mint plant, in particular, had me burying my nose in its leaves on the walk home.
Right around the same time, I was happy to hear that the first release from Nomenclature's new Modern Eclectics collection is Minted, an "aromatic woody scent" with notes of mint, maté, jasmine, papyrus, Atlas cedar, violet, lemongrass, bergamot and brown sugar for "the fragrance equivalent of a deep breath." This collection is playful, but in a different way from the original Nomenclature collection, with its aroma-chemical "molecule" inspirations and its lab flask bottles: the Modern Eclectics presentation includes collages by visual artist Rafael Santiago as well as short, whimsical poems, and the descriptions of its scents refer to nature, to flavors, even to internet culture. Minted (created for Nomenclature by perfumer Jérôme Epinette) takes "Moroccan mint tea on ice" as one reference point, but also plays with multiple readings of "mint" as taste, as currency (hence the dollar sign in its visuals) and as the condition of newness.
Minted does, in fact, have the radiance of a "newly minted" object. It feels simultaneously bright and cool, and it's a green tea scent that lovers of green tea fragrances should definitely seek out, but it's not just tea. The mint note is refreshing without being reminiscent of mouthwash or chewing gum, and there's an elusive fruity note in the opening that I keep trying to pinpoint. The jasmine is crisp and clean (not indolic) and there's a hint of honeyed sweetness to Minted, as well. The dry down is still minty green tea with sheer woods. This fragrance wears fairly close to my skin and has above-average staying power for a tea-and-herb scent. I could still detect it on my arm six hours after I'd applied it, which is a long time for me.
Thinking about other green tea perfumes and other compositions by Jérôme Epinette, I'm trying to remember how his Moroccan Tea for & Other Stories smelled, since many of the listed notes were similar. I have no way of checking, however, since & Other Stories seems to be axing most of their fragrance collection. And I wish I had a bottle of L'Occitane Green Tea with Mint Leaf-Light Body Gel, which was discontinued long ago, because it would layer perfectly with Minted. Well, no use crying over spilt toiletries...
Back to the present (and future), Nomenclature is slated to release additional Modern Eclectics fragrances, and after attending a preview event where I sniffed a few, I'm looking forward to trying them again (particularly a patchouli-rose blend that felt very "me"). For now, though, I'll be spritzing on some Minted on warm days, maybe even while I'm enjoying some iced tea or garnishing a home-mixed cocktail with some actual mint leaves.
Nomenclature Minted is available at Aedes, $90 for 20 ml Eau de Parfum or $175 for 75 ml.
Further reading: if you've ever wondered why the smell of mint feels "cool," here's a paper describing a recent study on olfaction and "temperature illusions."