Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ava Luxe - Mousse de Chine (perfume review)

The more perfumes I try, the more I realize how many I haven't tried! I have been rather unorganized in my sampling since delving into the perfume world - following individual tangents (such as particular notes or houses) or simply going gaga over the rhetoric surrounding new releases. 

But there's a huge world of perfumes out there and to be quite frank, I am missing whole families of them in my testing so far! For example, chypres. I had never tried a chypre on skin (and have only sniffed a few at most). In fact, to really highlight my ignorance - I can't even tell you what the famous, iconic chypres are. Clearly I have some reading ahead of me. (If I get any credit at all for this, I do know that Hiram Green's release Shangri La is a peach chypre, and I'd like to try it). 

So, in an effort to rectify my chypre-virgin nose, I raided my sample box and decided to give the Ava Luxe chypre Mousse de Chine a try.   

mossy, weedy grass
The opening of Mousse de Chine offers about 10 seconds of crisp and loud citrus, then dives straight into sharp lavender and powder. Very shortly thereafter, the lavender powder becomes quieter and is joined by the earthy fern and moss. 

These greens are slightly herbal and pungent - and lean a touch masculine to me. For some reason, the green notes in Mousse de Chine never feel warm or inviting, instead remaining cool and stoic. This is a little unsettling for me. I guess I like warmth.

moss covered concrete stones
About 20 minutes in, the citrus notes seem to reappear and waft about me - though I don't necessarily smell them when I sniff my wrist. They just float around for a bit.

About an hour in, the lavender fades and the powder remains. The ambergris makes a slightly salty appearance, but it's not particularly loud and I mostly get powder with just a touch of something peppery.

I had to try (and re-apply) Mousse de Chine several times to even get this characterization of it, and it generally became barely noticeable by the 2 hour mark (though it's nearly imperceptible scent remained on my wrist much longer). 

To be fair, I received the sample I tested as a freebie from another lovely perfumista, so I can't be sure if it was very fresh or if time has compromised the sample at all.


My rating of Mousse de Chine: 2

1  -  - -  -  2  -  -  -  -  3  -  -  -  -  4  -  -  -  -  5
   Nausea/Gagging         Meh        Decent       Great         Olfactory Elation    

This is the first chypre I've ever tried, so honestly I have no idea how it compares to other chypres. I'm not a big lavender fan though, so Mousse de Chine was not for me.


Mousse de Chine as described by the Ava Luxe perfume website:

Family: Chypre

Top Notes: bergamot, lime
Middle Notes: fern, lavender, amber, spanish moss, oakmoss
Base Notes: labdanum, musk, ambergris

Perfumer: Serena Ava Franco


Have you tried Mousse de Chine? What are some of your favorite chypres?


  1. I never tried Mousse de Chine, I actually only ever tried one or perhaps two Ava Luxe fragrances. Lots of US indies sound so amazing but the postal costs and restictions makes it such a hassle to order, that it's not something I do often.
    As for Chypres, if it makes you feel better, I hadn't even heard of the Hiram Green one ;-) The new chypres tend to be make with patch instead of oakmoss, so maybe that'll be more your thing? Chypre Palatin springs to mind? My favourites are vintage; Rochas Femme and Mitsouko. I haven't tried the new MItsy, but as for Femme I stick to anything pre 1989, when cumin was added, to make it all smell a bit to much like Indian restaurant.

    1. Hi Asali! If you'd like, I'd be happy to send you my sample of Mousse de Chine. I could also throw in Do Not Ask Me Why and maybe a few other things you haven't been able to try yet? HG's Moon Bloom? Just let me know!

      I really should try Mitsouko since it's such a big, well known and well loved chypre, to see if I get it. If I were to ever try Rochas Femme, I guess I'd have to stick to anything pre 1989 as well, cumin turns downright horrid on my skin! I've never heard of Chypre Palatin, I'll have to look it up. Thanks for the suggestion!

    2. That's so sweet of you Sun Mi, will PM you, I can probably help you right back with some of those Chypres :-)

  2. I say, Sun Mi, you may think your exploration is a bit haphazard, but you are delving into some interesting directions for sure. I had also not heard of that Hiram Green scent - haven't sniffed any of the range. I have tried a fair few Ava Luxes, but this chypre doesn't sound like my kind of thing at all. Not overly fond of moss or lavender! I think we are similar in not liking too much austerity in our perfumes, hehe.

    1. Yes Vanessa - I think we actually may have similar tastes (let's not forget our shared distaste of Un Bois Vanille!). I don't think I've tried enough to really determine how I feel about moss, but I know that lavender is definitely not my thing. The Hiram Green chypre, from what I've read, sounds much lusher and warmer than this one. Are there any chypres that you particularly like?


Thanks for participating!