Mandarine Tout Simplement is this year's limited edition summer fragrance from L'Artisan Parfumeur, following last year's Extrait de Songe and 2004's Ananas Fizz. It was created by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti and the notes are green mandarin, ginger, yellow mandarin, frangipani, red mandarin, and white cedar.
The top notes are just a joy: tart mandarin with lots of peel and a little fizz of ginger underneath, very juicy and summery and bright. Like the most glorious summer day in early June, regrettably, it cannot last, and so goes Mandarine; it fades rapidly into a sheer, blended floral over cedar, pretty, but not nearly so compelling as what came before.
I am fond of the L'Artisan summer fragrances in general, and a few of my favorites in the regular line (Ananas Fizz, Thé Pour Un Été) started out as summer limited editions. They are, admittedly, simple in composition, as one might expect from fragrances meant to be worn in the summer heat, and as a rule they are short-lived. To compensate, they are something of a bargain at less than half the price per ounce of the regular line, and the playful packaging is a nice contrast to the more sober bottle used for the standard L'Artisan scents.
Even at that, Mandarine (the good part, anyway) is too ephemeral an experience to tempt me at $125. L'Artisan would have done well to include a travel atomizer as they did last year with Extrait de Songe, as you are going to need frequent touch-ups. I found myself re-applying every 10 minutes just to get another burst of mandarin peel, and the beauty of the opening eventually makes the the dry down seem perhaps more disappointing than it is.
Mandarine Tout Simplement is $125 for 250 ml of Eau de Toilette. For buying information, see the listing for L'Artisan under Perfume Houses.
Update: additional notes for the Mandarine Tout Simplement fragrance include green mango, pink pepper berries and cardamom in the top; karo-karoundé, incense and papyrus wood in the heart; and patchouli, myrrh, vetiver and benzoin in the base.