Alongside the model embellishments Mozart composed for various keyboard works, he also wrote embellishments for contemporary arias including ‘Ah, se a morir mi chiama’ from Lucio Silla, the concert aria ‘Non sò d'onde viene’ K.294 and ‘Cara, la dolce fiamma’ from J.C. Bach's Adriano in Siria. Although these have been overlooked in the critical literature, they shed light on many aspects of Mozart's art of melodic decoration. In this article, I begin by examining these notated operatic embellishments: their textual histories, the styles of elaboration they evince, the pacing with which they unfold, and their motivic construction, as well as their relation to broader trends in Mozart's style. I then explore the embellishments Mozart composed into the texts of his other operas, arguing that these served not only a musical but also an aesthetic purpose, furthering elements of characterisation and drama, particularly in Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte. I end with brief remarks on the challenges facing modern-day interpreters who wish to embellish Mozart's operas.