In the Search for the Perfect Mimosa, Take 5

Not counting roses and irises that got all the attention (and posts) during the corresponding Months, there is no other note about which I’d write that many times. Not only I like mimosa and its scent, but also I firmly associate it with spring. So every year about this time I get an urge to smell mimosa, wear perfumes with it as a dominant note and to write about it.

This winter was warmer than usually in our area, so I wasn’t surprised much when I saw blooming mimosa in the beginning of February. The tree was in such place to where I couldn’t easily get, so I snapped a couple of pictures but told myself that there would be plenty of opportunities in Sonoma where we planned to go for my birthday.

 

Mimosa

 

There was plenty of mimosa: we saw it everywhere as we were driving by on a highway. But as a cruel joke or some anti-mimosa conspiracy, wherever we stopped – be those wineries, small parks or the ranch where we stayed – there wasn’t a mimosa twig in sight! Think about it: when you want just to look at a tree (any tree, not some special and known one) from up-close, smell it and take a picture or two, there is no a search term you could enter into the map app or a search engine to find that tree. So even though I enjoyed my birthday trip enormously otherwise, I felt a little disappointed about not getting to experience mimosa in all its beauty.

But when I returned home, a pleasant surprise was waiting for me: Lucas (my perfume sibling and the author of the Chemist in the Bottle blog) sent me a birthday present. A couple of weeks earlier he reviewed a new Yves Rocher shower product – Cotton Flower & Mimosa. It immediately piqued my interest but at that time Yves Rocher US site didn’t stock it yet (for those of my European readers who don’t know that, YR doesn’t have B&M presence in the U.S., so the only way you can buy something is either from the website or a catalog). I prepared to wait and see if it gets here eventually (it did!), but Lucas was so sweet and surprised me with that package. Cotton Flower & Mimosa shower gel is wonderful even if you do not get it as birthday present, and it won’t break the bank – so I wholeheartedly can recommend it to mimosa lovers.

 

Rusty and Yves Rocher Cotton Flower & Mimosa Shower Gel

 

But that wasn’t the end of my mimosa saga for this year. A couple of weeks after that I received a package from another perfume friend, a rare guest author on this blog and the third person in our perfume sister/brotherhood, hajusuuri. Among the expected decants from the recent NST split and shared samples, there was another surprising item: a bottle of Elizabeth Arden’s Green Tea Mimosa. I remember reading about this perfume earlier and expressing interest, but I don’t remember if hajusuuri was present for that conversation. But she saw Green Tea Mimosa at Marshalls (store similar to TJ/TK Maxx) and thought of me.

 

Rusty and Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Mimosa

 

More than a decade ago I was deeply in love with the original Green Tea perfume. I went through at least a couple of bottles of it. It was light and green and happy. I don’t remember why I didn’t buy the next bottle once my last one was empty, but I don’t think it was because I stopped liking it – most likely, something else (probably Jo Malone’s scents) seemed more appealing at the time. In Green Tea Mimosa flanker I think I recognize the frame of the original scent. And it has a nice mimosa accord once the initial blast of a pleasant citrus calms down. I love it because it was a present. But besides, I know that I’ll get good use of it during the summer. And while if you’re new to the brand and this perfume, there is no good reason for you to hunt this specific flanker, if you were a fan of the original Green Tea and you like mimosa, check your local eBay listings.

Since the last post on the topic of mimosa, I discovered two more great mimosa perfumes. Unfortunately, Sonoma Scent Studio Bee’s Bliss, about which I wrote not long ago, is not available any more, which is too bad since it happened to be one of my most favorite SSS’s perfumes.

The second perfume came to me as a sample (again) from Lucas. He liked Jean Charles Brosseau Fleurs d’Ombre The Poudree and did a great review for it, so since I agree with his take I won’t attempt to find different words to describe Fleurs d’Ombre The Poudree. I’ll just say that only inaccessibility stops me from getting a small bottle for this spring. But most likely I’ll get it eventually. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy ee’s Bliss and all other mimosa perfumes that I accumulated over the last seven years of search: Givenchy Amarige Harvest Mimosa, Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie, Guerlain Champs Elysées, Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom, Prada Infusion de Mimosa and Atelier Cologne Mimosa Indigo (I won’t link to the previous posts but those who are interested can easily find those through My Perfume Portrait or Related posts below).

 

Rusty and Sonoma Scent Studio Bee's Bliss

 

Do you like mimosa perfumes? What is your current favorite?

 

Imaged: my own

Advertisements

Entertaining Statistics: 2017 Year Round-up

Strictly from the personal prospective, 2017 wasn’t a bad year: it had its share of unpleasantness and hardships but nothing to be really unhappy – so I won’t complain or even mention that. Instead, I would rather remember that year by good things that happened – short and long trips, wonderful time spent with my friends, successful projects at work and wonderful perfumes I got to test and wear in 2017.

As I usually do it in the beginning of the new year, I’m looking back to my perfume records and sharing with you my insights.

 

How I do it

Years ago I created a personal database (using MS Access) to hold information on all the perfumes I own or test. Whenever I get a new sample, I add it to the database – below I give an example of the entry form I use. I do not always get all the information but I add what I can find. Perfume name, launch year and notes are free-text entry; designer (brand), perfumers, notes and some other data points are coming from the pre-defined lists, so there can be no discrepancies.

 

Sample DB Record

 

Whenever I wear or test perfumes, I record it in the Perfume Diary. In the form below, “Purpose” is one of the choices for when/why I wore or tested that perfume, e.g., “office wear” or “weekend day” or “Work from home.” Type of use is either “wore” or “tested”; “Response” is a formalized evaluation of how I reacted to that perfume on that day – e.g., “Enjoyed it a lot” or “Mixed feelings” or “I hated it,” etc. And finally “My notes” contain a short free-form comment, whatever I want to write about that time I wore or tested perfume.

 

DB Diary Entry

 

For those readers who haven’t been around when I was doing this series regularly, I want to explain what I mean when I say “tested” or “wore”: for testing I apply perfume to one area on my arms easily available for the repetitive sniffing. I can test two, sometimes even more perfumes at the same time. I do most of my testing in the evenings or while working from home. When I wear perfume, I apply it to at least three-four points, and usually I plan to spend at least 4-8 hours with the same scent so I’m prepared to re-apply if the original application wears off. After wearing a less tenacious perfume in the morning I might wear another one later. I wear perfumes mostly from bottles and decants; I wear perfumes from samples only when I consider buying a bottle or decant.

So, now when I explained how I collect data, let’s take a look at my 2017 in numbers.

 

178 Perfumes Worn

This year I wore more different perfumes than the year before – 178 (vs. 164 in 2016) from more brands – 72 (vs. 61) but did it less often – on 314 occasions (vs. 333).

Second year in a row Jo Malone was a brand I wore the most. I think it’s because these are my most “office friendly” perfumes. Neela Vermeire Creations made its way back into the Top 10 chart (last time it was here in 2014); while Le Labo fell completely off. The rest of the group just moved around but stayed on the chart, which isn’t surprising since I do not either update or expand my collection significantly any longer and keep wearing my favorites.

 

My Stats Year 2017 Brands

 

I tend to rotate perfumes I wear daily so I usually do not wear the same perfume even twice the same months – that’s how I go through that many different perfumes in a year. But I still managed to wear 67 perfumes more than once during 2017. Five perfumes I wore the most – Chanel No 19 (EdT, EdP and extrait), Lancôme Climat, Ormonde Jayne Ta’if, Krigler Lieber Gustav 14 and Armani La Femme Bleue.

 

Testing: Recording 300 and “carrying over” 1,000

This year was remarkable in regards to testing: in addition to the cursory testing of about 1,000 perfumes during my LondonBarcelonaStockholm trip (those didn’t go into my database – unless I scored a sample to bring back with me), I recorded testing at home 300 perfumes (vs. 275 last year) from 103 (vs. 100) brands. 134 of them were completely new to me (the rest I had tested before). I really liked/loved 24 of them, liked 20, thought that 56 were just not interesting and disliked 34.

Out if the 134 new for me perfumes that I tested, only 45 were released in 2017. Two of the 45 I liked enough to buy – Ineke Idyllwild and Sonoma Scent Studio Bee’s Bliss.

 

Rusty and Ineke Idyllwild

 

Has any of the 2017 releases joined your collection?

 

Images: my own

SSS: SSS B’sB and More

When I started my Second Sunday Samples series, I thought of referring to it as SSS Series but since in Perfumeland that abbreviation is usually used for Sonoma Scent Studio, I dropped the idea.

While writing about Sonoma Scent Studio’s samples for this month’s episode, I thought those abbreviations would look fabulous together – hence the title.

* * *

I grew up in a large city. Horses were either an attribute of a rural life, about which most of us, city kids, had little knowledge, or something from “other times,” about which we read books or watched films. So horses were almost mythical creatures, if you think about it.

The closest I’ve ever got to a horse riding was, probably, favoring Tal-y-Tara Tea & Polo Shoppe in San Francisco. While drinking tea with cute sandwiches and scones, we would look around trying to figure out the use for different unusual things on the shelves around us.

 

 

Probably because of all that Sonoma Scent Studio’s Equestrian did not attract my attention when it was launched last year, despite several very favorable reviews and year-end lists. But recently when I was placing an order for a couple of perfumes that I wanted to replenish, I decided to catch up on the newest Sonoma Scent Studio’s releases and bought samples.

If it weren’t for the name and Laurie Erikson’s Comments, I would have never guessed that this scent has anything to do with horses. The list of notes wouldn’t give it away either (at least to me): apple accord, grassy notes, hay absolute, leather accord, jasmine sambac absolute, violet, labdanum absolute, Virginia cedar, natural oakmoss absolute, patchouli, New Caledonia sandalwood and benzoin.

The first time I tried Equestrian, it reminded me Serge Lutens Jeux de Peau. I know that these two have almost no notes in common, and since then I’ve done them in parallel and proved to myself that they are very different. And still, every time I put on just Equestrian, I immediately think: Jeux de Peau. I wonder if I make some subconscious connection Equestrian –> Tal-y-Tara Tea & Polo Shoppe –> scones –> palmiers (which were my association for the SL’s perfume)?

But back to Equestrian. My nose didn’t identify “apple” initially but once I read it in the notes, I agreed that whatever I smelled might be interpreted as such. That accord and benzoin give perfume just enough sweetness to put Equestrian on the border of gourmand territory (another nod to JdP) or maybe even slightly into it but not overwhelmingly so. The leather is smooth and subtle. And the rest of ingredients together paint a harmonious picture.

The more I test Equestrian, the more I like it. I’m not sure yet If it gets to four sea stars but it is close to that, so I’ll be spending more time with the sample.

Three and Half Sea Stars

* * *

My impressions from the second sample from that recent order, Bee’s Bliss, were completely congruous with both the name and perfumer’s comments. You do not even need to read the notes list to conjure the late spring – early summer day with all the blossoms that would be considered a paradise by any self-respecting bee. But just in case you haven’t seen the list yet, here it is: bergamot, apricot and peach, orange blossom, jasmine, mimosa, lilac, heliotrope, beeswax, honey, iris, vetiver, green leaves, benzoin, amber, oakmoss, patchouli and musk.

Bee’s Bliss is a beautiful and joyful floral perfume. What is interesting about it: if you’re familiar with other Sonoma Scent Studio’s floral compositions, you’ll be surprised how light and airy this perfume is. Bee’s Bliss doesn’t have the darker woodsy and resinous base that one has come to expect from Ms. Erikson’s creations. At the same time, it has enough substance to feel like a traditional perfume rather than summery cologne.

 

 

I liked Bee’s Bliss from the first application so I decided not to wait and ordered a purse spray.

Four Sea Stars

SSS’s shopping cart will be up until December 19th, so those of my U.S. readers who were thinking about trying this perfume or ordering something else from the brand still have time to do that.

I realize that it is harder for readers from other parts of the World to obtain samples from SSS, so I want to offer my sample in a draw for those who are NOT in the U.S. To be entered, you do not need to do anything other than say in what country you live. The draw is open until 23:59 PST on December 17th. The winner will be selected randomly.

SSS does ship to at least some countries but the official shipping is prohibitively expensive. So if the winner of the sample, after trying it, decides to buy a travel spray or a bottle (you can do it over e-mail even after the cart is taken down), I can offer to receive the package and send it your way through the regular mail, which should be cheaper than to do it through the international UPS.

A reminder: hajusuuri’s guessing game and giveaway is still open.

 

Images: my own