In the Search for the Perfect Mimosa, Take 2

“She was carrying repulsive, alarming yellow flowers in her hand. Devil knows what they’re called, but for some reason they’re the first to appear in Moscow. And these flowers stood out clearly against her black spring coat. She was carrying yellow flowers! Not a nice colour.”
M.Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

Last March I tested several perfumes with a dominant mimosa note in them. I tried Amarige Mimosa 2007 by Givenchy, Mimosa by Calypso Christiane Celle, Mimosa pour Moi by L’Artisan Parfumeur, Le Mimosa by Annick Goutal, Library Collection Opus III by Amouage. I didn’t find the perfect mimosa and stopped looking for a while.

Half a year later I got a vial of mimosa absolute as a part of Laurie Erikson’s (Sonoma Scent Studio) Nostalgie testing. That was when I started questioning my memory of the scent. Mimosa absolute didn’t smell the way I remembered real mimosa blooming branches did. To my nose mimosa absolute smelled flat, single-dimensional and dusty.


There are several mimosa trees not too far from where I live. I was driving by them all February long planning to stop one day and smell real flowers. Ten minutes drive plus two minutes walk and I could smell all the mimosa I wanted… Mid March I realized that I almost missed it. I drove there, walked to the tree, reached the branch, pulled it to my face, inhaled… and had to admit that I waited for too long. Flowers were still there, I could see and touch them but the scent was almost gone. Despite my vSO’s protests I snapped off a twig and pressed it against my nose.  There was a faintest scent of mimosa flowers mixed with the smell of greenery and a twig itself. I could barely smell mimosa itself but it helped me to figure out why both mimosa absolute and many perfumes with mimosa smelled “wrong” to me: mimosa from my childhood was a full tree experience, not just flowers on their own.

I tested several more perfumes with a prominent mimosa note. I think now I can appreciate better the more complex compositions that feature mimosa but go beyond being a soliflore.

Une Fleur de Cassie by Frederic Malle – created by Dominique Ropion in 2000, notes include mimosa absolute, jasmine absolute, cassie absolute, rose absolute, carnation, vanilla and sandalwood. I think I like it but it’s not an airy floral perfume: I smell something heavy, grounded and substantial. I’m half way through the official sample and still don’t know if I need a travel bottle of it in my collection. If you need information, read Victoria’s precise and very descriptive review. If you need an inspiration you just cannot miss Suzanne’s captivating piece.

Mimosa by DSH Perfumes – created by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, notes include acacia, broom, cassie, French linden blossom, mimosa, iris, sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla. I can’t find it any longer on the DSH Perfumes’ site so I’m not sure if it’s still in production. I think it’s a pleasant but not distinct enough scent. One of those perfumes that you pick up on the spur of the moment from a boutique during your vacation in a small town by the sea, enjoy wearing it while it lasts and keep a warm memory of it once it’s gone.

Tiaré Mimosa by Guerlain – created in 2009, a part of Aqua Allegoria collection, notes include lemon, pink pepper, tiare, mimosa, musk and vanilla. Warum was kind to send me a sample of it when I was on my quest for a new Guerlain love. I liked the nice combination of citrus and flower notes and even contemplated skipping all the wish list’s lines for an affordable bottle of this perfume… but then I got to test the perfume I’ll describe next…  and I do not want Tiare Mimosa any more.

Champs Elysées Parfum by Guerlain – (re)created by Jacques Guerlain and Jean-Paul Guerlain in 1996, notes include peach, melon, violet, anise, mimosa, rose, peony, lily of the valley, vanilla, benzoin, cedarwood and sandalwood. I told the story of me falling in and then out of love with Champs Elysees. Recently I decided to try it again. I wore Champs Elysees in two concentrations – EdT and parfum. For my nose they are very similar but I like parfum a little more – it’s smoother and more blended. I think I might be falling back in love with this bright, loud and cheerful perfume. Victoria (EauMG) also likes Champs Elysees.

Next year I won’t miss it! Now I know that two different types of mimosa grow close-by.

Rusty plays with mimosa

If you previously reviewed any of these perfumes please share links.


Images: my own.


WANTED: Guerlain Perfume Godmother

I have a confession to make: I do not own a single full bottle of perfume from Guerlain. While I’m at it, I don’t think I have more than 2-3 ml of any Guerlain scent in my collection. Here, I said that.

Many years ago I was gifted with a bottle of Champs Elysees (EdT? EdP?). I didn’t dislike it but I wasn’t too impressed either. There was something unsettling about that scent. I kept the bottle but didn’t use it much. Until one day I read something very nice about this perfume somewhere. I do not remember exactly where or what (it was more than 10 years ago), I remember only that it was described as bold and sexy… Yeah, I know, nowadays which perfume isn’t described along those lines one way or the other. But back then that suggestive description made me change my mind about Champs Elysees. And I wore it happily feeling sexy, and daring, and vivacious. Until… One day a co-worker who was also “in perfumes” came over for a quick lunchtime sniffing session, picked up my bottle, sniffed it from a nozzle and pronounced: “It smells like a bug spray!” And that was it. I didn’t suddenly realize Champs Elysees smelled the way she described. She wasn’t even my close friend! But nevertheless I couldn’t bring myself to wearing it again. That’s how impressionable I am. Luckily my second bottle of that perfume was almost empty so I didn’t waste much. But that was the only and the last bottle of Guerlain perfume in my collection.

It was a preamble. A tale comes next.

As I’ve mentioned already I am impressionable. Not only my Champs Elysees story above but a list of my last year’s perfume godmothers attests to that.

Guerlain Perfume Godmother WantedAs an aspiring perfumista I made a New Year resolution to find at least one Guerlain perfume to love (and to hold in my collection). For my upcoming birthday I’m going to the ball traveling and staying in a very close proximity to a Guerlain boutique for several days. What I need now is an inspiration, a perfume godmother to share her (his?) passion for a perfume from this perfume house.

If you had to name just one Guerlain perfume (currently available, modern formulation) for me to try what would it be? If you’ve previously reviewed it on your blog give me a link, I’d love to read it. Or just tell me why you love it.

To make it harder, I’ll list those perfumes I’ve tried already.

Vol de Nuit is the closest to become a bottle in my collection.  I was tempted (surprise!) by Natalie’s review of Vol de Nuit and since then I kept trying Vol de Nuit in both concentrations – EdT and parfum. I have a strange love-hate relationship with it: every time I apply it I think: “Hmm… not bad. Why didn’t I like it last time?” Five minutes later: “It is unpleasant on my skin. It’s definitely not for me.” Thirty minutes into wearing and for as long as it stays on my skin I like it very much and keep sniffing my wrist. And the next time it all repeats.

Usual suspects – Shalimar (EdP), L’Heure Bleue (EdT and parfum) and Mitsouko (EdP and EdT): I tried them again and again (and again…) and no, I do not want to wear them. I can appreciate them, even like them on paper and kind of like some stages of their development on my skin but I do not think I would choose any of them to wear as my perfume if I had other choices.

I do not mind Shalimar Parfum Initial, it’s never unpleasant on my skin (unlike its classical siblings mentioned above) but it’s too boring.

I like how Rose Barbare develops on my skin but in the beginning it’s too sweet. I have a large sample to keep testing and make up my mind but I do not see it as the bottle now.

What say you? Is there a hope for me?


Image: my own (with the help of poster generator)