In the Search for the Perfect Mimosa, Take 4

It’s spring again, and again I’m drawn to mimosa and mimosa-centric perfumes. Of course, our spring comes after our winter, so the change is not as drastic as it happens in many other areas. It reminds me of those make-believe magazine recommendations where a model in a perfectly fitting “simple” frock effortlessly “dresses it up” with a tiny accessory – which would never work for us, mere mortals, for whom anything like that requires careful planning and meticulous execution. Same happens with the season change here: our nature just carelessly put on a floral lace wrap – and got all beautiful for the spring party.

Mimosa and Palm Tree

I have enough mimosa perfumes in my wardrobe: Givenchy Amarige Harvest Mimosa, Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie, Guerlain Champs Elysées and Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom are perfumes I discovered during my previous three takes on the topic.

One would think that it should be sufficient – and it is: I do not actively seek that note any more. But every time I hear about a new mimosa perfume, I just cannot pass on it. Especially when it comes from brands I like.

Prada launched Infusion de Mimosa last year in their Les Infusions de Prada collection. Thanks to a friend, I’ve got to test it long before a couple of luxury retailers started offering it in the U.S. (and I’m yet to see it in the actual store). I like it a lot. It doesn’t always work – to combine two good things, but in this case it does: it is still unmistakably the beautiful Infusion d’Iris’s relative, even though there are almost no notes in common listed, but also it has a wonderfully true to natural mimosa aroma – airy and intense at the same time. What I especially like about Infusion de Mimosa is that it feels summery without being citrus-y cologne.

Mimosa

When I smelled Mimosa Indigo by Atelier Cologne for the first time, I was utterly disappointed: it was not what I expected or wanted it to be; and I could smell absolutely no mimosa in it. Since I do not write perfume reviews, I do not always give perfumes another chance if I didn’t like them on the first encounter, especially if I don’t have a sample at home. With the number of new releases out there, I just do not usually bother with getting a sample of something that didn’t wow me on the first try. But I like Atelier Cologne, and that purple color just spoke to me… After a couple of shopping trips, during which my nose stayed glued to my wrist, I bought a bottle of Mimosa Indigo (thankfully, they have 30 ml bottles). I like it and enjoy wearing it. I think I can smell some mimosa in it but I wouldn’t be able to call it without reading a list of notes. It’s an interesting floral perfume on a gentle almost suede base.

Rusty and Atelier Cologne Mimosa Indigo

I do not need more perfumes – with or without prominent mimosa note. But I know that the next time one of my favorite brands releases their take on this flower, I’ll be tempted – the same way I was tempted by Chanel’s limited edition nail polish called Mimosa. They got the color perfectly: it’s definitely spring in a bottle.

Chanel Mimosa Nail Polish

Images: my own

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In the Search for the Perfect Mimosa, Take 3

There are scents that we like on their own – because they smell nice, make us feel good or appeal to our sense of beauty. Other scents (while being all that as well) are linked to pleasant memories, positive experiences or special occasions. Mimosa is one of the scents of the second kind for me.

Mimosa

I told my mimosa story short after I started this blog in the first post of this “In the Search for the Perfect…” series (since most of you weren’t here back then, you could look over the first two paragraphs of that post so I do not repeat myself). At that time I tested several perfumes – Amarige Harvest Mimosa 2007 by Givenchy, Mimosa by Calypso, Mimosa pour Moi by L’Artisan Parfumeur, Le Mimosa by Annick Goutal and Amouage Library Collection Opus III. The conclusion was that I really liked only the one, a bottle of which I already had – Amarige Harvest Mimosa (though as time showed it became one of my “tsundoku” perfumes).

A year later I approached the subject again (you can skip this post unless you want to see a picture of Rusty playing with mimosa) and realized that as much as I enjoyed the scent of real flowers on a branch mimosa note in perfumes interested me mostly as a part of a bouquet and not as a soliflore. I wasn’t sure then if I liked it enough, but several years later a travel bottle of Une Fleur de Cassie by Frederic Malle has joined my collection.

Mimosa

I still like mimosa and can’t pass by a blooming tree without stopping and smelling it. I would gladly buy a bunch of mimosa but I’ve never seen it in a shop so I don’t know if it’s sold anywhere in the U.S. And I’m still drawn to mimosa-centric perfumes.

When I came across Jo Malone‘s Mimosa & Cardamom in a store for the first time I immediately had two thoughts. The first one was: why have they decided to release it in September when there was absolutely no chance to get real mimosa to decorate the stand (so they used artificial flowers, which looked a little weird)?! And the second one was: I want it!

Mimosa & Cardamom is just a mimosa perfume I was looking for: its mimosa note is sunny and happy but there is something beyond that note that makes this perfume not boring. Same as for Victoria whose review I recommend you to read if you haven’t tried Mimosa & Cardamom, it stays on my skin for a long time – and I enjoy every minute of it.

Mimosa

This year’s mimosa season brought me one more pleasant discovery. A friend of mine from Texas who came to California last month to celebrate her and my birthdays, while in wine country, collected mimosa flowers, pre-processed them, hauled them around on the trip, then back at home made them into an amazing confiture and sent me a jar of it as an extra birthday present. Did I say already it was amazing? It’s real mimosa in a jar! It’s light, not too sweet and a little bitter. And it’s great with ricotta cheese. I don’t think everybody would like it: you have to like mimosa to appreciate this confiture. I happen to love mimosa.

Rusty and Mimosa Jam

I’m not sure if it’s possible to buy mimosa confiture (and even if it is possible, I doubt it would be as great as my friend’s creation) but if you have access to mimosa and would like to try making it yourself (or if you just want to see how it looks out of the jar), I refer you to my friend’s recipe.

Images: my own

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.

Mimosa

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.

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Images: my own.

Dial M for… Spring or A Perfect Mimosa

A gray chilly day, gray dirty slush on the pavement, gray skies and serious men in gray gabardine overcoats with gray newspaper cones – in their hand, under arm or even sticking out of a handbag. And confined in each of those cones are hundreds of small suns.

MimosaThis is how I remember 8th of March, an International Women’s Day, from my childhood. Of course, there were other early spring flowers – tulips and daffodils (back then we didn’t have “evergreen” roses yet) – but mimosa* was strongly associated with this holiday (a combination of Mother’s Day and St. Valentine’s Day). Mimosa was such a sunny and happy flower that you couldn’t help feeling Spring in the air even though it was still cold and unpleasant outside.

It’s almost never cold where I live now; all seasons’ boundaries are blurred and I gladly swapped not so “international,” as I found out, holiday for a more romantic, in my view, local one. But I still smile and my heart fills with joy whenever I see these bright golden constellations on a filigree of silvery leaves.

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