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

Best of 2016 and Welcome 2017!

I have never done a traditional “best of” perfume post before. Mostly, because as a result of my “no reviews” blog moto I do not really try to judge any perfumes – be that old or new releases – objectively, weighing their strong and weak points, but rather satisfy my curiosity, figure out whether I like perfume or not and move on. And if there is no story in it for me, there is nothing to tell on my blog.

So why am I doing this post, has anything changed? Not really. But as I was checking out the list of 2016 releases (I’m going to post my regular year round-up statistics post early in January), it occurred to me that this year I could safely name my Top 10 perfumes of 2016 since there were exactly 10 perfumes that I actually liked. So even though any list would be subjective, in this case I wouldn’t have to justify for myself why I put one of the perfumes on the list while leaving others out.

Candles

Puredistance Sheiduna – warm, spicy and addictive, this perfume will most likely join my collection when I’m done with the travel spray graciously sent to me by the brand.

Jul et Mad Secrets du Paradis Rouge is cheerful, with a perfect combination of fruity and floral notes. I can see it as one of my evening tropical vacation perfumes.

Two perfumes from Jo MaloneOrris and Sandalwood and Orange Bitters – made it up for me for the disaster that their limited Garden Collection was. I’ll probably be fine without the iris one (I have enough great irises in my collection) but I’ll enjoy wearing Orrange Bitters while my decant (thank you, hajusuuri!) lasts.

Since mimosa is one of my favorite scents in nature, I’m constantly in the search for the perfect mimosa perfume (to which three takes in my Single Note Exploration series can attest). So it’s not a surprise that two mimosa scents made it to my top 10 list this year. Once I got over the fact that Atelier Cologne Mimosa Indigo has nothing to do with mimosa (instead, it’s a very delicate, if you can use that characteristic for the material, leather perfume), I fell in love with it and welcomed a small bottle into my collection. Prada Infusion de Mimosa is much more about mimosa but this variation still maintains the backbone of the Infusion line, which I happen to like. I got to try this perfume thanks to Lucas (Chemist in the Bottle) but it is not available in the U.S. yet, which might be partially a blessing: at this stage of my perfume hobby, I do not need 100 ml of any perfume (though, it might have been easier to buy a decant had Prada brought the perfume to the market here).

The next two perfumes were everybody’s favorites, so I’ll just mention that for the last couple of weeks I keep testing and liking Masque L’Attessa and Hiram Green Arbolé Arbolé. It’s too early to say if I’ll go for any of these two beyond testing but I’ve been enjoying the experience.

Amouage Myths Woman has restored my faith in my favorite brand. For a while none of the new releases really moved me, so I almost accepted that I’d have to stay with my classic favorites from the line. Myths is not just beautiful and happy perfume, but it’s also one of a few from Amouage that I want to wear not in cold weather (the other one is Dia). A decant of Myths I bought in a split should do for now, but I plan to stalk this beautiful purple bottle and get it eventually.

As to perfume #10… It’s getting late so I’ll tell its story (and run a small giveaway) in one of the January posts. Not that I think that you, my friends and readers, need any special incentive to come back next year.

Happy New Year 2016!

Happy New Year to all of you! Whether 2016 was good to you or not so, I wish the new one to be better. Please make a wish at 12 (or before you go to bed, if you do not plan to stay that late), and I wish it to come true for each of you who remembers to do that.

Images: my own

Are you a Perfume Extrovert or Introvert?

When asked about their perfume hobby some people admit that they are open and outgoing about it, others are secretive – not to be ridiculed, get disapproval or just because they are very private. I’m not sure if personality types are directly connected to how we communicate our love of perfume to the world or if it has a more complex correlation but there are definitely Perfume Introverts and Perfume Extroverts. I am the latter.

Rusty "extrovert"

I was sharing my love for perfume long before I discovered Perfumeland or started this blog. I would talk about new [mainstream] releases with friends and co-workers who expressed any interest in perfumes. I would be finding best online deals when somebody was looking for something (that was in pre- and early-Google times). And I would always try to recruit more followers into this not so secret society.

My tally? Not counting minor wins here and there, I have three success stories.

Two friends – one of whom has never worn perfumes before (because they all were too perfume-y) and one who did it very sporadically – under my influence and with my help found perfumes to love and wear. Interestingly, for both of them those were Jo Malone‘s perfumes – Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Vanilla & Anise and Black Vetyver Café for one of them and Wild Fig & Cassis and French Lime Blossom for the other. That’s why I’m persuaded that Jo Malone is a great “starter house.”

My best friend L., who lives half the world away from me, for many years stayed faithful to her signature scent – GF Ferre Lei-Her. After it got discontinued for a while she was able to find another bottle. When she couldn’t find it any longer, she started exploring the current offerings (very-very mainstream), got completely disappointed (who wouldn’t!) and almost swore off perfume. Last year when I visited her I brought with me more than a dozen samples and decants. That was the first time L. realized that there was something beyond pink fruitchulies that invaded the market. After that we went together to the high(er)-end perfume store (the one she was too intimidated to visit on her own before). There L. surprised me: while she did like some of the perfumes I suggested her to try – Prada Infusion d’Iris, Guerlain Champs-Élysées and Cartier Baiser Volé – she absolutely loved Juliette Has A Gun Midnight Oud and a couple of Montale‘s perfumes – not the most obvious choice for a newbie. She keeps exploring and I’m sure she’s on the right track now.

During her recent visit Suzanne (Eiderdown Press) told me one of her success stories. I liked it so much that I asked Suzanne to write it up to share with you. She did:

My friend M is someone I met in a writing group. It wasn’t even a group, there were only three of us, so we got to know each other fairly well in the space of a year—our literary tastes and styles, first and foremost. M wrote both fiction and poetry, and while her fiction was a poignant lens that allowed one to gain insight into the workings of a person’s mind (into the minds of characters who represented the baffling array of human behaviors), her poetry was different: it was more personal and sensual and often seemed to speak of “home”—of the rites of passage that sisters go through together, or the memories of a stepmother who’d been in Europe at the end of World War II, for instance. Given the nature of her writing—its private turning-point moments that hinge on such things as the remembrance of her stepmother giving M her first ‘perm’ (the smell of the hair perming solution, the fitful way she felt about it, and how it became an anchor for stories her stepmother told during this session)—I was rather surprised at the disinterested reaction I got from her when I first started talking about perfume.

By this time, our writing trio had disbanded because our other friend had moved away, and I was taking a break from fiction to start a perfume blog. I remember M’s puzzled look as she questioned how one would go about writing about perfume—and the look of even deeper puzzlement (the slight snicker and firm wave-off of her hand) when I asked if she’d like to sample some perfumes. I forget her reasons for declining my offer, so perhaps it’s unfair of me to surmise, but I got the distinct feeling that she saw perfume as something that would clash with her professional image (as a senior lecturer at the nearby university, teaching women’s studies and writing). Maybe because I was in the early stages of perfume infatuation … well, I’m not sure why I felt this deep conviction, but I did: I felt that anyone who wrote as M did would have to love perfume—would understand its deep connection to memory, to sensuality, to individuality. If she’d been a science fiction writer, I wouldn’t have bothered to try to convert her, but in November 2007, just before Thanksgiving, when the first snowflakes were floating in the air, I decanted some Chanel Coromandel for her, calling it “an early Christmas present” when we met for lunch. She accepted it graciously but skeptically—and I made sure to be nonchalant. I told her she could give it back if it didn’t suit her—that I simply thought it had a beautiful frankincense note that might appeal. In my head, though, I was convinced that it would be airy enough not to frighten her, and at the same time, have a sense of gravity that would appeal to her serious side—and I was right. M fell deeply for Coromandel and within a few days was requesting other perfume samples. Now, six and a half years later, she has a few other favorites (Montale Black Aoud is one) but Coromandel is pretty much her signature scent.

Hajusuuri, a guest writer on my blog, also agreed to share her success story:

Many years ago, more years than I care to remember, my sister and I went to Boston on vacation. For two shopaholics, there was no better place to window-shop than posh Newbury Street where we chanced upon a small perfumery. While we were not into perfumes, we browsed around anyway. If memory serves me right, that shop sold only custom-blended essential oils, which were available only in roll-on bottles. My sister bought several while I left without purchasing anything. Year after year, she would call the store to place an order to replenish. In 2008, she said that the perfumery moved to Colorado but that she was still able to call Dawn to place her order for China Rain blend and French Lily.

I fell down the rabbit hole around 2010-2011 and have grown a too-big collection of mainstream and indie/niche perfumes. In 2011, I somehow managed to convince my sister that she should expand her perfume horizon and consider checking out better mainstream perfumes because her little perfumery probably moved to Colorado due to a business slow-down, that it probably could not afford to stay in Boston and who knows for how much longer it will be open. Since then, she had acquired Elie Saab, Jo Malone Black Vetyver Café, Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede and Cartier Baiser Vole Essence – a pretty decent collection, don’t you think?

But wait! There’s more!

When Undina first suggested a Success Stories post, I immediately thought of my sister as my success story. Curious as to whether or not I could figure out the name of the perfumery that moved to Colorado, I googled “Newbury Perfume Colorado”. The first entry from that search yielded “Essence Studio – Boulder Colorado”. Clicking through to the entry and then the Visit Website link, I was shocked to be redirected to DSH Perfumes. The “Dawn” my sister spoke with to place her orders turned out to be none other than American perfumer extraordinaire, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz!

Now excuse me while I go sit in the timeout corner…

Rusty "introvert"

Are you a Perfume Extrovert or a Perfume Introvert? Have you converted anybody?

Share your success stories in comments (or give a link to your posts on the topic).

 

Images: my own

Alien wears Prada Infusion d’Iris

.

If I’m supposed to identify with those extremely beautiful women dressed up either impeccably or with a calculated carelessness from different perfumes ads I should say it doesn’t work on me. I do not feel that any perfume might transform me into one of them – or even make me feel like I’m one of them: they are artificial; they are abstract and just an expected visual aid to the release de jour.

When Infusion d’Iris* by Prada was released I immediately went to a store to try it. I didn’t like it. I think it was my first perfume with a prominent iris note (though I’m not sure I even knew then what it was). I didn’t expect to smell what I smelled – so I didn’t like it.

Prada Infusion d'Iris ad

I don’t remember how exactly it happened but I remember that one day I was looking at the ad above and thinking that I liked that image so much that I just had to have Infusion d’Iris. I don’t even like that model, I prefer them older and … more human. But the image is hauntingly weird and cool and elegant.

I tried Infusion d’Iris again, liked it that time and bought a bottle without even waiting for it to make its way to discounters online. For me it smells very elegant, cold and refined – exactly the way that alien in gloves looks on the picture. And unless they colonize the Earth tomorrow I do not want to look like it or project that image. But five years later I still enjoy wearing Infusion d’Iris and probably won’t want to be without in – just in case, you know, extraterrestrial invasion and all that.

Alien

For a real review (and a very cool suggestion on layering) read Birgit’s (Olfactoria’s Travels) Wallflower? – Review: Prada Infusion d’Iris. Robin (NST) had also reviewed this perfume. If you reviewed Infusion d’Iris on your blog share a link please.

Update: one more review of Prada Infusion d’Iris at Scentandshinythings.

* Infusion d’Iris in this story refers to the EDP version.