L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi : Fragrance Review

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I have a friend who loves mimosa so much that when I mentioned seeing cut branches at a florist shop, she didn’t hesitate to make an hour long journey to Manhattan. In New York, these aromatic yellow flowers are both rare and expensive (they’re usually flown in from the South of France), so she was determined to find a perfume that bottled its unusual scent of almonds and violets. My first recommendation was L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi, because it’s the closest approximation of mimosa in full bloom.

mimosa-bouquet

The first inhale of Mimosa Pour Moi is a rustle of green leaves, with a soft brush of violet petals and drizzle of creamed honey. It’s effervescent and breezy, with strong hints of cucumber peel. The cuddly, soft impression of mimosa is created from these disparate elements shortly thereafter, and suddenly you imagine yourself holding a large bouquet of mimosa and burying your face in it. Instinctively, I reach to brush away the pollen from my nose.

Mimosa Pour Moi was created by perfumer Anne Flipo, whose other delicate scents for L’Artisan (Verte Violette, Ananas Fizz, La Chasse Aux Papillons) fit so well the impressionistic, naive aesthetic of the French niche house. Mimosa Pour Moi and other early L’Artisans are also great scents for people who say that they don’t like perfume (ie, detest Thierry Mugler Angel, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle or other big, tenacious fragrances). L’Artisan blends are comfortable to wear, and yet they’re different from the pack. Being light, they also don’t intimidate new fragrance  wearers or invade anyone’s personal space.

But the flip side of such ethereal and delicate perfume is its evanescence. Mimosa Pour Moi lasts about an hour on me before fading to a whisper of almond and then finally to nothing. “What is the purpose of a perfume if it doesn’t last?” asked my mimosa loving friend. I mentioned something about the creative intent and minimalism, but she wasn’t convinced. “Minimalism is fine, but at $100 a bottle I want a lasting perfume.”

Of course, I agree with my friend that Mimosa Pour Moi is not quite satisfying. For a fresh floral perfume, I should sensibly recommend other more reasonably priced alternatives (Balenciaga Paris and Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mimosa Tiare), while for a mimosa fix–Frédéric Malle Une Fleur de Cassie and Guerlain Après l’Ondée. And yet, none of these replace Mimosa Pour Moi. Despite my complaints, I keep some on hand, because there are days when I want to feel as if I’m holding a large bouquet of mimosas, even if this happy image lasts only briefly.

My friend, by the way, is on her second bottle. Both of us are waiting for Mimosa Pour Moi Extrême.

mimosa-pour-moi

L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi Eau de Toilette lists notes of mimosa ( flower, leaf and stem), violet leaves, and blackcurrant bud. $100/50ml; $145/100ml Available at Aedes, Barneys, Luckyscent and L’Artisan boutiques.

Painting: Bouquet de Mimosas, Pierre Bonnard, c.1945, via wiki-paintings, some rights reserved.

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48 Comments

  • Alyssa Harad: I love Mimosa Pour Moi, if only because I spent so much time wondering how anyone could smell it at all before I smelled it on the right day, in the right context and was moved by its transparent tenderness. I find it’s evanescence to be part of its charm. It’s like spring! My only complaint is that the notes in the opening don’t stay for long before it enters the violet/cucumber stage.

    Meanwhile, why are those silly New Yorkers flying Mimosa in from the South of France? There are Acacia Farnesiana trees all over my neighborhood here in Austin, a four hour flight away. If they asked nicely I would bring the branches myself. April 24, 2013 at 7:30am Reply

    • Victoria: I completely agree with you. The very thing that makes Mimosa Pour Moi so delicate is its gentle, tender character. As much as I want it to last and last, I realize that it may not be possible without sacrificing some of its exquisite delicacy.

      Acacia decurrens (the usual florist mimosa) also grows in California. But as the florist explained, there are no commercial plantations for the cut flower business, and they have no choice but to rely on the Dutch or French growers. And mimosa is just not popular enough anyway among the consumers. He also mentioned that most people don’t even want their flowers to have any scent, because they worry about allergies. April 24, 2013 at 10:24am Reply

      • Alyssa Harad: That makes me so sad, that piece about the smell and the allergies. I admit that lilies sometimes give me a headache, but sheesh. Why not just buy plastic flowers and be done with it? April 24, 2013 at 2:19pm Reply

        • Victoria: Plus, the cut flower business is not at all environmentally friendly (those perfect, scentless roses require a large amount of pesticides!) There is a number of very interesting, even if disturbing, documentaries focusing on Ecuador and Africa, which supply the US and Europe. April 24, 2013 at 2:33pm Reply

        • marsi: Very sad! Last Valentine’s Day my boyfriend sent me a bouquet of red roses at work and my office mate complained that the smell gave her a headache. They didn’t smell at all. April 24, 2013 at 5:16pm Reply

  • theperfumeddandy: Dear Victoria
    The Dandy is something of a mimosa maniac too. It is the South of France in flower form.
    Honestly, I don’t mind the fleeting in fragrance, which is just as well as my skin consumes most scent so quickly.
    Though I must say I am with your friend on pricing, I do wish that other houses (particularly the niche) would take a leaf from Guerlain and others book and price the more cologne like and ephemeral of their works at a lower price to refelect their composition.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy April 24, 2013 at 7:31am Reply

    • Bela: I’m a mimosa freak too, and I spent many years in Nice where the scent of mimosa is everywhere in the winter. There was a mimosa tree around where I live, here in London, but the owners of the house cut it down several years ago. I miss it terribly.

      The *only* true mimosa perfume I have ever smelled was a Diptyque home fragrance. It was in a SpaceNK store – years ago. I actually looked for the bunch of mimosa that was wafting to fragrantly. There wasn’t one: they had just sprayed the scent around. Nothing else has come close since. April 24, 2013 at 8:57am Reply

      • Victoria: Their mimosa candle also used to be amazing, but I think that either the formula or the base was changed, and it just doesn’t smell the same. L’Artisan’s Mimosa Marin candle is nice, but for the price, its throw is too poor. April 24, 2013 at 10:32am Reply

        • Bela: I have to admit, I haven’t smelled the Diptyque for a long while. Sad to hear it’s not as good as it used to be.

          Mimosa – like lily of the valley – is really a most elusive scent. April 24, 2013 at 12:57pm Reply

          • Victoria: So true about lily of the valley as well. Do they sell bunches of it in London? I will be looking for it here around May Day. April 24, 2013 at 2:14pm Reply

            • Bela: It’s a specifically French tradition so, no, not one bunch in London (or maybe a couple in South Kensington, where posh French people live – the Lycée français is there, as well as the Consulate).

              I’d be interested to know whether the tradition have been adopted by French-speaking Belgians. Do report on the LOTV situation on May 1st. 🙂 April 25, 2013 at 11:34am Reply

              • Victoria: I will do! Lily of the valley was always sold around that time in Ukraine too, so I wondered if it’s just because of the season or the holiday associations. May Day is a big holiday in Eastern Europe too, but of course, it had a different twist during the Soviet era.

                So far, I saw only tiny pots of muguet at the florist (14 euros each, ouch!) I’ll be monitoring the situation as the holiday nears, and I will definitely report back. 🙂 April 25, 2013 at 11:41am Reply

                • Bela: Probably both: season & holiday associations. It has the same meaning in France: Fête du Travail.

                  I bet LOTV is very expensive in France too now. May 1, 2013 at 12:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: I think that many small brands use pricing in order to place themselves into the luxury category. But also, the smaller the brand, the more the retailers can dictate the price. Not sure if it applies to L’Artisan though. April 24, 2013 at 10:31am Reply

  • Martha: It wasn’t until I read your earlier article about mimosa that I realized there was a difference between real mimosa and the tree that is known as mimosa here in Kansas. I’ve tried 3 by F. Malle and one of them is Une Fleur de Cassie. It is delightful, but now I’m going to have to try some of the others (especially L’ Artisan)you mention. April 24, 2013 at 8:18am Reply

    • Victoria: I know, the whole mimosa vs acacia vs silk tree business is confusing! If you enjoy Une Fleur de Cassie (many people find it very challenging), you definitely might enjoy trying more mimosa perfumes. It’s a very unusual floral note, and it’s complex enough to be a perfume on its own. April 24, 2013 at 10:58am Reply

  • solanace: I don’t care much for fleeting perfumes, I think they are a bit like those people who don’t have much to say. But I’ll give this one a try (actually, I’ll begin investigating the mimosa note). You totally got me intrigued, V! April 24, 2013 at 8:23am Reply

    • Victoria: Some people find that Mimosa Pour Moi lasts ok on them, so you might be the lucky one. 🙂 April 24, 2013 at 10:59am Reply

  • Sandra: Where do you find these blossoms in NYC? April 24, 2013 at 8:26am Reply

    • Victoria: I only saw it at one florist shop called Matles Florist (329 West 57th Street). I’m sure that it’s available elsewhere, but since I passed by this store every day on my way to work, I could monitor their mimosa stock. The season is usually around January-March. April 24, 2013 at 11:02am Reply

  • Connie: Sad to say this completely didn’t work for/on me. It smelled like the scent of dried hay, like nothing so much as sitting on a hayride. Very strange experience. April 24, 2013 at 8:48am Reply

    • Victoria: I actually can see why you would get a hay impression out of Mimosa Pour Moi! April 24, 2013 at 11:03am Reply

  • Beth: Victoria, it was wonderful to read this after your Mimosa post earlier. I am so intrigued because in West Michigan, we don’t get this flower. At least I have never seen it in a shop or otherwise.

    I will have to do some sampling! April 24, 2013 at 9:15am Reply

    • Victoria: In Ukraine, it was the spring flower we most looked for in the winter. My mom is also a mimosa fiend and she just reminded me that Yves Rocher used to have a wonderful mimosa scented shower gel. But I don’t think that it’s available now. I will doublecheck. April 24, 2013 at 11:11am Reply

      • nikki: I remember the shower gel! It was wonderful! It seems quite a long time ago though… April 24, 2013 at 11:56am Reply

        • Victoria: Yes, you’re right. The last time I’ve smelled it was oh…. 10 years ago! 🙂 April 24, 2013 at 12:24pm Reply

  • Katy McReynolds: I purchased a bottle of YSL Cinema based solely on your review. I absolutely love it. I like it so much I am attempting to remain completely uninterested in other Mimosa fragrances. We will see how long that lasts! I think Cinema would have sold better if it had been more appropriately named. Spring Dream, perhaps, Silent Movie, Mimosette? April 24, 2013 at 10:48am Reply

    • Victoria: Katy, I’m so glad that you liked Cinema and that it worked out for you! I think that it’s such an underrated fragrance, and I agree with you that the name tells you nothing. The marketing campaign was also silly and cliched–one woman and many men who are all mesmerized with her. We’ve seen it all before. April 24, 2013 at 11:13am Reply

  • Heather: I realize as I read this that I don’t know the mimosa note. When I was growing up, the trees that we called mimosas were really albizias. They bloomed in summer and the scent was wonderful, like sweet fresh hay and clover blossoms. I will have to explore mimosa scents. Oh no, new lemmings on the way… April 24, 2013 at 11:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Albizias smell wonderful too, and although I don’t think that they are processed for their essence, it makes me wonder if they might be. Your description of their scent as sweet hay and clover is spot on.

      Mimosa (the yellow kind) smells fresher, greener, of violets and almonds. A classical way to mimic mimosa in perfume is to use some combination of violet, cucumber and almond like notes. It’s a beautiful scent, very rich and diffusive. April 24, 2013 at 12:21pm Reply

  • Jillie: As always, you have described a fragrance perfectly and this is exactly what Mimosa Pour Moi smells like! Of course ….. that note I couldn’t figure out is cucumber! Thank you. This was my first introduction to L’Artisan, many years ago, and I was intrigued by it as it was so different from all the mainstream offerings.

    I agree that the Mimosa Marin candle could be stronger, but when I light mine, I also use the spray with abandon, which helps. I used to adore the matching lamp burning oil, but of course it has been discontinued. To supplement my passion for mimosa I have got a lovely diffuser with reeds from Fragonard. Spring has come! April 24, 2013 at 11:25am Reply

    • Victoria: It was one of the first L’Artisan perfumes I’ve tried, and I also was so surprised by it. Its simplicity, delicacy were unusual, since I was used to more opulent scents until then.

      Thank you, Jillie! More mimosa scent recommendations for all of the mimosa fiends I know. 🙂 April 24, 2013 at 12:22pm Reply

  • Farawayspices: I purchased Mimosa Pour Moi about 15 years ago, I believe. It is brilliant and beautiful and I use it sparingly on days when I need to be cheered up. It has outstanding longeivity on me…suprising for such a tender bright floral. I wonder if it has since been reformulated? Mine also lists denat alcohol 39 c, so I wonder if perhaps the phthalates are contributing to the longevity. I’m very curious..what kind of alcohol does your bottle list, if you still have the box? April 24, 2013 at 12:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: I decanted out of my bottle, and the original packaging is in storage. My current bottle isn’t that old, but when I first tried it 8 years ago or so, it was still fleeting. But we all perceive scents differently and are sensitive (or insensitive) to different materials, so I’m not surprised that some of us have good luck making Mimosa Pour Moi linger. April 24, 2013 at 2:14pm Reply

  • TheSnailsPajamas: That new Shay and Blue line has a great mimosa scent – Almond Cucumber. Lasting power is pretty much the same though. April 24, 2013 at 1:21pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! That’s very good to know, and I’m sure my friend will appreciate extra mimosa recommendations. April 24, 2013 at 2:15pm Reply

  • marsi: It sounds perfect for spring! I’m ok with light perfumes and mostly I wear colognes as long as they don’t go sour, because many do. April 24, 2013 at 5:11pm Reply

    • Victoria: Mimosa Pour Moi isn’t tart or sour, and it’s not overly citrusy. Of course, it can behave differently on your skin, but it’s worth trying. April 25, 2013 at 6:06am Reply

  • Courant: There is a classic movie scene from “The Uninvited’ where a seance is being conducted. The french doors fly open and the scent of mimosa fills the air. I screamed blue murder, but even then I immediately wanted to know what mimosa was. Later, when I studied horticulture and found that mimosa was wattle (and others) I laughed and laughed. To the Kiwis and Aussies amongst us, many wattles are weeds, but I will always remember walking home from school and brushing past the soft foliage and bloom of Accacia baileyana, heavy with rain, and feeling its caress as runnels of water ran down my neck. April 24, 2013 at 6:46pm Reply

    • annemariec: But the funny thing for me is that I live in Australia and am surrounded by wattle in the spring (acacia dealbata is native to where I live) but I simply cannot smell anything, and nor have I ever heard anyone ever speak of wattle having a scent. Most people seem to regard it merely as a source of hay fever.

      I even went to the Australian National Botanic Gardens Last year (not hard, I live about 20 mins drive away, and we go there often for picnics) hoping that among its many species of acacia, I would sniff out the fragrant species, and find out what everyone is talking about. Nothing. Could not smell anything in any of them. So puzzled and frustrated. April 25, 2013 at 5:59am Reply

      • Victoria: But could it be that Acacia baileyana (wattle) doesn’t have as strong of a scent as Acacia Dealbata (mimosa processed for perfume oil)? April 25, 2013 at 6:10am Reply

        • annemariec: I’m afraid I don’t know. But I’m beginning to think I must be crazy, or anosmic, because acacia dealbata is a common species here but I cannot smell it. Ah well … perhaps I should get hold of the L’Artisan and enjoy it that way! April 25, 2013 at 6:40am Reply

    • Victoria: What a great story! I now want a perfume that smells like mimosas in the rain. 🙂 April 25, 2013 at 6:09am Reply

  • CM: MpM is a favorite of mine, especially for bedtime. The staying power is ok, but I find most of the L’Artisan line fleeting… With few exceptions.

    I like to layer MpM with Dzing for a but of oomph…. A bit of barnyard in the spring breeze.

    Nice review. I’ve got my backup bottle ready to go! April 24, 2013 at 9:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also wish that L’Artisan brought back its coffret with small 15ml bottles of various scents. It was a great way to try their collection, which is getting to be very large.

      Your layering combination sounds fantastic! April 25, 2013 at 6:12am Reply

  • fleurdelys: Has your friend tried Caron’s Farnesiana? That is a favorite of mine, and it lasts! I’ve always been underwhelmed by the L’Artisans, because I can hardly smell them. April 26, 2013 at 3:15pm Reply

    • Victoria: It might be too sweet for her, but it doesn’t hurt to try. I also like Farnesiana. April 27, 2013 at 8:18am Reply

  • Nancy Chan: Hi Victoria, I like your reviews for Mimosa Pour Moi. As a result I blind purchase a bottle of Mimosa Pour Moi from eBay. I absolutely love it. The longevity is short, but will only last long if worn in warmer weather otherwise it is a lovely fragrance. April 29, 2016 at 7:31am Reply

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