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.
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.
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.