Sometimes you don’t need a grand opera perfume to satisfy your cravings. A simple composition will do. Such is my latest discovery, Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom. It makes me think fondly of the early days of the house when Jo Malone offered simple, unaffected but clever compositions like Lime Blossom & Basil and before the marketing teams and accountants took over. Mimosa & Cardamom has a bright, cheerful personality, and it, refreshingly, smells like the brand didn’t skimp on the formula price. It’s a floral cologne with a spicy twist and lots of quirky charm.
The promise of mimosa and cardamom is duly fulfilled. The mimosa smells of blanched almonds and cucumber peels, with a characteristic hint of violet, while the cardamom is lemony, metallic and cooling. Both notes are clear and bright. Mimosa is a powdery ingredient, but thanks to a generous dose of spice, cardamom augmented with pepper and citrus, it feels radiant and airy. Its unconventional character also makes flowers acceptable even to the most classically minded men.
Cardamom is an extremely volatile material, and after 30 minutes or so, it leaves the scene, having set the uplifting mood. The next stage is a soft, creamy floral with richer almond accents and a dose of musk. I was trying to decide why Mimosa & Cardamom evokes the languor of summer days, and I finally realized that it has to do with its mildly tropical allusions–sun cream, yellow mimosa blossoms and warm skin. Also, once it loses cardamom and settles into its long and velvety drydown Mimosa & Cardamom reminds me of the ultimate tropical perfume, Serge Lutens Datura Noir, with the main difference being that Datura Noir is sweeter, stickier and more saturated.
When I first tried Mimosa & Cardamom at my friend’s place, I sprayed it on my arm alongside a few other perfumes we were sampling, fully convinced that it would vanish into nothingness. Not so. Unlike many Jo Malones, this cologne stubbornly clings to my skin, and I’m aware of its delicate, soft presence throughout the day. On the other hand, I’ve also read that some people have problems with the lasting power. This might be because Mimosa & Cardamom has a generous dose of musk, and those of us with musk blind spots may not smell it after the composition settles (caveat emptor!)
Mimosa & Cardamom is my new favorite. It has two of my favorite ingredients, mimosa and cardamom, presented in a clever manner. It lasts well, especially for a cologne. It’s the next closest thing to burying my face in a bouquet of mimosas. In my small mimosa hall of fame it sits next to L’Artisan Mimosa Pour Moi, Yves Saint Laurent Cinéma, and the long discontinued Yves Rocher Mimosa. If a mimosa grand opera is what I’m after, I turn to Frédéric Malle Une Fleur de Cassie and Caron Farnesiana, but on most mornings, a simple melody will do.
If you have other mimosa favorites, please share.
Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom includes notes of cardamom, mimosa, and tonka bean.