Scent Diary: Mimosa and Chocolate

Soon after the blooming mimosa groves turn the hillsides in Provence bright yellow, splashes of color liven up the streets of Brussels and the florist displays. A bouquet of mimosa is like a box of bonbons–the ultimate treat. It smells like violet, cucumber peels and almonds, and although the scent is delicate, it fills the whole apartment. This morning mimosa is my scent of the day.

mimosa and chocolate

What fragrance are you wearing? What scents do you notice around you?

More on mimosa and how it’s used in perfumery: Mimosa, Cassie, and Honeyed Almonds

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

The Mixed Legacy of Francois Coty

The Chinese heritage mansion in Georgetown, the capital of Penang island in Malaysia, may not have been the most obvious place to reflect on François Coty had it not been for the perfume flacons on display. The vanity tables in the ladies’ quarters featured L’Aimant scented talcs, cream powders, soaps and colognes. Some boxes were barely touched, with the bottles still set into the artfully rumpled peach satin. That these bottles traveled from France to this Southeast Asian town in the interwar era is a testament to Coty’s marketing genius.


The man who gave the multi-million dollar fragrance empire his name was a renegade. Decades before Estée Lauder purportedly made it acceptable for women to treat themselves to a bottle of perfume, he revolutionized the industry by breaking some of its rules. Coty cleverly matched the packaging to scents and created eye-catching designs and logos. He offered budget alternatives and scented products, from oils to creams and powders. He didn’t shy away from using new materials, and to this day, the accords he favored qualify as classics. Most of his fragrances charted new avenues in perfumery and set lasting trends.

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Serge Lutens La Religieuse : Fragrance Review


“Whatever you do, just don’t be boring,” used to say my longtime ballet teacher. In her class, being off music and being boring were the worst crimes, because while everything else–a wrong arm position, an awkward turn or a weak jump–could be corrected through careful guidance, not listening to the music and not caring to excite the viewer spoke of more serious flaws. My teacher’s admonition flashed in my mind when I first smelled Serge Lutens La Religieuse.


La Religieuse belongs to the collection of understated compositions from the master-duo, Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake. It’s in the same polished and well-mannered corner as Nuit de Cellophane, Un Lys and Sa Majesté la Rose. If you want a pleasant fragrance that doesn’t try too hard, the type of perfume that sales associates call an “office scent”, it’s a good choice. If you want a soft, fluffy jasmine, La Religieuse will also hit the spot. But if you come to Serge Lutens to be thrilled and surprised, then you might want to pick another magic carpet ride.

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Licorice and Anise Perfume Notes

Elisa’s guide to fragrances with licorice and anise notes.

In my day, bringing black licorice candy to school would win you no friends on the playground. Count me among the nine out of ten kids who found the taste of Good & Plenty absolutely repulsive. We looked at the one boy who wanted all the black jelly beans with horror.

licorice perfume

Perhaps, as with coffee and hard liquor, we appreciate these tastes extra much as adults because their appreciation came hard-earned. I still don’t buy and eat black licorice, but I’ve come to enjoy the taste of licorice in other forms – licorice tea, roasted fennel, Italian sausage, and so on. And as it happens, I adore the scent of licorice in perfume.

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Perfume Samples and Bottles Giveaway

Bois de Jasmin’s reader Austenfan would love to find a home for a 30ml bottles of Estée Lauder Beyond Paradise and a 100 ml nearly full bottle of Balenciaga Le Dix EDT. Le Dix was purchased 7 years ago, it’s still fresh and smells good. Also, Austenfan will include several different samples (see the list below the break). The collection will be divided into 3 lots, so it means that 3 people can win something.

le dix

It goes without saying that Austenfan won’t be responsible for leaks or damage during transit or for lost packages. 

To participate, you have to be based in Europe. And also, please answer Austenfan’s question. “My questions are not perfume related, though. Please tell me what is your favorite breed of dog and why. If you have no interest in dogs, then, who is your favorite British comedian or favorite comedy sketch or program. And if you’re neither a fan of dogs nor comedy, who is your favorite author?” (Of course, if you want to chat, just go ahead and answer the questions, but do mention if you’re taking part in the contest or just chatting.)

The contest is now closed; thank you for participating. I will announce the winners next week.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has generously contributed to these giveaways. If anyone else wants to participate, if you have unwanted perfumes that need a new home, please contact me.

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