Seasonal Flowers : Mimosa

My new video is about one of my favorite flowers, mimosa. First, I will clarify what flower I am talking about, since the whole topic of mimosa can make a botanist despair. The mimosa used in perfumery is either Acacia decurrens var. dealbata (called simply mimosa in the perfumery trade) or Acacia farnesiana (called cassie). The former is the pompom like yellow mimosa that I am holding in the video, the latter has a less dramatic appearance but is equally fragrant. The essences don’t have similar scents, but they are used for similar floral-violet, green and powdery effects in perfumes. Most of the mimosa absolute comes from South India and France.

Mimosa or cassie, the fragrance is beautiful–radiant, bright, with an addictive honeyed almond facet. A green leafy and cucumber peel accent lends an interesting twist, which is why mimosa and cassie fit so well in violet, green, fruity and spicy compositions.

As I explain in the new episode, mimosa can be as light and delicate as L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi or Parfums de Nicolai Mimosaique. It can also be dramatic like Frédéric Malle Une Fleur de Cassie or gourmand and sultry Caron Farnesiana. In addition to the several other perfumes that I describe, the viewers also added their own favorites such as Fragonard Belle de Grasse.

Of course, I would love to hear what mimosa fragrances you enjoy.

You can also read this article about mimosa and cassie, with descriptions of perfumes: Honey and Almonds and Flowers. For other mimosa-themed and mimose-redolent discoveries, please see 7 Mimosas for Carmen.

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39 Comments

  • Bill: I only got to know what mimosas really smells like when I was in France last year, since they don’t grow here in China. I just love the smell and the little furry balls are just adorable.

    My favourite mimosa perfume would be the one from Frederic Malle, with a somewhat animalic twist (I swear I could smell something pissy like ammonia in it). JCE’s Mimosa Tanneron for Perris Monte Carlo is quite lovely and realistic as well, but a bit too wan in the usual JCE way in my opinion. Amouage’s Love Mimosa is a disappointment: the opening aquatic feel seems quite authentic, but the ambroxan drydown makes it so harsh that it’s just not mimosa anymore. February 1, 2021 at 7:42am Reply

  • OperaFan: As for me – You are welcome to defend Champs-Elysées anytime! I don’t know what the latest iteration smell like, but from my pre-2k bottle, it smells radiant, and I love how you described it. Perhaps its name evokes a different expectation and something less worldly would have had a different reaction. I love it, whatever its name.
    Will need to go try the L’Artisan… February 1, 2021 at 8:21am Reply

  • Briony: I love mimosa. I agree with Bill that Amouage’s Love Mimosa was a bit of a disappointment, although I loved the rest of the Secret Garden collection. I really like Mimosa Pour Moi, although my favourite mimosa-esque perfume is probably Divine’s L’Infante. February 1, 2021 at 9:21am Reply

  • Mary: I’ve recently discovered a new mimosa, and it’s gorgeous: Mimosa Gold by Exaltatum. Gorgeous soft, fluffy almondy sunshine in a bottle. February 1, 2021 at 9:32am Reply

    • Filomena: I own L’Artsan’s MimosaMoi, Frederic Malle’s Une Fleur de Cassie and Guerlain’s Apres L’Onde. February 1, 2021 at 10:13am Reply

  • Hilde: Hello Victoria.

    I have never smelled nor seen the mimosa flower in real, but without realizing it myself, the scent of it is one of my beloved fragrances since long.
    How I first smelled the scent was in fact not by a perfume, but by the skincare range ‘Immortelle’ of L’Occitane. It gave me the impression of the sweet smell of pollen, also a bit like camomille.

    In 2007 I could buy Givenchy Amarige recolte 2007 Mimosa, which is a very nice composition I find.
    Another fragrance with mimosa that I like and mentioned in a previous post, is L’Occitane Fleur d’Or & Accacia. At the time when I bought it, I didn’t know that the notes in it are mimosa and acacia.
    In your reviews you described L’artisan Parfumeur Mimosa pour Moi so beautiful. That’s why I bought this fragrance last year and I am really glad with my purchase.

    And with your new video you also did stir up my enthusiasm to afford myself a bottle of Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie, one day … February 1, 2021 at 9:38am Reply

  • Kisa: A botanical rather than fragrance aside – here in the Eastern U.S. we have a lovely tree, commonly called “mimosa”. The botanical name is albizia julibrissin. Like the European mimosa, the flowers are fluffy, little balls – but pink, rather than yellow. It too is beautifully fragrant. When I was a child, it was widely planted on Long Island. Sadly most of those trees have died off, killed off by fusarium wilt. I wonder if there are perfumes with the scent of this flower. February 1, 2021 at 9:53am Reply

    • Frankie: I was just thinking that! We had pink mimosa trees all over brooklyn when I was a kid. The scent was intoxicating. I have been looking for a fragrance for a long while now to mimic that beautiful scent. February 1, 2021 at 2:47pm Reply

      • OperaFan: Frankie – I lived in Brooklyn in my early years, and remember walking under these pink blooming mimosa trees that lined the sidewalk on my way to school. I loved to pick up the smell the pretty dropped flowers. February 1, 2021 at 3:13pm Reply

        • Frankie: I wish I knew of a perfume that smelled like the pink fuzzy kind of mimosa that grows wild here in the USA all along the eastern seaboard. When I was a child they were everywhere. Now in Brooklyn NY you never see them anywhere. I could never understand why so many ignorant people chopped them down because they were messy. Such a shame. If anyone knows of a perfume evoking that beautiful scent please let me know! The closest I ever came was an oil that I purchased in a flea market. February 1, 2021 at 7:08pm Reply

    • OperaFan: I believe there’s a house in my town in NJ that has that tree planted in the sidewalk strip. I will stop by and smell when it’s in bloom and see if I can find a match. February 2, 2021 at 8:03am Reply

  • Jackie: One of my favorite perfumes having mimosa is Champs Elysees. I recently splurged and purchased the Extrait/Parfum directly from Guerlain as a present to myself! February 1, 2021 at 10:10am Reply

  • Filomena: Victoria, I forgot to mention that on Women’s Day in Italy, which occurs on the beginning of March, before the pandemic, it was a tradition to hand out mimosa flowers to every woman walking down the streets. February 1, 2021 at 11:25am Reply

    • Matty1649: That’s a lovely tradition February 1, 2021 at 12:07pm Reply

    • Andy: I am not a true mimosa enthusiast, but I do love to smell mimosa in perfumes. Yet, my favorite way to experience this note is in the acacia passage at Longwood Gardens, a corridor lined with diaphanous weeping acacias that trail down toward the ground. It is the only place I know of in my area where any plant in this family is grown in such a dramatic display. Last time I visited, I could even smell them well through my mask!

      I thought the Diptyque limited edition mimosa perfume was very good. I also used to enjoy the accent of mimosa in Grey Flannel, which is well hidden in the whole of that lovely floral bouquet. February 1, 2021 at 12:32pm Reply

      • Andy: My apologies! Meant to comment below 🙂 February 1, 2021 at 12:33pm Reply

      • Filomena: I went to Longwood Gardens a couple of years ago (pre-mask days) and remember the smell of the diaphanous weeping acacias very well. February 1, 2021 at 2:25pm Reply

        • Andy: Clearly the placement of my comment was meant to be. 🙂 The variety at Longwood is different than the acacias of perfumery or cut flower tradition, and smell somewhat different, but the fragrance is still similar and pronounced. The custom in Italy you mentioned sounds lovely as well! February 1, 2021 at 3:11pm Reply

      • OperaFan: Hi Andy – Do you recall the time of year (I should say specifically, month) that one can find these acacias in bloom? I would love to experience them sometime. February 1, 2021 at 3:16pm Reply

        • Andy: Right now (throughout February and at least well into March) is prime bloom time for these acacias. But, even if you miss them in bloom, they give off a similar, albeit more delicate scent from the foliage in the other months of the year, and the room is always noticeably fragrant. I also found more information on this page: https://longwoodgardens.org/gardens/acacia-passage February 1, 2021 at 6:19pm Reply

          • OperaFan: Thanks Andy! I looked at the historical bloom data, apparently the plant has been known to bloom in the summer! So I will try and time my visits accordingly.
            a:) February 2, 2021 at 7:58am Reply

    • Kisa: Yes, not just France, Italy too.

      https://www.lifesavvy.com/19944/the-tradition-of-giving-mimosa-flowers-on-womens-day/ February 1, 2021 at 3:42pm Reply

  • Eric: I have to admit, I’ve never been lucky enough to smell mimosa from the flower but you’re right, I have smelled them in fragrances. Une Fleur de Cassie is such a knock-out and I added it to my collection this summer.

    I’m not a huge fan of Champs-Elysees, though it is well done. Your comments reminded me of Mahora which was similarly maligned but I find absolutely fascinating. February 1, 2021 at 12:20pm Reply

    • Filomena: I love Mahora! February 1, 2021 at 6:00pm Reply

    • OperaFan: Also a Mahora fan here. The opening blast is strong but it settles down soon enough. I first smelled it at 68 Champs Elysees on my first trip to Paris, when it was brand new and it was “in the air.”
      Never thought of the name association. The promo was weird though, to associate a tropical flower with an arid landscape… February 2, 2021 at 8:10am Reply

  • Alison: I’ve been enjoying reading Barbara Pym again and the following is from “Excellent Women”: “I began thinking that William wasn’t really the most suitable companion to be having luncheon with on this fresh spring day. Surely a splendid romantic person was the obvious companion? The blue sky full of billowing white clouds, the thrilling little breezes, the gay hats of some of the women I met, the mimosa on the barrows – all made me disinclined for William’s company, his preoccupation with his health and his food and his spiteful old-maidish delight in gossip”. It seems that mimosa was in great demand in London in the 1950’s, sold from barrows in the street, as B Pym makes several references to it. Mildred, the narrator, buys some bunches and says it wilts very quickly, but she never can resist it, telling William who objects, “yes, I know the fluffiness doesn’t last long, but it’s so lovely while it does.” Nothing to do with perfume, but a delight to read! February 1, 2021 at 2:12pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love that book! I completely forgot that it mentions mimosa, so thank you very much for posting this. February 1, 2021 at 2:20pm Reply

    • Nina Z: I also love that book! I’ve read it more than once because I find it oddly comforting. And I vividly remember the scene when the heroine buys the mimosa but at the time i read it I had no idea that mimosa was what I thought of as acacia, which is native to California, where I grew up. (I’m kind of obsessed with Barbara Pym in general as well as acacia.) February 1, 2021 at 7:29pm Reply

    • Theresa: I just re-read that book myself a few weeks ago! she is such a subtle writer – and very funny! I remember that passage about mimosa vividly because I love the scent so much. I have at least 3 or 4 of the fragrances that Viktoria mentions. February 11, 2021 at 11:37pm Reply

  • Nina: Uh oh, this video sent me down the mimosa rabbit hole! I’ve already ordered some samples of perfumes Victoria mentioned that I hadn’t tried yet. The thing is, mimosa wasn’t even on my radar until I recently learned that it was actually acacia (mimosa in the US is a different flowering tree). I had figured out that Fleur de Cassie was acacia because of the name plus the smell, which was so familiar to me from my childhood in Southern California. But I had no idea that the ones with mimosa in their names were based on the same flower. Now I will do some exploring.

    I did recently acquire some older Farnesiana and I quite love it. It has the same intoxicating quality as being in a grove of acacias in bloom. Fleur de Cassie does smell more like the tree, but I need to actually wear my sample rather than just testing it. I’m not sure it works for me. I own Après L’Ondée and will wear it soon to see if I can detect the acacia. And I will try to track down samples of all the other perfumes you mentioned.

    By the way, Victoria, I changed the way I apply perfume since watching your video. Now I just put it on my chest and back of my neck. This means I only get the waft of the perfume, instead of sniffing it on my wrists, which I actually think makes the perfume smell better. In certain fragrances that I own, sniffing it up close often brings out some less pleasant synthetic qualities that don’t seem to appear in the waft. So I’m now converted. February 1, 2021 at 9:34pm Reply

  • Damiana: My favorite is my recently purchased Perris Monte Carlo Mimosa Tanneron, a very realistic mimosa. I also like Exaltatum Mimosa Gold.This is great information, thank you. February 1, 2021 at 10:21pm Reply

  • Max: Speaking of flowers, I have question about shelf life of fragrances with lighter scents (like florals and citrus). Do scents like this go “bad” quicker than darker, woodier scents? I ask because I recently bought a bottle of Amouage Reflection Man and I love it! I’m tempted to buy a backup bottle, but wonder if it’s even worth it. I’d hate for it to go bad before I can even use it.

    I’m newer to fragrances, and I keep this in mind when I think about buying another bottle. I’d hate for any bottle to go bad before I finish it. February 2, 2021 at 3:03am Reply

  • Notturno7: I just saw this post but somehow picked my Une Fleur de Cassie to wear, all day today. Another coincidence. 😁I love it. It feels really glamorous to me. I love mimosa. Two sprays lasted the whole day. I also have and love vintage Farnesiana. I should look for that bottle, I stashed it somewhere. I think I have the extrait. Thank you, Victoria. I love this blog❤️ February 2, 2021 at 6:22am Reply

  • paola: Mimosa and Cardamom by Jo Malone is the only mimosa fragrance I’ve used among the ones you mentioned and I liked it a lot. Now you’ve made me curious about the F.Malle interpretation. February 2, 2021 at 9:32am Reply

    • Silvermoon: Please see my comment below. Not sure why it didn’t link as a thread. February 3, 2021 at 3:26pm Reply

  • Silvermoon: Hi Paola,
    I very much like Mimosa and Cardamom, especially the unusual use of cardamom alongside a floral note. Un Fleur de Cassie is fantastic. It’s probably the perfume to take me down the rabbit hole of perfumery. It’s my first niche perfume and first Frederic Malle perfume (I have about ten from the FM collection). So, highly recommended indeed. I hope you enjoy it too. Finally, I would like to suggest one not mentioned yet: Frau Tonis No.07 Akazie. I find it soft and delightful. February 3, 2021 at 3:24pm Reply

  • Nancy Chan: Perfect timing. I was reading some of your previous posts on Mimosa, as it will soon be the flowering time. The only Mimosa perfumes that I had, were L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Mimosa Pour Moi and L’Occitane’s Fleur d’Or & Acacia, both now used up. So disappointed that L’Occitane discontinued their Mimosa perfume.

    I had the good fortune of smelling the Mimosa flowers, as I spotted it in a supermarket, a few years ago. About three years ago, I discovered a Mimosa tree growing in North London, the flowers tumbling over a brick wall.

    Prada’s Infusion Les Mimosa, is on my to try list. February 3, 2021 at 3:51pm Reply

  • rickyrebarco: We have a white fuzzy bloom on trees in the Southern USA that is called mimosa, but it is a different scent from the perfumery mimosa. My favorite fragrance from this flower is Jo Malone’s Mimosa and Cardamom. February 8, 2021 at 10:35am Reply

  • Katherine: Love this video, as all of yours, informative, insider-feely and beautiful at the same time. I am sure you have created some mimosa converts 🙂 February 9, 2021 at 2:35pm Reply

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