Mimosa Fragrance For Her and For Him

“I will bring you cassie, if you still enjoy its perfume,” wrote French novelist Prosper Mérimée in Lettres à une inconnue (Letters to an Unknown). The Unknown, was Mademoiselle Jenny Dacquin, the daughter of a notary of Boulogne, with whom Mérimée corresponded for over forty years. And what flower should his Carmen throw to Don José? Une fleur de cassie.

Cassie and mimosa are two closely related plants from the acacia family. The branches covered with masses of lemon yellow pompoms not only look beautiful, they also have a rich scent valued in perfumery. Native to Australia, mimosas were brought to France in the 18th century by the British explorer, Captain James Cook, and they have flourished in the mild winters of the Mediterranean coast. Every February the Massif de Tanneron in Provence turns golden yellow as the mimosas come into bloom, a Fauvist painting come alive.

From these hills—as well as from South India and Egypt–come the floral essences for the perfumer’s palette. Mimosa has a pronounced aroma of cucumber peels, violet blossoms and milky almonds, while cassie is similar but with a rich spicy accent. They are some of the most complex and expensive ingredients available to fragrance creators, and to unlock their full potential requires much skill and experience.

In contrast to the cheery loveliness of the yellow blossoms, both mimosa and cassie essences capture the flowers’ darker femme fatale side. One of the best examples of the genre is Frédéric Malle’s Une Fleur de Cassie—it uses both mimosa and cassie for a seductive blend that starts cool and powdery and ends in suede and spice. Even so, Une Fleur de Cassie is an acquired taste, especially for those not familiar with the scent of mimosa. Caron Farnesiana is likewise a temptress but its touch is more subtle. It pays homage to the complexity of cassie and mimosa, but it contrasts the dark richness of flowers with almond meringues and candied violets.

Moving further away from the dark and smoldering spectrum we discover L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi and Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom, fragrances that are closest to the experience of mimosa on a branch. Mimosa Pour Moi has been discontinued, but if you can find a bottle, it’s a treat. It’s effervescent and sheer, but with a lovely lingering sillage. The closest in feeling is Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom, a light floral cologne that makes for an uplifting experience on a grey February morning. Jo Malone also offers an excellent matching candle that fills the room with the perfume of spiced mimosas.

Notwithstanding my focus on fragrances conventionally marketed to women, I encourage men to try the aforementioned mimosa recommendations. Une Fleur de Cassie, for instance, makes an alluring masculine scent. Those with more classical tastes, men or women, might appreciate Czech & Speake Mimosa Cologne. It combines mimosa with jasmine and ylang-ylang, but its treatment of these flower is light and gently sweetened. A layer of benzoin adds a warm touch that makes this fragrance particularly alluring.

What mimosa perfume should I add to my list? Mimosa is the theme of our Perfume Classes this spring, so I’m collecting more ideas of fragrances to samples.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Subscribe

22 Comments

  • Donna: A Fleur de Piel perfumes (indie perfumer) in Barcelona is sending me samples, one is a mimosa + floral bouquet including violet, hyacinth, freesia and iris notes.
    It’s called “Rambla”. So maybe I’ll return and describe it once it arrives,

    I love your cheerful mimosa photos! March 4, 2024 at 9:20am Reply

  • Vasco Trancoso: PERRIS MONTE CARLO – MIMOSA TANNERON March 4, 2024 at 9:23am Reply

  • Perfumelover67: I would recommend Perris Montecarlo Mimosa Tanneron, Prada Infusion de Mimosa and Dame Perfumery Soliflore Mimosa. March 4, 2024 at 9:26am Reply

    • Perfumelover67: I would also like to add Acca Kappa Mimosa. March 4, 2024 at 9:46am Reply

  • Patricia: Goldfield & Banks Velvet Splendour – a marvelous Australian mimosa that feels like warm, bright afternoon sun. One of my favorites from the brand! (yes I own a bottle) March 4, 2024 at 9:29am Reply

    • Annabel Farrell: Just checked, and this is in my just arrived box of samples! March 6, 2024 at 5:07am Reply

  • Sylviane: Sol Salgado by Thomas de Monaco and Ray-flection by Masque Milano March 4, 2024 at 9:30am Reply

  • Nina Zolotow: Thanks for explaining the difference between cassie and mimosa, especially their scent profiles! This was new info for me. Acacia trees are very common in California (I believe they naturalized here) but we just call them all “acacia.” Just to confuse things, we call a different tree “mimosa,” a tree native to Asia that is Albizia, sometimes called Chinese Silk Tree. Haha it took me a while to sort this all out and I still confuse my neighbors when trying to explain this.

    On a related note, I will never forget visiting the Acacia Grove at the University of California, Davis, when all the trees were in bloom and fragrant in the warm sun. It is a very large grove of trees surrounded both sides of a creek. It was heaven for the visual impressions as well as the scent.

    The tree has personal meaning to me as well because when I was growing up there was an acacia tree on the hill behind our house, which was not visible from the house, and that was my personal retreat place, sitting under that tree, when I needed to be alone and then later when I had my first kiss. Perhaps I need to write about this? March 4, 2024 at 12:24pm Reply

    • la_ninon: Thank you for sharing this. I have powerful memories of Northern California acacias, too. March 4, 2024 at 4:41pm Reply

  • Nina Zolotow: I would like to add a perfume to your list: Modest Mimosa by Vilhelm. I remember liking this quite a bit though it wasn’t love for me. Also if anyone can find Passerelle by Tommi Sooni, a beautiful but discontinued Australian perfume, it has a prominent and gorgeous silver wattle note, which is the original mimosa that Victoria mentioned. March 4, 2024 at 12:28pm Reply

    • Victoria: This sounds wonderful! March 4, 2024 at 1:02pm Reply

    • carole: Nina, I have a bottle of Passarelle! The Tommy Sooni line was gorgeous, and I can’t believe it’s not around anymore. If you go to CaFleureBon website there’s a huge long informative interview with the founder. Tommy Sooni was his sister’s stuffed toy’s name. It’s an interview that’s worth your time, if you like fragrance. March 13, 2024 at 8:51am Reply

      • Nina Z: You’re very lucky to have a bottle! I just have a small decant. This seems to be one of those small lines, like Parfums Delrae that were made with high-quality ingredients by master perfumers and so were unable to survive financially. March 13, 2024 at 1:51pm Reply

        • carole: think distribution from Aus was tricky, too. The box is beautiful, and when you open the box there is a silk paper, with a gorgeous striped pattern. The paper sort of lifts to the side, and reveals the fragrance underneath. mine has turquoise silk wrapped around the neck. It’s a very special sort of presentation. March 13, 2024 at 2:08pm Reply

  • Patricia Anne Bryan: For those of us severely financially challenged could you mention budget examples of each fragrance please?These all sound amazing but geographically or financially WAY out of my league! March 4, 2024 at 12:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: Jo Malone offers a solid version of their fragrance for 24€. Korres has a mimosa perfume (around 35€). Fragonard’s Belle de Grasse is only vaguely mimosa-like, but the body care line is quite good. That being said, mimosa and cassie absolutes are expensive materials, so it’s hard to find truly budget perfumes with these notes.
      As for geography, I didn’t know where you’re based, but if you offer more details, I’m sure other commenters can offer ideas. March 4, 2024 at 1:02pm Reply

    • Aurora: Le Couvent Mimosa, affordable, is a lovely mimosa. March 4, 2024 at 2:27pm Reply

  • Aurora: It’s that spring is around the corner time, like some of you I love Mimosa Tanneron, another very pretty one is Le Couvent Mimosa.

    Victoria with many thanks is the cumin very prominent in Fleur de Cassie? March 4, 2024 at 2:26pm Reply

  • Karina_NL: Currently my favourite mimosa is the reasonable priced Mimosa Austral by Première Note. It is the only perfume that I know which can remind me of the beautiful (unfortunately discontinued) Rochas Byzantine. March 4, 2024 at 3:16pm Reply

  • Muzo: J’aime Mimosa Pour Moi.Heureusement j’en ai un. March 5, 2024 at 9:16am Reply

  • Hilde: Before a couple of years, I had never heard of mimosa. But since then – and thanks to this marvelous website – I am obsessed by trying to find any perfume that capture that scent.
    I am fond of the dry powdery note. As if there rests a thin veil of golden mist after you have sprayed it on your arm and it has dried up.

    The best recent perfumes I have smelled are:
    Le Couvent Mimosa
    Fragonard Belle de Grasse
    Perris Monte Carlo Mimosa Tanneron
    Kenzo Summer
    Bvlgari Iris d’Or (sadly very quick discontinued)

    An old beloved perfume of mine is Givenchy Amarige.

    Also honorable to mention:
    Galimard A Demi-Mot
    Galimard Plumetis

    I also own Acca Kappa Mimosa and Parfums de Provence Absolu Mimosa, but these are not my favourites.

    Victoria, if You wish I can send You with pleasure some samples of my perfumes. March 6, 2024 at 4:21am Reply

  • JulienFromDijon: Oh! I love mimosa and cassie natural extracts 🙂
    I love even more detecting them in compositions. It’s like a detective novel.
    Because their effect is often faint, some brand are hiding them as a secret ingredient.
    I’m also faced with the duty of defending some perfumes, on the forums, because even perfumelovers are failing to detect natural mimosa and cassie. They are attacking those perfumes as expensive light almond fragrances.

    Up until “Un mimosa pour moi” from L’artisan parfumeur, I could not tell the natural mimosa apart.
    I could only detect a leathery effect in shops. With a second-hand partial bottle, I was underwhelmed by its strength. But during the night, I got turned upside-down by its feathery almond-y yellowy floralcy. It’s strange how mimosa is soft and subtle, and yet is producing a sillage, and lasting 24 hours long.

    The “candied cantaloupe” facette is the best clue, according to me.
    (Actually French would be reminded of the “calisson” candies : candied cantaloupe, almond powder, powdered sugar, hints of vanilla, and other ingredients).

    Fabric works much better than skin with natural mimosa and cassie, at least for me.
    In the best composition, mimosa really work 24 hours long. You have to let it come back after the head notes, to let its presence be known.

    Other than “Farnesiana”, that is discontinued for now, “Montaigne” extrait is also making an overt use of natural mimosa.
    It is mixed in a classical flower bouquet of natural extract (jasmine, ylang-ylang, (rose), benjoin). (Think of a drier “Parfum d’Hermès” or “Chamade extrait”).
    (One tip : the sample kit from Caron (of 5 x2ml or 5 x5ml) is a bargain, because you pay the extrait the same price as the EDP).
    “Farnesiana” last reissue was in 2022, as an extrait. (The good advice was the refill “ressource” option. And maybe some shops still have those in stock).
    Since around 2015, even the EDP of “Farnesiana” is very good. My mom chose it in my collection as a gift for mother’s day, for it’s keen resemblance in quality to vintage “L’heure bleue”.
    (I’m very happy with what’s happening at Caron’s since around 2018. Some reformulations around 2008 were so bad, I had very few hope for the brand.)

    L’artisan parfumeur “Mon numéro 8” had a similar trick around iris and mimosa.

    For men, “Gold man” from Amouage get most of its distant sillage from mimosa and cassie.
    The faint yellow floral sillage, and amped up honey notes, have the hidden signature of mimosa and cassie (and neroli). Sure, there is a lot of animal pissy notes. And the heart accord is vintage “Arpege” core accord in drag king outfit (jasmine, muguet, orris, amber). It’s interesting to buy old, second-hand, partial, but-ugly bottles of it for cheap : the perfume get a sort of clarity with the years. The real downside is that P0utine was rumored to wear it, spoiling the perfume a bit for me.

    From the Ellenas, I’m quite sure that “Pure Eve / Pure virgin” owned it’s calisson accord to mimosa.
    I think that mimosa and cassie are the secret ingredients in “Cuir d’ange” from Hermès. (I like it, it’s easy to wear, but I don’t love it. I would love to find a partial second-hand bottle of it, but at retail price “Cuir d’ange” feels to me like as less than the sum of its parts).
    I haven’t smelled yet “Mimosa Tanneron” from Jean-Claude for Perris, nor “La belle saison” from Céline for Houbigant. I heard good words on them on AuParfum.

    “Une fleur de cassie” was more weird, animalic, and abstract before. Now it’s easier to love, and a good representative of these ingredients.
    Most of the line has lost some of their claws and thorns, in favor of a feel of freshly extracted raw natural ingredients.

    One last tip : sometimes one can buy the waxy mimosa concrete (~10gr), or the absolute (~5cl), in hippie shop like aroma-zone for less than 15 euros.
    Some of the world production is in India, making it cheaper than the French one. I have a something like 10 gramms of concrete, bought from a fellow perfumelovers. I’ve done nothing of it, but it sure is a delight to open the lid of the pot.

    Also, the more perfumes with mimosa extract that you know, and have tried, the more chance you have to find one on Vinted or Ebay, if the niche price is too high for you. (beware of counterfeited bottles though)

    A video on the mimosa from IFF’s Laboratoire Monique Rémy, with Dominique Ropion speaking at the end :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFG7thU3_Ok March 30, 2024 at 6:46pm Reply

What do you think?

Latest Comments

  • Kathy in Alaia Paris by Azzedine Alaia : Perfume Review: I love this perfume, I cannot smell it when I first put it on, but I have never had so many good comments about how it smells on me. I… June 20, 2024 at 4:26am

  • BeckyR in Recommend Me a Perfume: May 2024: Hi Cat~ You are so welcome. The Lanvin ‘Arpege’ is definitely a keeper imo…Lanvin also makes ‘Arpege Eclat’ which is lighter and fresher than the original ‘Arpege’…in any case I’ve… June 18, 2024 at 8:13pm

  • Sara C in Coffee and Flowers: It feels like nobody loves Cafe Rose by Tom Ford but I adore this fragrance and I get the coffee (I have an old formulation), sandalwood, and a bright rose.… June 18, 2024 at 2:37pm

  • Aurora in Coffee and Flowers: I never had the pleasure to try Café Tuberosa, you make it sound very interesting. Not a fan of coffee in fragrance, I think only in Faviol Seferi Insomnia where… June 18, 2024 at 11:04am

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2024 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy