Mimosa: 10 posts

The Art of Scented Candles

When my mother travels, she packs with her a votive candle in her favorite scent, rose, violet or mimosa. A familiar scent makes even the blandest hotel room feel cozier and brighter. I started following her example some years ago. Should one want to select from the range of excellent scented candles, the choice these days is overwhelming. So, in my new FT column, The Art of Candles, I’ve selected my current favorites.

Here is one, for instance.

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Jo Malone Mimosa and Cardamom : Perfume Review

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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.

mimosacardamom

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.

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi : Fragrance Review

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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.

mimosa-bouquet

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.
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Mimosa, Cassie, and Honeyed Almonds : Perfume Note

In the depths of winter, when I begin to lose faith that spring will ever come again, the yellow pompoms of mimosa lift my spirits. No matter how rushed I am, the slender branches arranged in the florist’s windows tempt me to slow down, and I walk out of the store burying my face in a large bouquet. The fluffy flowers caress my cheeks and dust them with lemon-yellow powder, and the scent is vivid and joyful to match the explosive color–a mixture of green violet and honey soaked almonds. It’s delicate, but remarkably persistent, filling the room with the aroma of Provence within minutes.

mimosa1

Even if you haven’t smelled real mimosa*, chances  are you’ve encountered it in perfume. This material is one of the most intriguing and complex. The mimosa used in perfumery belongs to a related family, Acacia, with two varieties processed commercially for their fragrant oil–Acacia decurrens var. dealbata (called simply mimosa in the perfumery trade) and Acacia farnesiana (cassie). The former is the pompom like yellow mimosa in my photo, the latter is simpler and more austere but equally fragrant.

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Yves Saint Laurent Cinema : Perfume Review

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Cin

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Sometimes I like to revisit fragrances a few years after their initial launch. My tastes might change in the meantime, but also the landscape of the market itself is likely to be different enough that what seemed disappointing earlier, turns out to be a pleasant discovery. This is exactly what happened with Yves Saint Laurent Cinéma. When I first smelled it in 2004, this amber laced mimosa seemed lost in the sea of other floral orientals—Giorgio Armani Sensi (2002), Cacharel Amor Amor (2003), Burberry Brit (2003,) Dolce & Gabbana Sicily (2003,) Christian Dior Pure Poison (2004,) to name a few prominent launches. Today, its warmth and softness stand out as particularly sophisticated next to the sugary gourmand blends currently popular. While it may sound like a backhanded compliment, Cinéma is a well-made, polished blend that deserves a second chance.

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From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Aurora in Recommend Me a Perfume : August 2019: And one last choice: Cacharel Anais Anais Premier Delice, original because it’s chocolate over flowers, I quite like it, it’s different, just thought I would mention it. August 24, 2019 at 11:33am

  • Aurora in Recommend Me a Perfume : August 2019: Oh and I forgot to mention Guerlain Idylle with your favorite flowers, all there: do try EDT and EDP, the EDT is more evanescent very good in summer and the… August 24, 2019 at 11:31am

  • Aurora in Recommend Me a Perfume : August 2019: Hi Purple: yes, I think the A*Men were limited editions as well as some Angels like The Taste of Fragrance which might have been contenders for you, Muse is more… August 24, 2019 at 11:14am

  • Aurora in Recommend Me a Perfume : August 2019: Hello Erin: Yes, Diorissimo has been reformulated, the EDT has less longevity than before and the extrait de parfum but it is pricy are still quite like the original and… August 24, 2019 at 10:57am

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