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Rose, schmose. When you smell the new mimosa scents you might just ditch your traditional floral fragrances.
Mimosa is not a scene-stealing flower. It doesn’t have the bold stage presence of jasmine or the look-at-me beauty of the rose. It’s usually found in a supporting role. In fact, you’ve probably never really noticed it in your perfume before. But this season things are changing. Mimosa is taking a step out of the shadows and into the spotlight via several new scents that celebrate its quiet yet feminine character. No wonder, the flower hints at tradition but to some it might just seem younger and more modern than some of perfumery’s iconic blooms. Mimosa’s brilliant yellow colour and light, bright nature also feels upbeat. Consider it a simple way to freshen up your summer style statement.
First, what is mimosa?
Mimosa is a plant; a genus of almost 400 species of plant to be exact. You’re probably picturing the yellow, round fuzzy-looking bulbs on a green plant. These are not true mimosa, although they are related. (These are called acacia.) Mimosa do tend to have the same shape, however, they’re often pink or green instead of yellow. Interestingly, mimosa is one of the few plants that is capable of rapid movement—some raise their leaves during the day and lower them at night, while others will actually respond to being touched by closing their leaves (think of the Venus Flytrap). In perfumery, the ingredient mimosa often refers to that yellow acacia flower rather than true mimosa.
But what does it smell like?
Mimosa smells sweet and soft. It’s a bit powdery—not unlike heliotrope—and is often used as an accent in floral perfumes to highlight the main floral note.
Where have a we smelled mimosa before?
The ingredient has been used in some big name perfumes: Hermes Kelly Caleche, Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie, Chanel Coco Eau de Parfum, and Bvlgari Voile de Jasmine, to name just a few.
Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom: A soapy clean freshness (from the mimosa) settles into a spicy cardamom and tonka bean heart. This is sunrise on open land—a touch of sweetness in the dewy air mixes with the earth. $170 (100 ml), www.nordstrom.com.
Atelier Cologne Indigo Mimosa: A much darker take on mimosa, this scent features indigo mimosa from India. It mixes with musk, vanilla, mandarin, saffron and leather for a moody, dark and feminine spritz. $270 (100 ml), www.sephora.com.
Les Infusions de Prada Mimosa: At first sniff, a classic and lovely floral fragrance. But let it settle and you’ll get notes of mandarin, anise, rose and woods, It’s light and sweet, but elegant too. $175 (100 ml), www.thebay.com.
Derek Lam 10 Crosby Afloat: White mimosa and orris mingle for a hit of sunshine in shadow. Imagine a light, bright, sunshine-y day that’s giving way to the darkness and energy of evening. $120 (50 ml), www.sephora.com.