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Essences Insensées Mimosa – floral and green and sensuous - March 21, 2016

Mimosa or Acacia dealbata, 10x magnification- Wikimedia Commons - by Aelwyn, 2008

I’m always drawn to fragrances featuring mimosa - Après l'Ondée, Une Fleur de Cassie and Mimosa pour Moi – because their scent always brings me back to happy family vacations in Provence.

But, one perfumista’s mimosa is another’s acacia. That’s because with over 400 species in the genus, mimosas have a confusing taxonomy with over 400 species in the genus. The mimosa we are talking about, the ones with bright yellow flower heads and a sweet, heliotrope-smelling fragrance are in fact acacias. And there are two varieties used in perfumery: Acacia dealbata (known as mimosa smells of honeyed almonds) and Acacia farnesiana (known as cassie is more voluptuousness and animalic ).

When I discovered Essences Insensées Mimosa by Diptyque, I felt a happy tingle up my spine. This limited edition eau de parfum is the first in their Essences Insensées collection of "mille-fleurs" perfumes.

The phrase "mille-fleurs" is French for a “thousand flowers” and refers to the small flowers and plants shown on a green ground background in tapestries from the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance. The phrase came into the English language in the 18th century as a term for a perfume that was distilled from many different kinds of flowers from all seasons – the post-harvest tradition in Grasse of using plant, floral and vegetable leftovers of abundant harvests, to create a perfume of a thousand flowers.

Each fragrance in the Essences Insensées collection will use the mille-fleurs concept to showcase a key note from an exceptional harvest. In 2013 that was mimosa. In 2014 it was jasmine – but that’s another blog for another day. It’s the beginning of spring and I long for mimosa….

Essences Insensées Mimosa opens fresh and green from violet leaf green warmed with a slight spiciness from pink peppercorn. Pink peppercorn smell rosy and lead to a note of lush, creamy, honey-nuanced rose de mai. Vanilla-tinged, almond-edged heliotrope and mimosa join with the rose de mai to create a rich, abundant, floral heart. Yet, the mimosa stands out - I gets whiffs of green cucumber peel, powdery violet and honeyed almonds. As it moves towards the base yerba-mate reins in the florals and tempers them with a bitter green note. The flowers really are on a green background – as in a tapestry. At the base, Bourbon vanilla sweetens the bitterness while notes of beeswax and musk give it a warm sensuality.

The drydown is a skin scent that is opulent, complex – I smell flowers and hay and notes of green – and sensual. It smells like I’m walking in a field of flowers on a warm spring or summer’s day, my feet crunching the green grass and plants, the flowers in bloom, the sun warm on my skin.  This is what I have been yearning for.

Essences Insensées Mimosa is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.