Perfume Review: Le Mimosa (Annick Goutal)

Here's how I could do this whole review, were I succinct and a little more artsy...

Annick Goutal's new, limited edition Spring scent, Le Mimosa smells like this:


The End.


Sadly, Lucky for you, I'm not at all comfortable with verbal brevity. For your entertainment, a more wordy review follows.

Le Mimosa is "a soliflore". To save you other Newbies some Google Time, I've done some legwork. A soliflore focuses on a single flower. There's a catch, though. In the words of the esteemable Angela of Now Smell This, a "soliflore is a perfumer's vision, an interpretation of the scent of a flower". [1]

In the much less eloquent words of yours truly, a soliflore is a flower or bloom as seen sniffed through the eyes nose of a perfumer. Some rose soliflores play up the honeyed nuances of the bloom, others the spice, while others include green stemmy aspects. It can be said that when it comes to perfumery a rose is a rose is a rose but all roses are not created equal... or something.

OK, so let's get back to Le Mimosa, shall we? It's (wait for it...) a mimosa soliflore.

I don't know too much about mimosa. I've heard of the drink, which is a one part champagne, one part orange juice cocktail. And we have invasive trees here in Virginia called "Mimosas" which look like the these:

silk trees aka  "junk trees"

But I'm pretty sure they're also called "silk trees" and aren't what the Annick Goutal folk were referencing. I'm certain they were after the big golden fluffies in the other pictures - a harbinger of Spring to folks all over the world [2] and a cousin to the ones near my home [3].

What does the yellow fluffy mimosa smell like? I can't speak from personal experience, because even though I think the fernlike fronds and happy puffball blooms are pretty, around here silk trees are usually found along roads and lining ditches, earning the classification as  "junk trees" according to my husband. And they probably don't smell like the yellow ones, anyway. Sigh.

Smooth mango goodness.
We already know putting words to scents is tricky business. What little I've been able to find describing the scent of mimosa tends to involve these words: sweet; slightly fruity; honey; mango; cucumber. [4]
By the way, can we all say "mango smoothie"? Um, yum!

I suppose what's important is what Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen think a mimosa smells like, since they created this perfume. Here's what they have to say:

Built around a mimosa absolute from Grasse, with sweet floral hues punctuated by soft green, Florentine iris and anise are added to enhance the flower's natural facets with their powdery strength. At the heart of the composition a peach, with sweet undertones of sun-drenched flesh, using its fruity curves as though to adorn the mimosa with unprecedented radiance. Then the white musk makes its entrance, draped over a light sandalwood frame, to carefully wrap the wake of this soft single flower perfume in a silky, milky and deliciously addictive blanket.

What do I think it smells like? Heaven! To elaborate: a peachy honeyed musk. For you synesthetics: I don't picture yellow when I try to pin a color association on this perfume. Instead, I see the color of the flesh of a ripe mango. And there just may be a mango facet to this scent (just sayin').

While a soliflore, Le Mimosa is neither linear nor "one-note". It's as complex as any bloom, and shows several faces as the fragrance develops.

I do detect a slight flirtation with anise in the opening, and if you're an anise-phobe like myself please know that it's amazingly delightful here: soft, necessary, fleeting.

Is this a peach scent? No. While there is peach present, I'd say this perfume is peach-toned. Just as a peachy streak enhances a gorgeous sunset, but a sunset isn't only orange, so this perfume contains peach without being a peachy perfume. Sometimes I think I only make sense to myself, but what I'm getting at is the peachy tones enhance the scent without for even one millisecond resembling an artificial peach perfume.

Do I pick up the iris, though? Not really. Maybe a tad as the heart folds softly into the drydown. Speaking of the drydown, can we talk about how lovely a softly powdered & musky, vanilla'd sandalwood sounds?! Delish.

What happens when you Google "baby kitten peach"
On me, the peach honey phase is not long enough, but lasts a good hour or two. The drydown is still perceptible on my skin eons later (like, the next morning). My dab-on sample doesn't have a lot of presence or sillage; not sure how spraying would change this, but I suspect it might. If I remember, once I buy my bottle(s) I'll update you.

If I were asked to describe the scent via nose picture, I'd be concocting some visual metaphor involving kittens and peaches and the soft smell of a baby's head. But that would be weird. Instead I'll do a word association: soft; cuddly; fresh; happy; yellow velvet; fluffy; comforting; delicious; soothing; Spring.

In case you're looking for me this Spring and early Summer, you'll find me climbing mimosa trees along the highway, pressing my nose into the fluffy blooms and wearing Annick Goutal's Le Mimosa - just so ya know.

Fragrance: Le Mimosa
House: Annick Goutal
Nose: Isabelle Doyen
Release: March 1, 2011 as a limited edition
Notes: Anise, Florentine iris, sun-drenched peach, white musks, sandalwood and mimosa
Sample: Annick Goutal website ~ I asked for a sample.

Final Word: Full bottle-worthy plus a backup.

[1] I was going to go through this whole "each artist paints a subject differently" thing, but since Now Smell This beat me to it, read the metaphor here. (warning: all links to other blogs may inspire lemmings).
[2] By "all over the world" I mean "lotsa places". I'm not interested in the specifics because research is difficult with my nose stuck to my wrist.
[3] Several sources I found vaguely state that there are over 400 species of mimosa.
[4] Loved this link which answers the question "what does mimosa smell like" with the answer saying, essentially, "I don't know, but probably good." Ah, the internet...

More reading on mimosa:
The Grumpy Gardener: Mimosa -- The Wonderful Awful Weed
Henry Holland's Six Scent Fragrance Smells Like...Sex
CASSIE ABSOLUTE (Mimosa Absolute)

Other Le Mimosa reviews:

Bois de Jasmin ~ Annick Goutal Le Mimosa : Fragrance Review 
1000 Fragrances ~ Mimosa (Annick Goutal) - new fragrance review
Perfume Shrine ~ Annick Goutal Mimosa: New Fragrance

Other mimosa-centric scents:

Aqua Allegoria Tiare Mimosa (Guerlain)
Calèche Fleurs de Méditerranée (Hermes)
Eau de Charlotte (Annick Goutal)
Farnesiana (Caron)
Mimosaique (Patricia de Nicolai)
Mimosa pour Moi (L'Artisan Parfumeur)
Mimosa (Czech & Speake)
te: I'm sure there are more and I haven't smelled any of them, including the ones I listed. Share your favorite in the comments!



  1. Well, you've made me want to try this. I was worried that it would have that cucmber note, which I'm not fond of, but it sounds wonderful.

  2. This is another Goutal soliflore I'd like to try, too. I've never smelled European mimosa, but I do love Chamade, which is said to have a mimosa drydown...

    You just went on the AG website and asked for a sample? Might have to try that.

  3. Kjanicki, I don't get cucumber at all, but I'm just a baby nose, remember. Still, cucumber is hardly an obscure note - I should have been able to identify it were it there.

    Muse, I haven't tried Chamade. It's on The List. ;)
    And yes, I simply contacted the Annick Goutal folk saying that their scents aren't sold in my area and suggested a few I'd like to try. They sent the ones I asked about, and others, too. Quite lovely!


  4. We have those pink Mimosas here in South Arkansas and in East Texas where I grew up. I loved to climb the one in our back yard--the Pines were too hard to climb ;-).

  5. Just today my sample of Le Mimosa arrived and I've tried it. I've spent the last half hour or so reading various reviews of it by different bloggers, and your assessment of the fragrance comes closest to my own. I really love this scent, it's different from the scents I usually fall in love with. I was very surprised to read that the majority of the reviews out there are negative ones. More for us, I guess?

  6. Oh, by the way, I just saw that you were nice enough to add me to your blogroll, but the blog you have linked to me is my old one. This is the new:

    Would you mind updating it when you get a chance? Thank you! :)

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. This morning, I searched for the "Bright Yellow Mimosa" articles and found you blog. Thank you for sharing the informative blog on Mimosa and a great smoothy recipe.

    I have tried Grasse fragrance and felt in love with it. However, I have not found the actual Mimosa scent. Hopefully, Le Mimosa will satisfy my ofactory wish...

    Again, thank you, Jan of Central VA. Eem

  9. thanks your site has helped me identify a plant described to me for somebody who wanted to grow it in their garden


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