Parfums de Nicolai Mimosaique ~ fragrance review

mimosamimosamimosa

Mimosa fragrances must be tricky to pull off. There aren't a lot of them out there. Besides Parfums de Nicolaï Mimosaique which I'm reviewing today, Caron Farnesiana, Guerlain Champs Elysées, and L'Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi seem to hold the field. (The jury seems to be still out on Annick Goutal's limited edition Le Mimosa that Kevin reviewed last week.)

Or maybe mimosa just isn't a very popular note. The milky almond sweetness of mimosa mimics heliotrope, and not everyone's a fan. I read lots of comparisons of heliotrope to "plastic doll head," for instance. Me, I love the smell of both heliotrope and mimosa, and I adore the fresh, warm ease of Parfums de Nicolai Mimosaique Eau de Parfum.

Patricia de Nicolaï created Mimosaique in 1992. Mimosaique has notes of yellow mimosa, jasmine, iris root, anise, and fresh green leaves. Its overall feel is of a fresh, easy to wear, ladylike fragrance. Mimosaique opens with a diffusive mixture of crushed stems and floury heliotrope. Spray with abandon, because Mimosaique is present, but not loud, and after only a few minutes of wear it retreats to close to the skin.

After a quarter of an hour or so, the almond-flour quality recedes, and a pretty, powdery iris steps on stage. The iris is light and a little fruity, more like the playful niece of Frédéric Malle Iris Poudre than of the root-y, grande dame Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist. A whisper of heliotrope-like mimosa underlies the iris, reminding you Mimosaique is about mimosa. I can't pick out the anise, but knowing that it's there I sense a spiciness that gives backbone to the cloud of floral face powder tinged with cake dough and almonds that could otherwise feel too loose.

As Mimosaique wears, a tiny bit of clean musk gives it a clean air that balances nicely with the almost edible quality of the iris and mimosa. It never smells like laundry detergent, but it does give me an idea of a linen spray I'd commission if I were a millionaire.

In the end, to me Mimosaique feels more like mimosa than smells like mimosa. Mimosa seems to encompass the four elements of dirt, wet, breeze, and warmth, sweetened into an inconspicuous yellow flower. Similarly, Mimosaique isn't a showstopper. It isn't about wowing you with its crazy individuality and showiness. Instead, it's a lovely, elegant wash of clean, balanced, floral springtime. It lasts several hours, but it doesn't creep more than a few inches from skin.

Like a well worn, vintage cotton dress, when the weather starts to warm I reach for Mimosaique frequently. It isn't about making a statement. When I want to make a springtime entrance, I choose Guerlain Chamade or Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d'Une Fête. If I need to impress, I choose Chanel No. 19. But for comfort and the pleasure of flats without tights, a breeze on my legs, I grab my bottle of Mimosaique. It's pleasant, easy, sure to please, and hard to overplay. The ultimate anti-cranky fragrance. Isn't that what spring is all about?

Parfums de Nicolaï Mimosaique Eau de Parfum is rumored to be discontinued, but as of this writing there are still 50 ml bottles at The Perfume Shoppe. To find other Parfums de Nicolaï fragrances, see Parfums de Nicolaï under Perfume Houses.

Note: image is Mimosa Blooming by Arthur40A at flickr; some rights reserved.

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82 Comments

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  1. FragrantWitch says:

    Lovely review as always, Angela. I really must try this as I am discovering that I quite like heliotrope and mimosa, particularly if they are paired with something that cuts the sweetness a bit. Of course, this sounds just perfect AND set to be discontinued. Why is that often the way?

    • Angela says:

      It’s not an earth-shattering fragrance, but it’s so easy to turn to again and again in the spring. I agree–too bad it’s so hard to find!

  2. Tamara says:

    I haven’t tried this one yet Angela but I do adore Mimosa Pour Moi, and I love that I can spray wildly and it never overwhelms, just is soft and clean. I love Verte Violette for that reason too , even though that has a sense of a cooler scent. I bought a grass green linen kimono at a second hand shop recently and I cannot wait to wear it with sandals and my hair down, wearing a breezy perfume to match my mood on a warm spring day…in the Northwest it comes slowly but when it does it is glorious right? ;) Thanks for the review!

    • Angela says:

      I love the summer image you paint! It seems like spring is slow to kick off here this year, but, as you say, summer will be glorious when it arrives.

  3. CM says:

    I had purchased a sample of this quite a while ago and had forgotten about it… but just last night, I decided to spritz as my bedtime scent (L’Artisan’s Mimosa pour Moi is already a favorite). I loved it! Why hadn’t I noticed it before… perhaps it’s a sleeper of a scent. It has just a hint of brightness to it that MpM doesn’t have, and I really like the soft musky undertones – However, there is a weird moment about 5 minutes after spraying that is gets a bit flat and really musky – this lasts a few minutes (5 min maybe?) and then goes back to the light bright girly mimosa. All in all, very lovely – I think it’ll be great for hot summer.

    Thanks for the review – It spurred me to order a FB (along with some Kiss Me Tender…I love heliotrope as well! )

    • Angela says:

      What a coincidence that you got out your sample last night! It would be a wonderful bedtime scent.

  4. KRL says:

    I love heliotrope and almond and am looking for something light and easy going for spring. I bought a bottle of Cinema (YSL) a few months ago and understand it’s a mimosa scent. Somehow, it just doesn’t hit the spot for me. Can any of you ladies compare the above scents to Cinema? Am I wrong in thinking it’s mimosa? If you have any suggestions of a heliotrope/almond, I’m all ears (I own POTL which is fleeting on me and adore Etro’s Heliotrope). Thanks!

    • CM says:

      I love heliotrope as well. A couple of my favorites include Barbara Bui Le Parfum which has a bit of incense added. It’s been discontinued but can be found on the ‘Bay. I got mine for about $30.

      Also, if you like powdery aspects of heliotrope, check out Ava Luxe Heliotrope and/or L.T.Piver Heliotrope Blanc. Posh Peasant was selling FB of the L.T.Piver. Both of these are very powdery and comforting.

      Finally, try Serge Lutens Rahat Loukhourn – if you like POTL, this has a similar cherry almond opening. Definately worth sampling. I’d buy a FB, but it’s not available in the US, so it’s decants for me.

      • CM says:

        One more – Kiss Me Tender has a touch of heliotrope in it which is quite lovely. Robin had a wonderful review of this a month or so ago.

      • Angela says:

        Nice suggestions.

      • Daisy says:

        Almond/ Heliotrope –also a favorite of mine. LT Piver Heliotrope Blanc is gorgeous, comfy…if you like Etro Heliotrope, you’ll like LT Piver. Rahat Loukoum –also fabulous, but a little harder to get. KM Loukhoum pour le soir…a little sweeter but lots easier to find. Mazzolari Alessandro is the ultimate almond scent. And a new one to try (that is quite reasonably priced) Brecourt Haram –you’ll want to eat your arm! (but don’t , because no one likes a ragged stump)

        • Daisy says:

          oops, my apologies to any one-armed perfumistas out there.

          • Angela says:

            I commend your sensitivity, Daisy.

        • CM says:

          Thanks for the suggestions… I’ll have to track these down to sniff!

          • Daisy says:

            CM–Where are you in the world?
            contact me at Daisyloo82 at gmail dot com and maybe I can get you some samples. :-)

          • Daisy says:

            oh, I’m silly—CM , you already have these, yes? I think we are both responding to KRL

            Of course I’d be happy to get samples to both of you! Always happy to share my obsession :)

            KRL —where are you???

          • CM says:

            Hi Daisy! You had a couple of suggestions that I’ve never heard of… KM Loukhoum pour le soir, Mazzolari Alessandro and Brecourt Haram. I’m still new at this perfumista thing – I went through a heliotrope/powder/pink phase this past fall/winter and tried a bunch of heliotropes, but I hadn’t heard of these three.

            That’s one of the reasons I love this site… I learn so much and get so many great suggestions – not only from the blog, but also from the articles.

            Daisy, I’ll email you….thanks for the offer!

        • nozknoz says:

          Wow, it would be really frustrating to be a one-armed perfumista!

          • Angela says:

            Yes! You’d have to get crafty about perfume application. But I’m sure it could be managed…

          • Daisy says:

            it’d be horrible to wake up every morning and think “Blast! Only one wrist for perfume! “

        • KRL says:

          Hi Daisy! Thanks for these ideas. I’ve never seen LT Piver, what’s the LT short for? I think I have tried the Mazzolari at Scent Bar, but I should try to get a sample of that one :)

          • Daisy says:

            You know? I’m not at all sure! on the bottle it just says L.T. Piver Paris-France. ???? anyone? (Bueller?)

      • KRL says:

        CM Thanks so much for these suggestions…I would like to give the Lutens a try, for sure :)

        • KRL says:

          Daisy – I’m in Los Angeles…I’d be delighted to take you up on your offer…I’ll drop you an email.

          • Daisy says:

            wonderful! I’m glad you checked in and saw my comment. I’ll look for your email :-)

    • Angela says:

      Cinema is pretty, but it’s a big perfume, if I remember right. Mimosaique and L’Artisan Mimosa pour Moi are fresher and lighter. For a really almondy scent, you might like Mazzolari Alessandro. Caron Farnesiana is wonderful, too.

      • AnnS says:

        I agree with you Angela – I busted out my Cinema just yesterday. It does have some lovely powdery warm mimosa type accords going on, but it is mostly a vanilla oriental. A very sunny oriental. I think it is more like the “poor man’s” Angelique Noire than anything…..

        • Angela says:

          I need to find my sample of Cinema and give it a try. I admit it’s been a long time since I’ve smelled it. Thanks for the mini-review!

      • Merlin says:

        Angela, i was also going to ask you to comment on Cinema! I know its a YSL, and the name suggests something large, but actually its a very timid fragrance and certainly nothing like opium etc. The guide rates it highly but asks why it is trying to hide! It also describes it as a mix of mimosa and apple-pie, so I think it fits into the discussion.

        I love heliotrope having a plastic doll-head effect! I tried Kate Moss’s Vintage today, and that the smell-idea I’v been searching for all day!

        • Merlin says:

          I meant thatS the smell-idea I have been searching for…
          Anne, I think were posting at the same time!

        • Angela says:

          I was just commenting that I really need to get out my sample of Cinema and give it a try–it’s been way too long!

          • Merlin says:

            I bought a partial bottle of it – like it but find it a little too soft.

          • KRL says:

            Angela, AnnS, Merlin: I tried my Cinema today to “ring my bell” a little bit and I found it just a little too sweet.

            I’ll have to try to Mimsaique, that sound like it might suit me more than Mimosa pour Moi from what Angela is saying…but is this the one that’s discontinued??

          • Angela says:

            Yes, it looks like Mimosaique is discontinued, although there are still a few bottles out there. As Mimosa pour Moi wears on me, I’m finding it a little too melon-violet for my taste.

          • Merlin says:

            KRL, it hasn’t turned into a favourite of mine, either, but its nice to have a little at hand.

  5. Rappleyea says:

    I’ve got a vintage bottle of Champs Elysees, and I don’t really smell heliotrope with it. It’s a nice, pretty scent though and not quite as linear as Mimosa Pour Moi. I’ve never smelled the PdN so thanks for the review!

    • Angela says:

      I’ve only smelled Champs Elysees in passing, but now I know I need to give it more attention.

    • Daisy says:

      I just got myself a nice “not too recent” bottle of Champs Elysees in the edt…..so pretty! Now if I could just get some nice sunny spring weather to wear it in!!!

      • Angela says:

        No kidding. Other than yesterday, which was partly cloudy, it’s been raining here for enough days in a row to scare even Noah. Normally we can count on one good week in March, but it’s been abysmally soggy.

      • Rappleyea says:

        Daisy – I don’t know if you’ll find this in the a.m., but if you do – what made you decide you wanted the edt in addtion to the parfum? It’s probably a stupid question as I’ve been feeling that way about both Jicky and Mitsouko!

        • OperaFan says:

          Perhaps it’s the luxury to “spray with abandon” rather than judicious little dabs? ;-)

          • Daisy says:

            I should have “Spray With Abandon ” made into a sign for over my door….it’s just so..so..so, ME!

        • Daisy says:

          you know how I adore swanning about in my own cloud….it seems to me that extraits are richer but stay closer to the skin. So I like to dab or spritz a little parfum on the wrists or inner elbows….then go for a bit of a “spray-down” with some edt. ….okay maybe just a couple sprays…but enough that some gets on “me” and my sweater du jour…for good wafting all day long. This method of full-body scenting works well with all my Guerlains that I have in extrait–Chamade, Nahema, Champs, Mitsy, Vol de Nuit….it also allows me to sort of “ration out” my moderately vintage extraits as well. :-)

          • Rappleyea says:

            Oooooh Empress, you doin’ some mighty powerful (but subtle) enabling here! ;-)

          • Angela says:

            I definitely like your logic, but I LOVE your use of “swanning around”!

  6. AnnS says:

    I love mimosa and heliotrope. I’ve not smelled Mimosaique, but it sounds like I should. Every spring I hem and haw over whether I should get some L’AP Mimosa pour Moi, and then I figure I’ll decide the next year. I gave up finding any other naturalistic mimosa a long time ago. I do think that Caron’s Montaigne has a nice very naturalistic sappy mimosa accord if you can pick it out between the narcissus and the woody oriental structure. But Montaigne is very rich for day or care-free spring wear. Some things are just better in nature!

    • Angela says:

      Montaigne definitely feels yellow to me, but more of orange blossom and narcissus. I’ll have to smell it again and think of mimosa!

      I do like Mimosa pour Moi, but I totally understand the “hem and haw” approach. There are a few fragrances I’m on the fence about, too, but then I think of all the perfume I have and decide to wait, and suddenly the season is done.

      • AnnS says:

        That’s ususally what happens to me too. Spring over here can be very long and dreary or glorious and extremely short lived. I head on to my favorite orange/linden blossoms which seem very spring like to me, or Chamade. As you note above, you can’t compete too much with Chamade for glorious spring!

        • Daisy says:

          it’s hard to EVER compete with Chamade….I wear it year ’round… just spray myself down, inhallllllle and chant “it’s springtime somewhere…”

          • Angela says:

            That’s the attitude!

          • Haunani says:

            So true about Chamade! I smile just thinking about it!

        • Angela says:

          You’re reminding me to dig out my MAC Honey!

          • Daisy says:

            oh yes! …..and then I’ll try to pretend that it’s not SNOWING outside my window…. *wahhhh*

          • Angela says:

            And I thought the rain was bad here!

  7. austenfan says:

    Glad to see a review of t this. I only found out last week that Mimosaïque can still be ordered from Canada. I might consider buying unsniffed. I tend to like mimosa and I adore the Nicolaï line anyway.
    Did you ever try L’Infante by Divine? That one has, according to the Guide, a mimosa accord. It’s a lovely perfume, though probably not strictly a soliflore.

    • Angela says:

      I do have a sample of L’Infante, but I can’t remember it off the top of my head. I’ll go find it.

      I bought Mimosaique unsniffed during one of the big Beautyhabit sales a few years ago and haven’t regretted it.

    • Erin says:

      Ooo austenfan, yes, L’Infante! Do give it a good wear, if you can find the sample, Angela. Sort of like the Mimosaique in that it’s not a showstopper: when I wear it (which is infrequently, since I always forget about it) I am reminded that it is just effortlessly pretty and straightforward. It’s a pleasant surprise every time :) Austenfan, I think you would like the PdN – it’s a bit fruitier than the Divine, IMO, but similar style.

      • Angela says:

        O.K., I just put on a dab of the L’Infante, and it’s so pretty! Very iron-steam water with mimosa. Kind of like NR Essence, but with mimosa, and without the piercing musky drydown. Clean and pretty.

        • austenfan says:

          Glad you like it. The Divines are so wearable, and just plain nice.

          • Angela says:

            I think L’Inspiratrice and L’Homme Sage are my favorites, but every one of them is so elegant.

      • austenfan says:

        Thanks Erin, I think you mentioned somewhere that The Perfume Shoppe still sold the PdN Mimosa.
        I love l’Infante, it may not be a show stopper but it is so very enjoyable!

  8. Sniffy says:

    Does Summer by Kenzo qualify as a mimosa scent? I can still distinctly recall wearing it while lying out in the beaches of Mykonos. That damp floral scent, the beach, late spring… that’s definitely my mimosa scent! :)

    • Angela says:

      I haven’t tried that one in so long, I can’t say! Maybe someone else will chime in. You sure make it sound wonderful. It’s definitely going on my “to sniff” list.

  9. Lanuitdemiel says:

    A beautiful review as always, Angela!
    Have you tried Bond No.9 Madison Soiree? A very formal and rich mimosa, a little too much to my taste, but it must be beautiful in colder weather…

    • Angela says:

      I just got out my sample of that one, since I couldn’t remember it at all, and it really reminds me of a vintage fragrance that I can’t put my finger on right now. I get the formal aspects of it you mention. Lots of sneezy aldehydes. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  10. Rosewater says:

    Thank you, Angela. Do you mean that the L’Artisan Mimosa is fresher than the Nicolai? Or than Cinema? I am interested in the comparison between the L’Artisan and the Nicolai. Merci beaucoup!

    • Angela says:

      I put some Mimosa pour Moi on one hand to compare it to the Mimosaique on my arm, and I’m surprised at the fruitiness of the Mimosa pour Moi. It almost has a melon note. Does anyone else get that? Mimosaique’s sweetness is from the fruitiness of the iris (or at least, that’s my amateur’s guess.)

      I’d say they’re both really similar on the freshness and lightness scale, but Mimsaique might be a little more powdery and green.

      • boojum says:

        Yes, there is something very melony-fresh about MPM to me, too. I find it wearable, but not something I’d seek out.

  11. nozknoz says:

    I bought sample lots of both Mimosa pour Moi and Mure et Musc on ebay to decant into small sprayers, and carelessly mixed the two together. The combo was surprisingly good! Truth is, though, that I have difficulty smelling either of those scents, no matter how much I spray. It feels like sounds that are just on the edge of the audible range. I wonder if that’s the nature of these notes or if it’s just my nose?

    • KRL says:

      Totally off subject, but I recently got a sample of Malle’s Fleur une Cassie and I can’t smell a thing! That’s never happened to me (come to think of it, I think this might be a mimosa, too).

      • Angela says:

        It’s so strange what different people are anosmic to–or not! For me, Une Fleur de Cassie comes through loud and clear.

    • Angela says:

      I wonder if it’s a musk thing?

      • KRL says:

        That’s all I really get from it, musk. I have several scents that are musk related (MKK, Malle’s MR, PooPooPiDo) they range from white to “dark” and I can smell them all. I’m thinking it might be a mimosa thing??

        • Angela says:

          Maybe that’s it, then. The wonders of the nose!

  12. Stevan says:

    My Guerlain rep at work told me that they’re going to be phasing out Champs Elysées soon :(

    I’m quite disappointed

    Despite that I’m a guy, one of my signature scents is Shalimar. I get complimented on it all the time – just wanted to put that out there. Love my Shalimar.

    • Angela says:

      Shalimar knows no era or gender. I’d love to smell it on a man! In fact, that may be just what it needs these days.

  13. ceelouise says:

    Very nice. I probably won’t try to get a sample, though. Mimosa and heliotrope have not really been my thing. My simple florals are Pleasures, J’Adore. Or Nicolai’s Odalisque, perfect for spring.

    • Angela says:

      Gosh, I forgot about Odalisque. A perfect spring fragrance!

    • boojum says:

      Odalisque is really pretty. I should get a new sample (I heard reformulation rumors on that one) and think about buying it.

      • Angela says:

        I have a small decant, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up with a bottle someday, too.

  14. Ruby2 says:

    Does L’Occitane’s Mimosa Eau De Parfum count as a mimosa fragrance? I think I was told by a sales person that it was the most popular of the Voyage en Mediterranee collection. It’s a nice fragrance; sweet and fresh.

    • Angela says:

      Gosh, it sure does! I haven’t smelled that one yet, although there’s a L’Occitane store downtown. On your recommendation, I’ll give it a sniff!

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