Sparkly Days, Exaltatum Mimosa Gold

Over the last couple of years the arrival of September meant something exciting for me. Normally I should have my bags packed by now, living my summer holiday adventure (in Italy or somewhere else for a change) just like I used to do it over the last 5 years. But not this time. I’m still spending my days at home, thinking where to get some rest in Poland. But I lack the mood & inspiration for that. At the end of this week I should be travelling to Florence for Pitti but it’s not going to happen.

2020 is weird in so many ways because of Covid… Thank goodness that our passion for perfume transcends any borders. Can you imagine all of us being connected by an invisible thread and forming a fragrant net that wraps around the globe? Thanks to Elena, who I miss greatly, I was able to discover Mimosa Gold from Exaltatum – a brand that I didn’t know before. This composition starts with a sweet scent of mirabelle which takes me down the memory lane as in my home town there were wild mirabelle plum trees growing in many places & I remember the delicate scent of their flowers and the ripe aroma of their little pink-orange fruit. After a moment almond blossom joins in – it has a characteristic, slightly milky floral tone that I know mostly from cosmetic products.

Champaca flower introduces a yellow tinge to the perfume, at the same time bringing forth a creamy texture that feels like a sun tan lotion scented with gently tropical notes. Star anise adds a subtle spicy feeling to the perfume while lemon petitgrain make the opening feel more fresh. Mimosa Gold hides its true glory in its heart. A multidimensional mimosa accord starts with a layer of sweet, oozing golden honey that unrolls in front of you like a red carpet in Cannes during the film festival. Not overdone in any aspect, its luminosity with a back note of warm beeswax leads to a floral bouquet that is there to cheer you up. Millions of tiny yellow pom poms, each of them like a little sun.

Exaltatum Mimosa Gold marries the scent of mimosa dealbata – gently sweet & pollen-like, almost powdery with acacia farnesiana which is slightly more dense, waxy. They are blended so skillfully that all you want to do is sit back and inhale this sweet, flowery and very dreamy scent. This mimosa note is composed with a lot of finesse – it feels very different from other perfume that focus on this tiny golden flower, but there is certainly a room for various interpretations. Complexity of mimosa accord is followed here by creamy and summery scent of ylang-ylang. Milky and powdery, almost almondy heliotrope adds a delicious facet a’la pastry cream. Its flavor is quite unique.

All of you probably know that pleasant feeling when the rays of sun warms your skin. Mimosa Gold has a similar effect on the senses. For the next couple of hours it lets you enjoy the powdery & creamy nuances colored with yellow and gold streaks. Gradually the perfume dries down to a comforting, soft base of sandalwood. Its woodiness is supple & delicate, an equivalent of a hug from a loved one. Tonka adds a bit of creaminess and an aromatic vibe. Benzoin recalls the honeyed feel from the opening but with a more resinous feel to it. Hint of silky iris evolves into a rooty scent of dry vetiver with a bit of patchouli stained soil. This truly intricate perfume will charm you with its glowy facets. It’s a composition full of optimism and youthful joy. An actual burst of yellow happiness.

After trying Mimosa Gold from Exaltatum I’m glad that Elena introduced me to this indie house. The brand is owned and the fragrances are created by Eglija Vaitkevice – Lithuanian who honed her perfumery skills at Grasse Institute of Perfumery. She now lives in London where she composes according to her own vision. Isn’t she an excellent example that perfume knows no bounds? Mimosa Gold is an extract de parfum and comes in 50 ml bottles. The brand is also offering more perfumista-friendly sizes – 15 and 30 ml flacons. I look forward to finding out how her other scents smell like.

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Clear Serenity, Van Cleef & Arpels Oud Blanc

Over the last decade there probably hasn’t been another perfumery raw material that would have been spoken more of than oud. It stormed both mainstream and niche perfumery like nothing else in recent years. Some love it for its untamed, wild character and Middle-Eastern charm, some hate it for its fecal, overwhelming qualities. Many will agree with me that agarwood should have gone out of fashion some years ago. And while oud is oud, there are many different interpretations. I’m not going to lie – I have also fallen for some oud compositions, like Rose Anonyme, Rosam or Oudh Infini. Thanks to Van Cleef & Arpels there may be another one worth some of your attention.

Oud Blanc starts with a soft, plush-like texture that simply feels good on the skin. This softness, more abstract & transparent at first, begins to develop more color after a minute or two. Without rushing the perfume becomes stronger and gains an intense, deep red tone. Turkish rose has a very luxurious and majestic feel to it. The smell it carries is rich and saturated – which brings to mind the idea of hammam bath rituals with argan oil. There’s no denying the allure created by this new fragrance. Was it personified, it would be like grand dame in a heavy, red velvet gown.

As much as Turkish rose can be pretty on its own, Oud Blanc has more things to offer. After a little while there’s a feeling of sweetness that enters the stage but it’s far from the sugary, maltol-like overdose served left & right in feminine mainsteam fragrances. The sweet note here, created with dates, has a more aged, almost resiny effect on my skin. It’s hard to describe it accurately but if you can imagine benzoin with that dried fruity aspect of date you’ll get the idea. It infuses the rose accord with some sophistication and glamour, like adding some patina – a proof of age & elegance.

Rose and oud are a classic combo in perfumery that has been in use for many years now. Yet in case of Van Cleef & Arpels Oud Blanc it feels like it was invented anew. The splendid rose blends with oud in a graceful manner. It’s not a vortex but slow swirls of crimson red and black matter. Kind of like a shade that deepens the color in the dress creases. Oud in this perfume is in primary a dense & woody smell – it has its own weight and depth but doesn’t feel overpowering. In the second plan hides the more resinous, viscous and sort of animalic aspect of this controversial raw material.

Much later in the fragrance development a frankincense note is revealed. Since Oud Blanc plays on subtleties, I was not expecting a straightforward incense and I wasn’t mistaken. It’s more like an impression, like walking into a room with wooden walls. You can’t see a burning stick anymore but there’s still a silvery mist lingering in the air and the wood is permeated with its scent. There’s a beautiful clarity and transparency to this note – it feels spiritual & meditative. Oud along with the rose still continue this journey but they stepped aside, now making a charming background. The perfume dries down to an air-whipped, delicious vanilla with fluffy white musks that complete the composition.

Oud Blanc, the latest addition to Collection Extraordinaire of Van Cleef & Arpels is a perfume of surprising clarity and transparency. The fruit of work of perfumer Anne Flipo is more lightweight type of fragrance that clings to the skin, wrapping the wearer with a silky cocoon of intricately woven notes of oud, rose and vanilla among others. It has a warm and inviting aura that simply makes me feel good when I’m surrounded by vapors of Oud Blanc. The classic bottle for this line is lacquered in white (for a 2nd time, after Santal Blanc) and it’s a perfect vessel for this perfume. It holds 75 ml of eau de parfum. Do you think you could become friends with this one or would you rather stay away?

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