FARNESIANA/ CARON (1947)
This obscure mimosa-vanilla from the house of Caron couldn’t be more different from Champs Elysées and its hard Parisian mademoiselle pretentions. Where the Guerlain mimosa is all about the city and perfect appearances, Farnesiana is a sweet, emotive, maternal refuge from all harshness and external pressure: a perfume to nuzzle, cradle; regress with. The blend gets its name from the latin name for mimosa (Acasiosa Farnesiana), the flower at the heart of this scent. And the mimosa note in Farnesiana is perhaps the most perfect of all mimosas, the absolute essence of the flowers. Place just a drop of this elixir on your skin and the heart-rending, powdery mimosa blossoms smile only briefly though before being subsumed in a very edible note of almonds and the roundest, gentlest, but slightly smoky, vanilla. This is not a ‘gourmand’ though (despite its intimations of cherry bakewells) – it is far too eccentric. Somehow Farnésiana is not in the least seductive – it is rather a lovely, melancholic escape from all that; the self as confection, a perfume to wear when alone. Despite its deliciousness, a strangely cold perfume.