The lovely Lady Jane Grey is a long-time reader of this blog and happens to be one of the few actual Perfumistas this city of Vienna seems to harbor. I met her a few times already and not only is she an elegant and beautiful lady, but she also is a very generous one.
The last time we met she presented me with a sample of Caron Farnesiana extrait directly from the urns of a Parisian Caron store.
Farnesiana was created in 1947 by Michel Morsetti and includes notes of mimosa, sandalwood and hay according to Luckyscent and the Caron website, I found a more extensive notes list on Now Smell This: mimosa, blackcurrant, bergamot, jasmine, violet, lily of the valley, lilac, vanilla, sandalwood, opopanax, hay, and musk.
The perfume has been reformulated (what hasn’t?) and this is a review of the contemporary extrait version.
Farnesiana is a mimosa scent, and there are not many of those around. But what it is to my nose, first and foremost is not a floral, but a gourmand.
Farnesiana opens slightly harsh and sharp, but soon mellows into a sweet and golden concoction where almond and hay dominate for me. There is a slight fruitiness provided by a pretty blackcurrant note, but mostly the resinous opoponax and the intriguing floral accord of mimosa (Acacia Farnesiana: sweet mimosa) combine to evoke a delicious almond cookie smell that is strong and present, but applied judiciously it is incredibly good.
Farnesiana (I’m guessing in the extrait especially) is not something you wear without second thought. Lady Jane warned me of its possible head-ache inducing strength and I know what she means. But at the right time, the right weather (the colder the better) and the right mood there is nothing better than Farnesiana’s unique, enveloping almond-y warmth.
Farnesiana is a gourmand for grown-ups, something that is edible but not quite, that is heavy, but not oppressive and that is sweet but not too much.
Farnesiana would be an amazing perfume to wear to a grand gala, an evening at the opera or an elegant ball. In my case, a few drops give a gilded shimmer and a hint of glamour to an afternoon on the playground.
There is no place where a little golden aura is wrong, is there?