Want to see some feathers fly? Walk up to a group of international perfumistas and throw down the word "mimosa". This is the name by which Europeans know Acacia farnesiana and Americans know Albizia julibrissin, two separate (yet formerly related) species of flowering tree. One has yellow blossoms, the other pink. One is strongly fragrant, the other somewhat less so. They used to share a common taxonomy; now no one can agree on their legitimacy.
If you're European, Acacia farnesiana is the only mimosa worth knowing. If you're American, you're an idiot (at least so far as your European colleagues are concerned). If you're a good-natured Australian, you smile and stay the hell out of it-- seeing as how the whole orchard originated in your neck of the woods, you can damn well afford to. And if you're a botanist of any national origin, you can expound for hours on the complete insanity of the mimosa situation, witness to as many trade-offs as a particularly vicious season of fantasy football.
You still with me? 'Cause this shit's about to get real.
The vast (19,000+ species) legume/bean/pea family of Fabaceae includes the subfamily Mimosoideae, which encompasses the tribes Acaciae, Ingeae and Mimoseae. The Acaciae includes the genera Acacia and Vachellia. The Ingeae includes the genera Albizia and Paraserianthes. The Mimoseae includes (quite logically) the genus Mimosa. Acacia farnesiana used to be a member of Acacia, but is now a member of Vachellia. It bears the nicknames "mimosa", "acacia", and "wattle"; its fragrant extract is known as "cassie" (which is quite distinct from "cassia" or cinnamon.) Albizia julibrissin used to be a member of Mimoseae (which explains why it's called "mimosa" in America) but is now a member of Ingeae. So is the Paraserianthes lophantha or Cape Wattle, which is called "albizia" in Australia-- unlike the similarly-named Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata), which is oft yclept "mimosa" by locals, but whose fragrant extract is known as "cassie"... just like that of Acacia/Vachellia farnesiana.
Get it. Got it? Good.
Here's a thought: let's hug it out, bitches. What's the point of all this sparring and wrestling, anyway? How about we head over to no-man's-land, spritz ourselves with some Rare Mimosa and quit fighting wars that none of us started?
Rare Mimosa is an appealing mash-up of mimosa, melon, baby powder, and the sort of smoky vetiver that smells like an outdoor hibachi at the height of a cookout. It doesn't care whether you call it a member of Acaciae, Ingeae or Mimoseae, and it could give a crap less whether Farnesiana, Mimosa Pour Moi, or Une Fleur de Cassie wins the "best mimosa ever" toss-up. It would much rather pitch its tent in the weird-but-good camp presided over by Breath of God-- who belongs to no known species on earth, but whose never-ending block parties are legendary.
In fact, let's us up and move there... 'cause this patch of ground is starting to feel a little crowded.
Scent Elements: Mimosa, vetiver, patchouli