Cinéma by Yves Saint Laurent is like afternoon sunshine. It's warm, golden, expansive; Cinéma welcomes you to stay a while, lounge on the porch and take in the view. Maybe hug a puppy. It feels very different than the glam faux-Hollywood ad campaign and the marketing blurb on the YSL Beauty website:
Glamorous, seductive, startling. Cinéma, a floral sophisticated and original enough for a starring role.Another disconnect is between the official notes and the actual smell of the perfume(Yves Saint Laurent website again): cyclamen, almond, clementine, amaryllis, sambac jasmine, amber, white musk and vanilla. Now, the cyclamen flowers I know barely have a scent, but I've noticed that some perfumers do use "cyclamen" to convey a fresh and light non-soapy cleanliness, something like sweet morning air. I get it, it's like a prerequisite for a light floral bouquet, but Cinéma is sweeter and richer than this, and has a slight tropical hint.
The thing is that from the very first day I had my bottle of YSL Cinéma (extrait de parfum) I was certain I mostly smell mimosa. I wore it inside, outside, in freezing cold and in the heat, but I kept smelling the golden honey of one thousand mimosa blooms, which no one listed anywhere. Then I read Victoria's review of Cinéma on Bois de Jasmin and also checked The Guide where Luca Turin calls the fragrance a "sweet mimosa", both reassuring my own impression.
Mimosa, to me is all about yellow and gold. This 2004 Jacques Cavallier creation is sweeter, more ambery (with a touch of buttery puff pastry somewhere in the dry-down) and less elegant than my favorite mimosa perfume, Givenchy Amarige Mimosa Harvest 2007 (sadly a limited edition that hasn't been reproduced in the last couple of years). I do like Cinéma quite a bit. It's a cuddly compliment getter that blooms in the heat and works well as a bedtime scent despite all the sunshine it holds within.
Yves Saint Laurent Cinéma might have been off the shelves for a short time about two years ago. It is back now as an EDP ($75, 1.6oz EDP directly from YSL or far cheaper at the various discounters). My own bottle is the older extrait, and according to the Perfume Posse there also used to be an eau de toilette concentration that has vanished since.
Top Image: Hailey Clauson for Vogue Spain, May 2012.