Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne : Perfume Review

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Orange-blossom

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

In my ideal world, I live some place sunny that smells like sea breeze and lemon blossoms. I leave my house, wearing all white linen ensembles, sandals and large sunglasses. My skin perpetually smells of bitter orange and jasmine. Since I burn after 2 minutes in the sun and did not even wear white to my wedding, I prefer to indulge in such flights of fancy via some noncommittal means—books, movies, and of course, perfume. Jo Malone Orange Blossom is my recent serendipitous discovery, a simple and thoroughly delightful cologne that smells like the Mediterranean summer.

Orange Blossom is exactly what it is advertised to be—a crisp rendition of a bitter orange blossom note, with a few leaves and twigs thrown in for a sparkling, green sensation. Simple though Orange Blossom is, it is not what the French call a sent bon (a good smell,) which after a while is liable to get boring. A twist of dark green, zesty citrus leaves gives the rich, indolic orange blossom and jasmine heart an interesting frame, while a hint of earthy vetiver lends Orange Blossom a sophisticated finish. It evokes a scent of  white petals mingling with that of salty, sunwarmed skin, as most good orange blossom colognes do.

In contrast to the overpriced Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, Orange Blossom also lacks the common soapy musk finish that dulls many citrus colognes. It is more along the lines of Annick Goutal Néroli, L’Artisan Parfumeur Fleur D’Oranger and Atelier Cologne Grand Néroli given its stronger floral accent. A pleasant alternative to bracing, gin & tonic blends (Jo Malone’s own Lime Basil & Mandarin, Frédéric Malle Cologne Bigarade, Eau de Guerlain and Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte) for those men and women who nevertheless like a classical bitter orange pick-me-up scent.

Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne includes notes of citrus leaves, clementine flower, lemongrass, white lilac, lily of the valley, orange blossom, waterlily, iris, vetiver, and oakmoss. It is available from Saks 5th Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. 30ml, $55, 100ml, $105.

Sample: my own acquisition

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19 Comments

  • Olfactoria: It sounds lovely, I am always up for orange blossom scents. 🙂
    How well does it last? Mostly Jo Malone’s colognes are very, very flighty, but I have not tried this one. May 3, 2011 at 3:55am Reply

  • Marina: Can I come live in your ideal world? I already have the sunglasses…Also for some reason I bought like 4 white dresses for this summer, which will never come. May 3, 2011 at 8:48am Reply

  • Victoria: It is surprisingly substantial, although you would probably need to put on 3-4 sprays of it.
    I found it on my mom’s perfume shelf, and now Goutal Neroli has moved over to make some space for Orange Blossom. Very good and reasonably priced. May 3, 2011 at 9:59am Reply

  • Victoria: This summer I might actually be in this world in reality (already stocking up on sunscreen and hats!!) So, you can come along too. 🙂 You are even more prepared for the adventure with your 4 white dresses. May 3, 2011 at 10:00am Reply

  • sweetlife: And here I thought you never mentioned it because you found it too simple or insipid! I wore it constantly last spring and summer–there is something addictive and comforting about it. Though now that you have talked me into loving Goutal’s Neroli so much I find I miss the punch of the green leaves.

    So–three stars instead four because…? May 3, 2011 at 10:44am Reply

  • Victoria: 3 vs 4 took some thinking. In the end, in comparison to Neroli, I find Orange Blossom less nuanced. If I had a half star rating, I would give it 3 and 1/2 stars.

    Still, it is a very good orange blossom cologne. Way better than most others like Tom Ford and such.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile May 3, 2011 at 10:50am Reply

  • Hannah: I want an orange blossom fragrance that smells like orange blossom pastilles. I found one at TJ Maxx (I think) but I never make impulsive purchases so I didn’t buy it.

    My ideal world is always 60°F and misty, and I always wear Burberry Prorsum jackets and Rick Owens wedge boots. May 3, 2011 at 2:17pm Reply

  • Victoria: I love your ideal world! That’s the one I would not mind inhabiting in reality. 🙂

    You know, JM Orange Blossom is remarkably close to fleur d’orange pastilles. May 3, 2011 at 7:10pm Reply

  • vanessa: I own this and had quite forgotten it – I do agree that it lacks the soapy note in Neroli Portofino and is bright, but not brash. Must have a rummage tomorrow and dig this out! May 3, 2011 at 7:46pm Reply

  • Victoria: I love the bracing quality of Lime Basil and Mandarin as well as the tonic sharpness of Lime Blossom, yet Orange Blossom definitely is my favorite for a orange blossom cologne. I know that I will be wearing it a lot this summer. May 3, 2011 at 8:46pm Reply

  • Lavanya: I’ve enjoyed JM’s Orange blossom too- it is such a bright happy, yummy fragrance..I finished my bottle pretty quickly I think so it has been a while.. (I really liked layering it with Pomegranate Noir) May 4, 2011 at 1:47am Reply

  • Victoria: I just discovered it, and I'm glad to have another nice orange blossom in my collection. PN + Orange Blossom sound so good together.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile May 4, 2011 at 8:51am Reply

  • Sigrun: Hm, I’m thinking that the sample of JM Orange Blossom that I’ve got must be off. It sounds so nice when you describe it, but mine smells so awful on me 🙁 May 4, 2011 at 10:04am Reply

  • Sigrun: BTW, I just added your blog to my blogroll. I hope you’re ok with that. Tell me otherrwise! Cheers! May 4, 2011 at 10:07am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you! May 4, 2011 at 9:17pm Reply

  • Victoria: Hmm, maybe you should compare your bottle to the store tester. Of course, you might also be perceiving it differently. All of us smell the same thing in a slightly different manner. May 4, 2011 at 9:17pm Reply

  • Monica: I absolutely love this cologne! Not only does it smell wonderful but it actually makes me feel happy. I also love it because it is the only cologne that does not trigger a migraine attack, therefore the only one I wear. April 27, 2012 at 1:55am Reply

  • Meg: Have you tried Mermaid Perfume No. 1? I’d be interested to know how these two orange blossoms measure up. May 18, 2014 at 12:23pm Reply

    • Gayle Gorman: I use Mermaid Perfume and find it has a truly lovely orange blossom scent.
      The same Jo Malone fragrance smells harsher on me.
      An interesting note is that Mermaid has paired it with a light coconut fragrance which is evident in their body oil, shampoo, conditioner and hair shine. June 1, 2016 at 5:33pm Reply

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