Jo Malone: 9 posts

Jo Malone Mimosa and Cardamom : Perfume Review

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Sometimes you don’t need a grand opera perfume to satisfy your cravings. A simple composition will do. Such is my latest discovery, Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom. It makes me think fondly of the early days of the house when Jo Malone offered simple, unaffected but clever compositions like Lime Blossom & Basil and before the marketing teams and accountants took over. Mimosa & Cardamom has a bright, cheerful personality, and it, refreshingly, smells like the brand didn’t skimp on the formula price. It’s a floral cologne with a spicy twist and lots of quirky charm.

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The promise of mimosa and cardamom is duly fulfilled. The mimosa smells of blanched almonds and cucumber peels, with a characteristic hint of violet, while the cardamom is lemony, metallic and cooling. Both notes are clear and bright. Mimosa is a powdery ingredient, but thanks to a generous dose of spice, cardamom augmented with pepper and citrus, it feels radiant and airy. Its unconventional character also makes flowers acceptable even to the most classically minded men.

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Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt : Fragrance Review

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Patricia on the Boston Harborwalk, Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt and tide.

The Boston Harborwalk is a 47-mile continuous public walkway from Chelsea to the Neponset River along the Boston waterfront. Currently 80% completed, it is a treasure for locals and visitors alike, and I never tire of strolling along a small portion of it, watching the boat traffic and inhaling the briny, mineral scents that are part of a busy working harbor. The tides, too, influence the degree of intensity of salt and vegetation in the air. During high tide, saltiness predominates, and the breeze is fresher and cleaner smelling. Low tide, however, uncovers the rocky bottom, exposes wood pilings and seaweed, and adds an interesting vegetal and animalic muskiness to the air.

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Wood Sage & Sea Salt, a cologne created by Christine Nagel for Jo Malone, falls within the cleaner range and is what I would call a high-tide fragrance. It opens with a refreshing blast of grapefruit and ambrette, which as it is an unusual combination of top notes, sadly doesn’t last long enough to suit me. The overall effect is one of freshness from the citrus and depth from the plant-based musk tones in the ambrette seed. Soon, the sea salt and sage come into play, and they, too, are clean and polished and not likely to offend. This stage lasts for a few hours, not changing in essential character but gradually fading to a pleasant skin scent.

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Jo Malone Rain and Angelica : Perfume Review

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The smell of sun-dried linens is one of those scents that invariably make me feel like all is well in the world. At the root of it is a childhood recollection of my grandmother’s linens (the memory conveniently blots out the less romantic realities of doing laundry by hand in a house with no running water). The aroma of starched fabric heated in the sun is so comforting that I look to the perfume bottle to satisfy this craving. An unexpected addition to my “sun and summer” fragrances has become Jo Malone Rain and Angelica, a recent debut from the brand specializing in simple, easy-to-wear scents.

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There is no reason to expect that something called Rain and Angelica (an unsubtle nod to Frédéric Malle ‘s rain drenched angelicas, Angéliques Sous la Pluie) would smell of sun warmed sheets or even anything summery. When I checked the list of notes well after trying and wearing the perfume for several days, I was surprised to find little resemblance between the cold, aquatic elements on paper and the warm, soft perfume on my skin.

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Jo Malone Tuberose Angelica : Perfume Review

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Jo Malone’s image of casual elegance and minimalism have given the brand an edge over other perfume houses vying for over-the-top glamour and in your face luxury. The bottles are simple, the beige packaging has a retro charm, and the collection is presented in such a way as to remove the intimidation factor. You’re encouraged to layer, blend and mix to your heart’s content. The perfumes are usually based around single note ideas like rose, grapefruit, bluebell, or in combinations that are either trendy (oud) or reassuringly comforting (pear & freesia, tea & bergamot.) The only aspect of Jo Malone that’s not understated is the price.

tuberose angelica

Over the past few years, Jo Malone’s retail prices have been on the rise. It mirrors the general trend in the luxury market, but I was nevertheless taken aback when I returned to repurchase a bottle of Orange Blossom cologne. At $115 for a 100ml bottle, it’s no longer an affordable indulgence; this kind of expense needs to be planned in advance. If I wanted to treat myself to the latest launch, Tuberose Angelica, I’d have to spend even more for the same amount, $145.

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Jo Malone Blackberry & Bay : Perfume Review

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The latest Jo Malone fragrance—Blackberry & Bay—is categorized by the maker as “fruity,” but on my skin it’s far more interesting than that.  Blackberry & Bay fully succeeds in conjuring a fantasy English countryside and more precisely a rambling walk down a country lane, with healthy flush to the cheeks and solid walking shoes for skirting muddy patches. Somewhere along this dream excursion there is naturally a hedgerow from which appear fat black berries, their juice tart and edging on sour, their leaves green and sharp.  Just when I found a hole in my fragrance wardrobe, just when I lamented finding a fragrance that would uncannily recreate a specific holiday sensation, up pops this beauty from Jo Malone.

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I will confess that I don’t pay all that much attention to the Jo Malone line.  While I love the Red Roses bath oil, I often find the colognes to have standout notes that don’t do much for me, whether that be the smell of stables in Pomegranate Noir or the strong citronella (mosquito candle) in the aforementioned Red Roses.  I wondered if Blackberry & Bay would not be a sweet and musky thing but hearty and possibly “masculine” thanks to a dose of bay leaves.

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  • Karen A in Cherry Blossom Haiku: Mine too! They are such wonderful shrubs/small trees. Yes, except the Burkwoodi is a pale pink, but the others are all native to this region. April 27, 2017 at 4:04pm

  • ana in Recommend Me a Perfume April 2017: Oh, thank you, the vetivers sound very, very good — I’m going to have to find myself a better-paying job soon! 🙂 April 27, 2017 at 4:00pm

  • Aurora in Cherry Blossom Haiku: I enjoyed this mix of poetry and humour, Victoria, and well done on the gardening, but take good care of your back! Lilacs across the street are in bloom, purple… April 27, 2017 at 3:03pm

  • Maria in Three Ultimate Iris Perfumes: It really is a nice iris!! I also like the Absolue and Iris-cedre versions, but the on and off effect is better done,for me, in the original Infusion d’iris 🙂 April 27, 2017 at 1:27pm

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