Dirt Water (Perfume Thoughts: Fig & Lotus Flower, Jo Malone)

Where are you going, Jo Malone? I was just testing their other new release, ‘Grapevine and Cypress,’ and was commenting how commercial and generic it smelled. And now I am testing ‘Fig & Lotus Flower’ and am similarly puzzled.

First of all, it smells a little bit away from their aesthetic. Yes, it’s kind of a floral, but the lotus flower is so muddled, and in an aquatic way – it smells like dirty water. Look, I like – even love – scents that smell dirty, but here the effect is just unpleasant.

And if you were looking for a fig scent, you won’t find the green sappy kind here. You get a milky kind of fig, and it kind of just sits there. So if you analyze both big notes – they are both uninteresting for me. Worst of all, the dry down is your basic Jo Malone generic woodsy mix – I mean, they can’t even commit to their original idea. This is the closest thing to a scrubber for me in a long time.

Viney (Scent Thoughts: Cypress and Grapevine, Jo Malone)

I wear perfume heavily so I have always gravitated to Jo Malone’s Cologne Intense Line – I have always thought the line to. be more ‘adventurous’ than their regular one. So I was excited to hear of it’s latest release, ‘Cypress and Grapevine.’

What a disappointment. The scent is your basic fresh woodsy masculine-leaning cologne that would be welcome only at the men’s department store section. One sniff from it and it conures images fo Dior Sauvage or Versace Dylan Blue,

Jo Malone in the beginning was the niche of all niche brands. I think this is one of their worst releases. It is not a bad scent – I can see what went into it quality wise, but it just feels so unimaginative, and so basic. And with perfume, that is the worst thing, in my opinion.

Heavy Heavy (Perfume Thoughts: Vetiver and Golden Vanilla, Jo Malone)

375x500.58393I tend to really like the Intense Colognes of Jo Malone so I tied the new release from that line, ‘Vetiver and Golden Vanilla.’  My initial spritz showed promise – it was a cold blast of very dry and inky vetiver and it was heady. I thought it would be a great winter scent, and that gave me pause because I really don’t need any more winter scents.  As the scent wore on, I actually found it too heavy – the vanilla started to give me a headache. There’s a little bit of cardamom here, but it dragged the scent even heavier, and I just wish something rounded the perfume to a lighter place. This became too much after a certain point, and now all I could do is want to scrub it off.

The Rose Knows (Perfume Thoughts: Rose and Magnolia, Jo Malone)

375x500.57381I have been meaning to try the new Holiday release from Joe Malone: ‘Rose & Magnolia.’ I have always been a rose scent lover so the idea of pairing it with magnolia is making my mouth (and nose) water. So of course, I dragged my feet sampling it until when I did, at the Jo Malone store, I found out that they have already sold out of it. ‘But it has only been two weeks,” I said to the Sales Associate, as I stare at the still-crisp cardboard replica of the bottle on the window. ‘It just went by so quickly,,’ he said, adding ‘I don’t know if we will get it back…we may.’

And then I hyperventilated. I wanted it before, and because of this, I want it now. I rushed to Nordstrom next door, and was glad to see that at the very least, they had a tester. And yes, they still had two bottles in stock. So I spritzed, and waited for magic to happen.

And then it didn’t. The opening is very peppery. And I was looking for the rose, but on my skin, I get a dose of magnolia. But this magnolia did not smell good at all – it felt very synthetic – airy and flat. That note stayed int he heart of the scent, and I was waiting for the rose to finally appear, and when it did, about twenty minutes in, I have to say that it was nice – creamy and petal-y – but I had lost interest in the scent by then. I do have to say that the drydown of that rose is sweet, and the longevity was great for a Jo Malone. But all in all, it was a little on the ordinary side. Trust me, I tried hard in my head to justify buying it, and older version of me would have grabbed it right away. But getting this felt hollow to me and when my friend said ‘You don’t need it,’ after sniffing my wrist, I just had to concede and agree.


A Barley Bouquet (Perfume Thoughts: Poppy & Barley, Jo Malone)

375x500.56152Jo Malone’s new release ‘Poppy & Barley,’ sounded familiar. And sure enough, it is a from an earlier limited edition collection (English Fields) I thought that maybe I had it already, but I don’t – it’s from the collection that came out when I was in the middle of my ‘big move,’ so I had a lot in my mind then and couldn’t pay attention.

Apparently poppies do not have a smell, so Mathilde Bijaoui, who signed this, created an accord of ‘green notes and red roses’ to express the colors of the flower. My first impression is that this is very unlike the aesthetic of the brand. It smells like perfume – a little on the potent and heavy side compared to the mostly light Jo Malone offerings. It is richly floral – the rose is there and well blended with some violets. There are some figs and black currants that makes it slightly juicy and tart but it’s all well blended – they do not stand out unless you look for them. As I mentioned earlier, there is some heft to this scent, and that’s part of the reason why I like it. It smells like a perfume with a capital P.  It has some personality and I bet it blends well with Southern California weather.

A Citrus Refresh (Beauty Thoughts: Jo Malone Lime Basil Mandarin Shower Gel)

31sLtQcoY7LI now have this fascination with shower gels. And I like them all – high and low. Someone gifted me a Jo Malone shower gel a while back and I just got. around to using it – it’s the Lime, Basil, and Mandarin scent, and it is absolutely gorgeous. The consistency of the gel is just right  – it’s not too thin – and the scent is faint and light, but lingering. In warmer weather days like right now, it the citrus feels just right, cooling you in the most luxurious way. I have the scent, of course, and layered with this, gives you a fuller experience. I love the lifestyle!

Flower In Your Patchouli (Perfume Thoughts: Lubin and Patchouli, Jo Malone)

375x500.53543Jo Malone’s ‘Lupin and Patchouli’ is part of their Wild Flower and Weeds Collection. I had to look up what a lupin flower looks like.  It’s those violet ferny looking things that a lot of people use more in an ornamental way. I didn’t realize it had a scent, or are Yann Vasnier and Louise Turner just using it also ‘ornamentally’ in here?

What I do smell is a floral bouquet in the first spritz, a rose, peony and mandarin orange blend. And then the patchouli comes in – but a refined kind, not the granola hippie kind (this is Jo Malone after all)  It all comes down nice and smooth, and admittedly well blended, but for me, a bit on the boring side. I keep on looking for a there here, and then I wonder why. If you’re in search for a nice pleasant floral patchouli, this could fit the bill, but it won’t be any more. (Sillage and production is good, on the office friendly side)

Here Comes The Sun (Perfume Thoughts: Frangipani, Jo Malone)

10266254_fpxI have been attracted to the collor yellow for Spring and just my luck, Jo Malone has released a new scent in a yellow bottle. From the Blossom collection comes Frangipani, and of course I just had to sniff (and wear) it instantly. The scent’s heart is the frangipani flower, but it also has notes of jasmine and ylang ylang. So it’s basically a white flower bouquet.

I’ve been wearing it, and it is definitely a summer scent. The perfume smells like flowers that have been out in the sun for a bit – it has a creaminess that is kind of tropical and a little bit suntan lotion ( a good vibe in my book) and there is a note they call ‘solar’ that evokes warmth. It is hard to describe but once you smell it you will definitely get it. Even though it is still lightly cooler, the scent works well but I would imagine this would be particularly nice on a hot summer day.

Into The Wilderness (Perfume Thoughts: Nettle and Wild Achillea, Jo Malone)

jmI love all of Jo Malone’s limited-edition collections, so whenever they launch them, I pay attention. The latest one is called the ‘Wild Flower and Weeds’ collection and is inspired by the unruly weeds and wildly-wonderful plants and flowers that line the banks of a winding river. (Nice copy)

I initially gravitated towards ‘Nettle and Wild Achillea,’ because I was just watching Armie Hammer give anecdotal stories about when they were shooting ‘Call Me By Your Name’ and he said when they filmed the mountain scenes their legs were all bloodied by nettle plants. Yes, I know this is a very random analogy, but… Anyway, I like the initial blast of this – it’s very green and peppery, always a nice combination for me. It’s denser than most green scents, and white musk weights it The finish is very powdery, and I would even describe it as very Chanel like aldehydes. I complained that the initial blast was very alcohol-y, but the nice drydown is very appealing, and very un-Jo Malone. And just look at the beautiful bottle!

It’s In The Bean (Perfume Thoughts: Myrrh & Tonka, Jo Malone)

375x500.42027Century City Mall is near my house and right by the entrance I use is the Jo Malone store,  so the brand is always in my consciousness.  In all honesty, I think the brand is too popular for a perfume snob like myself, but at times I cannot help it – they sure do bring out crowd-pleasing perfume, and even I am not immune. Over the Holidays, they brought our ‘Myrrh and Tonka’  as part of their Cologne Intense collection. They are always very generous with me sample-wise (they are not idiots) and I have test-run the scent a couple of times.

I like it – it’s on the heavier side if you compare it to other Jo Malone releases, so it’s right up my alley. The myrrh in the beginning is mixed with lavender so it’s a smoky spicy sweet mixture. Then the scent gives way to some almond and vanilla and tonka bean. The vanilla is not the gourmand kind – it’s dry and resinous, and the tonka bean provides just the right amount of sweetness here. It’s pretty cloying and perfect for sweet weather, and I would imagine it might give people headaches if worn during warmer temperatures.  I don’t know if I would rush to get this, and if I did get it, I would probably be fine with a 50 ml bottle of it. It’s like a ‘friendlier’ version of Tobaco Vanille, and definitely skews more masculine.