Jo 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.
Jo 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)
I 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.
I 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!
Century 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.
Jo Loves ‘Orange Tulle’ is exactly what its title sounds like: a gauzy, tarty citrus fragrance that is realistic, and quite lovely. It’s by Jo Malone under her latter label Jo Loves. And it’s very Jo Malone – floral and light and effervescent. You do feel like you are smelling orange blossoms as you walk by an English garden in the early morning, as there is a dewy quality to the scent. I walk every morning to work and it mirrors the ‘experience’ of a lot of the flower patches that I travel by in my neighborhood. There’s sicilian mandarin, and neroli, and of course, orange blossom here, and there’s the sweet, the sour, the slightly bitter in the composition. It reminds me of summer mornings, and now that it has gotten chillier, it’s a good reminder. This is one of those perfumes I sometimes forget about. I have to pull it out to use it. In a stroke of luck, this small bottle is one of the ones that have ‘come out’ from my collection from my move. The sillage is romantic – you have to pull close to me to really get the scent, but I bet I oversprayed and people can smell it on me now. I also bet I get compliments.
When I first tried Jo Malone ‘Honeysuckle and Davana,’ I couldn’t decide if I really liked it. I was at Bloomingdale’s walking on my way to lunch and spritzed it, and almost forgot about it. Then I started to sniff my arms where I sprayed and I thought it was quite mossy. I guess I was expecting a sweet honeysickle flower. The weird thing is that we went to a Jo Malone stand alone store after lunch and I sprayed again, and this one felt more flowery, as if blooming on a summer day. I asked, could he department store version be different? (‘Of course not,’ she says) Maybe I just missed the top notes earlier – which smells like a flower out in the sun, faded by the glare. It’s a bit like shampoo accord, for sure, but its brightness was unmistakable. And then the green – the mossy notes come in, and it adds that bitterness that I was talking about earlier. And then I am instantly reminded of a fragrance I have known since childhood: Cacharel’s Anasis Anais, with its floral/green/mossy combination. Suddenly, I started to love this scent more. I asked for a proper sample and now I am trying it for a day and I already feel like it should belong in my wardrobe. It’s very un-Jo Malone like, too – it is not light and airy, and this has tenacious strength. A small bottle may be in order.