My dear friend and loyal reader M., known around the blogosphere as Lady Jane Grey, was kind enough to share her account of her recent visit to the Jo Malone showroom in London. Let’s welcome M. and thank her for her first (and hopefully not last) guest post on Olfactoria’s Travels. Be sure to leave a comment to be in the generous draw!
By Lady Jane Grey
I’m a foodie and a fumie – and London is perfect for those two study objects of mine. Thankfully, this year I had to travel to London for work almost every month, so lots of research could be done…
The days are busy then: at 7.30, before starting work, I’m already sitting at the restaurant/bakery to experience food from a new cook – but then again, this is a fumie blog, so I’ll have to stop chatting about food …
My perfume story started back in 2006, and Jo Malone’s airy creations quickly became a staple in my young collection. For me Jo Malone is the queen of translucency in perfumery – her scents are like aquarelles, painted with the light and expert hands of a master. Her Grapefruit, Lime, Basil & Mandarin, and Amber & Lavender have accompanied my days every year from May until September. And there were Jo Malone candles around my apartment, and her bath products in my bathroom.
Although her company was acquired by Estee Lauder in 1999, she kept working with them until the end of 2006. After Jo left the company, my relationship with the brand started to cool down slowly, but perceptibly and for the past 2-3 years, I wasn’t that excited about the new releases by the house anymore (I didn’t even try them, to be honest).
But then, by the end of 2011, Jo Malone announced her return to the world of perfume under the name Jo Loves and in December the same year, I legged it to the Jo Loves booth, her pop-up store at Selfridges. I sniffed the candles and all four fragrances launched:
Gardenia – I’m not a white floral type of person, but should I marry again I’d wear this soft creamy scent.
Pomelo – I love the fruit and its tart and bitter sweetness – and that’s exactly what you find in the bottle. Delicious !
Orange Tulle – oranges and flowers in a bottle – very feminine.
Green Orange & Coriander – a fresh & clean & green perfume with a pretty fair lasting power for a citrus. This one I took home.
The booth disappeared from Selfridges after the Christmas Season, and I felt neglected and unloved by Jo: her website delivered fragrances only within the UK and there wasn’t a chance to get and try samples. Early summer this year three new perfumes were launched, but there was no change in her distribution politics.
During my last visit in London, sometime in late spring, I accidentally found her office (opposite Ormonde Jayne’s boutique in Chelsea), but there was no shop. How annoying!
Therefore I was tremendously happy when few weeks ago, I received the notification about the possibility to visit her new showroom by appointment. I asked for a date immediately – the communication was smooth and fast and so it happened that last Friday at 4pm, I rang the bell to the Jo Loves Showroom.
A stunning young lady came to welcome me and showed me around the premises. Apparently, it’s the office only – where Ms. Malone comes to work every day. What I could gather from Vierka, my charming guide, she seems to be a lovely boss too.
I was, of course, very curious about the new Mango series: Now, fruit notes are tricky, can easily turn out artificial, but if somebody can master them then it’s Ms.Malone.
There are three of them in the series (the perfumes are produced in Devon, West England):
Mango Nectar – the sweetest of the three, all honeyed juiciness to bite in (you know the feeling, when eating a really ripe mango, and the juices are dripping all over you?)
A Shot of Oud over Mango – I couldn’t imagine Oud with fruit, but it’s a mellow wood note, with just a tad of smoke. It’s Zen.
A Shot of Thai Lime over Mango – it unites everything I like about cologne: it’s tangy and sharp (just a little bit though) and fruity and sweet (and even my husband loves it, I simply had to buy it…)
I couldn’t resist to buy Pomelo as well, plus a candle.
The candles have three layers – the top is lemongrass, which smelled very relaxing to me. But I really started to swoon, when I got a whiff of lemongrass mixing with the middle layer of amber. Oh my, so nice …(the third layer is Tiaré flower).
The second candle contains layers of Frangipani, Wild Reseda and Tuberose.
I have some very good news for Jo Loves lovers: early next year the flagship store should be finally opened, I couldn’t get the exact address, but it will be in Chelsea. Well, Jo lives in Chelsea – it’s a nice enough place to live, love and work.
Further, the website will ship abroad soon. (I tried to persuade Vierka that a sample set would be a welcome addition for all fans as well…).
And I left the best news for last: PINK VETIVER! Yes, I was allowed to try the newest fragrance, which will be launched on October 1st. It’s a sparkling, peppery vetiver – with just a shadow of sweetness. And yes, I want it.
I offer a 5ml decant of each, Green Orange & Coriander, Pomelo and A Shot of Thai Lime over Mango, if you tell me in the comments what your favourite cologne-style perfume is, and why.
The giveaway is open to anyone worldwide, the winner will be determined by random.org. The prize will be mailed after October 8.