Am I a great Jo Malone fan? No. Honestly, while I always loved the visuals of the brand, I used to look down on the perfumes from my undeserved, little Perfumista pedestal as cute, but uninspired. My, how arrogant can I be?
I fell for one Jo Malone scent before, and that was Sweet Milk, a part of the discontinued Tea Collection, but other than that, my experience with the line is limited.
I’m still of the (only a bit less snobbish) opinion, that not all perfumes in such an extensive range are great, and from the PR Jo Malone does, it is clear they are positioning themselves more as a lifestyle brand, something beauty editors love, but they don’t look at the niche Perfumista community as their part of the market. But that is just my feeling, I could be wrong of course.
I tried Blackberry and Bay more out of a sense of duty – I was there, the tester was there, a quick spritz and I moved on. I didn’t move very far though, because what was there on the back of my hand was intriguing enough, no, was lovely and enticing enough, for me to go back and purchase a 30ml bottle on the spot. I have not regretted it one bit.
Blackberry and Bay was created by Fabrice Pellegrin and includes notes of blackberry, grapefruit, bay leaf, blossoms, vetiver and cedar wood.
“Inspired by childhood memories of blackberry picking. A burst of deep, tart blackberry juice, blending with the freshness of just-gathered bay and brambly woods. A scent of innocence.”
-from the Jo Malone website
Blackberry and Bay is not the sickly sweet fruity concoction of berries and sugar, you might expect. It is a fresh, green and utterly enchanting perfume.
A sprightly blast of grapefruit starts the show, soon a dark-green coolness spreads, leafy and a bit twiggy, the fruit appear now: succulent blackberries, fresh from the bush, not yet entirely ripe, still more green than fruity-sweet.
Blackberry and Bay smells incredibly natural, not like a roomspray, but like sticking your nose right into a blackberry bush.
Despite being a happy and comforting fragrance, Blackberry and Bay has something darkish.
It’s late afternoon or early evening, nightfall is around the corner. You have been out in the woods for the entire day, you are happy, bone-tired and your skin has that distinct fresh smell of the outdoors. The light is slowly failing and the air is getting cool, the first shivers run down your spine and you start thinking about that sweater your Mom wanted you to take. But before you turn your back on the woods to go home, you deeply inhale for one last time.
Thanks to Jo Malone for bottling that last deep breath of a beautiful day.