Spring is right around the corner, and if it hadn’t decided to start snowing briefly on last week I probably would have declared that it had already arrived in my part of the world (granted it’s supposed to be up in the 20s next week…). As has been repeatedly demonstrated on this blog, I’m a bit of a fragrance collector and thus a new season set (Spring/Summer) clearly required a switch of scents. My love affair with Jo Malone fragrances in the summer is long-established, to the point where I carted a couple of her 30mL bottles around with me as a backpacked in Europe last spring (Lime Basil Mandarin and Verbenas of Provence). Thus, it was off to the lovely marble countertops and cream & black packaging of the Jo Malone counter at Holts for a little inspiration.
Dark Amber & Ginger Lily was my target, but once arriving at the counter I got a little sidetracked…by these pretty bottles…
Don’t lie, you would have gotten a little sidetracked as well. I was immediately intrigued and while I was waiting for some assistance I made the mistake of deciding to indulge my senses and see how they smelled. What a happy mistake it ended up being though, as they induced thoughts of bright crisp summer days in those gardens that look as though they should be on the cover of House & Home.
London Blooms is a limited edition release (in those lovely floral illustrated bottles) for Jo Malone, and is described on their website as “inspired by the British garden…where surprising juxtapositions rarely happen in the flower beds by chance.” The collection contains three 100mL fragrances: Peony & Moss, Iris & Lady Moore, and White Lilac & Rhubarb.
Serendipitous pairings would be another way to describe these, as they’re terribly pleasing and would match well with a variety of styles and scent preferences. They layer incredibly well with a great number of the other Jo Malone fragrances as well, while still being able to hold their own. The bright yet soft florals mean that they’re well positioned to mix with other fragrances or be worn on their own.
Peony & Moss is described as “contrasting the dainty and the dirty.” There’s a crispness in this fragrance that balances the soft femininity of the peony, and which means that it ends up with the kind mellow scent of laundry that’s been drying a sun and flower filled garden. It’s the one who’s name grabbed me the least, and yet the one that ended up wrapped up in a cream box with a black bow and now sits proudly on my dressing table. It layers brilliantly with Dark Amber & Ginger Lily, and makes a great early spring blend with my Fredric Malle Portrait of a Lady.
Iris & Lady Moore receives the description of “powdery and poised.” The mix of iris and geranium means that you get a very true floral scent, with a spicy-fresh undertone that keeps it from coming across as dated or sickening. It’s sophisticated, classic, and delicate, yet packs a touch of punch that somehow conjures up the image of a corporate interior designer – a great eye for elegance but who knows how to communicate with the men.
White Lilac & Rhubarb is the most interesting and surprising of the bunch. The blend of rhubarb, lilac, rose, and heliotrope is described as a “daring juxtaposition”. This is a great option for those who appreciate florals, but want them to pose more of a question mark in the mix than the dominant tone. I would have assumed that the Rhubarb would have lent a more crisp note to the perfume; however, the mix of florals makes it surprisingly subdued.
Jo Malone fragrances wear very well on the skin, retaining many of their notes from initial application through to the dry-down. A spritz on the wrists, and one at the neckline or in the hair keeps the fragrance lingering right through from a 9am application to the depths of mid-afternoon (read: 3-4pm) before a re-application would need to be considered, and realistically that would be about the time you’d be looking for a refresher anyhow. They key with these is that they are colognes and based on a combination of essential oils, which means that they are true to scent and brilliantly realistic.
If you’re in the market to indulge in a liquid bouquet, Jo Malone can be found in Canada at Holt Renfrew, and at a number of retailers in the US, and also online through the Jo Malone website. The London Blooms Collection retails at $125 Canadian for 100mL.