September 15th, 2017
I have been hanging onto the last vestiges of summer, the carefree and sunny vibes of days gone by. But a new season is in the air, and we are well on our way to the final months of the year. Given all the waves of destruction recently tearing through various parts of the world, it feels rather pretentious to call it the eye of the storm… but year ends are always a rushed affair and there is no better time than now to pause and focus on ourselves. Even if I can’t physically transport myself into quiet solitude, I can at least find a moment of peace with Jo Malone’s English Oak Collection.
For its latest pair of fragrances, Jo Malone has created a magical place within the English countryside, nestled deep in the forest amongst fall foliage and lush moss carpet, to the heart of the majestic oak. The unique roasted oak absolute central in the duo has been specially designed to be cleaner than the ubiquitous cedar or sandalwood, with a slight sharp woodiness tampered by a soft sweetness. There is also a bit of smokiness that came from roasting the oak chips over low heat, just enough to give the impression of mystery, without any of the heaviness.
I first picked up Jo Malone English Oak & Redcurrant and instantly fell in love. It opens with a tart and juicy burst of redcurrant combined with pink peppercorn that awakens the senses to the beautiful heart of rose and amber. At first whiff, I thought there was a lot of similarity with my beloved Blackberry and Bay [reviewed here], but once the fragrance settles, English Oak & Redcurrant is clearly its own persona. It is much lighter and airier, the base of roasted oak absolute comes through a few minutes into the opening and feels crisp and sweet against my skin.
Jo Malone English Oak & Hazelnut surprised me as I had expected a certain creamy nuttiness, but instead it opens with a crisp green freshness. Vetiver further brings the greenness into focus, and cedar adds a spicy woodiness to the brew. The dry roasted oak absolute grows more prominent about 15 minutes in, allowing us to fully appreciate this new accord. English Oak & Hazelnut is the more “masculine” of the pair, though still lighthearted enough to be easily enjoyed by ladies and gents equally.
Both Jo Malone English Oak & Redcurrant and English Oak & Hazelnut have good sillage at the opening, but start softening after about an hour and then stays fairly close to the skin for a good 8 hours thereafter. I have enjoyed wearing them individually and in combination over the past couple of weeks and can’t get enough of them. Both are available in 30ml and 100ml colognes; and English Oak & Redcurrant is also available as Body & Hand Wash, Body Creme and Candle.
This post featured products that were generously provided for my consideration. Regardless, all opinions expressed here are my own honest, unbiased views.