Happy Friday!! Can you believe it’s April already?! I spent my afternoon at the newly renovated Dior flagship boutique at Ion in Singapore, which is our first ladies duplex store in Asia, and features commissioned art work from International Artists and 18th century interior design elements inspired by Versailles. Feel free to hop on over to my Instagram to check out the treats, and I will be showing my treasured loot in due course.
But for today, I wanted to chat with you about the new Jo Malone The Herb Garden Collection that was released in March. I took my time getting there because I felt like my vanity is overflowing with Jo Malones. But even with a rather cynical nose, I was transplanted into a whole different world once I started mixing and layering! And eventually I went home with 3 – Wild Strawberry & Parsley, Sorrel & Lemon Thyme, and Lavender & Coriander.
Jo Malone’s The Herb Garden Collection put an interesting twist things that felt to me was starting to go down a rather expected way. Instead of bringing out yet another sweet floral scent for Spring, Jo Malone took us on a muddy path down freshly budded spring gardens, where the key focus was not those blooms but the green aroma of fresh herbs. Notes like rocket, lemon thyme, geranium leaves, moss, parsley, coriander, sage, etc… seemed more appropriate in a kitchen than a fragrance shelf. Of course, in true Jo Malone style, these are interpreted in a contemporary and easily accessible way.
Here are the fragrance notes of the 5 colognes in this collection:
I had a good sniff at each of them at the counter, and my top pick was Wild Strawberry & Parsley, due in large part to Sara’s mouth-watering description here. It is perhaps one of the most interesting and complex Jo Malone fragrances I’ve tried in a long time. There is the juicy sweetness of strawberry mixed in with the fragrance of tomato leaves and even a little bitterness of crushed parsley and violet. Blackcurrant is a note that first lured me to Jo Malone, but takes a backseat in this one. On its own, Wild Strawberry & Parsley is one that feels fresh and unique enough to be a part of any good fragrance collection. Ultimately, what sealed the deal for me was its ability to layer perfectly with Wood Sage & Sea Salt [reviewed here]! Imagine how a good sprinkling of crushed salt does to bring out the flavours of a crunchy salad (or even a good piece of steak), that is exactly how this pairing felt to me. Wood Sage & Sea Salt adds some warmth to the fresh crispness of Wild Strawberry & Parsley, and feels like strolling in a forest on a cool morning.
And as I got carried away by the possibilities of layering, I took another whiff of Lavender & Coriander and decided I could not leave without it. Lavender is a fragrance note that I’ve been admiring for a long time, but just could never pull the trigger on Chanel’s Jersey. What ultimately made me decide on Lavender & Coriander is that this is not the quiet lavender that stays close to the skin like Jersey, nor is it deeply pungent to the point of spiciness like Diptyque’s Eau de Lavande [reviewed here]. Tonka bean gives Jo Malone’s rendition a nuttiness and aromatic quality that warms up the brew. There is a strong masculinity to this scent that makes it very appealing to me. But at the end, the magic happened when I layered it with Nectarine Blossom & Honey! The latter was something I picked up some time back purely for layering purpose… it wears beautifully with Blackberry & Bay [reviewed here] as well as Wood Sage & Sea Salt. You can start to see a pattern emerging. With Lavender & Coriander, the combination is alluring – feminine and pretty whilst retaining a strong inner core.
Since I was completely trigger happy by this point, I figured Sorrel & Lemon Thyme wouldn’t hurt in my collection! This is something that is completely not my typical scent – citrusy and tart in a way that almost resembled air fresheners in public washrooms. Not very appealing on its own. But once it settles, it the mossiness and herbaceous qualities start to emerge, and I didn’t mind it so much. It was recommended to go with Lavender & Coriander and I love love love it on my hubby! For me, I found it added a little something more to Wild Strawberry& Parsley, and it also perked up Wood Sage & Sea Salt and even Blackberry & Bay. It is one of those fragrance toppers (like English Pear & Freesia) that I keep on hand for days when I feel like adding a bit of freshness to any of my colognes.
As you can see, I went into a mad layering frenzy with the wonderful assortment of The Herb Garden Collection. But that is really the beauty of Jo Malone’s colognes, they offer the opportunity to create your own bespoke scent, the right scent for the right mood. Check these out if you still can!