Summer is gone, but if you like me, are still nursing lingering thoughts of those carefree mid-year months, then you may like to have something to remember them by. Up until now, I have not been a big fan of Jo Malone scents, mostly because I find their colognes too light and lacking in personality. I like my fragrances the same way I like my wines, big bodied, bold, unique. While I can’t pretend Wood Sage & Sea Salt is big bodied and bold, it sure is unique. And just before winter sets in and holiday spices permeate the air, I am feeling the need for a cleaner palette, something lighter and crisper.
Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt is inspired by the English coast, salty sea air, breezy clifftops and mossy driftwood. It has a certain crisp freshness from ambrette seed, but the signature saltiness permeates with sage, notes which are truly unique to me. Wood Sage & Sea Salt is also special because it is master perfumer Christine Nagel’s (nose behind Peony & Blush Suede, Earl Grey & Cucumber, etc) farewell gift to Jo Malone fans, she is now with Hermès.
I have never been to an English coast, but I remember driving up to Half Moon Bay on weekends during the summer Jazz festival, and for my company’s annual conference. Once in a blue moon when it strikes my fancy, I’ll drive up too for some oysters! It is a mere 30 minutes’ drive from San Francisco airport, and as you go up, the air gets noticeably crisper and fresher. Finally after all the twists and turns, you emerge at the end of the road, at the very peak of Half Moon Bay (yes it is up on the hills!), and are welcomed by a dramatic view of the Pacific Ocean crashing upon the bay below.
Wood Sage & Sea Salt is a refined type of scent. It lacks the fishy and tangy scents that one would normally associate with the sea breeze. Instead, the crisp saltiness and woody notes is a little preppy, good for a round of golf on the famed Half Moon Bay golf course, or brunch-on-the-lawn at the Ritz.
There is also something it reminds me of… lots of clean, fresh books! It transposes me to my university law library (voted world’s top 10 best libraries here) or even my favorite stand-alone double-storied Barnes & Noble store in San Francisco. It is an experience that I had thought I’d never ever see (or smell) again, until Wood Sage & Sea Salt appeared. And this is the hallmark of a great fragrance – it evokes memories and brings you places.
Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt works well on both men and women, and can be further enhanced via its Fragrance Combining approach. Lime Basil & Mandarin is recommended to enhance the woody notes for men, and Nectarine Blossom & Honey is suggested for ladies. I have been wearing it layered with Earl Grey & Cucumber and Blackberry & Bay, both combine beautifully. The only problem I have, is the lack of longevity. This scent fades quickly, and is completely gone within 4 hours. The sillage is decent, but this is a soft discreet scent on the whole and does not leave a lingering presence.