Jo Malone, why did you leave your company just when it started getting awesome??
Jo Malone has always been a very British brand, which is to say that the earlier fragrances were understated, staid, and perhaps a bit unexciting. You knew what to expect from a Jo Malone: demure florals or lightweight citruses. In the six years since its founder left, however, Jo Malone has become significantly more diverse. We’ve had perfumista favorite Dark Amber and Ginger Lily, the unexpectedly rootbeer-esque Vanilla & Anise, the delectable Rose Water & Vanilla, the blockbuster Tea Collection, and now Blackberry & Bay.
I’ll get right to the point: it’s great. Better than I could have hoped. I loathe fruity fragrances, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be buying a bottle of this. Blackberry & Bay opens with the deliciously savory combination of bay leaves and grapefruit. There’s a lot of grapefruit in here, and it does an perfect job of keeping the (very realistic) blackberry note tart rather than overly sweet. The cedar base note isn’t particularly exciting, but like most Jo Malones, Blackberry & Bay is rather faint by the time it reaches the drydown anyway. The lasting power is frankly bad (one hour at best), which is why I’ve deducted one Harajuku Lover from the rating. However, Blackberry & Bay isn’t as light as most of the other Jo Malones.
Fruity perfumes are too often the olfactory equivalent of Ryan Lochte: awfully pretty, but not much brainpower. Blackberry & Bay manages to be both mouthwatering and terribly sophisticated. I’m seriously thrilled with it, and I suspect that you will be too.
I don’t write all that many enthusiastic posts, so I thought that this one might call for a disclaimer. As usual, I acquired my sample of this fragrance by harassing a Nordstrom salesperson. No samples or full bottles of this fragrance were provided to me for consideration by the company.