Jo Malone Whisky and Cedarwood

Pack it up, organized religion! Jo Malone just handed us definitive proof of reincarnation. Glory, glory, hallelujah!

The Arquiste for J. Crew saga is one of the great tragedies of our perfume times. In 2014, Arquiste created two excellent fragrances as a special collection for J. Crew. There appear to have been some major packaging issues (I bought a rollerball only to find that half of the perfume had already leaked out), and the line was rapidly, unjustly clearanced and dropped. My favorite of the duo was No. 57, a sultry whiskey fragrance with more spice than sweetness.

Three years later, Jo Malone taps Yann Vasnier, the dashing longtime Arquiste nose, for their new Bloomsbury collection. Yann must have missed No. 57 as much as I did, because lo and behold, his cinnamon-flecked hot toddy of a perfume has been reborn as Jo Malone Whisky and Cedarwood! As a whole, this is actually one of Jo Malone’s most solid collections in quite a while. (Yaaaay! We’re rooting for you, you crazy kids!) The hyper-realistic Blue Hyacinth is definitely not to be missed. But Whisky and Cedarwood is the one that I feel most compelled to wear myself.

The Bloomsbury collection is limited edition, so Whisky and Cedarwood is actually only the briefest of respites from fragrance oblivion (dang, that just got dark). If you were sorry to see No. 57 go the first time around, Whisky and Cedarwood offers a second chance at a lost love. (Although I have to say I much preferred the elegant Arquiste for J. Crew packaging to Jo’s tissue paper stained glass art project vibe. I’m also not 100% sure why “whiskey” needed to be misspelled. It’s always something with you, Jo Malone.)

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. I sampled Jo Malone Whisky and Cedarwood at my local Nordstrom. 

Jo Malone Nashi Blossom

Oh no, Jo-Jo Ma. (That might be one of my best perfume puns, right up there with “Gindiana Jones And The Raiders of the Lost Ark”.) Underneath those adorable polka dots lurks one of the most outrageously mediocre, paper-thin shampoo florals I’ve ever had the misfortune of spraying. The official notes are lemon, Asian pear, rose, and apple, but the overall effect is diluted Lemon Pledge crossed with one of the fruitier drug store shampoos. There are (quite a few!) body sprays at Bath & Body Works with more complexity. Shame on everyone who was involved in the creation of this cynical dreck. Dishonor on you! Dishonor on your cow!


Jo Malone The Herb Garden

I’ve been counting down the days until The Herb Garden finally sprouted up. (See what I did there, guys? Don’t make me make a “green thumb” pun.) It’s the first collection from Jo Malone’s new in-house perfumer, Anne Flipo, the woman behind icons like L’Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse Aux Papillons and Alexander McQueen MyQueen. The last Jo Malone to really impress me was Blackberry & Bay back in 2012, so I can’t wait to watch Flipo work her magic.

With one exception, the five scents in The Herb Garden are a lot more ambitious than the last few Jo Malone collections (Rock The Ages, London Rain, Sugar & Spice). Unfortunately, they’re still plagued by that notoriously dismal Jo Malone lasting power. As always, the limited-edition bottles are deeply cute.

Nasturtium & Clover 

Notes: Rocket, lemon, clover, nasturtium, jasmine, vetiver

My favorite of the five, even though I’m still not sure what “nasturtium” is. (Turns out it’s watercress! Was “Watercress & Clover” not glamorous enough?) N&C is a leafy, vegetal green fragrance with quite a bit of depth. Immediately reminded me of a much less sweet L’Artisan Parfumeur Mimosa Pour Moi.

Wild Strawberry & Parsley

Notes: Strawberry, Blackcurrant, Tomato Leaves, Parsley, Violet

Probably the most conceptually interesting scent in the collection. WS & P is an aquatic fruity fragrance, a tricky balancing act between the sweetness of the berry notes and the tartness of tomato leaf. A little too sweet by the end, but it mostly works. Not distinguishably strawberry.

Carrot Blossom & Fennel

Notes: Carrot, Rose, Orange Blossom, Iris

An odd duck. Rooty iris, sweet, syrup-y orange blossom, and a touch of spice. I was hoping for a lot more carrot, like L’Artisan’s Fleur de Carotte, but I do have to give CB & F credit for being the only one of the five scents to last more than half an hour on my skin.

Sorrel & Lemon Thyme

 Notes: Lemon, Bigarde, Petitgrain, Sorrel, Lemon Thyme, Rosemary, Geranium, Moss

The weakest link of the five. This thin, tart lemon scent smells much closer to a citrus cleaning product than an actual citrus fruit.

Lavender & Coriander

Notes: Lavender, Coriander, Sage, Tonka bean

Barbershop lavender, dry and sweet. Nicer than Jo’s other lavender, Amber & Lavender, but nothing groundbreaking.

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. All samples were generously provided by the wonderful Katri, the most helpful and knowledgable sales associate at Bloomingdales Tysons Corner. 

Jo Malone Mimosa and Cardamom

Jo Malone Mimosa & Cardamom is the Jo Malone-iest fragrance to ever Jo Malone. It’s the epitome of the current Jo Malone style: light, straightforward scents with truly comical lasting power. Mimosa & Cardamom is an airy, clean mimosa fragrance. It’s pretty much a mimosa soliflore; I detect zero cardamom, or any other note, really. Despite its irresistible delicate sweetness, mimosa (also known as acacia) is somewhat uncommon in perfume compositions. So I’m happy to report that Mimosa & Cardamom is unmistakably mimosa, and a very pretty one, if not particularly ambitious. Compared to the gold standard mimosa, L’Artisan Mimosa Pour Moi, M&C is fresher and less sweet.

My one issue is the lasting power, which seems to get worse with every new Jo Malone release. I got twenty literal minutes out of Mimosa & Cardamom. I understand that no one wants to be caught wearing a “strong” perfume these days, but there’s a difference between “light” and “need to reapply every half an hour”, and Mimosa & Cardamom is on the wroooong side of that divide.

Dailies 08/18/2014

photo (15)

Daily Fragrance: Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt. Doesn’t smell like sage or sea salt. The most prominent note is actually the ambrette seed, making this a very pleasant, gently sweet skin scent. Very much in the Jo Malone tradition of Kate Middleton-y fragrances: pretty, if a bit unexciting. Try Chanel No. 18 for a real ambrette fragrance.

Daily Nail: Jin Soon Heirloom. I went full-on Gollum when I saw this polish. Yes, Precious… The color reminds me of those blue butterflies with wings like jewels. Some chipping after three days.

Daily Tea: Trader Joe’s Mint Melange Tea. The spearmint dominates. It’s not my beloved Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Green Tea, but it’ll have to do until the holidays come back around.

Please feel free to share your own Dailies with us in the comments!

Disclaimer: This post does not contain affiliate links. All products listed in this post are my own purchases. Jo Malone sample was received at Saks Fifth Avenue upon request.