These are some of the Jo Malone reviews I promised in my perfume adventures post! Jo Malone was a brand founded by a woman named Jo Malone in 1994 who sold it to Estee Lauder back in 1999, and stayed chair and creative director until 2006. She has her own fragrance company that started in 2011 named Jo Loves and as far as I can tell as maintained the simplicity of the fragrances of her first brand, as the website graphics are very similar, as are the fonts used online and on the physical packaging.
Wild Fig & Cassis
Wet: almond, fig, coconut, some wood like a combination of pine and mahogany, cherry
Dry: that wood combination, fig, leaves, amber
I usually get a lot of “coconut!” exclamations when I spray this one for other people, which is always confusing to me because I smell more almond and fig than that round, fatty scent of coconut. I can see it sometimes, when I’m not smelling too hard, but it’s an astringent coconut, obviously cut with something; perhaps the cherry Fragrantica mentions? It might not be coconut to me, and I don’t know what cassis is supposed to smell like, it’s a very creamy and woody scent, quite warm and comforting. For the most part, I smell the components of a tart I like; fig on a combination of cheese leftover from yesterday’s fondue, with a little clover honey. And that fades off after a while, and I’m suddenly in the woods just thinking about food.
Earl Grey & Cucumber
Wet: bergamot, myrtle, tea, clotted cream
Dry: bergamot, floral, tea, cedar, vanilla, clotted cream, cucumber insides
Maybe it’s cheating if I already knew earl grey is made with bergamot, but that first breath was all juicy, spicy acidity tempered with sweetness, though the cream was present and promising. On the dry down, it’s still effervescently floral and bright, but the beeswax, vanilla and musk have made an appearance as a few tablespoons of cream. I’ve sprayed this for others and everyone so far has correctly guessed “earl grey” and no one at all has guessed “cucumber” and I felt like I was missing it as well for a while until I realized that I was looking for the stiff, outer skin of English cucumbers, when I should perhaps be looking for the watery innards. So I looked for it. I can’t say I definitely, absolutely figured it out, but I believe it’s there, masquerading as tea water. Which is weird now that I’ve found it, but it explains why I think this scent’s colder than Wild Fig & Cassis.
Now I know Jo Malone is known for the emphasis on layering and creating your own signature scents, which is partly why I gravitated towards these two for the first review. Wild Fig & Cassis warms up the Earl Grey & Cucumber when I put them together on my skin, while the acidic, floral, and aquatic notes cut through all the creaminess. It makes the earl grey seem a little more authentic, since the fig supports peppery notes that a tea drinker smells when they put their head in a jar of earl grey. The downside is that it is almost too sweet, and I lose the figs and the almonds to the assertive earl grey, and they stay in the background. As it dries, the woody cassis and the cedar notes start to turn to powder, which may be totally fine with some people, but I’m not a fan of powdery scents. Still, the scent is still juicy by the 3rd or 4th hour despite the wood making it a little dusty.