March 19, 2016
Jo Malone Herb Garden Ad Campaign courtesy of Jo Malone London
Imagine a beautiful garden teeming with bursting herbs and flowers – what better way to celebrate the end of winter? And in perfumery, herbal tones are exactly the bridge from our inner world to the outer one, which is just now unearthing itself from the cold.
Jo Malone London Wild Strawberry & Parsley, Sorrel & Lemon Thyme, Carrot & Fennel Seed, Nasturtium & Clover, Lavender & Coriander (photo courtesy of Jo Malone London)
Jo Malone London captures this transitional moment from cold, sheer winter into a green and gorgeous Spring season with their recent limited edition quintet of garden-based releases, entitled the Herb Garden collection. (Wild Strawberry & Parsley, Sorrel & Lemon Thyme, Carrot & Fennel Seed, Nasturtium & Clover, Lavender & Coriander)
Photo Jo Malone London
I chose Wild Strawberry & Parsley for this review, partly because of the fabulous copy on the Jo Malone site, "Wild Strawberry – Because of their bright red colour and heart shape, the strawberry was a symbol of Venus, the goddess of love. Parsley – This herb was said to flourish in a garden where a strong woman reside"
The opening is a heady, earthy rush of black currant, tomato leaf and flat-leaf parsley. This initial hit lasts for a few seconds, and then the scent settles down into more of a distinctly herbal feel, with the strawberry coming along further into the heart notes. The strawberry here is not a full, ripe one – it’s a young, and still white at the top fruit that folds itself into the background. The focus is firmly on the herbal side here, but the balance between the fruitiness and herbal notes keeps an engaging conversation going. The hallmark of the Jo Malone line – a delicate clarity and contrast between the major notes of the blend – is on full display.
Jo Malone London's Céline Roux and Anne Flipo Photo Jo Malone London
Perfumer Anne Flipo, the nose behind these new scents, puts it this way: “I completely identify with their natural, clear scents that are beautiful in their simplicity…I wanted these fragrances to be sophisticated in their simplicity, which is something intrinsic to the signature of Jo Malone. I used many high quality ingredients and I wanted to give those ingredients an opportunity to shine with absolute clarity.”
Jo Malone Wild Strawberry & Parsley Photo Jo Malone London
The bottle design echoes this simplicity and clarity – each release has a forest green tint to the glass, with the labels featuring outlines of the herbs included in each scent.
On my skin, Wild Strawberry & Parsley lasts for about two or three hours, but my skin is always on the drier side, so others may have better longevity with these scents. But the good news here is that you can go big with the application and not worry about blowing someone’s doors off with thunderous sillage. Jo Malone’s line is after all, cologne, so feel free to splurge on your skin. All in all, Wild Strawberry & Parsley shows that Jo Malone can handle switching gears from a bright citrus-based line into a new realm of savory, herbal tones without losing focus on what makes their offerings so enjoyable and engaging to wear.
Jo Malone Ad Campaign Photo courtesy of Jo Malone
And now that Spring has sprung, these five perfumes are perfectly timed as well. I enjoyed Wild Strawberry & Parsley a great deal, and now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go check my basil plants in their new home on the windowsill.
Notes: tomato leaf, black currant, green notes and parsley, wild strawberry, violet leaf and basil, oakmoss and white musk.
Disclosure: this perfume is from my personal collection, 30 ml is $70 and available at Bloomingdales.com and Nordstroms.com. Since they are limited, don't wait too long!!!
Pam Barr, Senior Contributor