Creating a new fragrance can be hit or miss. And I have to say it's not very often I am bowled over by scent. There's a lot of same, same about when it comes to new fragrance. You know that feeling - you've smelt it before. Well, you probably have. There is a trend toward mass-appeal perfume - and who want's to smell like everyone else? So when I took my first whiff of the new Jo Malone London's, The Herb Garden collection - it was a pleasant surprise. The nose behind the range is Anne Flipo, who has a succession of best-sellers under her belt, including Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto Le Parfum, Lancôme's Tresor Midnight Rose and Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia. So why a herb garden for inspiration? "The Herb Garden was my first project with the brand and a completely new way of working. It was so creative and so free. During the first weeks of working together, the creative studio sent me a daily surprise, ranging from gardening and botanical books (some old and out of print) to seeds, which I would plant in my garden. It was a really immersive process, and the journey so far has been magical." Flipo believes Jo Malone London is a brand that is about taking pleasure in life’s small moments. "This could be as simple as being transported by a spritz of cologne or running a bath with fragrant oil. For me, this is what makes it so special."
The herbs selected, from an English garden in summer, include parsley, nasturtium, lemon thyme, clover, rocket, tomato leaves and fennel, which are blended with flowers, namely iris, lavender, and rose, and then a combination of smoky sandalwood and musk seal the deal. All that and you have the makings of some interesting cologne, unlike anything I've encountered.
Here's why these new colognes stand out from the crowd.
Sorrel & Lemon Thyme: The burst of lemon and orange gives it a scintillating energy. But once the white thyme, rosemary, geranium, and moss develop it takes on a spicy, smoldering aroma - this is my fave.
Wild Strawberry & Parsley: Does evokes the smells of summer, the first whiff is of wild, but sweet strawberry, with the tang of tomato leaves, and then the aromatic parsley kicks in - it's perhaps the most unusual of the collection.
Nasturtium & Clover: Nasturtium is refreshing and once influenced by the grassy scent of clover, and rocket, this fragrance has a pungent greenness to it. The dash of crisp citrus and warm woods make it last for hours.
Carrot Blossom & Fennel: The fresh homegrown appeal of fennel with crisp, sweet carrot, is astonishing, but when blended with fresh apricot peel, iris, and musk, it has a powdery charm.
Lavender & Coriander: The calming quality of lavender juxtaposed with the energy of coriander, and then the juniper, give it a cool, green, bitterness. This is the cologne in the collection that has a slightly masculine presence and another top choice for me.
All five 30ml Cologne cost $110. The Herb Garden hit's Jo Malone London Stores March 7.