I don't wear perfume and years of being bombarded with fragrance ads and new perfumes being launched seemingly every hour has made me indifferent, even slightly repulsed by the perfume department of any store. But yesterday, my nose died and went to heaven, thanks a to visit to Jo Malone.
My friend and I were looking for a birthday gift (this never ends) for a good friend who enjoys such sensory pleasures, and I remembered a visit I paid to Jo Malone in London years ago, before Jo Malone was bought over by some conglomerate (Estee Lauder) and started opening shops all over the world. I remember it being a soothing and luxurious experience, and also, I was 100% won over by their packaging: beautiful cream boxes of a satisfying weight with an inky black trim and ribbons; clean, serene, rectangular glass bottles. I think the reason why we decided to go there was because we figured the gift would at least look exquisite.
I didn't realise how badly in need of an awakening my nose was to fragrances, until I sprayed a bit of their Vintage Gardenia (I love the smell of gardenias) on my wrist at the shop yesterday and I think from then on the shop assistant could have talked me into anything. I don't like fragrances and I think of them as something rather harsh and artificial on my nose, but this was incredibly rich and subtle at the same time, somehow enveloping you into the scent without seeming like too much, and it smelt incredibly unique. I suddenly understood the concept of a signature scent. It's like draping on a cashmere scarf, or slipping into a favourite dress - something falls into place. Even after we left the shop, the scent wore beautifully on my body for the rest of day, without breaking down into something unpleasant, as perfumes sometimes do after some time.
In the end we bought English Pear and Freesias, their newest fragrance, for my friend - delicious, sensual, somewhat warm and playful.
What we were especially entranced by were their Fragrance Chronicles, which are box sets of a bottle of one of their fragrances, accompanied by smaller vials of the individual scents that make up the fragrance - I love the idea of playing around with my own blends. Unfortunately, it wasn't available for English Pears and Freesias.
We left dreaming of our next visit.
Pictures from jo malone