Jo Loves…The Mango Collection: Barman, Make Mine a Double


Jo Loves…A Shot of Oud Over Mango

Oud, otherwise known as Agarwood, is usually synthetically made these days, but was originally made from the Aquillaria tree, specifically, the sought after “infected” areas into which the tree has secreted protective black resin. It is a scent prized by Arabs as well as the Chinese, and is a rich, high resinous scent.

Frankly, I loathe it. As an asthmatic perfume obsessive (you don’t get many of those to the pound), I will wade through most things, but Oud and strong Vetiver repel me and make me wheeze. This is of course subjective, since Oud is going nowhere. It’s a mainstay of the fragrance industry and will be for a long time to come.  I’ll just have to put up with it.

 Jo Loves..A Shot of Oud Over Mango is exactly that. The Mango is juicy and mouthwatering and there is a shot of Oud over it. It doesn’t have to be a big shot, but I couldn’t help noticing that this little basenote of Oud has been voted the most prominent overall note in this fragrance by Fragrantica reviewers. It overwhelms everything else, including me dear reader, who had to be brought round with smelling salts. There’s no gentle way of popping just a “hint” of Oud in anything, it will always dominate, like a noisy drunken dinner guest.

The mango is good, Jo Loves does that very well, with all its juiciness captured brilliantly, but then the Oud barges in and takes over. What you have is Oud with some Mango.

What can I say? It does what it says in the tin. For Oud fans only. And there are a lot of you! Don’t take my word for it. It took my breath away.

 Jo Loves…Mango Nectar

The only fruit I like in fragrances are Citruses. I like fresh hesperides or a bitter blast of Orange. If I wanted to smell like a Mango, I would go to the Body Shop and buy some Body Butter.

However, Jo Loves…Mango Nectar has, frankly, turned  all that on its head. This is such a juicy, technicolour mango fragrance that it made my mouth water. It made me thirst for a Mango smoothie and some crushed ice, for that is exactly what it smells like.  Incredibly, it does not smell synthetic. It smells like a  barman standing next to you who has crushed a mango into a cocktail. Which is a rather twee segue into explaining how the idea came about. Jo Malone  was in a bar in New York ( the Four Seasons, if you’re planning a trip to the Big Mango, sorry Apple), when the aromas of the cocktails being merged and crushed and mixed reminded her of how a fragrance was put together.

Two years later: Mango Nectar and the Mango Collection was launched. Among the whole Mango range, of which there are three, I rate this one most of all. It’s pure, unmoving, and tenacious in its longevity. It’s a happy scent that makes you think of cold cocktails on a hot day. You can’t be wistful or sad wearing this. If you’re going to be wistful and sad, go and wear Apres L’Ondee.

 Jo Loves…A Shot of Thai Lime Over Mango

I don’t know about a Shot of Lime, more like a Lime Orchard with a rogue Mango in it. The Lime is very strong, but being a fan of Citrus and of any kind of remotely Green note, I was all over this, nostrils a-flare. I was trying to like it and frankly, struggling, so I tried it on my husband.   I often try fragrance on his arm since I frequently find that a scent I dislike on me, makes a lot more sense on him, and is sometimes much better. However, this time his immediate reaction was “expensive washing up liquid”.

Now crude as that may sound, it is very important to listen to people’s immediate reactions on smelling a scent. Often they are unguarded, honest remarks that come out before the wearer has time to edit it. Often the spontaneous reaction is a truth.  He had a point, it does indeed smell like expensive washing up liquid. At first. As with fragrances, trains and a good sale, it’s often worth waiting a while.

Sadly, the Morning Fresh metaphor could not be shaken and to my nose, the Lime invaded the beautiful Mango Grove until it was almost gone. A random memory of my grandmother’s kitchen popped into my head until it dawned on me that what I was smelling was Thyme. It is apparent to me that Thyme and Lime only go well together in limericks.

I think out of the Jo Loves  Mango Collection, Mango Nectar is the best, and my favourite, followed by A Shot of Oud over Mango, not my favourite, but really good Woodiness, and lastly, A Shot of Thai Lime Over Mango, trailing in third place. If this were a salad, and it certainly sounds like one, then I would order this again, but I would say “waiter, not so much lime juice, this time please, I want to taste the rest of the damned thing”.

And that, my friends is what I think of the Jo loves… Mango Collection.

4 thoughts on “Jo Loves…The Mango Collection: Barman, Make Mine a Double”

  1. Oooooh! I am a fellow mango hater, I have to be honest. I turned away from Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil because of the mango, so I didn’t expect any of these to make me excited. BUT you might just have persuaded me. I’ll have to try that Mango and Oud and the Mango Nectar, which I imagine would be fab on a hot summer’s day or on a tropical holiday. I don’t know if I could picture myself wearing something like that on a cold and frosty morning – what do you think?

    1. It’s definitely not for winter. I agree with your misgivings. For example, I don’t like smelling of anything you can eat (apart from citrus fruit), but this is kind of a happy experiment for me. I’ve got samples of all for you to try.

  2. Dearest Iscent

    Now I do like a bid of oud when properly handled (I agree it can be allowed to ride roughshod over everything else which is no fun at all), but, as I’ve expressed before I lack courage when it comes to strong fruit scent.

    That said, your honeyed – or should that be nectared – words have got me interested and yes I will give these a go.

    The only other drawback I have found with Jo Malone in the past is what draws other people (it is famously after all ‘perfume for people who hate perfume’) namely that the scents are actually too simple, lack structure and compositional flair leaving me feeling I would have done as well with a pleasant body butter in fact.

    Did you feel that these fragrances lived up to the name of perfume or are they simply high end body care sort of smells?

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Dear Mr Dandy,

      Your input and thoughts are very much welcomed. I think you make a very interesting point. These are simple fragrances and sometimes that can work and sometimes it can look complacent. I think Jo Loves is actually hit and miss. The Lime/Mango concoction was indeed a disappointment and a one trick pony. I agree that it may have worked better as a body product rather than a high end scent (£95 a bottle). However, Pomelo is a marvel and has wandered away from the one or two scent wonders.

      Personally, I like perfumes that smell of lots of different notes and keep changing. The Jo Loves collection is largely linear, apart from Pomelo. I am reviewing the remainder of the collection today, so do tune in later. You will be warmly welcomed.

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