Tag Archives: Pomelo

Jo Loves…The Summing Up and The Verdict

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I enjoyed getting to know the eight fragrances in this new collection from Jo Malone (the woman, not the brand). They are distinctive in that the number of notes in these fragrances is minimal. Some only have one. It’s about simplicity  It’s about balance. The range is varied enough to avoid being a mainstream crowd pleaser, but has enough genres to keep people interested.

Despite having reviewed 74 fragrances so far, there are actually very few full bottles on my dressing table.  Many are samples, or borrowed, and some are my own beloveds.  I cannot see myself buying a full sized (100ml) bottle of any of the Jo Loves range, but I might consider a 30ml bottle of Pomelo or Mango Nectar.  Pomelo because although I’m sure it’s been done before, I was rather charmed by Grapefruit and Suede together.  Mango Nectar I might buy just for fun on a sunny day.  It’s not a serious perfume, I doubt you could wear it to a board meeting, (Oh go on, why not?”) but sometimes a single note done exceptionally well can have a place in any perfume wardrobe. I would also consider the Gardenia in the same way. It’s a bit like having a well cut pair of trousers in your wardrobe, plain and essential, but once you accessorise and wear them with other things, they can work much better.

It’s not clear what future Jo has in mind for these products, but a sample set would eliminate any criticism of “inaccessibility”. Currently a website and showroom by appointment is all there is.  Fans will be hoping for a franchise, I am sure. There’s the exclusivity of niche, and there is cold shouldering eager customers. It’s a fine line.

Jo Loves…Green Orange and Coriander

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This is more like it. I love the smell of fresh Coriander leaves and they are certainly discernible Jo Loves Green Orange and Coriander. It’s blatantly unisex and would smell good on either male or female. It’s a clean bathroom-y sort of smell like expensive candles or high end citrussy bath oils in a five star hotel. Again, like all fragrance in the Jo Loves range, this is quite linear. Unlike a moody, changeable Serge Lutens, for example, what you apply at breakfast is what you still smell of at lunch. Inexplicably, my first thought after spraying was of Imperial Leather soap, but then the Coriander and Orange burst in at the same time, in equal measure. To my delight, the Orange is sharp and juicy, rather than sweet and sherbety. There is a bit of Oakmoss in there to make it slightly earthy, even masculine. It’s has definite zing, but is somewhat grounded nicely by the Oakmoss. All in all, it’s good and stays good. Longevity is very impressive: around seven hours for two sprays. (I still say I can smell a faint whiff of Imperial leather though, but don’t tell anyone, it might just be me).

This is my second favourite Jo Loves fragrance after Pomelo.

Jo Loves… Gardenia: Lonely Without its Other Half

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 This is a beautiful, white, fresh Gardenia that goes on and stays on a long, long time. It’s clean, almost bridal in its purity and as a White Flower note, it’s hard to beat. I was, however, looking for its sister Tuberose. The two are so often seen together that it’s odd seeing one of them alone. No matter, I’ve always secretly preferred Gardenia when faced with the two. It’s nice to see her on her own without her slightly cloying sister.

 I would say this is a very good, unchanging fragrance of a single note. It is a Gardenia linear soliflore. It doesn’t change, but sometimes you want that in a perfume. This is not my favourite Jo Loves, my heart belongs to changeable Pomelo, and I have smelt Gardenia before so many times that I feel, as beautiful and pretty as this is, I’ve been here before.  If you want to smell of Gardenias all day long without having to top up, this is for you.

Jo Loves…Pomelo

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Launched in 2011, Pomelo was the first fragrance in the Jo Loves range and was voted 2012 Beauty Hero by British Beauty Blogger. I have been wearing it for two days now and I can say that Pomelo took me by surprise.  Who would have thought that a Grapefruit like citrus would go so well with Suede Leather base notes? But somehow it works beautifully: both sharp and smooth, spiky yet velvety. And on the question of longevity, this stuff just won’t quit.

The Pomelo is similar to a grapefruit with a much thicker white rind. The top note is citrussy to the point of being astringent, which I love in a fragrance. The top notes of Pomelo soar for a good while on their own until they are finally brought back down to earth by the velvetiness of the Suede notes which kick in for a long comfortable Second Act . A bit of Vetiver and noticeable Patchouli chimes in to keep things interesting along the way. By the time this has settled in for the day, you have a beautiful clean smelling, almost Linen type smell, with a shout of Citrus and a background of masculine Vetiver. It’s very smooth, and the Suede, to my nose, has the most dominant note in the base. This is velvety smooth with enough prickle from the Patchouli and Vetiver to stop it ever being a Plain Jane citrus.

Out of the range of eight Jo Loves fragrances, this is the best. It’s citrus and sharp, then velvet and smooth. It keeps you guessing and improves as the day goes on. Smelling equally good on a male or a female, this is worth adding to your scent wardrobe. If I had to buy only one Jo Loves fragrance, it would be this. A big bottle.

Jo Loves…I Love Jo Loves Me Love

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Jo Loves… is Jo Malone in her new incarnation. Jo Malone the person left Jo Malone the brand in capable hands in 2006, and has gone it alone once again. So much for retirement! Fragrance has a strong pull and it wasn’t long before Jo found herself creating fragrance again.

 Like the beginning of so many good stories, it all began in a bar in New York…

From crushed Mangoes and Limes, Jo’s mind got working as cocktails were created and fruits crushed before her eyes (and nose). Fruit into fruit created new blends and intoxicating aromas, even before they added the vodka.

 Jo Malone the brand is often referred to as perfume for people who don’t like perfume, and many Jo Malone fragrances are based on those found in nature. Now that Jo has “gone rogue” it would seem that she has gone back to nature again, this time with fruits: fresh, citrussy, zingy fruits in many incarnations from Cocktails and Lime zest to suave, crisp Pomelo with its suede-y richness and Rosy base. But it doesn’t stop there. There is also Pink Vetiver, A Shot of Oud Over Mango,  Gardenia and Orange Tulle. Jo Loves…is exactly that: notes and fragrances that Jo is passionate about.  It is very refreshing to see a line of fragrance that is not governed by focus groups and mass markets, but geared to the taste and passion of an individual. . And the kind of creative freedom that can only be coveted.

If Niche means exclusive suppliers (in this case a website and a showroom is all) and a limited line, then this is New British Niche, and as you would expect, it’s very good. Quality is high and is reflected in the price. Good ingredients are worth paying for. The Mango scent that Jo Loves has captured is so mouthwateringly realistic that it induced a genuine craving in me for ripe mangoes.

Since the range is not cheap if you’re buying blind, it would be great if Jo Loves sold a sample or starter kit, since bottles start at £45. The website sells a collection of four 30ml scents for £120 ( see photo above). That’s a lot to spend on a blind buy. You can take my word for it, and read reviews and blogs, but until you try a scent on your own skin you cannot know if it will suit you. You can only make an educated guess. A sample kit would solve this problem, and having tried some samples myself, I can happily predict that samples kits will lead to full bottle purchases. This week I will be reviewing some of the fragrances in more detail.

I am currently wearing Mango Nectar and the temptation to lick my own wrist is almost overwhelming.

It’s only nine months to Christmas, never too soon to start a (very long) wish list…Jo Loves could be the UK’s answer to Frederic Malle and Andy Tauer.

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