Jo Malone: Her Story
As the founder of two fragrance brands, Jo Malone has been immutably associated with perfume for a couple of decades. So it’s not surprising that the print editions of her autobiography — “Jo Malone: My Story,” to be published in Britain this week by Simon & Schuster, with an American release due next month — have a fragrant twist: A page near the front is treated with Pomelo, a crisp, citrus-based scent from her Jo Loves collection, which will waft softly upward to the reader.
The book recounts her life through a business lens, from helping her father sell paintings at a market stall at age 8 to the founding of the Jo Malone brand and, recently, Jo Loves. She also talks about difficult times, such as being estranged from her mother and overcoming breast cancer, topics she refers to with an unflustered air.
“What I want this book to be about is the reinvention of yourself, that nothing is wasted in our life, that every single thing that happens in our life can come out for the good to build you,” Ms. Malone said by telephone from her office in the Chelsea neighborhood of London. “I really want this story to resonate and to be for people to say, ‘I can build my business.”’
The business Ms. Malone is best known for — Jo Malone London — is now owned by Estée Lauder. She sold it to the global giant for an undisclosed amount in , staying on as creative director until In , she introduced Jo Loves.
“The relationship I have with fragrance is rather like one that you have with your best friend,” said Ms. Malone, “When you don’t see your best friend for a while, you really miss them. And those five years of not creating fragrance was one of the most miserable times of my life. I just didn’t know who I was. Deciding to come back and do it again was my only option.”
Like Jo Malone London, Jo Loves includes perfumes and ancillary products like scented candles and aromatic body moisturizers. But the two brands wouldn’t be mistaken for one another: The original line now includes 32 fragrances and is widely available worldwide, while Jo Loves sells 12 eaux de toilette scents and other items in limited distribution.
They do, however, share some distinguishing traits: sleek and simple bottles with unisex appeal; deliberately direct fragrance names (such as, in the case of Jo Loves, Fresh Sweet Peas and Smoked Plum & Leather, the collection’s newest offering); and scents that are straightforward but often unexpected, with a quirky combination of notes that might not seem, on first whiff, obviously perfumey.
“The similarity is that they both have the same mother,” Ms. Malone said. “They both have that person that wants to push boundaries and say, ‘I know it’s always been like that, but what if. …?’ I live a life of, What if?”
Her venture is growing. In July, Net-a-Porter began carrying a concise selection of Jo Loves items; last month, the airline Emirates added the Pomelo scent to its in-flight duty-free selection. The brand also has a boutique on Elizabeth Street in the Belgravia section of London, where neighbors include an outpost of the Parisian bakery Poilâne and a shop showcasing statement hats by Philip Treacy. Ms. Malone lives nearby with her husband, Gary Willcox, with whom she owns the company, and their son, Josh,
Many industry figures credit Ms. Malone’s first brand with helping to pave the way for other niche fragrances and their eventual sale to bigger businesses. For example, Estée Lauder now also owns Le Labo, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle and By Kilian, and L’Oréal acquired Atelier Cologne this year. Manzanita Capital, a private equity group in London, has invested in Byredo and Diptyque.
“She was one of the pioneers of what I think of as the braggart indie set, for the woman who didn’t want to smell like any other woman in the room,” said Jane Larkworthy, executive beauty director of W magazine. “You didn’t smell anything cloying; you just smelled clean and curious, and the curious part is that you were like, What is that?”
Unlike many other perfumers, Ms. Malone had no formal training. While working as a facialist in London, she developed a scented lotion and body oil to give to her most loyal clients; the fragrance became Nutmeg & Ginger, the first Jo Malone scent.
“That whole homegrown, homespun thing is really what created her empire,” said Elizabeth Musmanno, president of the American division of the Fragrance Foundation, a perfume industry organization. “She was naïve and open-minded and flexible like a true creative could be. If you aren’t taught so much, you’re just allowed to work differently.”
While her name is highly recognizable to perfume lovers, Ms. Malone seems to be, at her core, not all that different from the scrappy little girl who helped bring in customers to her father’s outdoor booth on cold British mornings.
“She’s so down to earth,” said Sophie Bottwood, the senior merchandiser for beauty and grooming at Net-a-Porter. “She speaks so passionately about her brand that you almost forget her history — that she’s Jo Malone — because she is so involved in what she’s doing.”
6 BEST FRAGRANCES FROM JO MALONE
Jo Malone has long been notorious for its fragrances and colognes. If you’re curious, the experts from Jo Malone on Siam Discovery’s G floor will tell you that Jo Malone’s clear-bottled colognes can be divided into 5 scents: Citrus, Fruity, Light Floral, Floral, Spicy, and Woody. But if you want to try the top 6 scents, let’s start with these 6 fragrances from Jo Malone.
1. English Pear & Freesia
This is one of the first fragrances from Jo Malone and it is one of the reasons why many ladies around the world started using Jo Malone products. This fragrance reminds you of the autumn season. Imagine some fresh pears being encompassed in a bouquet of white freesias. Allow your heart to relax with the scent of amber, patchouli and wood. It’s both smooth and refreshing.
2. Wild Bluebell
A floral fragrance that sees Jo Malone combines the bluebell flower with various scents, resulting in a freshness that exudes liveliness and fun. The Wild Bluebell is composed of betel rods, lilies of the valley, jasmine, and rosehips.
3. Peony & Blush Suede
The top note is inspired by taking a bite from a juicy, red apple, giving you a hint of refreshment. Blend that refreshing sensation with the playful scents of roses and honey. Then add the fragrant scent of peonies and the smooth smell of suede, adding more life to the peonies.
4. Wood Sage & Sea Salt
This is a refreshing fragrance that is sure to remind you of the ocean’s waves. The sea salt gives off a hint of the rocks and minerals that you’ll find on the cliffs of the English coast. The top note is made from ambrette seeds followed by sea salt and sage, giving off a woody and earthy tone.
5. Nectarine Blossom & Honey
This is perhaps Jo Malone’s most popular fragrance. It is the top choice for many people because of the succulent feel provided by the scent fresh nectarine, peach, and cassis that complement the sweetness of acacia honey. Upon closing your eyes, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of a Convent Garden on a London morning.
6. Lime Basil & Mandarin
This one is a manifesto of fruits including mandarin oranges and limes, fragrant and sour. It adds another dimension of fragrance with the warmth of pink pepper while also emphasizing on a female empowerment style with basil and amberwood. The wooden scent of amberwood mixes well with betel rods and cinnamon.
Jo Malone is charming with its experimentation in mixing new scents in its own way. Their experts tell us to mix fruity scents with floral scents (e.g. spraying English Pear & Freesia together with Peony & Blush Suede in order to get a completely new dimension of fragrance).
If you want to try other fragrances or become an owner of a Jo Malone cologne, you can come get a ml bottle for 5, THB and a 30ml bottle for 2, THB at Siam Discovery’s G floor.
Which Jo Malone London scent is best for me?
Quintessentially British and one of the most iconic fragrance brand’s in the world, Jo Malone London products are the epitome of luxury. What began with a collection of discerningly simple scents has now developed into an extensive range of fragrances from elegant floral perfumes to mysterious, spicy scents.
We have gathered together a collection of our favourite Jo Malone London scents, from best-sellers to new additions to the line, to help you find the perfect Jo Malone London fragrance for you.
You can also layer the fragrances to create your own bespoke scent and tailor it your mood, occasion or location.
What are the best Jo Malone Scents?
- Pomegranate Noir
- Wood Sage & Sea Salt
- Peony & Blush Suede
- Wild Bluebell
- Honeysuckle & Davana
- Red Roses
- Lime Basil & Mandarin
- Basil & Neroli
- English Pear & Freesia
- Nectarine Blossom & Honey
The fragrance families
Aromatic, earthy and mysterious, Jo Malone London woody fragrances are rich and timeless.
Truly captivating, Jo Malone London's iconic Pomegranate Noir scent is made up of a blend of exotic Pomegranate and Pink Pepper on a smoky base of Guaiacwood and Frankincense. Deep and mysterious, the scent demands attention and is beautiful both on the skin and around the home.
- Top note: Pomegranate
- Heart note: Casablanca Lily
- Base note: Guaiacwood
Wood Sage & Sea Salt
Like a breath of fresh sea air, Wood Sage & Sea Salt perfectly captures the mineral scent and woody notes of the coast. Uplifting, refreshing and spirited, the scent blends the texture of Sea Salt with the aromatic and earthy tones of Sage to create a truly beautiful day-time fragrance.
- Top note: Ambrette Seeds
- Heart note: Sea Salt
- Base note: Sage
Elegant and feminine, rich floral fragrances both captivate and intoxicate.
Peony & Blush Suede
Capturing the scent of exquisite Peonies in bloom, Peony & Blush Suede is perfect for those who love luxurious, feminine fragrances. Complete with notes of juicy Red Apple and opulent Jasmine, the sumptuous scent is truly beautiful and seductive.
- Top note: Red Apple
- Heart note: Peony
- Base note: Suede
Delicately sweet and vibrant, Wild Bluebell is truly mesmerising and the perfect light floral fragrance for everyday wear. Enhanced with subtle White Musk, the simple yet captivating scent is not one to overlook. Fresh and perfect for summer, it also layers beautifully with other fragrances.
- Top note: Bluebell
- Heart note: Persimmon
- Base note: White Musk
Honeysuckle & Davana
Evoking the sense of winding through the English countryside, Honeysuckle & Davana is floral, warm and nostalgic. With a mossy base, the floral scent becomes even more alluring at night and can take you seamlessly from sunny days to romantic nights.
- Top note: Davana
- Heart note: Honeysuckle
- Base note: Moss
Perfectly capturing the essence of modern romance, Red Roses is utterly indulgent. Inspired by a divine blend of seven of most exquisite roses in the world, the feminine scent is perfect for every single occasion. With touches of Violet Leaf and Lemon, the fragrance unfolds like a fresh bouquet.
- Top note: Lemon
- Heart note: Red Rose Accord
- Base note: Honeycomb
Refreshing and energising, citrus scents are perfect for everyday wear and instantly uplift your mood.
Lime Basil & Mandarin
Jo Malone London's signature fragrance. Fresh, zesty and instantly uplifting, the classic scent blends sharp Lime with aromatic Thyme to create a modern yet classic perfume. Perfect for every day wear, the scent evokes the sense and aroma of a hot summer’s day.
- Top note: Mandarin
- Heart note: Basil
- Base note: Amberwood
Basil & Neroli
Fun, playful and full of adventure, just like the city that inspired the scent, Basil & Neroli captures the essence of London, the birth place of the brand. Decadently floral with a hint of Basil to add a touch of freshness, the sparkling, delectable scent is perfect for Spring but smells beautiful all year round.
- Top note: Basil
- Heart note: Neroli
- Base note: White Musk
Enticing and sumptuous, fruity fragrances take you beautifully from day to night and are truly tantalising.
English Pear & Freesia
Warm and radiant, English Pear & Freesia brings together the rich scents of Autumn. With warm notes of Amber and Patchouli which create a decadent base, the fragrance is finished with just-ripe pear to add a touch of freshness to this much-loved scent.
- Top note: King William Pear
- Heart note: Freesia
- Base note: Patchouli
Nectarine Blossom & Honey
Sweet and sparkling, the swirl of succulent Nectarine and Peach makes Nectarine Blossom & Honey a truly delectable scent. Inspired by London’s Covent Garden early morning market, fresh fruits and delicate florals blend into rich Acacia Honey.
- Top note: Cassis
- Heart note: Acacia Honey
- Base note: Peach
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