Ideally, I’d be writing this with a few rays of sunshine gently warming my skin, a radiant blue sky with just a whisp of cloud and a backdrop of vibrant, tall poppies swaying in a green field. As it is, I’m making do with a gloomy grey day in South East London. But now you know where this new and limited collection from Jo Malone is heading – and has to potential to take you, in your imagination at least.
Firstly, the bottles are so tactile – rougher on the bottom third than the top two which I’m assuming is a physical representation of the earthiness of this collection. It’s very Farrow & Ball in a sense, a brand that Jo Malone has collaborated with before, with its paired back, neutral toned presentation. The two that I have are Primrose & Rye and Poppy & Barley, but the others are Oat & Cornflower, Honey & Crocus and Green Wheat & Meadowsweet.
It’s an odd thing – using cereals and grains as fragrance notes: they add a rather universally ‘warm’ feel to the florals that accompany them, but in honesty, I still wouldn’t be able to pick out barley over wheat in perfume! I can detect the grain in Primrose & Rye far better than in Poppy & Barley but, having been brought up in the countryside, I’m no stranger to grain silos and the best I can liken these notes to is hay. It’s a general warm and rich hay-like tone topped with fresh and flowery notes. Primrose is deeper and more comforting, while Poppy is light and more sparkling. Also, if you’ve ever had a heated wheat bag for aches, it’s a bit of that smell as well.
Overall, the collection has caught transitory moments of the British countryside in a tiny fragrant time capsule and I think you’ll find some interesting moments of recognition. The last isn’t amazing on these – I don’t mind in the least because part of the pleasure of a perfume is in the spraying and if you need to top up once or twice, that’s an extension of the joy. I’m still side-eyeing Jo Malone and their interpretations of Britain and England in particular because I am sure as I can be that they’re tilting towards the Japanese/Chinese market and their perceptions of our country. If it was all about being ‘really’ British and country, there would be a cow pat note in there somewhere ;-).
They’re £47 each, launching next month and I expect they’ll do really well. I find them charming and wearable and a beautiful spring moment caught in a bottle.
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