Jo Malone London Moves into Literature

Like everyone i am a massive Jo Malone London fan. Their products are truly some of my favourites and i always take great interest when they launch a new product and especially a limited edition collection. Jo Malone London are a brand know for more adventurous scents and also for quality but this doesn't mean they are a high street staple. Outside of London it has always been quite tricky to find a store or counter meaning the exclusivity of the brand has remained intact.

The brand has been around since 1994 and started with a cult following but as the years have gone on more people have found out about it. I started using it back in 2014 and i have loved it ever since with my collection growing rapidly. This time of year always heralds new launches within Jo Malone London, usually a collection of 5x 30ml fragrances all based around one very British concept. This year the collection is called the Bloomsbury Set and the scents have been created around the eponymous group of artist that mainly existed around the start of the 20th Century.



As an English graduate this collection immediately called to me as i love the idea that a fragrance could match my love of literature. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Bloomsbury Group; it was a group of writers, artists, philosophers and general intellects who contributed a vast amount of art and movement within the early 1900, people such as Virginia Woolf, her husband Leonard Woolf, E. M. Forester and many more. They denied being part of a group however they were very insular with many of them marrying each other, as well as working together. They created work which was radical for the time and that many publishers would not put out which lead Leonard and Virginia to launching Hogarth Press. which published some of the periods most significant work. Some of Virginia Woolf's more classic work such as At the Lighthouse and A Room of One's Own was published by them with contributions also coming from T. S Eliot and Katherine Mansfield. They covered topics like politics, sexuality, feminism and mental health, a lot of these subjects being problems that many of them faced throughout their lives. When i was at University i studied all of these authors under the term Modernism which admittedly wasn't my favourite module however it was an incredible important time for literature and one of the most confusing in my personal opinion.


Jo Malone London have chosen not to go too deep with the back story of Modernism and what it stood for but have focused more on the setting in which the Bloomsbury Set created their work. The group had two places that they mainly resided, most of them had houses on Gordon Square in London and later a few of them had country homes in Sussex. These settings are really what the fragrances are based on. Now that the the history of the collection has been covered lets move onto the good stuff, the scents.


There are five different scents which all have a different influence from a house where literature would be created. I selected my favourite which was Garden Lilies probably because it was the most floral out of them all. The description for Garden Lilies is 'The scent of dawn at the lily pond.' When you smell the fragrance you can really smell each ingredient, it is definitely a very floral scent however it is very light and has a freshness which could almost be citrus but moves into slightly deeper notes when the vanilla comes out a little bit more. I'm not sure what all the notes are for this fragrance but it really stood out to me when i smelt the collection.The timing for this release is perfect because it is exactly the sort of fragrance i wear during the Spring time. Also it pairs beautifully with my favourite, Peony and Blush Suede the two combine together so well, the Peony softens the Lilies and builds the scent into more of a bouquet whist developing a soft depth with the combination of vanilla and suede.


The other scents are more of what i expected from a range about literature. When i first heard about this collection i knew their had to be a fragrance with Leather in it as books used to be leather bound. So i was not the least bit surprised to see Leather and Artemisia which was actually my second favourite out of all of the scents and was a lot softer than i thought it was going to be but still maintains a deep richness to it. The same goes for Tobacco and Mandarin which once again surprised me and i liked it more than i thought i would. Just the name gives you imagines of a writer sat in a chair reading with a cigarette or a pipe sticking out of their mouth.

The next two really weren't for me, Blue Hyacinth is very earthy and has a lot of green notes which is not something i usually like. It contains Geranium which was popular in fragrance during the early 1900's but gives the strong green note. The final scent is Whisky and Cederwood which is very masculine and i can imagine it smelling very nice on a good looking writer. It is a very rich scent and it does give you a picture of a struggling writer who might be using a little bit of Whisky to ease their writers block who naturally has a slightly more woody musk. But maybe that is just my imagination running wild.

Some of the previous collections from past years
At £46 for 30ml these are never going to be the cheapest scents and i warn you do not fall in love with any of them because Jo Malone limited editions sell out super quick and it takes a long time for them to return if they ever come back. If you are a Jo Malone London fan it is worth going in to have a look at this collection however if you are new to the brand i would say this is potentially a collection you could miss. To me, unfortunately, there is nothing truly amazing, i love Garden Lilies but if it hadn't been a limited edition i might not have picked it up. However i love the concept behind this launch and i think Jo Malone London do such a good job of conjuring up completely new ideas within a very saturated market.


At the same time as buying Garden Lilies i did also picked up another English Pear and Fressia 30ml as recently i have been loving this with an old classic called Saffron which was tragically discontinued a few years ago. When i wear the two of them together i always get compliments and the combination is perfect for this time of year, the Fressia works to soften the spice of the saffron and somehow they just work on my skin and last all day.

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