When the announcement of the new Jo Malone Basil & Neroli Cologne was first made, I had a little laugh over it. It was about the time that I had just started my little basil growing experiment (still going strong, thank you for asking!) and I was big on everything basil. A perfume in the scent was perfect to round it all up!
Interestingly, the brand launched this with the rather vague descriptive phrase “A London Lark”, intending to depict a fashionably fun London. A ‘lark’ as I’m sure you realise is rather like a jaunt or a frolic or caper – all words that have fallen out of use in daily English, rather unfortunately. I highly doubt they meant to refer to a little brown bird LOL! :P
The launch did bring to my mind a little hint of Camden Town – a little trippy and a little eccentric. For me, London is one of 3 things – loutish, proper or eccentric. Basil & Neroli kind of falls into the last category :P
To appreciate Basil & Neroli Cologne, you really have to appreciate fresh, green, earthy scents. If you like the scent of cut grass, or the smell of wet leaves after the rain then you might appreciate this one. It opens up with a burst of green basil, just tempered with a spicy citrus note.
In warm weather, that top scent is very refreshing. But, as with most citrus notes, it dissipates quite quickly, and rounds off to a warmer note of neroli. Neroli is an oil derived from the blossom of the bitter orange tree, and doesn’t quite smell like oranges. For me, in this perfume, it smells like warm honey (pardon me, I’m nursing a terrible cough and have been dousing myself with lots of honey – the smell is ingrained)
On my skin, this warm honey scent, tempered by the sharp, crisp green around the edges lingers the longest. It is sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. It isn’t a gourmand scent, nor is it a floral. Neither of those sit well with me, so I was pleased to not have them on my skin.
As with most Jo Malone scents, I found that I stop smelling it after a while. Yet, I feel a lingering freshness of being, that feeling of having freshly showered, with just a hint of green around the edges.
The Jo Malone Basil & Neroli Cologne brings to my mind a refreshing feel. When I spritz it on, I almost feel like I’ve had a shower. It isn’t heavy, nor musky. It smells, as I’ve said, like the smell of wet leaves after the rain. A wet freshness, grounded by the warm smell of earth.
Perhaps, my version of the London Lark is in Hyde Park or one of the little parks that dot London, in autumn, taking cover under the trees as I wait out the interminable drizzle that plagues London. The sound of traffic buzzes in the background, and the rumbling of the Tube goes on in the distance. I however, am wrapped up in my little world, watching the swans in the Serpentine, breathing in the scent of wet leaves and grass, and a faint sweet scent of honey. That for me, is the Jo Malone Basil & Neroli.
Unfortunately that imagery doesn’t quite sit with the fun, frivolous London the brand was trying to evoke :P
Have you checked out Basil & Neroli Cologne? What other Jo Malone scents do you like?
If you enjoy fresh scents, then this will be one you’d be interested to check out. As with all Jo Malone colognes, you can layer it with other scents to create a scent that is uniquely yours. As for me, I prefer wearing it on its own. I happen to like smelling like wet grass LOL :D In fact, I think I’d like this in the body wash – it’d be perfect!
Jo Malone Basil & Neroli Cologne: RM245 | US$65 | £43 for 30ml, RM485 | US$130 | £86 for 100ml
Jo Malone Basil & Neroli Body & Hand Wash: RM205 | US$40 | £28 for 250ml
Jo Malone Basil & Neroli Body Creme: RM370 | US$75 | £50 for 175ml
Jo Malone Basil & Neroli Home Candle: RM310 | US$65 | £42 for 200g