Every year, Jo Malone comes up with a small and exclusive limited edition range of fragrances. One year, it was all about English desserts, another year, it was rain (oh yes, London’s rain is legendary!) and last year, if I’m not mistaken, it was about herbs. The running theme is this – limited edition, exclusive and English.
This year, Jo Malone is basing their new exclusive collection on the Bloomsbury Set – a set of fragrances inspired by the free spirited artists, intellectuals, authors and philosophers, capturing the contrast and dichotomy of English life in the 1900’s. The scents were inspired after visiting Charleston House, a manor in Sussex, where some of these free-spirits lived. Is there anything more English than an English country manor I ask you?
Incidentally, “set” here refers to the group of people who led this life, and the inspiration for the collection and bottles were drawn from the house where many of them lived. The collection therefore draws inspiration from the “lily pond at dawn, bold blue hyacinth, absinthe afternoons and golden linseed on paint-stained hands. Warming whiskey and sweet pipe tobacco. The secrets of waxed floors burnished by footsteps in the night.” It’s all a rather romanticised notion of an artistic life.
There are 5 bottles of cologne in the Bloomsbury Set collection that come in what seems like paint-spattered bottles without any logo. If you weren’t familiar with Jo Malone and the shape of their perfume bottles, you may not even know where these were from!
There are 5 scents in the collection, all of which are a little … different.
- Whisky and Cedarwood – I was most excited to try this, as I’d learned to take a shine to whiskey in recent years, and it intrigued me to have a perfume smell of it. For me however, it was the cedarwood that came through more strongly, so my impression was more of the woodsy scent reminiscent of Christmas candles, as opposed to the sweet, smokiness of whisky. Ultimately, it didn’t sit too well on my skin and nose.
- Blue Hyacinth – If you like sweet fresh florals, then this will sit well with you. Not such a big fan of florals so my nose skipped this over. But it does smell very fresh, like flowers bathed in morning dew.
- Leather and Artemesia – This one is supposed to evoke memories of old leather bound books, as you lounge with a glass of absinthe in hand and surrounded by the scent of Artemesia. Absinthe was the one that caught my eye (no, I’m not alcoholic LOL! 😀 ) but I actually found the scent lighter than I expected. There is a whiff of tanned leather, but it dries down to a warmer, slightly spicier base that is still rather light on the nose. Nothing too heavy or overpowering. On me, this sits quite well and lasts. But you’d have to appreciate spicy warm scents to appreciate this one.
- Tobacco and Mandarin – This is the other one I thought was interesting. The sweet scent of tobacco is blended with the citrus scent of mandarin that envelops you in a rather pleasant cloud. Tobacco in perfumes isn’t unusual, and the scent of it isn’t too strong in this one from Jo Malone. Just enough to give you the hint of cigar bars. On my skin, this developed the best for me without making me feel like it was too cloying.
- Garden Lilies – If you love wearing the scent of lilies, look no further. This is the scent of fresh lilies distilled into a bottle of perfume. I love the flower (it’s one of my favourites) but even in the flower, I’m not a fan of how it smells as I find it overpowering and sweet. Awkward! LOL But if you love the scent, this one’s definitely for you!
Like all Jo Malone fragrances, these can be layered with other scents to create something personalised just for you. If you own other Jo Malone perfumes, you can easily experiment to see if you can tweak the scent into something that might suit you better. But if you aren’t experimental, then these scents can stand on their own quite easily.
My picks are the 2 less floral scents – Leather and Artemesia and Tobacco and Mandarin. Incidentally, I found Leather and Artemesia quite long-lasting on my skin, where I could smell hints of it hours later.
I believe that with certain purchases, you may be able to get them to package it for you into a limited edition Bloomsbury Set box. It’s quite pretty 🙂
The thing about Jo Malone perfumes is that I haven’t yet found one that I can safely say I love with all my being. I’ve tried quite a few over time and while I like some aspects of one and maybe a different aspect of another, I haven’t had one call out my name from the shelves “Parissss…. buy meeeeee….” That would be creepy LOL! 😀 But I’m always hopeful – new ones are being added every day!
Will you be checking out the Jo Malone Bloomsbury Set collection? Did you get anything from previous collections?
I missed the herb one – that one I thought was interesting, because I like seeing how herbs can be used in various aspects, not just cooking. I remember the desserts one though – that would have appealed to anyone who loves sweets but I backpedalled so quickly! Not a fan of sweets, me 🙂
Jo Malone Bloomsbury Set perfumes comes in 5 limited edition fragrances
Price: RM230 | £46 | US$70 for 30ml
Where to buy: Jo Malone boutiques, counters or online