Anyone who knows me knows that there is one thing I covet and collect: perfume. My collection is beyond a joke, and that just isn’t going to change – many apologies to my poor, bruised bank balance. When I heard about the Jo Malone London Rain collection at the end of last year, it sounded right up my street. That’s why, when I wandered into the Brighton Jo Malone boutique today for a little poke around, I was overjoyed to find that they had samples of the new collection instore. They will be on sale very soon, and in my excitement and impatience, I have compiled my initial thoughts on each of the scents and the collection as a whole.
Rain & Angelica
This fragrance is based on long-lasting aquatic notes with a powerful aromatic base. This was my instant favourite, and I soon discovered why: there is an amber note, much like that in Thierry Mugler’s Alien, which brings an unusual warmth to a fragrance based so heavily on water. I would say that Rain & Angelica is a fairly balanced, unisex scent, and the lime top note gives it a funny little cocktail twist. It reminds me a lot of playing in the summer rain; it’s very carefree and youthful without being juvenile.
Wisteria & Violet
This is the most typically ‘French’ of the four, and somewhat resembles YSL Parisienne. Wisteria & Violet is very powdery and innocent and not actually very typical of Jo Malone to me, but it’s certainly a pretty daytime fragrance. It’s quite subtle with a soft sillage, but it isn’t just a floral. With scents like violet, there is a worry that it will end up smelling too young and – sorry – like a celebrity fragrance. However, the slightest touch of a patchouli base binds it to the skin to keep it grown up and not too saccharine.
White Jasmine & Mint
My least favourite, but through no fault of its own – purely a matter of personal preference. I normally love jasmine (again, Alien), but White Jasmine & Mint just doesn’t work for me. Herbal fragrances don’t especially do it for me, and the mint almost entirely overpowers the jasmine here. However, I actually think it improves a little over time when the eye-watering mint top note has faded a little, leaving a far more wearable earthy, mossy base. The drydown, at least, is like a drizzly woodland walk, and this fragrance would certainly work on men as well as women.
Black Cedarwood and Juniper
I was incredibly surprised to like Black Cedarwood & Juniper as much as I did. It bears more than a passing resemblance to Tom Ford’s Black Orchid, but with a woodier undertone and possibly more masculine overall as it lacks Black Orchid’s gourmand vanilla base. I love juniper in scents, but it’s the cedarwood here which has the real staying power. It’s very sultry and incredibly sophisticated, and there is something very twenties-esque about this. The best way I can describe it is ‘a scent you could wear to a modern day prohibition bar’.
Overall, I think that this is an excellent collection, and it covers a lot of bases for just four fragrances. I would say that three out of the four are good unisex fragrances (Wisteria & Violet is staunchly feminine), and all will be well-received – and anyway, just how gorgeous are the dip-dye bottles?! This collection brings colour and mystery and life to the stark grey bleakness of London Rain, and I for one will be at the front of the queue in a torrential downpour to get my hands on these.