I must admit that I have a little bit of a soft spot for Jo Malone London. In my opinion they do what they do and they do it very well, specifically, they create pleasing, low-key fragrances for scenting both people and their homes, and package them all beautifully. Jo Malone London sell a lifestyle, one that is housed within the simplicity of their structured bottles, placed carefully in gorgeous boxes and tied with beautiful bows. It’s a life that looks and smells good.
Over the last year or so, the brand has started to become a little bit bolder with their offerings. Rain & Angelica, a limited edition from their London Rain collection was weird and glassy, like crystallised drops of summer rain. There was also last year’s Wood Sage & Sea Salt, another unusual blend that was somewhere between salted caramel and sea spray. Oh and we mustn’t forget Incense & Cedrat, the latest addition to the Cologne Intense collection and an absolutely gorgeous benzoin-heavy incense that begs to be snuggled. They’ve been very busy making some intriguing scents, it must be said.
The hard work of Jo Malone London continues this autumn as September sees the launch of a brand new pillar fragrance for the brand. Focusing on the rich notes of Mimosa & Cardamom, this new launch (unsurprisingly called ‘Mimosa & Cardamom‘) created by perfume Marie Salamagne is an ode to word travel, eclectic fabrics and a mixture of cultures seen through the lens of a bohemian blend of flowers and spice. Without offering too many spoilers for the rest of the review, I will say that Mimosa & Cardamom really lives up to its inspiration and I for one think that it’s great to see such an underused yet fascinating note as mimosa being used front and centre in a mainstream fragrance. Good work, JML.
“A new bohemia awaits. Mists of honeyed, golden mimosa float above the spiciness of freshly crushed cardamom. Creamy tonka and smooth sandalwood woven under powdery heliotrope and Damask rose picked at dawn. Warm, ethereal, mesmerising.”
– Jo Malone London
Base: Tonka Bean
How Does it Smell?
Right from the get go mimosa if the star of the fragrance. In the top notes it is rich and spicy, accented by saffron and cardamom. In truth, the cardamom is incredibly subtle and almost folds itself deep into the thick buds of the mimosa, adding a nutty warmth and slightly aqueous undertone. The mimosa itself is soft and pollen like with a cool green edge. It feels thick and hazy, almost as if it permeates every fibre of the air and rearranges its texture. As you can imagine with a Jo Malone London fragrance though, this isn’t a huge mimosa and the sillage is muted and paired back.
As it develops, Mimosa & Cardamom shifts from supporting to the milky and creamy texture of tonka bean. The mimosa really kicks things up a gear and settles into its groove when the vanilla/tonka comes in, and that’s really how it remains. At this point the whole thing sits on the skin like a bright yellow carpet of velvet that is creamy and fuzzy. From a distance things appear smile, but upon closer inspection one notices that the fibres are interwoven with small buds of jasmine and orange blossom, creating a complex bed of scent to rest upon.
Mimosa & Cardamom is great. It possesses all of the complexity of mimosa; i.e, the pollen-y richness, the cool green undertones and smooth creamy texture, and presents it without too much adornment. The whole thing feels incredibly bohemian and whilst it’s an autumn launch, I think it’s perfect for summer and is crying out to be worn with a flowery sun dress (or shirt, if you’re a guy) and ridiculously large hat. Sure, it could have a little bit more oomph, but if it was a bit heavier it would perhaps lose some of that Jo Malone London character it possesses, and it gives a little bit of a wispy edge to the bold tones of mimosa. In short, this is a very good piece of work that you must smell. The end.
Mimosa & Cardamom launches in September 2015 and will be available in 30ml (£42) and 100ml (£85) Cologne. Matching body products, specifically; a Body & Hand Wash (£28/250ml), a Body Créme (£50/175ml) and a Home Candle (£42/200g), will also be available.
Sample, notes, quotes and image 1 via Jo Malone London. Image 2 my own.