I’m always crushing on something scented or other. My nose knows no limits. Candy Crush is where I showcase the beautifully scented things I’m crushing on right now so you can hopefully develop a crush too.
It’s impossible to deny the fact that Jo Malone London is a popular brand. They have seen massive growth in the last decade, with numerous stores and concessions across the country, nay, the whole world. They have a consistent, luxuriously-presented collection of products all of which seem to be selling a certain lifestyle: the Jo Malone London lifestyle. With their mix of British traditionalism and eccentricity the brand has always been incredibly creative with their olfactory output – commercial yes, but certainly creative. But one thing they’ve not cracked until this point is men. That’s right, gentleman, now is the time for you to get into Jo Malone London.
For their first ever masculine collection of fragrances, Jo Malone London has teamed up with Hunstman Saville Row, the famous London tailor established in 1849 and responsible for suiting thousands of gentleman since. The Jo Malone London Huntsman collection consists of four fragrances – four colognes from the Jo Malone London archive that have been reintroduced for me. In this capsule collection, the collaboration between British perfumery and tailor presents an olfactory wardrobe that offers citrus, oriental, gourmand and leather fragrances for day, for night, for casual and for smart. Versatility is the name of the game – let’s check them out.
Amber & Patchouli
Amber & Patchouli was part of the original Cologne Intense lineup. Here it is relaunched, this time in the clear Jo Malone London x Hunstman bottle and with a tweaked Cologne formula. The idea here is softness – where the fluffy quality of amber meets the gauzy nature of patchouli. Devoid of sweetness, with smoky guaicwood for good measure, the resulting blend is a resinous cloud that has the texture of suede. Dapper, suave, and well-tailored, Amber & Patchouli is one to pair with a deep black tuxedo, bespoke or off the rack.
Assam & Grapefruit
From the Jo Malone London Tea Collection, Assam & Grapefruit is a handsome blend of black tea, maté and grapefruit. It’s a herbal-citrus take on tea that feels zingy, but also incredibly smooth. The sharpness of grapefruit is shrouded in greenery, with the fuzzy, gauzy quality of black tea in the background. The contrast is striking and what one perceives is an incredibly fresh, zingy fragrance with a texture that is also dark and milky. Assam & Grapefruit would be the perfect cologne for every day – on those days where you want to smell elegant af but not overpowering.
Birch & Black Pepper
Originally launched in Jo Malone London’s Rock the Ages collection, Birch & Black Pepper is easily the most obviously masculine of the bunch (although I’d argue that the whole collection is unisex, much in the same way that the entire Jo Malone London is) and for me, it’s also the most surprising. You see, I hate birch as a note – it’s too smoky, too salty and too harsh, but by blending it with silvery spices like pepper and cardamom, and a bold magnetic ink accord, the intensity of birch is subdued into something incredibly palatable, and dare I say rather sexy. Birch & Black Pepper is effervescent, smoky and cool, with a spicy, floral character that is almost addictive. This is the most dramatic fragrance in the collection and also my favourite.
Whisky & Cedarwood
Whisky & Cedarwood was one of the standout fragrances from The Bloomsbury Set, a limited Jo Malone London collection that took inspiration from the artists of the Bloomsbury Set, and now it is given new life in this collection. It is a somewhat transparent whisky fragrance that falls on the sweet, malted, boozy side of the whisky spectrum as opposed to the smoky, phenolic, peated side. It has the texture of clear caramel, with the warmth and softness of cedar underneath to keep it as smooth and flaw-free as possible. As expected, it has that transparency and lightness one expects from Jo Malone, except this time the signature is gourmand. Whisky & Cedarwood is the one you’re going to want to pair with a tweed jacket (one from Hunstman if you can afford it) when you head out for a walk in the country.
One could criticise Jo Malone London for not creating four new fragrances for this collection – their first for men, but I think that criticism would be unfair. By dipping in to their archive they have been able to revive some beloved scents that were previously featured in limited edition collections and would otherwise have remained out of production. So what they’ve done is clever and sensible (saving on development of something new and slightly risky) but it also feel as if they have been able to select the best of what they have to match this collection.
The four fragrances they have chosen each do something very different and have remarkable range between them. Much like there is a suit for every occasion, there’s a Jo Malone London x Hunstman fragrance to match. Personally, I’ll be picking up Assam & Grapefruit for day-to-day casual wear and Birch & Black Pepper when I want to make a statement.
The Jo Malone London x Hunstman Saville Row collection is available in Jo Malone boutiques and online, in addition to Hunstman Saville Row. Each fragrance is available as a 100ml Cologne for £120.
Samples via Jo Malone London. Images are my own.