*This post contains PR samples.Nearly a month ago now I was contacted by Jo Loves, Jo Malone's new fragrance brand launched in the autumn of 2011. Unable to contain her love of creating beautiful scent stories, Jo Malone is back and better than ever as far as I'm concerned (Jo Malone sold her original line to Estée Lauder in 1999, and remained Creative Director until 2006). Though I find that the understated elegance that typifies the original Jo Malone brand is still present in these fragrances, there is something a bit more raw and undressed about these scents. From the bottle design that I read as a bit more edgy to the straightforward, yet unexpectedly complex perfumes one is left with little doubt that such a nose as Jo Malone's is behind the new releases.
Jo Loves sent me a selection of samples, and though I'd initially intended to review only one I was inspired by each and every one of them. Somehow all of these perfumes spoke to me even though I cannot necessarily picture myself wearing all of them. Once a week, I will be posting a feature about one Jo Loves perfume. I've chosen to start with Pomelo, a fragrance that showcases Jo Malone's creativity and thirst for fragrance innovation. It serves as an excellent introduction to the ethos of the brand.
Jo Loves Pomelo opens with a mixture of pomelo and rose, though I detect more of a peppery note that for me is relatively unexpected in such a fragrance. The pomelo remains at the forefront of one's impression of this scent as it dries down, though clove and vetiver marry with the citrus as it wears against the skin. Many fragrances I own dry down into a warm musk after hours and hours of wear, but on me Pomelo retains its brightness a quality that makes this the perfect hot weather perfume.
Of her creation, Jo Malone says the following: "Pomelo is clean and crisp; it’s my best friend made up of memories and moments. It’s that feeling of fresh linen sheets or a glass of bubbling fizzy water with a slice of lime and lots of crushed ice. I spray Pomelo onto my skin a couple of times when I go into the office, when I’m out and about and again before lunch or cocktails. Like me, Pomelo has a masculine side to it, it’s confident and sharp." Pomelo is indeed somewhat masculine, which is perhaps what I gravitate to this citrus perfume. My favorite notes are heavy (incense, musk, amber) so citrus scents, while lovely, are often not my first picks. The peppery warmth of the pomelo coupled with the vetiver allows this fragrance to warm up in such away that it fulfills my need for sensual notes.
A blurry shot (that I choose to think of as mysterious) of my uncle's yard, also known as "my happy place."
What I love about Pomelo is its honesty. Where other citrus fragrances masquerade as a true to life citrus, softened by sugar sweet notes that often make the perfumes too much for me, Pomelo opens on a peppery note. I am blessed to have an uncle with citrus tree in his (beautiful) yard, and the opening notes of Jo Loves Pomelo take me back to my favorite place on his property. Citrus rarely ever "just" smells like citrus, and Jo Malone has hit the nail on the head with her rendition. Though pomelo fruits are native to southeast Asia, this citrus note takes me to southern Arizona. Pomelo is a vacation in a bottle for me, a set of memories associated with family members that live far away.