Friday, 26 March 2010

Jo Malone's dark secrets

We'll be honest: we've never really felt rapturous about any of Jo Malone's colognes. All perfectly pretty, airy, sheer, wearable - but they've never delivered the mystery and depth that a couple of Mitsouko-lovers like us personally long for in a fragrance. Suddenly, all that's changed. A wee while ago, Jo Malone opened in the Middle East - and their boutiques there have been among their most successful in the world. Middle Eastern perfumery is a fascinating tradition in itself: elements like rose, oud wood (which is actually decayed wood that gives a really sexy, animalic note to perfumes), patchouli... So, inspired by that success, Jo Malone will later this summer launch a Cologne Intense collection, which they unveiled to us in the eye-poppingly gorgeous surroundings of Leighton House, in Holland Park. Formerly Lord Leighton's studio, it's like stepping through a window to the Orient, with its turquoise Damascene tiling, tinkling fountains, wooden screens, day-beds and stuffed peacock standing sentinel over the stairway. (And, for our snap, over the scent bottles.) Inky black glass shields the bottles'contents - but it's the 'juices' that have really blown us away. Soft, sweet Iris & Musk. Delectable Rose Water & Vanilla (think Turkish delight - in a good way). Going even darker and deeper, Oud & Bergamot (which fuses citrus and smouldering, bonfire-y woods), and Amber & Patchouli - truly something to thrill our inner hippy. Never mind Dubai. Do buy! (They'll be on sale from 1st July at a handful of Jo Malone boutiques including Selfridges, Brook Street and Sloane Street.)