Friday, March 13, 2015

Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne and Bath Oil

Few things brighten my day as much as a be-ribboned bone and black Jo Malone box.
I'm a fan of white florals, and Orange Blossom (sometimes also called Neroli) is one of my favorites. I would consider the gorgeous girl-next-door, alongside the king of plush white florals - Jasmine - and the more loud and busty Tuberose, or the more virginal Lily of the Valley.

So it's kinda odd that I've never actually decided to buy Jo Malone's bestseller Orange Blossom until now.
Top notes: Cedrat (a fragrant citrus fruit used mostly for perfumery), Green notes, and Clementine leaf
 Heart notes: Orange blossom, water lily
Bottom notes: Orange blossom, lilac 

The odor of orange blossom is slightly tangy and fruity, aromatic and only slightly sweet. It also smells soapy and clean, but with an idolic edge of animalic pungency, like many other white florals. Think of a fruity gardenia.

Jo Malone's Orange Blossom is very linear. What you smell at the start is pretty much what you get towards the end. Maybe a bit more powdery and clean, as the lilac starts to peek out, but mostly translucent and fresh throughout. It smells - pretty. That's the only word I can think of. It manages to bring out the delicate sweetness and aromatic nature of orange blossom, but mutes the fruity pungency that often characterizes orange-blossom laden fragrances. It's still indolic, but is not as rich and "ripe" as Maison Francis Kurkdjian's version, so it's great for a quick hit of freshness.

I've been in the mood for a Jo Malone so I decided to pick it up.

  1. Blue Agave & Cacao - my oldest Jo Malone; this smells almost cakey and like chocolate frosting but minus a lot of sugar, and with a translucent melon-like facet to it. Very strange and interesting to me. 
  2. Vanilla & Anise - this is a like but not a love; this spicy warm ambery scent is quite deep and interesting, but not quite as complex and faceted as I usually like my amber/spice scents to be, so I only wear this occasionally.
  3. Red Roses - a gorgeous basic rose soliflore. It's not too sweet, not too green, and has enough complexity to not smell like rose essential oil, so I enjoy it.
  4. Blackberry & Bay - possibly my absolute fave for hot days; this is so addictive and fresh; like sipping fizzy non-sugary blackberry soda water with a bay leaf floating among the ice cubes. 

The problem with Jo Malones is their lasting power. Most of these do not last that long, unfortunately. Especially not on my dry skin. And because I don't like to bring perfume bottles out to touch up in the middle of the day, I always buy the matching bath oils in the scents I love. If you smooth a little of the oil on and then let it sink in for a moment before spraying the cologne over, the scent lasts for hours and hours.

So of course I got the bath oil version for Orange Blossom as well. The only 2 of my JMs without a matching oil are Vanilla & Anise which I like but don't love, and Blackberry & Bay, which I love but can't find an oil for. (I regret not purchasing a bottle in California last year; it's not stocked in Singapore.)

Sounds extravagant, but owning any Jo Malone cologne is an extravagant thing to begin with, and the bath oil is really the best way to extend and maximize the scent - and your money. (I'm not always a fan of layering scents over lotions because there's more of a tendency for the scent to get distorted or change on the skin. Oils are a more stable medium for scent, so I love this option.)

Plus, you can sometimes just dab on the oil and just wear it like a light perfume oil, skipping the cologne altogether. For Red Roses and Blue Agave & Cacao, this method of layering gets the colognes to last like eau de parfum for me. 

Sadly, the lasting power for Orange Blossom, even layered, is probably about 4 or so hours on my skin. Very fleeting. Without the oil it's probably about 2-3 hours. Similar to other fresh scents like Blackberry & Bay. Still, it's large enough a bottle that I don't feel too bad about re-applying. 


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  2. Does peony and blushed suede last better than blackberry and bay for you?

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