One of the things I love most about Jo Malone fragrances is that the classic, unchanging design of the packaging and the straightforward scent-naming allows you to fully concentrate on what’s actually inside the bottle. It’s so easy to be swayed by fancy glass stoppers and jazzy names – marketing gimmicks, often, though there are some truly very beautiful perfume flacon out there and some genius concepts. You know what I mean though – from the moment you see a new fragrance, you take in the bottle shape and the label and the way that the name of the scent makes you feel. Gucci Guilty – sexy, dangerous, rebellious. Flowerbomb – feminine, summery, indulgent. The way we smell a perfume starts right at the moment we see the whole package.
Not so with Jo Malone. Think about it: every single Jo Malone bottle is the same. Or near enough the same. Same classic, squared-off shape, same heavy, pleasing bottle-top, same chic, timeless labelling. (Yes, there are variations – the brand sometimes dips a toe into something new and different to mix things up a bit – but it rarely steps out into deeper waters.) And the names; descriptive, do-what-they-say-on-the-tin kind of names – Red Roses, Orange Blossom, Blackberry & Bay. There’s nothing to really over-stimulate the imagination – there are no preconceptions – you just have to open the lid and try it.
And I like that, I really do. I like that you are forced to fully concentrate on the scent within – it’s almost like being at one of those scent-guessing sessions where they pass you the tester cards and you have to guess the notes. The bottle and the label tell you next to nothing – the name of the scent instructs your brain as to what to expect, but there are always pleasant surprises.
And there are pleasant surprises aplenty with the latest Cologne Intense launch, Saffron. What, exactly, does Saffron smell like? Expensive, stringy, slightly metallic? I had no clue but was instantly intrigued by what came out of the bottle; mysterious, woody notes and something that was almost like the smell of vintaged leather. There’s something lighter and fresher too, that stops the fragrance from being overly heavy, but it’s definitely a sensual and exotic scent and not at all girly or frivolous. If you can close your eyes and transport yourself to a Moroccan Riad, seat yourself on a battered leather pouffe and breathe in all of the scents of the heavy summer air, then you’re getting close to what this Saffron Cologne Intense does. It’s heady, but not at all in a floral way; it’s woody but not dry. I adore it, as I do most of the Cologne Intense range. More complicated than the main ranges, more difficult to unravel.
I’m afraid I haven’t yet tried scent-combining with the Saffron Cologne Intense – if anyone else has, then please let me know the results of your experimentation below!
Saffron Cologne Intense is £100 for 100ml at Selfridges.com