So here we are a New Year! A lot to look forward to - Look out soon for my look ahead for 2019. But for now, I thought I would take a look back over 2018. An exciting time for new launches, re-releases and a touch of the unexpected!
Spring sees the release of the limited edition collection, the last few years being made up of 5 x 30mls. This years collection came in February and was entitled English fields, a collection inspired by the English countryside. Mathilde Bijaoui fulfilled the brief in full, creating a celebration of oats, grains, blooms, meadows and fruits. The five fragrances consisted of Green wheat & Meadowsweet, Honey & Crocus, Oat & Cornflower, Poppy & Barley and Primrose & Rye, all encased in pastel coloured ceramic bottles.
Early in to the New Year we tend to see a new cologne intense, and this March saw the arrival of Jasmine Sambac & Marigold. Always looking to push boundaries, Jasmine Sambac & Marigold was designed as a way to do jasmine, a famous note in perfumery, the Jo Malone London way. Jasmine Sambac & Marigold was a collaboration between Celine Roux and Mathilde Bijaoui. Sadly this is one I haven't taken to, but generally this has been a very well received fragrance.
April was blossom mad, with the launch of a new cologne, a body mist, and the re-release of three favourite blossoms. Tropical Cherimoya, the new cologne lives up to it's name, bursting with tropical fruits, sun-infused flowers and warm resins. Cattleya Flower body mist, equally tropical, this lightweight but luxurious mist was designed to be your beach companion. Joining the two new fragrances where re-releases from various discontinued blossoms - 2011's Sakura Cherry Blossom, 2012's Plum Blossom and 2016's Nashi Blossom. These where collectively called 'Blossom Girls' (the advertising campaign attributing each fragrance to a particular personality) and where packaged in vibrant neon colours.
In June Poppy Delevingne once again teamed up with Jo Malone London, to add a twist to some of her favourite fragrances. The Queen of Pop collection used bright colours, alongside circles and stripes, for a fun twist to the classic packaging.
The collection contained three 30ml colognes (Amber & Lavender, Peony & Blush Suede and Red Roses) three home candles (Basil & Neroli, Blackberry & Bay and Grapefruit) and brand new for this collection, three bubble baths (Black Cedarwood & Juniper, Nectarine Blossom & Honey and Velvet Rose & Oud)
These came with a rubber duck in the same styling, and if you where lucky enough to get from the Regent Street Boutique, there was also a matching box and ribbon.
June also saw the release of Jo Malone London's first Absolu (A process where there fragrance is extracted with a solvent, rather than the more typical steam distillation. This means a more concentrated fragrance note) Rose & White Musk; A contrast between roses, fresh with morning dew in an English garden, and the heat of the Arabian desert. Exclusive to Harrods and online, this release has a rather steep price tag of £200.
I can't give a full opinion on this, as I have not worn it... But from a spritz in store, (It was in the Regent Street Flagship Boutique on my last visit) despite it sounding like it was hand made for me (I LOVE rose in a fragrance, and love a musky note too!) I didn't feel it justified the price.
July saw the launch of Lime Basil & Mandarin Body & Hair Oil, and a new advertising campaign asking us to #declareyourscent, and offered a free bag with a 100ml fragrance. Selfridges also offered an exclusive yellow cap, available to purchase for £4 with any 100ml.
I'm very proud and very privileged to work in an NHS mental health Trust, so it really touches me that Jo Malone "shine a light" on mental health every year with the release of their charity candle, with profits going to mental health charities. July saw the return of White Lilac & Rhubarb in candle form, and the other two London Bloom fragrances (Peony & Moss and Iris & Lady Moore.) stick around to stay.
August saw a refresh of the Archive collection, exclusively available at the London Regent Street Boutique. A few left the collection, a few stayed and we saw many new arrivals. The collection currently comprises of: Elderflower & Gooseberry Geranium & Verbena Ginger Biscuit Lavender & Coriander Leather & Artemisia Peony & Moss Rain & Angelica Sweet Lemon Tobacco & Mandarin Tudor Rose & Amber
September is the time of year for the new launch. Sadly we had to say Au Revoir to French Lime Blossom, in order to say #hellohoney to Honeysuckle & Davana. Anne Flipo brings a delightfully contradictory (to me this is her calling card, with her previous releases having a similar vibe, such as Star Magnolia, Basil & Neroli and the Herb garden collection) fragrance, perfectly encapsulating the Great British summer; sunshine, rain, dark, light, sweet and earth. This has possibly been Jo Malone London's most divisive fragrance yet, loved and hated equally.
October - Probably no shock to find this to be the busiest month as the brand heads into Christmas. Before we quite get there, I'll start with the collaboration with Huntsman. Four scents, stylishly repackaged to appeal to men (whatever that means!) Jo Malone London looked over now discontinued releases that had proved popular with Men. 2010's Amber & Patchouli, 2011's Assam & Grapefruit, 2015's Birch & Black Pepper and 2017's Whiskey & Cedarwood. Christmas saw the return of Ginger Biscuit, dressed up in gold ribbon, Orange Bitters, making it's 3rd appearance and joined with a home candle, adorned with a gold label. Pine & Eucalyptus also returned with a home candle and room spray, in festive silver. This years new release was White Moss & Snowdrop - Another divisive release, most people found this fragrance grew on them after initial doubts. To me (after some deliberation myself!) White Moss & Snowdrop captured a vintage Christmas card scene in a bottle. As well as 100ml, this fragrance also came as deluxe candle.
So there we have it! 2018, a year that innovated, re-imagined, and looked back over it's rich heritage. I'm sure we can expect the same for 2019... With some extra surprises along the way!