[unpaid/samples] Not yet on line but in stores, the newest fragrance drop from Jo Malone working with Zara is truly lovely. Based around cities, the line up comprises Energetically New York, Elegantly Tokyo, Stunning Venice, Magnificently Dubai, Fashionably London, Gracefully Madrid, Creatively Shanghai and Boldly Seoul. I havenít in-depth tried all of them but the thing thatís really clear from the quick spritz through the collection is the golden thread of Jo Malone. There arenít many brands that can carry a recognisable thread through a multitude of offerings Ė but itís always there with whatever Jo Malone touches. Thereís a vibrancy, a leaning to citrus, a freshness and a familiarity Ė something you can bond to and know without even really trying. Chances are if you like one JM offering, you will like many, if not all.
I love the boxes that look like books Ė the full set that you see is £119 which is incredibly reasonable for eight fragrances! Zara did the right thing in employing a nose with experience of building a fragrance brand (twice, in this case) from the ground up. It ensures a purity of product and an understanding of the business of selling fragrance. You know Ė itís simpleÖ make it good and make it affordable and people will want it. There are plenty of own brand fragrances that are shipped out to white label fragrancers with the Ďstoryí coming later that barely belong in the rarified world of perfume. From this collection of eight, there will be one for you Ė no need to rush at it but a spritz at a time while youíre shopping and it will find you.
Each fragrance comes with a post card that depicts an element of the city it represents. So, the ones Iíve tried over and above a spritz are firstly Fashionably London which comes with note highlights of bergamot, rose, geranium, lily of the valley and oakmoss. I donít have a ping of recognition that this is London in a bottle but itís an impression at least of the things perhaps we donít note London for such as greenery and gardens. I think maybe you could say itís a whisper of London on a bright and sunshine filled day Ė itís an optimistic scent. It will be whatever you need it to be and I think Iíd say that across the collection. I havenít been to half the cities so I canít be too literal on their interpretation Ė theyíre moods more than places. Itís not my favourite.
Stunning Venice is immediately uplifting and instantly exciting. Thereís juiciness from blackcurrant, a herbal note (that hit first for me) of tarragon and mint, citrus from bergamot and a middle of raspberry and rose. It smells to me like walking into a fruit garden or because the mint comes through so much, the first sip of a summer Mojito. Gorgeous!† Elegantly Tokyo should be another on the immediate list Ė itís cherry blossom, honeysuckle, ylang ylang and jasmine Ė a proper burst of flowers with a woody finish. Itís a mood of exuberance and decadence.
Somehow, the notes of bergamot, mandarin, lemon, cardamom, violet leaves and ambergris amounts to an almost steely scent Ė I had a soft metallic impression with cedar at the finish. Itís metal, wood and water somehow rolled into a perfume. I still have Gracefully Mandarin, Creatively Shanghai, Magnificently Dubai and Boldly Seoul to take a deeper dive with, but since shopping is ramping up by the day, I didnít want you not to look out for these if youíre venturing out. 100% worth the £19.99 tag and if you can find the collector set when it launches on line, itís well worth considering. You will have to top up more often but they donít disappear on contact. Neither do they overwhelm with vanilla or make you feel like youíre breathing cake. I think this is Zaraís best to date Ė they took an expert on board and its paid off tenfold.
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