Irish ladies are Jo Malone fans. It only takes a trip to Brown Thomas during Christmas week to watch us scratch one another's eyes out in an epic fight to grab the last bottle of Pear and Freesia cologne to see that we have a real love for the brand. I mean, you have to really LOVE a scent to mutilate someone in order to get the last bottle.
Though I'm fond of Jo Malone scents, I've always considered the brand to be a bit...nice. It makes me think of country garden parties, soft floral prints and well-mannered ladies in hats. Which is great, if that's what you're into. But if you want something edgier and with a more urban feel to it, you don't go to Jo Malone.
Well, now you do. Get an eyeful of this campaign image - one glance is enough to show us that Jo Malone have gone a bit grungy, and I really like it.
Gone is the immaculately iced battenburg served by a lady in a Laura Ashley print dress. This upcoming collection is inspired by London rain, and it's not much of a cultural leap to say that we know something about rain ourselves, given that Ireland currently looks like a pair of bedraggled trousers left on the washing line during Monsoon season.
Jo Malone are reclaiming rain! I was so cheered by this collection - it's taking the idea of something we have far too much of (will it ever stop raining?) and generally think quite negatively about, and making something beautiful out of it in a way that is completely new for the brand.
The edginess doesn't stop at the campaign image either. Have a gander at those beautiful ombré bottles. They are remarkably striking from a brand that has a reputation for the uniformity of its product packaging. This collection has so much oomph, it's all I can do to wait for it to come on counter in March. At which point a frenzy to get our paws on this limited edition collection will inevitably begin.
Four fragrances are included in the collection, and they're all genuinely emotive and beautifully complex and layered. If you take fragrance seriously, these will really give you an enjoyable experience - there's not one 'smell' to any of these fragrances. You experience the layers moment by moment. It's delicious.
- Rain and Angelica is a combination of zesty lime and earthiness. It has a freshness to it that really does make you think of the countryside in the rain.
- Wisteria and Violet is a true floral. If you find yourself drawn to floral fragrances, you'll love this. It has no heavy, headachey floral 'bang'. Just an intense but pleasurable hit of wisteria followed by the richness of violet and the lightness of water lily. The scents combine to create an intense floral experience.
- White Jasmine and Mint combines jasmine, lily, orange flower and rose with a surprising note of mint to create a really refreshing fragrance. It is like a 'garden in the rain' experience in a bottle.
- Then there's the edgiest scent in the collection - Black Cedarwood and Juniper. I was surprised by my instant love of this strange fragrance. I've worn nothing else since I was introduced to it. Reminiscent of city streets in the rain at night, it has a dark, grungy depth that I really love. All the Jo Malone scents are unisex, but this is definitely the most masculine scent in this collection. Combining chilli leaves, cumin, juniper and cedarwood with an undertone of moss, this fragrance has a real, grown-up bite. It's shockingly urban and sexy for a brand that we usually associate with a certain rural purity.
Interestingly, my brother (who is oblivious to almost every detail of my appearance, let alone what I SMELL like) complimented this fragrance and then sprayed some on himself. That is the best endorsement I can think of, because he is bizarrely fussy about fragrances and doesn't want 'to smell like a girl'. Given that I quite like smelling like a girl, it's incredibly intriguing that we both love this scent.
The entire collection is glorious, but a trip to Brown Thomas is in order if only to have a sniff of Black Cedarwood and Juniper. It's the best thing that a fragrance can be - really, really interesting!
The London Rain Collection will be available from March at €100 for 100mls. It's certainly not cheap, but if you're devoted to fragrance, then this collection is more than worth a sniff before we ravage the shelves and it's all gone.
What do you think? Will you be investing?