Let me say right now how good it is to be open-minded when it comes to perfume. For example, after trying L’Artisan’s Fleur d'Oranger 2007 and not finding it all that fascinating, I just didn't think I'd be that into orange blossom/neroli scents. Nice, but nothing I was wild about.
Then I was in the mall the other day and, on a whim, I got a generous 2.5ml sprayer sample of Jo Malone Orange Blossom. Jo Malone describes Orange Blossom as follows:
The scent of clementine leaves in the morning dew sparkles above a heart of orange blossom and water lily, transporting the wearer to a garden oasis.In the intervening ten days, I’ve used up the whole sample. This is remarkable for a number of reasons. One, I have hundreds of samples, so it’s rare to reach for the same sample more than one use at a time. Two, it hasn’t been all that hot here, and I generally think of orange blossom as a warmer weather scent. Three, I honestly did not think I liked orange blossom scents at all.
And yet, I am so taken with Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom. The initial application is just as lemony bitter little thing, it quickly grows sweeter in an orangey way, which is so delightful! Where Fleur d'Oranger 2007 is this wispy, faint scent that seems more about being an embodiment of aesthetic than a real scent, Orange Blossom amplifies all its good qualities to become this wonderful presentation of flowers on orange trees, gentle and sweet and warm and light and a little bitter, but strong enough to be real and yet simultaneously complimentary to the wearer. Its both orangey and lemon-limey, but not in a fake cola way, and less bitter or salt and peppery than Fleur d’Oranger 2007. It both stands alone and warps to accentuate the wearer at the same time, and wears well at both low 60 degree weather and high 80 degree weather. I can imagine it being worn equally by a young woman in a polo uniform, cap, pony tail, and knee high black riding boots on her champion pony and by a young woman wearing a red and white checked shirt with rolled sleeves, Wranglers, and well-worn cowboy boots who washes down stalls as part of her weekly chores. It seems to flexible to fit any kind of woman, from high class to working class, and yet is just strong enough to stand on its own.
Even now, as I write this while sniffing at what is left of my sample on my hand, I still am truly shocked by how much I like it. I mean, Jo Malone, while well-made, is really not supposed to outshine a L’Artisan limited edition scent, particularly one that costs a 3x the price. But Jo Malone has won my heart. It’s true. And though I honestly thought I wasn’t all that into anything orange blossom based, here I am clamoring for a bottle. And this, dear readers, is a great reminder that you should never rule out a scent based on what you’ve thought of others with similar notes. It might be the one that wins you over. In my case, it certainly opened the door to more experiences with neroli/orange blossom scents.
"There’s a ghost in my lungs
and it talks in my sleep,
wraps itself around my tongue
as it softly speaks.
Then in walks, then in walks,
then in walks with my legs
to fall, to fall
to fall at your feet."
- "I’m Not Calling You a Liar," Florence + the Machine
(You can listen to the song here)
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~ a review from Ayala at SmellyBlog
~ a mention from EauMG