Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And when you kiss me, I'm happy enough to die.

Jo Malone Orange Blossom

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)

Want more reviews? Try...
~ a review from Ayala at SmellyBlog
~ a mention from EauMG


pklagrange said...

I have to say, I love JM. I know I'm not supposed to, but I have so enjoyed the sheer scents this blazing summer. Just bought a small bottle of the Orange Blossom this weekend and have been spraying it (with some other JMs like crazy since then). They're fun and they layer so well. A few absolutely don't work for me, a few are incredible gems (for me White Tie & Tiara & Lime Mandarin Basil, for example) and most are fun go to fragrances for a normal day. So I guess this is my ode to JM! LOL

ChickenFreak said...

Well, this is very interesting. I officially dislike orange blossom, though I've always regret that, because I absolutely adore it for a few seconds before I start disliking it. Sounds like I need a sample.

Ines said...

I'm really glad you like a Jo Malone scent and now I want to try it as well. :)
I think Jo Malone doesn't get enough love because of the whole edt thing and their scents being somewhat fleeting but some of them are loves at first sniff. :)

JoanElaine said...


New reader here. I found your blog searching for reviews of DSH perfumes.

I have not tried any Jo Malone scents yet, but after reading your review, I am ordering samples!

The Kohdo Wood and Cologne Intense lines sound wonderful!

Diana said...

PKlagrange, I don't haven't had a lot of experience with Jo Malone. but I have tried so far I've liked. I haven't tried layers them yet, but they're light enough that I bet they do layer well. Thanks for the tip!

Diana said...

Chickenfreak, yeah that was my general response to neroli, too, but I like this. Maybe you will too.

Diana said...

Ines, I think I actually got my first Jo Malone in a package from you! I'm surprised they don't get more love; for their price point, they seem to be well-made. And I don't every day want to wear a 12 -24 hour strength scent, so they definitely have their place in my perfumey world.

Diana said...

JoanElaine, welcome and thanks for reading! I like the DSH scents I've tried, though admittedly it's mostly been roses. I'll order some more soon and let you know what I think.

star said...

I must tell you that after your many mentions of Songes, I bought a bottle. And I love it!

Diana said...

Star -- THAT IS AWESOME. And I have TWO bottles. Because one was so cheap on Ebay I bought it anyway. I'll be wearing Songes forever.


ScentScelf said...

In aromatherapy, neroli is used as an uplifting scent, and one that is safe to use with children. Which I often translated to mean "good for sensitive grown ups."

There's been a lot going on with you lately; maybe a not complicated whiff of happy is just what the universe ordered?

LOL on Fleur d'Oranger, btw; I'm one of the odd ones who likes Fleur de Narcisse best of all of those...while FdO was the one that fell flat. (I wouldn't complain if the iris fell in my lap, but I'm not seeking and destroying to get it, either.)

Whatever it is that is in the bottle, everyone deserves to find a scent that pleases them so. Congratulations. :)

princess glee said...

Mmmm neroli/orange blossom, I love it to pieces. I have a miniature mandarin orange and lemon tree growing on my balcony and I tell you, one whiff of those blossoms can lighten the mood of even the worse grump. (Gasp) I've never tried a Jo Malone fragrance be-caaaaause...? I haven't wandered over to that side of the fragrance counter? I dunno. Your review has firmly placed Jo Malone on my "perfume radar" and I'll be trying it soon when I do my bi or tri-annual luxury mall hopping in Las Vegas. I'm so looking forward to sniffing Orange Blossom.

Diana said...

ScentShelf, perhaps it is right scent, right place, right time, but this is the 3rd or 4th neroli I tried and the first one I liked. I didn't like the Prada orange blossom either.

I think the difference was that this one was both orange flower and orange fruit smelling at once, and it was the hints of citrus, which I tend to like when done well, that finally sold me. And by sold me, I mean "going to buy a bottle next Friday when I get paid." :)

ScentScelf said...

Woo-hoo! That to getting a bottle, AND to getting paid. :)

Cheap_Perfume said...

I haven't tried layers them yet, but they're light enough that I bet they do layer well.I think I need to have a sample.