Some years after being sold to the Lauder Group, Jo Malone, the doyenne of prim British elegance in skincare and fragrancing, is set to launch a new line of fragrances, seemingly under the creative aegis of perfumer Christine Nagel. Jo, now 46, sold her company to Estée Lauder in 1999 in what can only be described as the “deal of a lifetime” (figure is rumoured to be £5 million) for the high-school drop-out who is self-professedly "seriously dyslexic". She stayed on in a creative capacity, but in 2003 Jo was diagnosed with breast cancer which necessitated chemotherapy and some serious focusing on her own life. Now, healthy and strong again, she's back in business! Her next venture, another foray into the fragrance market that remains tightly under wraps for now ~well, not anymore~ will start as the first one did at the dining-room table: "“I gave my clients little bottles of home-made nutmeg and ginger bath oil as a thank you” says Malone recounting her first attempts at fragrance creation for her facials clients who were clamouring for setting an appointment with her and her magic fingers.
The first installment in this new fragrance collection, which will be spanning the next two years, will be English Pear & Freesia, for which Christine Nagel describes the note that she wanted to capture, as "the fragrance of a King William pear just before it becomes over-ripe. The intention was to capture the smell of the fruit when it was sweet but still crisp, not too green and sharp but not sugary and soft". To boost the effect there are also notes of freesia, quince and a subtle hint of patchouli. Pear too timid to take center stage? More like a technical issue, really, taking in mind pear notes usually come from the flavouring side of the industry.
"It's unusual for a pear to take centre stage in a fragrance*, but the essence of English Pear & Freesia is a complex and quintessentially autumnal pear note. My challenge was in recreating the scent of a pear at that moment of perfect ripeness" says Nagel. Apparently, the September launch isn't random. It is John Keats and his immortal "To Autumn" ode that has served as an inspiration behind the new fragrance. No wonder the launch took place to Hampstead and Keats' house. [source]
Alexis Wolfer already characterises English Pear & Freesia as "delicious and mixes well with many other Jo scents!"
More info soon at Jo Malone online.
*Two that do are Lamb by G.Stefani and Petite Cherie by Annick Goutal.
C.Nagel quotes via Basenotes
Photos via luirig.altervista.org and deliciousmagazine.co.uk