By placing the emphasis on the lesser used lime note, Jo Malone has flipped the EdC structure inside out. Instead of being centred on lemon and grapefruit, these now take a supporting role. Bergamot has dropped back, and coumarin and a ionone have been dosed right down to merely add a neutral background.
Because the formula is top weighted it gives LB&M a more spare and streamlined effect accentuated by the use of thin and quite sharp smelling lilac to complement the basil, and the dry agrestic herbal nuance of white thyme which ties into the salty edge found in the lime opening.
The lightly dosed base materials support the acidic citrus and tart herbs by the use of a clean vetyver, possibly vetiveryl acetate, and patchouli. It finally dries down to a bland, mid toned powdery residue.
The overall result is modern and clean, in keeping with the new purity genre that emerged in the nineties. LB&M's bright optimistic construction can be read as a forerunner of CK One which two years later took up a similar motif and ran with it, taking the modern cologne down a more abstract and less naturalistic path, albeit with less conviction.
A modern classic which has deservedly carved out its niche alongside the greats of the EdC genre.
The opening of Lime Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone reminded me a bit of L’homme de Grès; that similar sort of really pungent, decidedly “virile”, kind of old-school and really bitter lime-green note supported by a woody, somber, almost chypre (in a really subtle way) base. At first the mandarin is not really there and neither is basil to my nose, but in a matter of minutes the bitter and fresh “head of the head notes” vanishes off and the fragrance starts to warm on skin – at that point you surely get a slightly sweeter, more aromatic-floral blend which seems comprising also something like neroli. Still no basil to my nose, weirdly enough I get thyme and sage more clearly; overall, basically a sort of aromatic green fougère centered on lime-orange with a subtle and to me, quite masculine woody-herbal-musky base smelling quite dark, slightly waxy and also slightly camphorous. And kind of “humid” too.
Also, I think I clearly get here the sort of aftershave vibe I get from many British fragrances based on classic structures (like those countless “West Indian Limes” colognes by Truefitt & Hill, Taylors of Old Bond Street and similar “gentleman’s grooming” brands) – although it may be just pure suggestion. Surely anyway something way less fresh than one may assume by reading the name. Overall, in my opinion Lime Basil & Mandarin isn’t bad at all, almost quite good actually; the only negative thing for me is that I get a whiff of something annoyingly and persistently synthetic that somehow “ruins the magic”. For me, citrus-green scents – more than others – need to be as much natural as possible to smell pleasant, fulfilling and compelling, to avoid smelling like floor detergents or cheap soaps. This doesn’t really make it for me, at least not entirely; it smells decently good, but I feel it would have been way better if part of the efforts was also financial - I mean in raising the budget and picking better materials. Still quite nice overall, just don’t expect something neither fresh nor particularly solid or refined.
Pretty much run-of-the-mill lime opening, with some sweet herbal notes surfacing after a few minutes' time. The accord that results reminds me of fruit salad. Commonplace I think, and ultimately undistinguished in an already overcrowded field. I'll pass in favor of Heeley's Verveine, Eau de Guerlain or Cologne Bigarage.
Perfect for Summer
Citrusy, bright, crisp, green, herbal, clean, refreshing, fresh, effervescent, light, uplifting, natural, cool, zesty, spring-like, breezy. Add some tonic water and a splash of rum and I think I could drink this stuff.
A bright opening of fresh cut lime trailing very closely to fresh cut basil. Then I detect the mandarin and bergamot which round the lime out nicely. The iris brings a slight scratchiness to the mix and the vetiver adds a smidge of a dry weight to it. The vetiver and iris mesh really well dirtying it up a bit which makes it slightly more masculine. I get a drive-by of spiciness from the caraway. Literally, I smell it and it is gone with the wind. But, mostly you get happy lime and basil.
I absolutely love this stuff and I could keep my nose to my arm all day sniffing away, if it only lasted on me all day. And no question that it is totally unisex.
Pros: Happy and refreshing
Cons: lacks longevity"
I never wear this one out, but I do enjoy the vibe that I get off it around the house. It is a very uplifting scent and I like the bite of the basil that I get off the top.