A citrus-dominated fougere that is quite simple and for me linear.
The mandarin and lime float over a base that is present from the start. That base is somewhat synthetic with a vibe that is not familiar to me, so this must be the costus, an ingredient also unfamiliar to me.
I don't get the basil at all. It doesn't impress me as a whole. A nice scent, but unremarkable and not memorable.
Had a sample of this put in the bag when I was out picking up some Chanel last year. Put it aside as I had tested French Lime Blossom previously. Ho Hum.
Found it at the bottom of the pile of a bunch of Creed Samples.
It opens with an astonishingly beautiful Lime and a particularly Mandarin truthful. ( No Tangerine here) then I found it disappeared for a while.
It slowly drys down into a classic and elegant base of Patch, Vetiver, Basil. Very, very nice EDC for the times I'm in the heat.
This will be a Springtime buy!!
17th February, 2016 (last edited: 03rd April, 2016)
Nice citrus (lime, lemon or grapefruit)in this one. A very light herbal note (basil I presume)which is a nice pick-me-up on the intial spray. Perfect for warmer weather. 6.5/10
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.