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  1. #1

    Default Jo Malone sugar and spice

    I didn't see any other thread on the Jo Malone sugar and spice series, other than the announcement some time ago, so I'll open one-I smelled some of them in a store earlier today.

    This series evidently tries to cash in on the current, inexplicable fascination of US young women with cupcakes. Common in celebscents, such genre has now infiltrated niche perfumery. Histoires de Parfum just launched its Alice and Peter line a few months ago, with cupcake shaped bottles. Jo Malone, owned by uberamericana Estee Lauder, claims to be inspired by English cakes-as if they were any more classy than the American counterpart (here, I'm thinking about Turin's comment on English firms peddling their overpriced stuff to clueless tourists at Fortunum and Mason).

    Unfortunately, the first one I picked up was the bitter orange and chocolate. It is exactly what is says it is. In atypical fashion for the house, it is a potent, realistic, high calorie concentrate of an orangecream chocolate cupcake. Said concoction, while not entirely bad when eaten, is already at the limit of human digestive capacity. Spritzed on, it is simply revolting. In retrospect, it explains why fruity syrups for girls add tons of sharp, acidic florals: at least it makes the juice inedible. Here, it's pure gourmandise. The only use I can see for this thing is as an appetite suppressant for fashionable girls planning to become anorexic.

    After this, it was hard to discern much about the others. At least, they are not as potent. On paper at home, I have something that smells like lemon cream, not entirely bad, but too sweet (where is Feu d'Issey when we need it?) Reading the descriptions, it could be the lemon tart. Another strip smells tart and slightly flowery. Not bad either, but I'm not sure what it is.

    cacio

  2. #2
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    Kiliwia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    I think they sound interesting and fun, especially the Red Currant & Cream.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    I'll certainly give them a go. A quick glance at my wardrobe is enough to tell you that I like things sweet. Though I'm more of a sweet-meets-something-more-interesting kind of girl. These sound more straight up cake. But a gourmand lover like me will have to give them a sniff.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    The others could indeed have been interesting - hard to say in the presence of the first one. Whose problem, as scentsucker suggested, is exactly its literalness. Chocolate plus something inedible can be fun (Noir de noir, Dune, Borneo 1836, etc). Edible chocolate is best left to the mouth.

    cacio

  5. #5

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    Oh, for the days when a scent like Câline by Patou was meant as a beginner perfume for young ladies.

    This trend toward the toothachingly sweet and overly literal food references is, I suspect, fed mostly by the age group spending its allowance as opposed to the age group spending its paycheck. Imo, the pandering to it by fragrance companies is like giving in to the toddler riding in the shopping cart screaming for treats as you go down the cookie aisle in the supermarket.

  6. #6
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    I took a drive to Nordstrom today and tested, on skin, 4 of the 5 fragrances in the Sugar & Spice collection (they are still waiting to receive their bottles of Redcurrant & Cream.)

    Short and to the point, then:

    Lemon Tart-- A nice lemon that is a bit rhubarb-y at first, but within about 45 minutes it is all pencil shavings (cedar.)

    Elderflower & Gooseberry-- I'd use this scent for fabric softener sheets (nice ones)-- inoffensive fruity floral-- more floral than fruity IMO.

    Bitter Orange & Chocolate-- Harsh orange/chocolate, quite unappetizing, evolving over the next 1.5 hours into a Johnson's baby powder with strong honey note. If I huff warm air over the skin, I get a bit of the orange and chocolate even now.

    Ginger Biscuit-- This one I had hopes for, but it was not to be. In-your-face overload of spices drying down to musk.

    I sprayed 4 cotton rounds lightly and brought them home in separate plastic bags to revisit them later (maybe.)

    Risky blind buys.
    Last edited by 30 Roses; 21st February 2013 at 11:05 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    Thank you 30 Roses for your impressions. I hope the Red Currant & Cream when you get to try it leaves a good impression, that's the one I'm most interested in.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    Thank you, 30R.

  9. #9
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    They should be getting the 5th one in soon, so I'll probably take a drive up next week-- after the upcoming weekend storm is over.

    I think the Tea Collection from 2 years ago was better.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    Gourmand lovers will probably LOVE this collection (but maybe not).

    Initially I like all of these with sampling but purchased Ginger Biscuit, and have never had such an awful fragrance experience. Cloyingly sweet (off-putting, nauseating even though I LOVE nutmeg and ginger, etc) mixed and wierd reactions from people. Some seem to detest it others seem to enjoy it and want to sit closer (?). I myself could smell it pouring off me and found it disgusting after a few tries. The first fragrance EVER I've ever had to scrub off as soon as I could get to the shower. Will be GIVING AWAY my bottle ASAP. See my review under Ginger Biscuit.

    Though I do admire the concept and love British food and desserts, this was not a winner for me.

    UPDATE: The Ginger Biscuit has actually grown on me and sprayed lightly (1-2) is nice and not too sweet. Much more balances and spicy. If oversprayed this one can be cloying. And LOVE the Bitter Orange and Chocolate, it is probably the most exotic / oriental of the collection. and Lemon Tart and Redcurrant are good too. I actually like the entire collection. I wish they weren't so expensive Id buy 2 sets.
    Last edited by BillyC28; 8th March 2013 at 10:26 PM. Reason: ADD INPUT

  11. #11

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    Lemon Tart kinda sounds nice. Thanks for those impressions, 30R! And I still wanna try that orange and chocolate for sure.
    "Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." -Mark Twain

  12. #12

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    Perfect timing for this thread. I saw these at Neimans last Saturday, loved the colored caps & labels, and I quickly spritzed the Red Currant & Cream on my hand. It is bright, very bright & tart. It also smelled familiar, like I had smelled it before, though I couldn't place where I smelled it. I went to Bloomingdales this evening as after a long work week, I needed to sniff & buy something pretty. I revisited the JM counter and tried RC&C again. The same familiar feeling hit me immediately when I smelled it. The SA, sniffed and said "It smells like something you can get at Bath & Body Works. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you want this smell you can pay a lot less and get a lot more for it." She nailed it, that was the familiar tug I kept getting, it smelled like Sun Ripened Raspberry. Just my two cents. BTW, I purchased the Elderflower & Gooseberry. Light floral, somewhat fruity & powdery scent. Very soft. Exactly what I needed soothe my nerves

  13. #13
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    Quote Originally Posted by Addicted2Pretty View Post
    ... Elderflower & Gooseberry. Light floral, somewhat fruity & powdery scent. Very soft. Exactly what I needed soothe my nerves
    I just smelled my right arm where I sprayed this one, 10+ hours ago. It's just a skin scent now, of course, but I'm getting the heliotrope/ powderiness-- it's a little sour.
    Last edited by 30 Roses; 22nd February 2013 at 03:47 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    Whoa, these sound disappointing. I must say the line has had so many dud's recently, although I must admit I love the last one Blackberry & Bay. Maybe they should stick with these singular releases rather than releasing multiple lackluster fragrances.
    "You are here to enable the Divine purpose of the Universe to unfold. That is how important you are."

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  15. #15

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    I am not sure whether or not to buy one or more of these blind...help me!
    I especially need to know if the base of any of them is similar to Pomegranate Noir--I want Redcurrant & Cream, but I'm afraid that the musk note might be the note/base I am trying to avoid. (I am always looking for a good raspberry/strawberry scent--love the LE L'Artisan Sautes d'Humeur a Rire and Hilde Soliani FRaaagola Saalaaata).

    Really looking at ALL of them, though...they all sound really yummy.

    From the line, I like: Wild Bluebell, Orange Blossom, Vintage Gardenia (usually)

    Do not like: Lime Basil & Mandarin (too green? turns sort of musty), Pomegranate Noir, Amber & Lavender, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Grapefruit, Sweet Lemon, Sweet Milk, Raspberry Cologne (LE), Blackberry & Bay, Earl Grey & Cucumber Cologne, Plum Blossom

    The drydown/base on a lot of these (Blackberry & Bay, Pomegranate Noir, and Raspberry, at least, maybe a couple of others) turns into this woody or musty smell on me. Is that base is a signature of a lot of Jo Malones? I am trying to avoid buying one that will just drydown into this same base that I dislike.
    Last edited by kayley123; 28th February 2013 at 01:31 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    I agree. This line has so much going on one after the other especially with their collections its hard to keep up! And most are limited edition so have no chance before their pulled (i.e, London Blooms, Sakura Cherry Blossom, Plum Blossom).

    But I do appreciate this "idea" or "esthetic". Loved the Tea Collection. I loved Blackberry and Bay too, but must admit the drydown on it does become a little"musty" or "bitter herby". Probably from combo of vetiver and grapefruit after effects.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    kayley:
    I don't know Jo Malones well enough to say if the drydown is the same. But this being the same brand, it is possible, so try to smell first. Incidentally, if you want berry, next time you happen near a Urban outfitters, try the alice and peter perfumes, the wicked berry one
    http://usa.alicepeter.com/
    This being a different brand, perhaps it has a different drydown.

    cacio

  18. #18

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    Hmm. Doesnt sound great so far. To be honest, I'm a bit meh about this line's popular scents like pomegranate noir, basil lime etc. The only ones I've liked so far are black vetyver cafe and blue agave and cacao. Even then, they are fleeting on me and I'm on a strict budget now. So unless this new collection is outstanding, I think I'll save my pennies for Guerlain. Thanks for your thoughts on this 30R, much appreciated.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    kayley:
    I don't know Jo Malones well enough to say if the drydown is the same. But this being the same brand, it is possible, so try to smell first. Incidentally, if you want berry, next time you happen near a Urban outfitters, try the alice and peter perfumes, the wicked berry one
    http://usa.alicepeter.com/
    This being a different brand, perhaps it has a different drydown.

    cacio
    Ooh thanks for the suggestion! And they have a sample set...

  20. #20

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    I've tried these now

    Elderflower and gooseberry: tolerable, disappears in 5 minutes

    Bitter orange and chocolate: exactly like a Terry's chocolate orange

    Lemon Tart: least sweet, totally blah

    Ginger biscuit: mildly ginger, buy Serge Lutens five o'clock au gingembre for a far superior rendition

    Redcurrant and cream: bit sweet, bit tart, didnt wait for the dry drown as I completely forgot I had it on.

    If these were inspired by british desserts, then we must all have eaten school dinners only.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    I'm bummed Jo Malone has started using people/models in their campaigns. It's so much better when companies devoted to fragrance keep it ABOUT fragrance and ingredients rather than be like every other design trendy company. I HOPE Le Labo keeps it simple and doesn't start using model campaigns.

    It also doesn't help their "unisex" ideology (i.e, Wild Bluebell, Sugar and Spice, etc)

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    i won't be purchasing this collection. My love/hate (mostly hate) relationship with Jo Malone scents continues. Also, I think the $60.00 price tag on 30 mls of cologne.....you read that right....C O L O G N E, is a huge slap. It's blatant marketing, "well for $50 more I get 100mls."

    There are only 2 scents in this entire line I'd buy in the 100 ml size, perhaps 3.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    I'm not a huge fan of gourmande scents, so I was pretty meh about these. I did like the red currant and cream enough to get a sample. Like most of the Jo Malone scents, longevity is not it's strong point. It had a slightly warm spice scent to me along with the currant after the tarty fruit opening which I really enjoyed. Might have to revisit this one in the fall (though it wont be around anymore to buy, I guess) but for now my money is needed for other scents.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    I just read cacio's comments about the orange and chocolate..that sounds like a real bummer! I really dig orange/chocolate combos..but not a cupcake verison! Cupcake? Doesn't sound good, I still want to sniff but anything cupcake is like a pass.
    "Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it." -Mark Twain

  25. #25

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    Looking forward to trying some of these, hopefully the spice bit will downtone the florals.

  26. #26
    Basenotes Institution 30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    cc1987, these were a limited edition, and with Jo Malone, they don't stay around for long in the stores. But I do see a bunch listed on eBay.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Jo Malone sugar and spice

    I wondered why I'd not seen these in store! thanks for letting me know

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