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  1. #1

    Default Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    So, I've tried probably a dozen Jo Malones, and own a couple of 1oz bottles.
    I feel many of the typical comments ring true with regard to them, I think; they're soft, natural smelling, arguably over-priced, fairly short-lived, clean and pleasant.

    Words I wouldn't use to describe them, however, include challenging and complex, unless you refer to the challenge of having to smell like a chocolate orange from wearing their new Sugar and Spice range.
    I bought Black Vetyver Cafe because it was so damned nice, and I thought it was as close to complex as the range got.

    WRONG!

    Pomegranate Noir came along and opened my eyes. It is the one Malone frag that I can't say for certainty whether I like it or not. It wavers between smoky/dry and juicy/semi-sweet. I mean there's fruit, spice, wood, musk, florals and a whole bunch more in there. I've tried it twice and can't get a good read on it.

    I'd love to hear from you guys about any experiences with Jo Malone fragrances that you find complex, or even just the Malones you find to be standouts amongst the range. PN has definitely thrown me for a loop.

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Quote Originally Posted by timdoeswell View Post
    I'd love to hear from you guys about any experiences with Jo Malone fragrances that you find complex, or even just the Malones you find to be standouts amongst the range.
    Haven't personally come across any I've tried that IMO fit the description above.

  3. #3
    CologneFan85
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    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Joe Malone Lime And Basil...Hated it. If I found it good I would say why lol

  4. #4
    Basenotes Junkie mikesc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Rose Water & Vanilla has great longevity and projection. In that way it's a stand out.
    Tom Ford Private Blend Splits Costa Azzurra / Mandarino Di Amalfi / Oud Wood / Tobacco Vanille / Tobacco Oud / Neroli Portofino / Noir de Noir / Tuscan Leather / Plum Japonais/ Oud Fleur / Italian Cypress HERE

  5. #5
    Dependent Akahina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Pomegranate Noir is the only one I have purchased. Worthy. But I bought it at Christmas in a box with some name like Library collection... It had the bottle od PN and three 10ml bottles of monochords to layer with it. One of them was Gaiac. Holy cow! The best gaiac I have smelled so far but damn, only 10ml. I wrote to them and told them it ahould be released anf begged for more. Never heard back.

    Jo Malone is incredible. So sad the scents are so weak. They should make a line of parfums or extraits. That would cut into their profit margins though so I suspect it will never happen. So therefore I will not be buying more.
    My Favorites
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    6. Bond No.9 New York Oud
    7. Norma Kamali Incense


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    The IFRA can bite me!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Pom Noir is my fav from the line, it seems to have fairly good longevity too. I also like Amber & Lavendar and Blue Agave & Cacao.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Was given a large sample of 154 by a sales associate last year. Didn't care for it really at all. I keep coming back to it, but it has a sour pseudo-leather-ish note that just comes off as a dirty smell to me.

    Other Jo Malones I have tried have been pleasant, but not "wow".

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougczar View Post

    Jo Malones I have tried have been pleasant, but not "wow".
    That pretty much sums it up for me too. I find many are pleasant, but no WOW factor.

    Let's not forget they are colognes, so they won't last or project.

  9. #9
    Super Member CompassRose's Avatar
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    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Quote Originally Posted by PalmBeach View Post
    Let's not forget they are colognes, so they won't last or project.
    Oh, Pomegranate Noir does, all right, both, all over the place and forever. (I find it "challenging" in the horrific way, though. The fruit rings terribly fake to me. I would describe it as the potpourri in a devil's bathroom. No shade on others' liking for it, of course.)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Quote Originally Posted by PalmBeach View Post
    Let's not forget they are colognes, so they won't last or project.
    Oh most certainly colognes are generally going to be weaker, but there are some colognes (Tabac, Shaving Shop, etc) that last a good 6-7 hours on me, though admittedly I layer them with the matching aftershaves.
    There are some lovely scents in the Malone line, and if they even lasted a good 4 hours they'd be worth a purchase. At $90 an oz here in Australia, I find it hard to justify the pricetag if I only get a couple of hours from them.
    They would be good decanted into a travel sprayer and kept in the briefcase, though.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    The only one I would call complex is amber lavender and it last longer than the others. The one that has numbers " I think 154" is not bad but not great either. The others are too sweet for me.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    I have Blue Agave & Cacao, Vanilla & Anise, and Earl Grey & Cucumber. The dry down of Blue Agave & Cacao reminds me of DHI. I have yet to layer it with Vanilla & Anise, but I think it would make a very interesting final product. I can't say I find any of the offerings from Jo Malone complex, but they're good for what they are. I prefer some over others and their priced well enough to be affordable.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    A woman at work wears one of the Cologne Intense fragrances (I think one of the Ouds but I'm not sure), and it projects like mad. I asked her if she was wearing Bulgari Omnia.

    I found Sweet Lime & Cedar very challenging; it made me smell like a curry. Otherwise, like others, I find their fragrances pleasant but not very interesting.

  14. #14
    Dependent
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    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    That Oud Bergamot is pleasant, but it came off rather light to my nose. Good to hear it projects.

    I own Amber & Lavender which is quite dry, hardly any amber or lavender.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    I'm with the OP. I've tried them all, find a couple to be okay/nice, but really not worthy of purchase. But Pomegranate Noir does strike me as the most unique and interesting. It's not what I thought it would be at all from the note breakdown, and the cedar, rhubarb, and clove all interact in a fascinating way on my skin. It's got a lovely peppery, medicinal quality to it that really compliments the pomegranate itself. With that said, it's perhaps not quite as subtle as I'd ideally like it (it kind of reminds me of a Bond scent in that everything is loud and quite upfront), but I'd definitely say give it a spin as it does indeed have more character than some of the others.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Seems to be a nice fragrance, would there be samples available online ?

  17. #17

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Quote Originally Posted by fraghead93 View Post
    Seems to be a nice fragrance, would there be samples available online ?
    Depending on where you're at, of course, there are JM stations set up in a lot of mall stores these days, and they're usually pretty generous with the samples. Shouldn't be too hard to get a hold of some. Their Wild Fig and Cassis, Intense Amber & Patchouli, Intense Oud and Bergamot, Dark Amber and Ginger Lily are all sniff-worthy, too (although none is doing anything particularly revolutionary).

  18. #18

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    deadidol has my take on Pomegranate Noir, which is but for some small considerations a hell of a frgrance, not shy by any means and definitely interesting.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    I find some of the very pleasant but so fleeting that they're not worth the money. I realise they're EDCs but some lasted only 10 minutes on me.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    I have a FB of Intense Oud & Bergamot, and it is very nice layered with Cambodian Oud oil.
    Well, it's cheaper than therapy... edit: No it's not...

  21. #21

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    I like Wild Fig & Cassis Cologne and Lime and Mandarin but as others have pointed out, they're overpriced and don't last long.

  22. #22
    treeman5823
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    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    The only Joe Malone that I truly like (from those that I've smelled so far) is Lime Basil and Mandarin. All the others seem ho-hum.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    I just love their oud Iriss. Incredible.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    i thought their pure mint leaf was the cleanest take on spearmint i have tried.....if you ike cdg green or heelys menthe fraiche you will probably like jo malone pure mint leaf
    14 sprays of DRAKKAR NOIR should do it

  25. #25

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Jo Malone Frags are (Malone SA's self admittedly) simplistic, and they are now recommending that buyers intentionally add complexity and variability by buying several and combining them for a personalized approach.

    But yes, for a simple, fun, not complex frag, Pom Noir and Vetyver Cafe have merits.

    But the lack of complexity and minimalism was one of the hallmarks for commercial fragrances that I rebelled against when I started to formulate my line of niche fragrances. I guess my hallmarks are indeed complexity and longevity, purposely, because I rarely saw it in so many fragrances.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    A ha...a recent Jo Malone thread! Here's my story...

    I got a number of Jo Malone vials at a Bloomingdales, specifically asking the lady which ones were more "masculine-smelling", or at least more preferred by men for themselves. She gave me:

    Lime, Basil and Mandarin
    Vetyver
    Oud and Bergamot
    Amber and Lavender
    154

    and I was impressed with how well they all fit the bill.

    Looking through their nice little brochure, I was trying to find others to order from TPC or get vials from Neiman's or Nordstrom. Before I do, which of these would you say are the most masculine or feminine?

    Amber and Patchouli
    Blackberry and Bay
    Earl Grey and Cucumber
    Grapefruit
    Black Cedarwood and Juniper
    Nutmeg and Ginger
    Saffron
    Wild Fig and Cassis

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redbeard View Post
    A ha...a recent Jo Malone thread! Here's my story...

    I got a number of Jo Malone vials at a Bloomingdales, specifically asking the lady which ones were more "masculine-smelling", or at least more preferred by men for themselves. She gave me:

    Lime, Basil and Mandarin
    Vetyver
    Oud and Bergamot
    Amber and Lavender
    154

    and I was impressed with how well they all fit the bill.

    Looking through their nice little brochure, I was trying to find others to order from TPC or get vials from Neiman's or Nordstrom. Before I do, which of these would you say are the most masculine or feminine?

    Amber and Patchouli
    Blackberry and Bay
    Earl Grey and Cucumber
    Grapefruit
    Black Cedarwood and Juniper
    Nutmeg and Ginger
    Saffron
    Wild Fig and Cassis
    Blackberry and Bay is quite feminine...to me.
    Earl Grey and Cucumber-unisex leaning feminine.
    Grapefruit-Unisex down the middle.
    Nutmeg and Ginger-Unisex maybe slightly leaning masculine.
    Saffron-Unisex but leaning masculine...to me.
    Wild Fig and Cassis-Unisex down the middle.

    I don't have any experience with Amber and Patchouli, or Black Cedarwood and Juniper. Of the one's you mention...my favorites are Wild Fig and Cassis, Saffron and Nutmeg and Ginger. Wild Fig is very realistic figs on a woody leafy fig tree. Saffron is creamy and good, and Nutmeg and Ginger is a little spicey...a little.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    I love 154. Jo Malone fragrances are ones that you'd want to smell on another person. I'd hate to ride an elevator with most peoples definition of a 'complex' fragrance
    Current rotation:

    Ciel Man
    Millesime Imperial
    Green Irish Tweed
    L'Homme
    Scandal Pour Homme

  29. #29

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    OK, thanks Kybid....that gives me a good starting point. A lot of the niche lines call their whole lineup unisex, which I think does the consumer a disservice since it's so common for them to lean one way or the other. Or to very clearly smell like men's or women's releases from designer lines (i.e. I'd be taken aback by Amber+Lavender or 154 on a woman!). Fortunately I have an eager recipient for any that are too feminine for me, I may just order all 8 anyway, and give the ones in question to her.

    And Preston, yes, I'm starting to see this exact thing as their strong point, and wishing I had checked out the JM line sooner. They're interesting enough, without being too strange, but are quiet and not too pushy. The only problem is that some may just be too weak or too dull.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redbeard View Post
    They're interesting enough, without being too strange, but are quiet and not too pushy. The only problem is that some may just be too weak or too dull.
    Have you tried Blue Agava and Cacao? It's actually pretty unisex...my wife liked it on me and thought it was quite masculine...it might be my skin...the only problem, for me, is that it goes powdery...which I can't tolerate, but it you like a little powder this could be a good one. I say this because this one lasts forever on me...no longevity problems.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    I have tried as many as I can but my impression of this brand is pretty much 'Creed for Sloane Rangers', I'm afraid. There's certainly some artistry in the overall approach, let's put that another way . . . they are not using the cheapest ingredients and someone is actually trying to make nice fragrances . . . but they appear to be charging way beyond the EdC style (perfumes for people who are afraid of wearing perfume) and the whole chic apothecary thing 'ohhhh, you can layer this with that and create your own signature scent' is all a bit much, frankly. Basically there is nothing about the aesthetic of this brand I can personally connect to at all but I can see where they have identified their market so good luck to them.
    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”
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  32. #32

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    I haven't purchased any but everytime I go to Nordstrom, I smell them. They all smell good imo but nothing mind blowing. Longevity is an issue as well. Maybe one day I will buy some.

    Anyone have a good combo layer recommendation for Jo Malone?

  33. #33

    Default Re: Wait...what? A challenging Jo Malone?

    I like Black Vetyver Cafe

    She's left the company but the name remains

    Her spin off 'Jo Loves' have some nice fragrances

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