Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone

Total Reviews: 58
Clear. Fresh. Nice herbal thing. Lightly bitter citrus. A basic green-citrus scent - not overly original. It's pleasant enough though. Never offends. Safe for workplaces, probably even if over-sprayed... Smells like an herbal, candy drop or lozenge, as it fades.
12th April, 2020
Kotori Show all reviews
United States
[b]Lime, Basil & Mandarin by Jo Malone[/b]
[b]Category:[/b] Hybrid of Category 2 and 3 (EDC/Bright Citrus)
[b]Rating[/b]: 3/5
[b]Longevity[/b]: 2/5

When I think of this house, I think of this fragrance, even though we own two Jo Malones at the Kotori household and neither are this. It’s been copied ad nauseum and turned into copycat candles and probably even something at Bath and Body Works. I’m very familiar; it’s ubiquitous. I used to adore it back when I could have never justified its cost. Now I’m exploring it for real, since I always pass it by when I’m at a counter, looking for what’s new. I love the basil! I grow basil every summer and I put it in everything we eat during the hottest months. It’s cooling and fragrant, and the note here is obvious now that I’m looking for it. I used to think the basil made it masculine, but I am not getting that at all today. Unisex. It even sours the citrus notes enough to make them interesting. A fruity citrus with a basil underpinning that recalls the rosemary/cypress/geranium/etc. in an EDC, but is tongue in cheek about it. Unfortunately, it’s quite fleeting, with the interesting bits being gone at around an hour. Note: may cause headache.
12th January, 2020
What a beauty. I'm not surprised it's their most popular one. Very fresh and uplifting, with aromatic twist. Great for summer. Great for anyone. Too bad it's so fleeting - would be amazing to smell it all day.
14th October, 2019
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Easily one of the most popular scent in Jo Malone's collection. Lime, Basil & Mandarin is a delightful citrus-spicy-green fragrance which is at once simple in concept, yet it works so well...alone or mixed with other scents.

Fragrance notes are many in this one...
Top notes: lime, mandarin orange, bergamot
Middle notes: basil, lilac, iris, thyme
Base notes: patchouli, vetiver

This one is a lime-centered, refreshing aromatic experience that benefits greatly from the supporting notes. It has depth when you close your eyes and really concentrate on what is going on inside: Sure, the edible basil leaf is there, as is the dominant lime and some mandarin to add juiciness; but then there's the subtleties of thyme herb, with its phenolic spicy and leathery quality; the scintilla of powdery sweet iris; and of course the base with sweet mossy vetiver and patchouli.

Layering it with other Jo Malone scents can help to reinforce / inhibit aspects of LB&M, depending on what you'd like the final product to smell like. I personally did not try to do that, but I see how the sales rep at the Nordstrom that I was visiting encouraged it of Jo Malone scents in general.

Overall, Lime, Basil & Mandarin is a rather exhilarating, warm weather appropriate scent that both men and women can enjoy. Give it a try for sure!
05th October, 2018
Very interesting aromatic blend of lime, basil, and mandarin orange. Mostly it's the lime and basil though. It has very tart citrus (lime with a hint of bitter orange) and is green in character. It oddly reminds me of the aroma I'd expect to smell in a greenhouse. It reminds me a lot of what the Herbology professor in the Harry Potter series would probably smell like, and is unlike any citrus fragrance I've smelled before. Sillage is moderate leaning strong on my skin while longevity is surprisingly good with 4 hours of good projection and many more hours as a skin scent after that. The really nice thing with this fragrance is that the lime not persists well into the drydown, which is unique as far as the lime note is concerned. Basil & Neroli remains my favourite from the Jo Malone line, but this is also pretty good. Also, it kind of resembles Dior's Eau Sauvage but without the leather note, with lime instead of lemon, and with way better longevity/performance. It's a scent that you won't like as much right away but will grow on you for what it does.

4.5/5
19th July, 2018
I can see why this seems to be probably the most popular JM fragrancce , or if not , it's definitely up there...what's not to like? ...an aromatic/juicy/fresh perfect summer fragrance...the title pretty much gives away the story...exquisitely blended orange/lime - juice-pulp-zest-rind...it's there in all it's glory with a generous sprinkling of freshly chopped basil...for a citrus the life on my skin is very nice...at 6 hours I can still smell a pretty good close to the skin scent...good stuff...skip the ozony aquatics and try rockin' this instead...
29th May, 2018
Lime Basil & Mandarin is one of the most famous and popular perfumes by niche brand Jo Malone, known for its simple yet striking perfume creations that drew their inspiration from easy to wear, sent-bon perfume compositions like Guerlain’s Aqua Allegorria composition. Despite being based on two essential scent ingredients, the story doesn’t end there but evolves rapidly because Jo Malone perfumes give every scent its own spice and twist. Each of their limes is a special lime and each rose is a special rose and together they make fantastic, quality, characteristic perfumes.

Lime Basil & Mandarin opening is juicy, fresh with a sharp scent of lime that you can almost taste. Ideal for waking up in the mornings instead of a cup of coffee. A fresh blow to wake you up and shake up your senses. But as I said in the intro, each ingredient has a special addition, like a footnote. So in this case, lime has a mild floral subtone. After five minutes, juiciness is replaced by aromatic, mildly citrus chord boosted with pepper, spicy notes, and universal lovable tangerine is one step behind. Despite being categorized as eau de cologne, this perfume is surprisingly lasting and has a projection of its own. The aura of freshness, like grass and Mediterranean orchard after a spring rain, will follow you all day long but it won’t be heavy for another people's noses. That is why I believe this is an ideal perfume for everyday chores, but it is also ideal for men who want to smell fresh, but also sophisticated unlike most of the sports perfume that knows not how to get to the next level and be more refined.

Ladies, despite the fact that through history, mythology and tradition basil was connected with a male principle and some old Jewish tribes used is for strength and courage, while in Rome and India it was used against evil, allow me to rephrase one of the greatest thinkers of the XX century Bela Hamvas and say that there is no one who wouldn’t notice a lady drinking her afternoon tea shrouded with a cloud of basil. Be sure that by wearing this basil in Lime Basil & Mandarin, you will not only repel evil but if Santeria tradition is true, attract new love.
04th November, 2017
Lime Basil & Mandarin smells to me like mostly mandarin aldehydes, which smell like plasticky fake orange. It also throws in a bunch of fake candied lime and some ginger and champagne aldehydes, all built on a support structure of leafy greens. The end result is a sparkling candied concoction that smells like fake citrus encased in plastic and served as a fizzy soda. It should be just terrible, but somehow it all just works and it radiates sparkling joy in a way that makes it almost impossible to dislike. I'd usually never give a thumbs up to something this artificial and candied, but I just can't resist Lime Basil & Mandarin's happy vibe.
14th November, 2016
Stardate 20161014:

A great modern cologne. One of the few good fragrances from this house.

It lasts a long time (again unlike others from this house) and has great projection.

The basil polishes the traditional cologne accord and makes it a lot more sophisticated.

No need to vintage hunt with this one- current version is very good.
A bit pricey but with this one a spray or 2 will suffice so get a small decant.
14th October, 2016
A nice and classy example of floral saltiness in perfumery, a sort of Eau de Rochas Homme's close parent, a juice kind of "dandy", yuppie and "posh". Jo Malone Lime basil&mandarin's opening is quite fizzy-sparkling, minty, aromatic, pungent, orangy-green and fresh, a burst of freshness relatively realistic and definitely mediterranean in vibe. Basil is adamant (minty and penetrating) while affording a quite botanic, almost balsamic culinary feeling, something paired in bright-medicinal-grassy tartness by lime and bergamot. There is just a tad of the classic cologney old-school restrained twist since this juice is actually (basically) modern, sporty, "tennis club like", more oriented towards a floral-aqueous (more contemporary) salty-herbal (vaguely tea-oriented) theme and "splashing". The floral presence is kind of pure, "flat", transparent and "neutral-aseptic". Lilac and iris provide indeed the modern floral-watery ("enchanted forest", quiescent pond-like, transparent) aura. The initial "juicy" herbal/orangy/lemony fizziness progressively fades in to something along the way more vague, earthy (patch and vetiver), severe and opaque (but still floral, aerial and sophisticated). Honestly I appreciate this minimalist but never simplistic take on floral vetiver as embellished by its twist of floral-earthy (salty-virile and ostensibly sweaty-organic) "complicacy". Dry down (because of the saltiness) gives on my "old-school skin" the sultry-sexy illusion of manly (after sport) sweaty acidity as flanked (and tamed) by a sort of floral deodorant undertone. I tend to dislike the Jo Malone's creations but on its complex I quite appreciate this dynamic juice. Not bad at all.
12th October, 2016 (last edited: 11th October, 2016)
Not bad at all as I was expecting less from a unisex JM frag. Projects well and lasted all day on my skin, a pleasant surprise. The lime and mandarin give the sweetness and fresh-kick but that basil is what makes it unique. Its clean and refreshing so summer seems like the best time to wear.
22nd August, 2016
It seems like this is one of JM's best known fragrances, but I guess I was late to the party. It is genuinely unisex, due to its true-to-natural-ingredients aroma. I admittedly don't know much about JM's sourcing and materials practices but this is at once juicy (think mandarin supremes), fragrant (think the immediate area around a lime being drawn over a microplane), and green (chopping up purple basil).
It doesn't last all day, but it's like a temporary burst of sunshine that makes a good work day wake-up.
07th August, 2016
This is a very nice fragrance. The lime and mandarin are natural and enjoyable. The patchouli and vetiver develops in the dry down and even though it gets a little powdery towards the end, I still really enjoy the opening and the majority of the dry down very much. This also has very good longevity and sillage for a Jo Malone frag as well...at least it does on me. A great warm weather fragrance.
05th August, 2016
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Natural smelling citruses in perfumery are all too rare. Many offerings in this genre sandpaper the nostrils with chemical potency. Lime Basil and Mandarin is an elegant exception.
After a joyous burst of lime at the start that feels like standing under a travel advert’s waterfall, it evolves through a heart phase where the herbal greens show through before sliding effortlessly into a drydown with a moss-and-dried-grass bed above which float that now much more muted citrus and light summery floral notes. It has the quality of some colognes of yesteryear – simplicity built on classical foundations – and is pleasing throughout, with a gentle presence.
10th June, 2016
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.
24th March, 2016
Had a sample of this put in the bag when I was out picking up some Chanel last year.

It opens with an astonishingly beautiful Lime and a particularly Mandarin truthful. ( No Tangerine here) Top notes dissipate
Drydown into a classic and elegant base of Patch, Vetiver, Basil. Very, very nice EDC for the times in the heat.
This will be a Springtime buy!!
17th February, 2016 (last edited: 09th January, 2017)
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
03rd November, 2015
Acid citrus with a herbal tonic note, set on a dark and bitter, juicy fruity syrup. Lime, Basil & Mandarin must surely be the originator (and almost sole example) of this kind of sulphurous fruity syrup cologne.

It's difficult to say where one of these materials ends and the next one begins; the blending is so good it creates a sort of virtual sum that's more than the parts - even if there are no doubt other pieces to this particular jigsaw than aren't credited in the title.

It seems to have taken a good six years before anyone in the perfume industry cottoned on to this new and original tune that Jo Malone was weaving in the air. It was eventually picked up and reorchestrated by Calice Becker for her brilliant Joop! composition What About Adam. She reduced the weight of LB&M and gave it rainbow wings, raising the pitch by a couple of octaves and launching it briefly airborne. Shortly after that Guerlain caught on to the buzz and released Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune, but they botched their version of the evanescent cassis and grapefruit accord with a cheap, chemical smelling off note.

What's surprising about all this is that it took so long for the sulphurous fruity style to gain any traction; maybe in the aquatic Nineties it felt too diabolical for the big boys to want to get involved, or possibly their reticence was due to the fact that Jo Malone made such a great job of it in the first place.

Whatever the reason, Lime Basil & Mandarin is an original great work, a modern classic. It may have partly been responsible for the emergence of the Petite Robe Noire style of acid fruity floral, but it would be grossly unfair to blame Jo Malone for that...

*****
08th August, 2015 (last edited: 15th September, 2018)
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.

6,5/10
21st May, 2015
Genre: Citrus

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.
19th June, 2014
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"

08th September, 2013
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.
24th April, 2013
Should be renamed Basil Basil and Basil on my skin. When i first tried this from a tester bottle in a Jo Malone store, It thought the juice had gone off. It was hard work. It has however over the last year or two grown on me. This is a fragrence I am very fond of now and makes me think. It also bucks my Jo Malone trend in that I am aware of it maybe 12 hours after application. Good stuff!
09th April, 2013
Tony T Show all reviews
United States
the top note of basil is a bit much and was not what i was expecting. then maybe an hour later this became manly and endurable through the cold winter day.6 hours later it is still going very strong and i could see it lasting 10 hours. this is frommy sample!!!the basil is much more subdued and the base note of thyme is kicking in providing a great earthy feel. this is a great comfort scent. will be buying a bottle come spring/summer..
11th February, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A decent bit of lime and mandarin, little basil, nice, very subdued and casting less than an hour on me. Not getting me excited.
20th September, 2012
Lime, basil, and mandarin is along the same lines as many other of the higher quality citrus fragrances. There's a candied aspect to the citrus that makes this more of a novelty than an actual fragrance. Another problem with this fragrance is the longevity which is the major issue with many of Jo Malone's fragrances. It's actually better than most of her fragrances, but there are better examples on the market. Enjoyable, but not bottle worthy.
24th July, 2012
Jo Malone's Lime, Basil and Mandarin has a beautiful, bracing, citrus opening with a very pronunced lime note swimming just ahead of the mandarin orange and bergamot notes. This opening lasts about one-half hour before slipping behind the basil that bursts through the citrus accord and welcomes all who are near to the emerging herb garden. While I'm not a huge fan of basil, I find LBM's basil note to be acceptable. It its what the name says. The mid notes in LBM remind me somewhat of the mid notes in Polo Modern Reserve, a fragrance that is light years away from LBM in character and temperament. The emergence of patchouli really sells LBM. The basil becomes restrained which helps avoid a complete herbal takeover. I can easily see LBM in my summer rotation. A perfect fit for trips to my favorite Thai restaurant.
11th December, 2011 (last edited: 12th December, 2011)
I only smelled this for the first time recently. It has such a pretty opening and it seems like it might simply be a long-lasting take on the eau de cologne. The heart turns out to be fairly short-lived, but the basenotes, while quiet, are quite durable. The base hints at vetiver, patchouli and iris, having a dry, dusty feel. It seems a bit like dried citrus rind, the perfect ending to the citrus-dominant start.
05th November, 2011
The mandarin just glows and the lime-basil lends interest. This is an incredible mood-lifter for me.

On a humid, muggy day, for about 15 minutes I feel like a Thai yum tofu salad but then it passes. For some reason I don't register this aspect when it's not humid. So yes, the basil is very prominent here. It's not vaguely herbal, it's unmistakably basil.

I had halfway-decent longevity and it was much better than other Jo Malones I've tried with seem to disappear almost instantly. For me this lasts about three hours and then leaves a faint shadow of itself for the rest of the day.
07th May, 2011
Benj Show all reviews
United States
I'm torn with this one. This is one of Malone's first perfumes and the one I liked best at first. The basil gives an interesting and lovely note, and the fresh citrus is exceptionally well done. All three notes in the name really do come through. Overall this is an excellent citrus-basil accord that becomes more floral and slightly garrigue-ish with time. Hurrah! A Jo Malone perfume that evolves! Oh, wait, what's that? Oh dear, the basil is rotting on my skin. ARGH, now it's starting to smell more and more like week-old salad. Lovely at first, but it doesn't end well for this pretty little perfume.
16th January, 2011 (last edited: 28th January, 2011)