If you haven’t heard of the Bloomsbury Set by now, all will become very very evident by the New Year.
A frequent inspiration for fashion, interior and textile designers, the English bohemian coterie of the 1920s is having quite the creative resurgence. This happens every few years and I can’t really offer an explanation for why now other than an urge for us all to seek sanctuary in pure, unbridled creativity while the world seems to implode around us.
Some may point to punk, but I prefer to point to the polymath Woolfs, Bells, Grants and co. Burberry has embraced Bloomsbury in a big way with its Virginia Woolf-inspired autumn collection (buy it here), while The Dulwich Picture Gallery will be showing a major Vanessa Bell retrospective from 8th February 2017. Expect to see the full monty of disciplines, from paintings to ceramics, fabrics, works on paper, photographs and related ephemera from the archives.
And in a most timely fashion, Jo Malone London is embracing the Bloomsbury Set for its big Spring limited edition fragrance splash, which celebrates British creativity with five new scents. The Jo Malone Bloomsbury Set press day was decorated with painterly touches as well as a crafting studio where we had a go at bookbinding our own little notebooks. I was very pleased with mine (below)…
But onto the scents. These are intended to evoke the unconventional lives of the artists as well as their fabulous surroundings at Charleston. So the five colognes include Blue Hyacinth, Garden Lilies, Leather & Artemisia, Tobacco & Mandarin, and Whisky & Cedarwood. (All 30ml, £46.) I got a quick sniff at them all, but my instant favourite was Whisky and Cedarwood, a boozy but comforting scent suggestive of frisky night-time goings-on in each other’s bedrooms. Blimey! [UPDATE: Whisky & Cedarwood seems to be the outright favourite.]
Blue Hyacinth is an easy to wear summery floral; Tobacco and Mandarin is herby, tangy and sweet; Garden Lilies is a straightforward dewy lily warmed with vanilla and musk, while Leather & Artemis is another one of those gentlemanly (or gentlewomanly) colognes that are equal measures of syrup-y booze tempered with wood and leather. Exciting, and to use that annoying phrase, there’s something for everyone…
Also noteworthy is the packaging, which you can see above. Each bottle is decorated with abstract paint strokes that show through to the other side. Very nicely done.
The Jo Malone London Bloomsbury Set limited edition collection is available from March 2017.
WORDS AND IMAGES: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here