Jo Malone London has been a tad hit and miss for me in the last year, but things have picked up with its latest release, Rare Teas.
I’m currently doused in Darjeeling Tea, one of the new limited edition Rare Teas colognes, which retail at a premium £ 240 for 175ml. The essence of this collection is taking six revered rare teas from exotic locales including Morocco and Japan and infusing them straight from the leaf into a fragrance. It’s a ritualistic process and actually unheard of in fragrance until now. Each tea is blended with other ingredients to create a completely new but tea-centric concoction.
It might sound like an odd notion but one of my favourite summer scents of the last few years is & Other Stories’ Moroccan Tea eau de toilette. Fresh, light and a little bit sweet (imagine a mint-meets-amber infusion), it’s a good example of how well a suggestion of tea works as a perfume. (Note: It’s consistently sold out, but there’s a body mist available here.)
With Jo Malone London Darjeeling Tea, I don’t smell much of the ‘tea’. It’s more of a citrussy floral scent (actually it’s apricot) but that’s OK, you’re not meant to take it literally. So it’s about the idea of what tea represents – slowing down, mindfulness – than smelling like a cup of best builders’ brew.
The other cologne I love from this collection is Midnight Black Tea. A sensual, woody cologne (it’s Chinese Puerh tea with a hint of vanilla), it lasts well and leaves you with the same sense of calm comfort as, well, a reassuring cuppa. At £240 these fragrances are expensive but you get what you pay for. The raw tea ingredients are indeed rare (puerh tea takes years to mature), the weighty glass bottles feel extravagant and the tops close with that sexy magnetic click that only the fanciest bottles have. All this, plus a new logo, point to a new uber-luxury tier being trialled by the brand.
The Jo Malone London Rare Teas collection is on sale now in 15 UK stores and will be online by the end of this week.
WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla/Disneyrollergirl
IMAGE: Jo Malone London
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples