Jo Malone Launches Its Latest Perfect-For-Layering Scent

Photo: Courtesy of Jo Malone London.
Elegant and different. This is how Parisian master perfumer Marie Salamagne describes the cologne company Jo Malone London. Like the names of its fragrances — White Jasmine & Mint, Blackberry & Bay, Earl Grey & Cucumber, and its newest launch Mimosa & Cardamom, to name a few — these are ideas that aren't often paired together, but perfectly capture the essence of the brand.

“The names [of the fragrances] always describe the hero ingredients, or the most unusual ingredients, or the most contrasting ingredients, in that fragrance,” explains Jo Malone global fragrance ambassador Chris Wyatt.

Its penchant for creating uncomplicated formulas with just a few standout, unexpected notes is one of the reasons the team at Jo Malone chose Salamagne to formulate Mimosa & Cardamom. “We work with Marie a lot because she has a certain simplicity and never [uses] too many ingredients," says Jo Malone fragrance director Céline Roux. Salamagne is also the nose behind Alaïa’s first fragrance, four other Jo Malone scents including Incense & Cedrat and Osmanthus Blossom, and is notably a young female in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

Salamagne calls Mimosa & Cardamom a "new bohemian" scent, inspired by the British travelers of the Victorian Era who collected rich textiles, tiles, and other treasures from their trips to the Middle East. Salamagne also looked to those who had a similar mindset in the 1960s and 70s, like the British designer Thea Porter who dressed the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd in an array of vibrant, Eastern-inspired colors and fabrics long before Rachel Zoe was doing boho chic.

Mimosa & Cardamom is the 27th cologne in the Jo Malone permanent collection; all of the brand's creations can either be worn on their own or combined with any of the others. Not to get too mathematical on you, but that equals over 400 combinations. (I can also attest that they play well with non-Jo Malone fragrances, too — I've been wearing Wood Sage & Sea Salt body cream with Tom Ford Neroli Portofino all summer long.)
Photo: Courtesy of Jo Malone London.
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“Fragrance-layering has always been in our brand DNA, from the very start [in 1994],” says Wyatt. “Our philosophy…is very much that the customer can pick a fragrance and customize it to his or her mood, the occasion, or their outfit. It's a really fun concept to experiment with, because it means on any different day you can smell like a different person.”

The two main notes in Mimosa & Cardamom are contrasting, but work together to create an unexpectedly alluring scent. This is the thought process behind the brand, and the outcome you should also expect when creating your own scents, whether layering two (or three) colognes, or a cologne with a body lotion or wash.

At the heart of the scent is mimosa — the blossom, not the brunch drink (though they share a name and a color) — which flourishes in the winter months in the hills outside of Grasse, France. The flower is fluffy in texture and scent — powdery and honey-like. "It was a nice challenge,” says Salamagne. “Mimosa is pretty unusual and hasn’t been used for awhile. It is a beautiful flower; very sensual, very textured, too."

Cardamom, also a unique note, which is more often found in masculine scents, adds vibrancy and lightness to the fragrance. (Did you know that cardamom is a cold — not hot — spice?) “It seems to be light thanks to the cardamom — because of its freshness,” says Salamagne. “[Then] when you put it on your skin, you’ll have the softness of the mimosa and the sensuality coming out.”

This combo allows Mimosa & Cardamom to mesh well with all the other scents. When layering your own fragrances, Wyatt suggests finding your signature scent and then building around it. "When I first started mixing fragrances, I would pick one with a similar personality or similar tone so the ingredients would blend fluidly into each other," he says. "But as I started to become more confident with it, I learned that wearing fragrances that can be seen as contrasting to each other can actually create quite an impact."

If you want to warm up your scent, add in something with a floral bouquet, like one of my faves Tuberose Angelica, or a woodsy scent like Wild Fig & Cassis. To add to the freshness, try a citrus or fruity scent like Grapefruit or Nectarine Blossom & Honey. But no matter what combo you go with, Wyatt says your thinking shouldn't be too formulaic. "It’s all down to your own taste and your own likes. It should be experimental and fun!"
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