Sorry I’m not sorry
There is something very grown up about buying a Jo Malone fragrance. It’s not easy on the wallet, but it isn’t really about the number it rings up on the til. It has a confidence about it. You are quietly shunning transient celebrity endorsements and cringe making, garish bottles that resemble the sale page of the Ann Summers catalogue. It is truly classic.
The large jar of rainbow coloured spray cards I used to collect on lunch time trips to department store beauty halls isn’t as thrilling as it used to be. As you get older, or at least as I have grown older, I’m more impressed by quality and elegance. There is a giddiness to clean black lines, thick mottled card and hand-tied, matte ribbon bows.
It’s about making an investment in yourself and feeling that you deserve the spoils of a genuine perfume house; one that crafts its scents carefully, so they’re not overloaded with alcohol and so many notes that they become an unidentifiable tangle on your neck.
My summer perfume from last year, Especially Escada, is almost empty. It’s a fresh combination of rose and pear, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy it again. Faced with the full Jo Malone collection this past weekend, I started spritzing. And I did what all good perfume shoppers should do; I allowed those I loved to develop on my skin before making a decision.
I was initially enamoured with the limited edition Elderflower and Gooseberry cologne, but it became slightly too sweet after a few hours. I groaned with lust for the Vanilla and Anise. Its spiciness, though, is made for chilly winter nights. What I ended up buying was the Earl Grey and Cucumber cologne. I was drawn to it by the suggestion of freshness, I bought it for its surprising warmth.
For the first hour or so the predominant scent is the zesty bergamot from the Earl Grey. As it settles it changes. It becomes warmer, more rounded and rich, without being heavy or exotic. A couple of hours after I sprayed it on the back of my hand, Andrew commented on how amazing it smelt. I had to agree. I couldn’t stop holding my hand to my nose. We went back the next day and bought it.
I promised myself I would use up some of the other perfumes I doubt I’ll buy again and are nearly empty. But I have to admit that after testing it again last night, I’m not sure I’ll last that long. What’s the worst that can happen? That I use it up during the spring, then for summer have to buy the Blackberry and Bay I keep sniffing on the paper spray strip still lingering in my coat pocket? Ah well. Such is being a grown-up!