Jo Malone teams up with legendary stylist Judy Blame

FullSizeRender 3Growing up, as I did, in the 1980s, it was impossible – as someone interested in magazines and fashion – not to know who Judy Blame was. Working with the likes of Buffalo stylist Ray Petri, he was responsible from some of the most iconic looks of the decade – and the one that followed. As a stylist and jeweller he’s worked with everyone from Boy George and Bjork to Dior and Galliano.

JUDY BLAMEInspired by the DIY punk aesthetic of the Seventies his work was (and still is) characterized by the use of everyday items: from buttons and safety pins to keys, tassels and household cutlery. And so, appropriately, it’s a button motif that’s been used for his new collaboration with fragrance house Jo Malone.

The perfect present for the style-conscious perfumista, the Judy Blame for Jo Malone London Box, is a great way to have your favourite Jo Malone fragrance pimped up, Blame style. Each bottle is adorned with little button stickers comes in a special ‘pearly kings and queens’ box, tied with ribbon printed with (you guessed it) more buttons. The box itself is cool enough to become something you’re likely keep long after the fragrance has run out and is perfect for keeping stuff in, whether that’s pocket squares, bow ties, belts or, you know, spare buttons, keys and safety pins.

The Judy Blame For Jo Malone London Box will be available exclusively from Selfridges and from jomalone.co.uk from 1st June, priced £85.

Jo Loves…Shards of Cedar & Red Thyme. Maybe you will too.

Jo Loves cedarThe arrival of a new Jo Loves fragrance always creates a bit of a buzz (their creator, Jo Malone, has a loyal following with both press and public alike) but whilst all her fragrances are technically unisex it’s taken until now for one to emerge that’s overtly masculine in character.

Jo Loves…Shards of Cedar & Red Thyme is a blend of aromatic herbs (mint and lavender amongst them) along with bergamot and nutmeg and a base of male fragrance stalwarts like cedarwood, vetiver and patchouli. In a way, it’s faintly reminiscent of those hyper-masculine colognes of the Seventies – minus the cheesy, chest medallion ads – and has a slight bitterness on the skin that’s not as unappealing as it sounds. But, hey, never mind all this – here is a fragrance that has a word as wonderful as ‘shards’ in its name!

Shards of Cedar & Red Thyme is available now, priced £45 for 30ml from joloves.com

 

Shay & Blue’s blood is worth bottling. Well, their Blood Oranges fragrance is anyway…

BloodOrange_FinalshayHe’s the ex Senior Vice President of Chanel and former Global General Manager of Jo Malone Ltd and she’s a talented, up-and-coming perfumer so what could go wrong? Well, nothing as it happens, because Dom De Vetta and Julie Massé know exactly what they’re doing with boutique fragrance brand Shay & Blue. 

The styling (with it meticulous attention to detail, is very Jo Malone (beautiful boxes, beautifully ribboned, only this time in blue) but the fragrances are much better, more rounded and muti-faceted. Blood Oranges, for example, is utterly delicious: it oozes dark, citrus juiciness to begin with but develops into a gorgeously leathery fragrance with musky overtones and a sensual woody, ambery base that’s both mysterious and a wee bit naughty. It’s about as far removed from what most people think of as citrus pefumery as you can get, is delightfully styled from start to finish and is made in England too.  I absolutely love it and I think you will too.

7136pWHLVOLShay & Blue’s Blood Oranges costs £55 for 100ml natural spray. For more information see shayandblue.com. Shay & Blue’s new London Boutique can be found at 80 York Street, Old Marylebone, London.

How Jo Malone’s Tea Fragrance Blends saved my sanity

If you’re sitting there thinking that being a Grooming Editor is only marginally harder a job than pushing trollies around an Asda car park you’d be pretty much right. But think of all the hardships I have to endure – especially being polite about fragrances that, frankly, often smell more of kitchen bins than tonka beans.

Curmudgeon that I am, I always seem to be moaning about the state of the men’s fragrance market and how terminally dull it is these days and I’m sad to report that a sneak preview of the new Paul Smith fragrance Optimistic did nothing to change this view  (verdict: nice box, shame about the juice, which is so generic it might even make masters of bland ambition Hugo Boss jealous).

But all is not lost! For, just when I was about to give up all hope of finding a fragrance vaguely interesting, Jo Malone comes along with five limited edition tea-based colognes. As an avid tea drinker  I was fascinated  to see what they’d some up with.

Thankfully, master perfumer Christine Nagel has triumphed in creating fragrances that are wearable whatever your sex and whatever your preference in tea (well, except syrupy ‘builders’ tea, obviously).

My absolute favourite is the Earl Grey and Cucumber Cologne which, like the tea on which it is based, is wonderfully uplifting and has an unmistakable citrus twist, though it’s even better combined with the Fresh Mint Leaf Cologne. Don’t worry, fragrance combining is an acceptable tradition with Jo Malone fragrances just as taking tea with a slice of lemon is. So thank you Jo Malone for restoring my faith in the world of fine fragrances. I raise my cup, with pinkie fully outstretched, in your honour.

Jo Malone’s Tea Fragrance Blends are available from March, priced £34 for the 30ml cologne. For more info go to www.jomalone.com