Jo Malone London | My Top 5 Fragrances

Best Jo Malone London Fragrances by Carl Thompson.jpg

I struggle to find a better phrase that encapsulates the spirit of Jo Malone scents than the description on their website "Think of Jo Malone London as the Savile Row of scent: finding a precise ‘fit’, a scented statement perfectly suited and tailored to your taste." 

This Savile Row connection is a poignant one fresh on the back of their collaboration with Huntsman, tailor to the Kingsman movie franchise. 

I flirted with each in the previous post. However, now I've had time to ponder, ruminate; pace around the flat externalising obnoxiously in a grandiloquent manner to absolutely no one, (my new favourite past time) I've adjusted my conclusions which I will share for you here. 


Amber & Patchouli

For lavish evenings, entombed with the presence of amber. A scintillating pairing, blended measurably with deep, characterful patchouli. The darkest of all the Jo Malone London offerings. What Jo Malone does better than Tom Ford, and Killian, is manage to be linear, whilst taking you on a labyrinthine journey of mysterious spices. It achieves that by introducing elements of Oriental exoticism. It's velvety, it's profound, it lasts a day longer on the fabric but sadly the silage lets it down for me. The only reason why it's in at number 5. 

Where can I wear it? 

I'm going to save this one for the 3rd date scent. Just when she thinks she’s got you all figured out. 


Orange Bitters

A hearty scent perfect for Winter. It hasn't quite the hubris of the English Oak which I'll come to later, but certainly comes packed with an insouciant bravado. That's achieved by the 'off the leash' citrus opening that develops seamlessly into a woody (Sandalwood) dry down. It's got the linger of dried plums, it's evocative, it's elegant, maybe a little understated but conversely, unvanquishable in its delivery.  

Where can I wear it? 

I'm going to save this for the afternoon press days. There will be a whole bunch of these coming up to Christmas and it's a playful scent, hopefully will make me very approachable. 

 

Myrrh & Tonka

This Jo Malone London Myrrh & Tonka someone once described to me as 'Christmas in a bottle'. It has everything you associate with Christmas, even the name! It's the best projecting of all the Jo Malone scents. You'll be instantly put at ease with the opening of lavender. Then the rush of Myrrh brings some chop to the waters before the whole balance is evened out with the Almond and Tonka bean base notes. 

It's disarming with the lavender, because you expect it to be something it's not. Have you ever watched a film at the cinema, but found the trailer has mis-sold the film entirely? This Jo Malone London Myrrh & Tonka scent is the facsimile to a film that reveals itself in a much better light than the trailer would have you expect. 

Where would I wear it? 

Yes it's cliche, but the works Christmas party is a must. It encapsulates the elegance of Jo Malone and will be the last scent standing at the party thanks to it's marathon-esque silage. 

 

English Oak & Hazelnut

I mentioned the hubris of the Jo Malone English Oak & Hazelnut before and that's because it's unapologetically imperialistic. Another friend once cited this as arriving like a Tyson left hook. I corrected him instantly by saying that Tyson is a natural left hander, but he by and large a self confessed-righty. If you see all pictures of Mike Tyson he holds microphones with his right hand and signs autographs with his left hand. It just so happens he knocked out most opponents with his left hand because he threw that first.  

I digress, but the point I'm getting to is that the Jo Malone English Oak & Hazelnut is neither a Tyson right or left hand, but a Tyson uppercut. It's woody essence is so earthy, it projects like something has sprouted underneath you. A delicious sucker-punch devoid of all things saccharin, undeniably masculine. 

Where would I wear it? 

First date. Always come with the goods on a first date. Nowadays we're not allowed the luxury of delayed gratification in the dating sphere. Bring out the big guns and go in blazing. 


Wood Sage & Sea Salt

In at number one with a bullet. Yes the Wood Sage & Sea Salt is the tour de force oeuvre of perfumer Christine Nagel, who modestly quotes this as 'a little different'. It has that remarkable skill of evoking both the ethereal elements of a free spirit and the grounded elements of nature. It has the most star wattage of all the scents because of it's complexity. It's lustre. 

You can imagine this being modelled by Chris Hemsworth sanding down his boat on the lip of an molested stretch of beach. The wind gorging his hair, the sand weaving its way through his stubble. 

It's optimistic, it's sophisticated, it's not the most distinguished (Orange Bitters holds that mantle) but it's the most endearing. 

Where would I wear it? 

As Apollo Creed said repeatedly to Rocky Balboa, 'hey man, anywhere any time'. 


 

 

My Tom Ford Top 5 Fragrances | Including the New Ombré Leather

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I must get a 1000 emails a day asking what my favourite Tom Ford fragrance is. Not really, but it's the reason the terrorists hate us. We get to spend ten minutes every morning deliberating on whether we want to smell of Tuscan or Ombre leather. What a life right? Seriously it's really been the agony of choice putting this list together, but here it is:

5. Tobacco Vanille 

I refer to this scent as the Dalton of the Blu-Ray box set. (Stay with me). It's animalistic yet sophisticated, refined yet rugged. I enjoy when I'm wearing it, however it's never my go-to. But that's only because the others are so damn good. 

4.  Noir de Noir

The spice elements in Noir de Noir make this the perfect Black Tie after shave. I like to put this on my wrists before heading out to award shows, or upmarket press dinners. It stays close to the skin so having it on the wrists is better for projection. What's more the silage is so good that I know I'll still be smelling good right through the after parties. 

 

3. Plum Japonais

Yes Japanese plum and cinnamon. Amazing fragrance that is possibly the best Autumn/Winter fragrance you can own. It's dark, has an element of mystery and exudes masculinity with a woody (oud) dry-down. Imagine yourself cuddling up to the missus in Winter Wonderland, wishing it wasn't £10 for a glass of mulled wine. 

 

2. Tuscan Leather 

You know how you can't have Rocky 4 as your favourite Rocky but secretly it's your favourite. This Tuscan Leather fits right into that slot. A guilty pleasure to be enjoyed socially, amongst the spoils of the unapologetic elite. Yes, I'm talking about Private Members clubs. Trinity Square, Home House, concierges, cigars in front of the fireplace. I'm talking about that private jet you hired just so you can smoke that Romeo & Juliette in 1st class. (Ok I've taken it too far, but you get my point rich white-y). 

 

1. Ombre Leather

1. Yes Top of the list, A number One, top of the heap. The Tom Ford Ombre Leather. We all like new shiny things don't we. But this 2018 release is the best in the range. It has all the woody-fruitiness of its predecessors but a better balance. The scent is very linear, meaning there's zero fuss, unambiguous. Plus it has the coolest name, and I can't help saying it to myself when I pick it up of the shelf. 

SHOP MY TOP 5 TOM FORD FRAGRANCES

TOP SUMMER FRAGRANCES FOR MEN

Everyone wants a signature scent that reminds someone of you every time they smell it, ideally as a positive connection rather than a negative one. To avoid, loved ones, friends & your girlfriend associating you with the smell of damp clothing mixed with an under tone of cheap cologne. Speaking of cheap cologne, it reminds me of Christmas time when one year my dear nan brought me bottles of 'Cold Water' and 'Juup'...bless. I'm pretty sure she brought them from Catford market or maybe Deptford...in any case, these aftershaves have been doing the rounds at Christmas and have somewhat become a bit of a joke present, I'm not even sure who has them currently but one year they are guaranteed to do a full circle and come back to me! Anyway, there was a point to that, basically, smell good and avoid smelling of Juup!

These days there are hundreds of fragrances to choose from and it's only going to get ever more saturated with more uni-sex scents entering the market. That actually brings me on to another story! I have a friend, who shall remain nameless...nah sod it, it's 'Reevie'. So Reevie used to be (sorry buddy) a little bit sartorially challenged (that means you used to dress like shit!) - I'm risking a backlash here because I know he has an old picture of me wearing a not so uber cool denim waistcoat, but it's worth it for the story. Even though I'm 'much' younger than him, he has always looked to me for advice. This one time, when we were heading out-out he brought his first double french cuff shirt to wear. So in comes Reevie to mine for some pre-drinks, hasn't a clue how to wear double-cuffs, didn't even own a pair of cuff-links. So of course I extended the cuffs (rather than fold them) so they hung about 3 inches longer than his finger tips, cuff-linked the cuffs together and out we went. Next time we went out he asked to borrow some aftershave, so obviously I gave him my girlfriend at the time's perfume (I'm pretty sure it was D&G Light Blue). So I guess you could say, Reevie was the pioneer of uni-sex fragrances? Or you could just say he's a bit of a div, either way - I love ya bro!!!

On to my favourite fragrances this Summer, of which I have tried to mix different scents and also ones that work well for day and some for night...so its a mixed bag but all have uniqueness and most importantly will make you smell great. So starting left to right from the image above:

 

JO MALONE - BLACK CEDARWOOD & JUNIPER

*available June 2016

Midnight rain. Seductive with the carnal touch of cumin and chilli leaves. Dark with cedarwood. Humid with moss. Modern and urban.

Fragrance Notes
Top Note: Cumin.
Heart Note: Juniper.
Base Note: Black Cedarwood.

 

CREED - AVENTUS

*available now

Launched with immediate acclaim in 2010 to celebrate Creed’s 250th anniversary, AVENTUS is the perfect fragrance for the man of action: bold, spirited and confident.

Fragrance Notes
Top Note: Apple, Blackcurrent, Pineapple & Bergamot.
Heart Note: Juniper Berries, Birch, Patchouli & Jasmine.
Base Note: Vanilla, Musk, Oakmoss & Ambergris. 

 

DAVIDOFF - HORIZON

*available now

Inspired by the strength of nature, DAVIDOFF Horizon captures the tension between earth and sky. A woody aromatic scent revealing a never ending refreshing blow, grounded in a powerful masculinity.

Fragrance Notes
Top Note: Ginger & Rosemary Essence. 
Heart Note: Virginia Cedarwood.
Base Note: Vetiver & Black Cocao Absolute.

 

MARC JACOBS - RAIN

*available May 2016

Back by popular demand, the Marc Jacobs Rain captures the scent of a cool, refreshing summer shower. This watery floral fragrance is lush and pure with notes of wet cut grass, tropical rain accord and musk. 

Fragrance Notes
Top Note: Wet Cut Grass, Sparkling Wild Strawberry, Clementine Zest & Dewy Cypress. 
Heart Note: Tropical Rain Accord, Passion Flower, Sunshine Flower & White Orchid.
Base Note: Beech Amber, Tree Moss, Musk & Teakwood.

 

TOM FORD - NOIR EXTREME

*available now

An amber-drenched, Woody Oriental fragrance, TOM FORD NOIR EXTREME opens with a rich blend of heat and glowing citrus. Charismatic brushstrokes of Mandarin oil and Neroli Oil North Africa ORPUR® provide sharp contrast to the vibrant, synergistic blend of saffron, cardamom and nutmeg. This fragrance is the perfect complement to the man who is accustomed to making an extraordinary impression.