Rediscovering Jo Malone

Jo Malone Colognes

You would be forgiven for thinking I'm talking about Jo Malone's new foray into the fragrance world. It would make sense. But I'm not. I'm talking about the classic black and creme, which has far more going on than I ever knew.

Last year, I rediscovered Kate Spade, who had been quietly sitting in my closet for a dozen years. This year (while carrying a new Kate Spade bag, obviously), I rediscovered Jo Malone.

I bought my first bottle of Orange Blossom cologne almost five years ago, when I decided I wanted to smell the orange blossoms of my childhood in Florida while having a baby. (Such is the naïveté of a woman who has never had a baby.) Since then, I've worn it every day in spring and summer, and every night year-round.

Then I met a woman through my kids' school who works for Jo Malone. I told her about the orange blossoms in my life. "You know about layering scents, right?" Well no, I had to admit, I didn't. It never occurred to me I might want to be doing something like that. The next day she delivered an envelope with a four samples, all selected to complement Orange Blossom.

Suddenly, I had a new hobby, and suddenly, my favourite cologne was seasonally appropriate.

How would Orange Blossom smell with Blackberry & Bay? (Beautiful.) How about Lime Basil & Mandarin? (Marvelous.) What about Blackberry & Bay with Lime Basil & Mandarin? (I can't remember.) I finally looked at the Fragrance Combining Menu on the Jo Malone site. While nothing I did smelled less than good, they have suggestions about which scents work well together. With Orange Blossom, they recommend English Pear & Freesia. (Fabulous.) Nectarine Blossom & Honey. (Heavenly.) And French Lime Blossom. (Oh no! What am I missing?)

Turns out, I'm missing a lot. For example, I could be using Lime Basil & Mandarin body wash, Orange Blossom body creme, and English Pear & Freesia cologne on top. Or Nutmeg & Ginger Bath Oil followed by Orange Blossom cologne. And I could light a Nectarine Blossom & Honey candle and carry it around with me if I really wanted to get crazy.

But first, I'm going to buy my mother a collection of five small bottles so she can start mixing and matching. It's the perfect gift, and guys, just think, by February, the gal you give it to will have found a favourite combination, and that will take care of your Valentine's Day gift.

And who knows? In the collection, you might even find a scent for yourself. (Pomegranate Noir and Lime Basil & Mandarin, anyone? Oh yes, for my husband, please.)