Monday, March 28, 2011

Jo Malone- Lime Basil & Mandarin

Jo Malone fragrances are often mentioned as a sort of getaway to niche perfumes. I'm not exactly sure how wearing Lime Basil & Mandarine (or Sweet Lime & Cedar, I often mix up the two and had to label my samples carefully) prepares one to Serge Lutens or Frederic Malle. However, I'm willing to admit that the Jo Malone line (nowadays owned by Lauder) might give some the first glimpse of what thoughtful perfumery can and should be.

Lime Basil & Mandarin is a simple perfume or cologne or whatever you want to call it. It's a green citrus over dry vetiver, with no twists or turns other than the moment the lime softens into a mandarin. It's really nice. I like it a lot because, really- vetiver and green stuff- what's not to like? Like most Jo Malone perfumes, including those that are utterly not my thing, it's very well done and is dreck-free. Just crisp, refreshing herbs, fruit and grassy vetiver that is quite prominent from the very beginning.

The biggest complaint one hears about Jo Malone perfumes is the lack of tenacity. I'm always surprised that Lime Basil & Mandarin is actually among the ones that cling to my skin the longest. Must be the vetiver. The thing is that it's boring. There's very little story there or anything to hold my attention. I much prefer the line's bath and body product, and in fact, there's a Lime Basil & Mandarin dry body oil that might be quite heavenly on a hot summer day.

Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin ($55, 30ml) is available from Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus and

Art: Lime Water by Craig Stephens


  1. I like Lime Basil and Mandarin. It's really fresh and clean. It smells like a non-sleazy young guy I'd want to date.

    It's creative too. Who would think to combine lime and mandarin in a way that doesn't smell like a cocktail? Basil is original too. Thyme seems to be the most ubiquitous perfumery herb.

  2. Funny, my daughter ( a huge Jo Malone fan) wears this one and I can smell it on her at the end of the day after she has spritzed in the morning. Such a lovely fresh cologne, she says it makes her think of the eau de colognes and soaps she smells in France.

  3. I love LB&M because it seems to be the one citrus that doesn't go sour on my skin. It is very long-lasting on me, too. However, I don't find it boring. I love that it stays true to itself and smells the same on me all day. I prefer that to the long, dull drydown of some non-linear fragrances.

  4. I find Malone products expensive for what they are. That said, a friend really likes LB&M, and has been debating whether to buy it or Bond no. 9's Nouveau Bowery, which admittedly is even more expensive.

  5. Lime Basil & Mandarin and Sweet Lime and Cedar are my boyfriends favorite (he wears them)… and I love the way he smells from the first thing in the mooring all the way to the end of the day. And once I purchased the Lime Basil & Mandarin shampoo and conditioner, he hasn't switched brands since. It's a small price to pay for an awesome smelling man :)


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