When Jo Malone launched English Pear & Freesia two summers ago the press release talked about the scent of a cool autumn afternoon, an English orchard in the beautiful countryside. Before any of us gets carried away imagining English Pear & Freesia as the fragrant embodiment of the Middletons' new country home on its 14 acres of land and walled garden, I have to warn you there's very little of that in this perfume. There's not much pear there, either, which is mostly fine with me.
English Pear & Freesia (Jo Malone's naming conventions become confusing now that there are so many of them) smells like a bubbly cocktail. It's fizzy, tart, infused with some abstract fruity aromas and is kind of fun in a girls-night-out way. I confess that on the rare occasions I consume alcohol this is exactly what I drink and enjoy: put champagne and fruit juice in a pretty glass and I'll be tipsy and happy within minutes. The only problem is that I'd rather not smell like I just bathed in Prosseco.
Jo Malone's English Pear & Freesia is a grownup take on a fruity-floral, as it's not too sweet and doesn't dry down into a puddle of cheap vanilla. I get it, I really do, but the light acidity and the slightly carbonated wine note are too assertive on my skin, and between that and a bland white musk there's very little left for me to enjoy. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'd really prefer to smell some real pear and freesia notes somewhere in there, as I get none from this perfume.
Jo Malone- English Pear & Freesia ($55, 1oz) is available from Jo Malone boutiques and select department stores (Saks, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, etc.). The sample for this review came from one of these stores, though I can't recall which one. Photo by Cheri Loughlin.