At their best, Jo Malone fragrances are straightforward, friendly, and lovable (at their worst, they're week and boring). The new Jo Malone release, Blackberry & Bay, is decidedly in the "best of" category, and as a bonus it also features an interesting bay note. Blackberry & Bay has a very autumnal feel without resorting to fall cliches. I can almost see the colors right along the scent notes.
Blackberry & Bay starts as a pretty standard fruity fragrance. It's fresh and sweet, as juicy as late harvest fruit. The citrus note that's woven into the berries keeps them from becoming too cloying and at the same time make me think of baking pies. It's the end of summer in a very Jo Malone-like English garden. The best part of the fragrance arrives with the more masculine notes: bay and vetiver. Interestingly, the grapefruit note lingers here and attaches itself to the vetiver. There's a hint of green bitterness that complements the spicy element very well. Blackberry & Bay wavers between the yummy and the crisp, keeping me far more interested and intrigued than I thought possible. It's also pretty and very inviting- you want to linger in this garden and discover the hidden corners as you walk by crushing aromatic twigs under your feet.
Blackberry & Bay has a nice and exuberant sillage and a decent longevity (5-6 hours). I think that when I'll spring for a small bottle I'll probably also get the body cream, to make it last longer. And probably also the candle for the full English garden experience.
Notes: bay, grapefruit, floral notes, vetiver, cedar and blackberry.
Jo Malone- Blackberry & Bay ($60, 1 oz) is available from select department stores as well as from Jo Malone boutiques and online.
Art: Old England Inn by Raymond Chow.