The last thing you’d expect from Jo Malone London—known for mostly crisp, bright, quirky concoctions—is a line that takes from dark, resinous, and intoxicating Middle Eastern fragrances such as oud and incense. But because it’s Jo Malone London, forget about the old-fashioned or intensely aromatic aspects usually associated with the region’s perfumery. “We took the rich and rare ingredients so loved in the Middle East and gave them a modern character. Each has its own surprising Jo Malone London twist,” assures the label’s fragrance director Celine Roux. “Cologne Intense reinterprets time-honored ingredients with distinctively modern fragrances, each with the brand’s distinctly elegant simplicity.”
Jo Malone London fragrance director Celine Roux and perfumer Marie Salamagne
In time for the New Year, the brand brings in all eight perfumes to Manila, featuring sensual and precious fragrance elements that are essentially rich but surprisingly don’t smell too strong or leave a trail in their wake. Myrrh & Tonka features the earthy smell of Namibian myrrh tree extract, mellowed by warm vanilla and almond. Orris & Sandalwood is a deep floral till the woody and powdery kick of sandalwood sets in. Tuberose Angelica is similar, beginning with a green spicy floral scent before settling into a woodsy amber. Amber & Patchouli, on the other hand, is smokier and sensuous before it dries down to amber. Dark Amber & Ginger Lily is the third amber iteration from the line, which is made more exotic with whispers of black cardamom, ginger, water lily, and orchid. The label didn’t forget to create a deep citrus too in the form of Incense & Cedrat, which first smells of the familiar frankincense before lemony and quite velvety cedrat brightens up the dry down wonderfully. Oud, one of the rarest and most expensive scents known to Middle East, of course, gets highlighted in two Cologne Intense fragrances—Velvet Rose & Oud and Oud & Bergamot—both rich, intense, smoky, with the former more feminine with damask rose and clove and the latter more unisex and woody. All Jo Malone London scents are made to be worn by both men and women, but some fragrances in the Cologne Intense line will most likely appeal more to specific tastes.
The collection is inspired by Omani incense
“If you prefer a deep and woody fragrance try hypnotic and alluring Oud & Bergamot, mysterious and smoky oud radiates with the clarity of crisp bergamot. If you prefer something spicy, golden Saffron is a vivid statement. Floral scents like our latest addition, intoxicating and desirable Tuberose Angelica, are also popular with both men and women. The innovative reinterpretation of classic floral ingredients like tuberose and rose is very popular too,” shares Roux. Greenbelt 5, SM Aura, and Rustan’s Shangri-La Plaza.