We know countless men who swathe themselves in Jo Malone London creations, from the zestily iconic Lime, Basil & Mandarin through to darkly sensual Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense. And very lovely they smell, too. So lovely that – to be honest – it had never really dawned on us that the perfume house has never put men centre-stage of its creative focus.
All that changes right now with a just-unveiled collaboration between Jo Malone London and that snappiest of Savile Row tailors, Huntsman. Quintessentially British, they’re the go-to for the cool, the smart and the traditional – and these four fragrances capture the spirit of the bespoke tailor. As Jo Malone London put it, their first men’s line-up ‘brings together four refined fragrances tailored to the modern man. For laidback days, wild nights and everything in between.’
The bottles are certainly extremely well-dressed in their own right, emblazoned with the classic Huntsman typography in glistening gold, capped in matte burgundy. (And positively begging for the acquisition of all four in order to create the line-up you see above and below.)
But – and we know you’re waiting for this bit – what of the scents themselves? Well, just as the men in our lives have often half-inched our bottles of Jo Malone London scents ‘for women’, we’ll be returning the light-fingered favour with this lot. Like most perfume world insiders, we’ve never paid much attention to the gender of fragrances, frankly, believing that you should wear what you love. So, we encourage you to check out…
Amber & Patchouli
And we quote: ‘Decadent evenings, wrapped in the sensuality of amber. A heady pairing of a legendary ingredient with deep, characterful patchouli. The tempting smokiness of guaiac wood. A supple, suede-like finish. Seductive.’ We’re finding that the amber softens the earthiness of the patchouli in a wonderful come-closer way. Pair with a sharp suit, a loosened tie and some pulsing beats, in a darkened nightclub.
Assam & Grapefruit Cologne
‘The lively, full-bodied aroma of a cup of tea in the morning. A citrus burst of grapefruit. A black tea note of Assam, unfolding. The herbal scent of maté, infused with spicy cardamom and the warmth of patchouli.’ We love the freshness of the tea notes, contrasted with the warmth of cardamon and then given that dirty-in-a-good-way, earthy edge of patchouli. Of the quartet, we reckon this is the one best suited (and booted) to wearing to the office – and the boardroom.
Whisky & Cedarwood Cologne
Probably the most unashamedly masculine of the lot, this is ‘Footsteps after dark on waxy wooden floors. An enigmatic nightcap. Fine whisky, edged with spiced pimento, finished with warm cedarwood. A fragrance for the small hours. Daring and intriguing.’ We raise a Waterford crystal tumbler to the booziness of this, but are taken by its pencil-shavings woodsiness, too. One for pairing with a velvet jacket and jeans, we figure.
Birch & Black Pepper Cologne
‘Britain today. Its rebellious roots in punk, yet with an enduring respect for tradition. The cool spiciness of black pepper and cardamom, juxtaposed with smoky birch and an accord of magnetic ink. A scent of subtle contrasts.’ Birch & Black Pepper is tarry, leathery – and equally interesting on a woman’s skin, too, we’re finding – seasonally perfect, with its whispers of bonfire. (Would be great, worn with a chunky knit, cords and Hunter wellies, on a brisk walk.)
As wardrobes go, this pretty much covers it.
By Jo Fairley