Fragrance - be it man made or natural - offers so many moments of inspiration that in my mind it only makes sense for ready to wear scents to embody the essence, personality and quirks of individuals; if nothing else it adds another facet to an already gripping story. With Jo Malone The Bloomsbury Set that is exactly what you get: five beautiful, sophisticated and multi-dimensional colognes, all of which have been based on a movement of unconventional, free and somewhat rural lifestyle of artists of every calibre and notion.
You may have noticed that over the last few years that each Jo Malone limited edition launch has been beautifully presented within suitably themed bottles, and this collective is no different. Each scent features delicately placed splashes of colour, via what I envisage to be paint-stroke motifs and carefully selected matte, coloured bottle caps.
Over the last few months, I have tried all five of the Jo Malone The Bloomsbury Set Colognes and will openly admit that they aren't all to my taste - what can I say, I am set in my fragrance ways. In my opinion the three stand out scents are: Jo Malone Tobacco and Mandarin - fresh yet oddly sensual and citrus based at the same time. Trust me when I say there is nothing else out there remotely similar and for that reason alone it is well worth seeing what all the fuss is about, and then we have the two that I have in frequent rotation: Jo Malone Leather and Artemisia, and Jo Malone Garden Lilies.
If absolutely pushed, I would say that Jo Malone Garden Lilies Cologne is my favourite of the bunch - it is your quintessential floral fragrance and yet it isn't stuffy in the slightest. It has the realistic aroma of blooming Lilies, coupled with ylang ylang and creamy vanilla. It is green, lush and the perfect dewy scent for the upcoming Spring - it reminds me of the very first, crisp days of the new season where everything seems brand spanking new and that life is just beginning again. Refreshing, delicate and beyond easy to wear; if you have yet to find a signature floral fragrance to call your own, this may fit the bill nicely.
For those looking for something a little less ordinary and yet equally light, may I suggest Jo Malone Leather and Artemisia Cologne. Yes technically all ready-to-wear scents are unisex on paper but in reality, that isn't always the case but Jo Malone Leather and Artemisia Cologne, will feel as at home worn be a male or female without comprise. Much like a well worn, buttery and trusted leather jacket, this fragrance is both soft, with and edge of coolness. The central note is of course, the familiar pang of leather, combined with woody and aromatic notes of Orriswood and Cypriol. I can't compare this to the start of a new dawn, or a season for that matter but what I can say is that when I wear this, I instantly feel cooler - almost like I know where I am going in life. I don't but as the saying goes fake it, until you make it. That or buy yourself a kick ass fragrance and a pair of killer sunglasses...either, or.
You can find all five of the Jo Malone The Bloomsbury Set Colognes via House of Fraser for £46/30ml each - link.