Friday, 16 September 2011
Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne review
Bluebells sadly don't give up their fragrance (like sweet peas, another favourite flower of mine) so fragrances have to try to replicate the smell with other ingredients. Jo Malone's new Wild Bluebell does this with lily of the valley and hyacinth with a little clove, a slightly fruity heart with some deeper florals (jasmine and rose - eglantine is the posh name for briar rose) and a clean musk base. There's a watery quality/chord to the top note, but it isn't overdone and adds freshness rather than the washing powder note that ozone over-used can give. The clove note is more subtle than the clove in Penhaligon's Bluebell and a lot more subtle than the cinnamon/clove in Boudicea The Victorious' Delicate, which isn't delicate at all to my nose. The overall effect of Wild Bluebell is of bluebells in their natural habitat; a cool early spring morning walk through a bluebell wood after a night of rain.
Although the imagery for the advert is a departure for the brand (a blue-haired girl and some bunnies, rather than a montage of ingredients) the juice itself is a classic Jo Malone, which would fit in seamlessly with the original colognes. It's linear, but pretty and well-behaved, and plays well in combination with other fragrances, so will make a nice addition to the Fragrance Combining stable. I think the Body & Hand Wash will do well, particularly in spring, and Wild Bluebell will appeal to Jo Malone customers who like the fresher florals in the range like the (discontinued) Honeysuckle & Jasmine and French Lime Blossom (not discontinued). If you loved Honeysuckle and Jasmine, Wild Bluebell is definitely worth a sniff - it's a bit more spring to Honeysuckle and Jasmine's summer, but there's something very reminiscent about it to my nose.
Wild Bluebell is extremely pretty without being sugary, and it lasts quite well on my skin although it doesn't have a huge sillage and wears quite closely to the body. It's a good one for anyone who wants a fresh fragrance (my sadly missed mother-in-law would have loved it, and I'm going to have to hide this bottle from my niece and sister-in-law).
I've been trying it in combinations with some of my other Jo Malones - it's lovely with Red Roses and Orange Blossom, and works surprisingly well with Vanilla & Anise. I found Ginger and Nutmeg overpowered the Wild Bluebell to my nose.
Wild Bluebell launched on 01 September (2011) with a 30ml and 100ml Cologne, the Body Creme, the Body & Hand Wash and the 200g candle. I rather miss the more staged Jo Malone launches of old; it was quite exciting to buy and sniff a new cologne and then wonder if it would make the grade to become a Body Creme or Body Wash later on. I think it built up the excitement of a new Jo Malone fragrance and made that excitement last longer. Wild Bluebell is more of a spring than autumnal fragrance to me, so it might have been nice to launch the companion body products in the Spring when the bluebells will begin to bloom. Do you like having the whole range launch at once, or do you miss the old way of the Cologne launching first, then body collection later?
Disclosure: Wild Bluebell is a PR sample. Other Jo Malone products mentioned are my own purchases or gifts from Mr London.