Because nothing creates a sense of urgency like a limited edition fragrance release, each Jo Malone London seasonal offering is beyond irresistible. While a new Blue Skies & Blossoms trio has just appeared on department store shelves, last month’s Rock the Ages collection is still dominating my personal fragrance arc. Genius in concept, the five fragrances represent specific time frames during British history: Tudor Rose & Amber, Lily of the Valley & Ivy, Pomegranate Noir, Geranium & Verbena and Birch & Black Pepper.
Most modern and definitely my favorite, Birch & Black Pepper evokes the current mood of 2015 with cool, spicy and smoky notes. Borderline odd and absolutely unique, this scent draws you in with a seductive opener of black pepper and cardamom but dries to a woodsy and almost leathery finish. The breathtaking contrast is strong and results in an intriguing drydown that carries comfortably through the day or night. Stunning with a twist, it is very Cara Delevingne.
Going back to the early 20th Century, Jo Malone London delivers the Edwardian era in Geranium & Verbena. This crisp and light floral is more green than white and remains properly clean throughout with notes of basil, verbena, geranium, and just a touch of vetiver. Incredibly wearable with a subtle punch of sophistication, this fresh scent is very much a classic. I’d trade a puppy for a home candle if it existed. Not even kidding.
Luscious, fruity and intense, Pomegranate Noir is the only core scent to make an appearance in Rock the Ages. Timeless and therefore permanent, this bold scent is sharp, deep, and vivid. It’s red and impactful, lingers, and captivates the senses as lily, pink pepper and pomegranate combine into a heady but effervescent veil that lasts for hours.
Most floral, Lily of the Valley & Ivy is the representation of Georgian London. Ultra feminine, it opens with cassis and green ivy but settles with richer lily of the valley, narcissus, and white musk. Balancing bright and mellow, this creamy paste is slightly heavier than Geranium & Verbena. Almost but not quite powdery, this unusual creation is a grown up but casual floral.
Tudor Rose & Amber is probably the biggest surprise in the collection. Reflective of the cold and bloody Tudor, this daring scent is dark, profound, and courageous. Rich and sensual rose absolute is layered with notes of pink pepper, ginger, amber, and patchouli, which gives this royal classic a slightly masculine edge. Complex and refined, Tudor Rose & Amber has a character of its own.