Jo Malone Tea Fragrance Blends: Fresh & Light

February 24, 2011

Jo Malone has released a limited edition collection of five tea inspired colognes perfectly described as “tempting, refreshing and engagingly unexpected.” There are three tea inspired fragrances Assam & Grapefruit, Earl Grey & Cucumber and Fresh Mint Leaf ($55 each for 30 ml). The other two colognes Sweet Milk and Sweet Lemon are the layering scents designed to be spritzed and combined with the other tea fragrances to reflect the actual tea drinking experience. Each scent in this collection is amazingly delicious and I ended up with four of the five.

Assam & Grapefruit citrus grapefruit with a spicy herbal undertone, mate, cardamom, almond and patchouli: Reminiscent of the Lime Basil and Grapefruit scents because of the citrus undertone, but overall more spicy and herbal with a musty smell. One of the more complex scents in the tea collection, but still simple and pure.

Earl Grey & Cucumber top notes are bergamot with cucumber, vanilla & musk undertones: Earl Grey is actually one of my least favorite teas to drink simply because it reminds me of a flower. The scent of Earl Grey is very soothing and delicious, I just am not a fan of flowery teas. Put into a bottle combined with cucumber and a hint of vanilla translates into a fresh and light cologne. Those who are familiar with Aqua di Parma’s Mirto di Panarea Eau de Toilette is similar in undertone (the bergamot) however, the Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber is a lighter, milder and less spicy and overall less complex version of the Aqua di Parma.

Sweet Milk creamy sweet blend of star anise, almond and vanilla: This smells like a scrumptious tea cookie. Sweet creamy vanilla scents are hit or miss for me. There’s something calming about milk based scents but sometimes on the skin the fragrance can turn once mixed with one’s natural body chemistry. The result is sometimes nauseating. At a first spritz of Sweet Milk on the small paper strip, I almost gagged. My Jo Malone rep assured me it was not as sweet on the skin and he was right. I layered this with the Earl Grey and it turned out to be a surprisingly nice combination. Still, I don’t think this scent is for everyone, if you get a chance to smell this, try this on the skin rather than just on the paper.

Sweet Lemon lemon, sugar, pineapple, peach and fresh green cypress: A fresh sweet lemony scent that smells like something picked fresh from a garden. The peach undertones evoke a slight pear-like scent (very slight). The cypress gives this a slightly earthy smell which prevents this from being overly citrus.

Fresh Mint was absolutely delicious but I simply couldn’t picture myself wearing the scent. I think it would have made a lovely candle. The intensity of these colognes is soft which, unfortunately, makes lasting power only about 4 hours. After 4 hours, I can still smell remnants of the cologne on my wrist, but it is significantly faded. Still, I prefer more natural scents. It would be great if these were upped in intensity a few notches to last longer, but I love each of these for their pure and simple quality. Other than the intensity, the only other things I wish were different: why limited edition and why not in other forms like candles, body creams, and bath gels?

Have you tried Jo Malone Colognes before? $55 for the amount seems extremely pricey, but the exquisite clean packaging along with the luxe boxes make these irresistible to at least pick up and try. Neiman Marcus currently has a gift with purchase instore and online. The top photo features two mini colognes in Grapefruit and Orange Blossom in a small leather case with a $150 purchase.

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  • Just after I got the holiday Jo Malone set I found out about this collection. I really want all 5 of them to tell the truth. You did a great post, love how you described each scent.

  • Carol

    Thank you for featuring Jo Malone! I love her scents; they work best for me when layered with the same or coordinating lotion. I love Nectarine Blossom & Honey for the warmer months, and I have been wearing her new English Pear & Freesia for winter. Her "layering system" of scents encourages you to create your own signature scent by combining different ones, but I stick with the ones I like!

  • hey, do you know what happened to tali's blog? i can't find it any more!

  • Z

    Jo Malone makes wonderful scents but I've only purchased them once (two for layering). I might have to try a couple from this new collection.

    I've bought candles quite a few times as gifts but can never splurge for myself it seems. πŸ™‚

    Perfume must be the hardest thing to review and write about, but your descriptions are great. Thank you!

  • LuckyRedLisa

    Thanks you so much for reviewing these! I adore Jo Malone fragrances, but haven't been able to try these. I'm trying to figure out which one(s!) to order un-sniffed. I still can't decide!! LOL

  • I have quite a few scents by Jo Malone and I love layering them. On her website she has a list of suggested fragrance combinations to try. I enjoy the French Lime Blossom with Blue Agava and Cacao, also Grapefruit with Pomegranate Noir.

  • Each of these scents, except for the Sweet Lemon, has one thing that irritates me (I can not be near star anise or mint), but the Sweet Lemon tempted me until I decided on purchasing Tocca's Colette, partly for sentimental reasons, partly cause of the intriguing mix of scents, and, of course, for the bottle!

    These scents are not that expensive when compared with Guerlain, and from that house you expect more than "layering" fragrances. This set is a nice way to be introduced to these softer, "clean" fragrances. Your descriptions of the scents are simple, accurate, and precise, just what someone needs in choosing any fragrance, which is such a highly personal matter.

    I'm not an Earl Gray tea fan either.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Lina,

    Glamorous pics!!! Nice. I think it is brave for any blogger to cover scent; it's so tricky, IMO. I think the descriptions are really well done and these sound like nicely layered but very wearable fragrances. The JM store by me has closed, so I have to get over to Bloomies to try them. I am up to the task, though πŸ˜›


  • Great post! I tried one of the grapefruit scents and it was delightful and long lasting, which hardly ever happens to me.

  • Eileen

    Every spring, for the past several years, I've bought a bottle of JM Orange Blossom. Last year I added Necturine Blossom & Honey. This year I'll have to check out the Sweet Lemmon. I like JM fragrances during the warmer months. They're not fussy or pretentious. They're clean and refreshing. It doesn't get any simpler than that. And, of course, the layering options are endless. Anyone new to JM will be surprised by the endless variety that layering creates. It's just one great scent sensation after another.

  • I love love love Jo Malone fragrances, and this collection is no different. It was between the Fresh Mint and Earl Grey for me, and I went with Earl Grey. It's delish layered with Red Roses or Dark Amber & Ginger Lily.

  • Thanks for the write-up, Sabrina! I love JM's Vintage Gardenia and Blue Agava and Cacao scents. Looking forward to trialing some of these when I go to Nordie's next week.

  • Thank you all for all your continued support and sweet comments. I've been swamped with work so I only have time to publish comments.

    I'm glad so many of you found this useful – it was a challenge for me to decide exactly how to present these since describing scents isn't my area of expertise (not by a long shot).

    Thanks for all your input on the layering tips =) Before Jo Malone I never even thought of combining scents together. I definitely have some ideas from each of you on what to try now, thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Thank-you for covering the new JM perfumes.

    I love, love, love Jo Malone! They have fresh, clean scents that don't give me a headache. You can layer and play with them too. Have fun!