“Smell is a sense that bypasses the rational mind, thwarts all efforts of language to describe it, and reaches sneaky neural wiring directly into regions beyond thought,” says Tania Sanchez (author of Perfumes: The A-Z Guide.) Ask anyone what their favourite smell is and they’ll undoubtedly describe a memory that brings about an overall feeling of contentedness or security: the aroma of a log fire burning at Christmas, the scent of a baby’s head during those first moments of nurturing, the fragrance of freshly cut grass on a summer’s day. Perfume is an art, not a science, so it’s open to our own experiences and interpretations; it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what we’re experiencing, so we describe a moment or memory as a way of processing that information. When we’re breathing in a new fragrance or remembering a scent we used to douse ourselves in daily, it’s not the top notes or undertones we’re remembering – but way it made us feel. No brand evokes memories, emotions and long-lasting impressions quite like Jo Malone London, and their newest launch proves that there’s always a new story waiting to be told.
Honeysuckle & Davana is the newest addition to the Jo Malone London (JML) line-up and has been designed to feel like a walk through beautiful woodland on a warm end-of-summer day. A quintessentially British flower that’s often overlooked in perfumery, Honeysuckle is delicately warm and surrounds us almost constantly – but it’s actually impossible to harvest.
In order to capture the scent JML utilised ‘headspace’ technology, a process used to capture the odour compounds present in the air surrounding an object, to replicate it synthetically. (Read more on headspace technology here.) Combined with the freshness of rose and neroli, as well as the slightly fruity note of osmanthus, the result is bright and airy; however, it’s the fresh green notes of the davana that helps to enhance the woody signature of moss and sandalwood and results in a unique and unexpected fragrance.
I’m not usually a fan of florals, but this combination reminds me of sunshine hitting the greenness of the forest and picnics in the park as a child. It’s the perfect end-of-summer scent, as well as a great way to transition from the coldness of winter into the freshness of spring, because of the warmth and freshness it brings without being fruity or zingy. However, it gets really interesting when you combine it with other scents or use it as a base to showcase your favourite perfumes.
Jo Malone Oud & Bergamot (£75.00) contains smokey, heady and woody notes that have traditionally been seen as masculine and are incredibly popular in Eastern cultures; it may be too heavy for many, but when it’s combined with the lightness of Honeysuckle & Davana the result is incredibly wearable and totally unexpected. The heavy floral and oud notes are balanced to provide a much lighter, incredibly warm and totally unisex scent that’s utterly timeless; for me it evokes feelings of sitting in a vineyard sipping a cold glass of wine, or walking through the crisp autumn leaves just after a rainfall.
Jo Malone Grapefruit (£45.00) is a traditionally zesty scent that’s combined with tangerine and peppermint for an incredibly fresh perfume; on its own you could be forgiven for thinking it’s quite dull or too basic to be worn alone (that’s what comes from being spoilt for choice with hundreds of amazing combinations!) When spritzed over a base of Honeysuckle & Davana though, its citrus base lifts the floral scent to produce a fragrance that’s utterly sparkling – it reminds me of Spanish orangeries and Caribbean beaches.
It’s quite fascinating how two totally different scents can bring out the best of a base perfume, creating completely new and unexpected results with just a couple of spritzes. These are the two fragrances recommended by JML, but the beauty of fragrance combining is that you can experiment and find the duos that work for you – because you never know what the result may be. I’ve been a big fan of the practice since I was first introduced to it nearly eight years ago, even choosing to combine two JML scents on my wedding day (find out what they were here!)
So many of us choose the same beautiful fragrances, but finding new ways of elevating the notes makes the whole experience all the more personal and special.
Which would you choose to combine the new Honeysuckle & Davana with?
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