A few weeks’ ago I was lucky enough to be invited to the official New Zealand launch of Jo Malone London’s latest fragrance, which involved a carefully curated lunch at Auckland’s Seafarer’s private members club and a riot of highly covetable scent.
Now, the scent being celebrated on the day is almost set to land: arriving in September 2016 is the absolutely flawless Basil & Neroli. After Lime Basil & Mandarin from 1999, this is the first fragrance from the collection that contains basil as the main ingredient and it is destined to be a runaway success for the beautiful brand.
Master perfumer Anne Flipo calls the latest offering “a fresh, sophisticated, sensual floral with green facets - stunning in its simplicity,” and I can’t help but agree wholeheartedly. Dubbed the “London Lark” by the brand, the Basil & Neroli cologne is concocted with the fashion forward youth and fun of good old London town in mind. It’s a scent that is fresh, playful, and — most importantly — quintessentially British.
Basil & Neroli was born through a working collaboration between Fragrance Director Céline Roux and Master Perfumer Flipo. Roux says the inspiration behind the fragrance was the chance to “celebrate our heritage. To create a fragrance anchored in London’s vibrant spirit and inspired by the botanical gardens and leafy squares hidden within the urban spaces”. She adds that it “felt right to return to a signature ingredient basil, a fragrance rule breaker when we included it in Lime Basil & Mandarin”. Basil & Neroli was created with some of the iconic brand’s most-loved ingredients, “which have become an integral part of our olfactive signature,” said Roux, “and I have to give credit to our Master Perfumer, Anne Flipo – it was her idea to combine it with neroli.”
The new scent comes as a cologne, hand and body wash, body crème and home candle, and like all Jo Malone London scents, is built to be played with. Flipo says her picks for Fragrance Combining with Basil & Neroli are English Pear & Freesia Body Crème for a sparkling floral fragrance that is mellow with touches of fruit, and Black Cedarwood & Juniper, “as the combination creates a fresh woody scent, green with fresh basil and resinous juniper”. I have been playing with the latter and have to say I once again agree – it has anchored Basil & Neroli’s freshness firmly into a deeper, slightly woodier zone for winter, which I highly recommend.