Each year Jo Malone London releases a Brit Collection, a limited edition line up of scents inspired by something special and something uniquely British. Last year’s offering was titled The Herb Garden Collection, and I fell in love with it almost immediately. A limited edition collection of five fragrances inspired by "the aromatic artistry of herbs", it was completely unlike anything else being released at the time and was an unequivocal success. I’m predicting the same for the latest incarnation of the Jo Malone London Brit Collection, which takes the form of The Bloomsbury Set.
The Bloomsbury Set limited edition fragrance collection celebrates the creative non conformists of the early 20th century known as the Bloomsbury Group, and their unconventional and bohemian lifestyle. The influential London collective of free thinkers included the likes of Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, E. M. Forster and Lytton Strachey, and their work and their motives were a step beyond the traditions of the Victorian era. Alongside their literary and artistic endeavours came new ideas on things such as sexuality, and the numerous romantic affairs (some homosexual, some bisexual, mostly very enthusiastic) between the men and women who made up this fluid set of friends were the stuff of legend.
The Bloomsbury Set fragrance collection consists of five scents as unconventional as the subject matter upon which they were based, composed by perfumer Yann Vasnier. They were designed to capture the intoxicating essence of the group’s aforementioned unconventional life in their legendary country house in Sussex - the lily pond at dawn, bold blue hyacinth, absinthe afternoons and golden linseed on paint-stained hands - and Jo Malone London sent the master perfumer to soak up the home’s atmosphere and surrounding gardens. The end result is carefully considered and really quite beautiful, and bound to fly off the shelves with much haste.
I always new that I would find something - many things! – to love about the collection given Vasnier’s creative portfolio, which includes some of my all time favourite fragrances like Tom Ford’s Oud Fleur, Plum Japanese and Velvet Orchid and Arquist’s The Architects Club. There was always going to be something a little sexy in there, a little louche, as well as the unexpected. The final line up is the finely fragranced Blue Hyacinth, the evocative Garden Lilies, sexy Leather & Artemisia, heady Tobacco & Mandarin and complex Whisky & Cedarwood. My personal favourites are the last three due to their warm, unisex appeal, which I think will add to the collection’s success.
The Bloomsbury Set collection is on sale now from Jo Malone London Britomart and select department stores. Individual 30ml colognes will cost $114 and yes, you need them all!