Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jo Malone Iris & White Musk Cologne Intense

My favorite of the Jo Malone Intense Colognes, Iris & White Musk Cologne ($135) is not at all what I had expected when I first learned about the Intense Collection. As I wrote last year, before the collection was introduced, the Intense Collection was expected to appeal to customers who might connect with rich scents and Middle Eastern notes. The collection, which was blended by Christine Nagel of Fragrance Resources, was a departure for Jo Malone, right down to the black bottles. I feared there would be too much spice for my tastes.

I've tried all four of the Intense Colognes now, and I will be wearing Iris & White Musk, a blend of violet, Casablanca lily, white musk, tonka, and iris notes, said to be composed with beautifully controlled contrasts. I don't read contrasts gracing my senses. I detect a beautifully blended soft floral, without distractions or sharp edges.

Iris & White Musk may be a floral for fragrance fans who don't love florals. It's not sweet. It reminds me that flowers spring from the earth and that they are one with their surroundings. The scent lasts for hours on my skin, gracefully exiting without losing its soft reminder of the beauty of the garden - perhaps one in which the fragrance lingers, trapped by the layer of sultry, humid air in summer.

On Tuesday, I featured Rose Water & Vanilla Cologne Intense. It was the first one I tried. I like it, but it takes a backseat to Iris & White Musk for me. There are two more colognes in the Intense Collection.
  • Amber & Patchouli, which has notes of amber, patchouli leaf, and guaiac wood, emphasizes patchouli with a supple, suede-like finish, resulting in a seductive, spicy, woody fragrance (definitely not for this patchouli hater)
  • Oud & Bergamot, described as a fresh interpretation of the dark, hypnotic scent of oud, derived from the heartwood of the aquilaria tree, with additional notes of bergamot and an orange granite accord based on natural extracts of lemon and orange (I like it - it's fresh and lively)
If you are in the camp that has tired of Jo Malone's fragrances, once exclusive, but now seemingly everywhere, you should seek out the Intense Collection. It's a niche line within one that's familiar.

You can purchase the Cologne Intense fragrances at Jo Malone online. Of course, you can always call my friends Diana Foerster or David McCray (Jo Malone representative at Neiman Marcus at Tysons Galleria) or Kathy Shoreman at (703) 761-1600, ext. 3268. They are only getting 10 bottles of each scent, and then they will be gone.

Persian iris illustration above courtesy of; photo courtesy of Jo Malone


lovethescents said...

This was very pale on me....I smelled a hint of the white musk, and I do love white musk (hello Serge Lutens Clair de Musc!), but my skin swallowed the rest up. I couldn't detect irises either. I won't worry, though, I have too many other iris fragrances that love me more :-)

I'm so happy you love it, though! Enjoy it :-)

Charlestongirl said...

So interesting, Lovethescents! On my skin, it persists in its full glory for most of the day.

The iris root is subtle, yes overshadowed by the musk, but I think it lends the earthiness I smell.

Anonymous said...

Another one that sounds lovely!! What shall I do? :)

Clarisse said...

Oh,I love it already, Charlestongirl!
I adore iris fragrances (+ violet, lily, white musk, tonka...sounds total bliss) Moreover you write it isn't sweet and it lasts...what else can I wih for? I was getting weary of last JM fragrances too(it's not she who created them which might explain why) But Christine Nigel is a great perfumer so I'm sure I'll love this one and the love will be reciprocated:-) Now I need to find if it is out here or when it will!
By the way, I'll have to wait until September before telling you about "Baisers Volés" by Cartier!! and Cartier is a French brand...but they prefer starting with the USA (it is true French people don't buy many beauty products in July/August, mainly Summer creams and fresh eaux de toilette..that's why we are invaded from the end of August by all the novelties from all the brands, quite intoxicating...they make up for lost time:-)

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Clarisse,

I ordered Baisers Volés, without trying. Hope I love it!

The Jo Malone Cologne Intense line was supposed to launch in Paris and a few other cities last year. I'll bet someone has it. I really love the Iris & White Musk. I wish I could mail it to you!

Charlestongirl said...

Hey Tracy,

If it were up to me, I would get Iris & White Musk. The Rose Water & Vanilla is nice, but not as unique.

Move fast, though. I just learned how limited the quantities are.