Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jo Malone Osmanthus Blossom Cologne

The limited-edition Osmanthus Blossom ($110 for 100 ml, $60 for 30-ml size; slightly higher in Canada) is Jo Malone's newest cologne. It is so popular, it's selling out quickly. I'm glad I was able to purchase mine early from my favorite Jo Malone product specialist at Neiman Marcus - before its scheduled May release date. She was a doll, spiriting it out of the back room for me to try - and buy. Perhaps it was embargoed?

Jo Malone describes Osmanthus Blossom as delicately exotic. I'd call it nectar for the nose. Mine won't stay away when I spray it on my arm. I adore white flower fragrances. This one captures the duality of apricot counterpoised with supple leather. Luminous petitgrain and luscious peach and orange flower ripple over a base of voluptuous cashmere wood. The result? Intoxicating.

Osmanthus absolute is an expensive raw material for use in perfume, but worth the investment due to its unique olfactory profile. It's highly fragrant and succulent in its peachy-apricot top note - nothing short of mouthwatering. If you are into the chemistry that underlies its exquisite fragrance, the essence of osmanthus naturally contains cis-jasmone (a white floral note), gamma-decalactone and various delta-lactones (peachy-milky notes) as well as several ionones derivates, which accounts for its violet-like sweetness (Fragrantica).

The further south you travel in the United States, the more likely you are to find this plant sharing its heady fragrance. A member of the olive family, it's a leggy plant you won't forget once you smell one in bloom. In autumn, winter, and early spring, white flowers cover the shrub - which also blooms sporadically throughout the summer. Individually the blossoms are small and inconspicuous, but the fragrance is powerful and exquisite.

I purchased my bottle a few weeks ago and have reached for it often. I was surprised when I was shopping with a friend who is generally a fragrance phobe. She does like light citrus scents, but is seldom blown away by florals. The display at Neiman Marcus stopped her in her tracks, and she gave Osmanthus Blossom a try. She found it irresistible and went home that day with a new fragrance.

For fragrance layering fans, Jo Malone suggests you layer it with Blackberry & Bay to add a tart verdant depth or Nectarine Blossom & Honey to amplify the osmanthus with a sophisticated sweetness. I plan to try the latter pronto.

Where can you find it? Osmanthus Blossom is or will be available at Jo Malone Boutiques,, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and select Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, and Nordstrom stores nationwide. In Canada, it's available exclusively at Holt Renfrew. If you haven't given it a whiff, try it before it sells out.

Photo at top courtesy of Jo Malone; other photo by


Claire said...

Thanks for the info, CG! This sounds like a scent that I'd like to sample. I wonder if my local Nordie will carry this/already have this in stock. Must check this weekend.

Elizabeth said...

Oh! I feel like this blossom grows everywhere in Southern California but I always assumed it was Jasmine. Do you happen to know if it's night-blooming, by any chance?

As for the fragrance, it sounds lovely. I haven't bought perfume in a while but this sounds perfect for spring. Thanks for another great post, CG!

Mamavalveeta03 said...

All I can say is, "Mm, mm, mm..." You've got me with this one! I NEED. (Is it OK to buy your own Mother's Day gift???)

Dovey said...

Hi Charlestongirl,

(Happy) sigh, this sounds amazing --- my interest has certainly been piqued with osmanthus scents as of late, as I really enjoy the apricot contributions often found within. I really really really look forward to trying this one!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Claire,

Give them a call. If they have a Jo Malone counter, they should have it.

Charlestongirl said...

Elizabeth, it's the night-blooming jasmine you are probably thinking about.

It's a very pretty, fresh floral. If that's a genre you like (as I do), you should love it.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi MamaVal,

They will probably be relieved that they don't have to figure out what you might like. Or, you could just drop a BIG hint.

Charlestongirl said...

Then you will love it, Dovey!

Anonymous said...

Hi CG,

Do you like JM's Bluebell fragrance? I have a lot of JM
products, both regular-size & samples. Bluebell is the only one
I cannot stand. Like & love the others, only complaint is staying power of some scents. Anyway, I was going to order this new perfume in the smaller size (as I usually do) however your entry has me considering the larger size as it is a limited edition. Then I thought of the Bluebell scent and what if I hate it? I'm across the board on JM - my favorite was the discontinued Tuberose, now it is Fig & Cassis or Pomegranate Noir.
I appreciate your thoughtful input as always.

Anonymous said...

Hi CG,

I sent earlier msg re Bluebell - please disregard. I searched blog for your earlier postings (sorry, should have thought of that!)
Think I will order from NM - they have large sample size of Lime Basil&Mandarin - nice for travel.JM has large sample size of Orange Blossom (plus select 2 vials)with code LINEN.

Becca @ The Beauty Sample said...

Oh God...this sounds utterly divine. I recently become interesting in Jo Malone fragrances and so far, I have liked everything I've tried. This new one, however, really sounds like it was made for me. I MUST try this immediately! I wish I had heard of this one sooner before I repurchased a bottle of my perfume!

Stephanie said...

The new Jo Malone Osmanthus Blossom is a must have for those of you who appreciate a unique and delightful summertime scent. The bottle alone is gorgeous!
Currently available at Nordstrom Towson... stop in and indulge.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Anonymous 10:50,

I like Wild Bluebells, but it's not my favorite.

Charlestongirl said...

Becca, it is divine. One of the company's best lately.