Every spring Jo Malone releases a limited edition collection. For 2016 the collection is called Herb Garden and it has five perfumes composed by Anne Flipo. As a collection this holds together in a very clear coherent thread of herbal notes threaded throughout each perfume. For purposes of a review I had to pick one to wear for a couple of days and that was Lavender & Coriander. I’m going to give some capsule impressions, from testing on a strip and a patch of skin, of the other four before diving into the full review.
Carrot Blossom & Fennel has a fantastic fennel note on top that I wish stuck around until the carrot comes to the forefront within the heart. Instead a fruity floral heart of iris and apple dominate. The carrot is here. I would’ve like it to have more of a presence throughout.
Nasturtium & Clover is a weird mixture I’m not sure of. The top accord is composed of the slightly peppery green of arugula paired with lemon and the softness of clover. Nasturtium turns towards a greenish floral before vetiver completes the green effect.
Sorrel & Lemon Thyme is the most straightforward of the collection. Lemon and petitgrain on top combine with thyme in the heart to finish on geranium in the base.
Wild Strawberry & Parsley was the one I almost chose to review over Lavender & Coriander. The top accord of tomato leaf, blackcurrant bud, and parsley is snappy and soft at the same time. I was worried the strawberry would verge on too sweet but it never does. Mme Flipo pairs it with basil and violet leaves and the heart reminded me of a spring dessert. This rides on a lot of white musks in the base.
My affection for lavender has been evident throughout the ten years I’ve written about perfume. I was probably pre-disposed to liking Lavender & Coriander best. Mme Flipo uses the coriander combined with juniper berry to give the outline of a gin accord. There was a part of me that was expecting lime next to finish off the gin and tonic early vibe. Instead lavender takes over forming an exotic floral martini. The coriander and juniper bring out the herbal nature of the lavender. Sage shows up later on to really enhance that effect. The quality of the lavender used here is marvelous, coming from England and France. All together it makes Lavender & Coriander feel like an herbal riff on fougere.
Lavender & Coriander has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
I really like the overall Herb Garden Collection. I think I will be re-visiting them, especially as spring shows up. If you like herbal notes in perfume this is a collection one should check out. If you’re a lavender lover Lavender & Coriander is a must try.
Disclosure: This review was based on press samples from Jo Malone.