Jo Malone CBE is celebrating 25 years in the business of fragrance by launching a new perfume
Words Pendle Harte
Congratulations on 25 years in fragrance! How has the industry changed since you first began?
Thank you so much, this year is a special one. The industry has definitely changed since I launched the first brand. There was very little competition then and we created a marketplace along with other brave entrepreneurs.
When I launched Jo Loves, I realised it was much harder. I assumed I could step back into the market in the same place I left but I had to work my way back up and earn the right to stand there. Passion, resilience and creativity are all qualities that helped me to build again.
And how have you changed? Have your tastes changed? Or your sense of smell?
I still have the same spirit and the same integrity, but the creativity is very different. If you look at an artist or a musician their work doesn’t stay the same and that’s the same for me. I’m braver now and more courageous. Jo Loves is about innovation and inspiration. I’m telling you the story of my life through it and I’m not the 22-year-old kid any more. I’m a woman in her 50s who travels around the world and my incredible adventures lead me to think, how do I tell this story through the sense of smell?
Which of your own creations are you most proud of?
I am most proud of the Jo Loves Fragrance Paintbrush. When I first came up with the idea everyone looked at me and thought ‘what is that woman on?’ and they said, ‘no one’s going to do it!’ Well how wrong they were. That paintbrush has completely changed the way people wear fragrance.
Tell us about the new fragrance.
Rose Petal 25 encapsulates so many cherished memories I have of roses, from me as a little girl hand-picking petals in the garden to mixing my first Bulgarian rose oil face mask. I have loved the scent of rose petals all my life, so I knew this would be the perfect fragrance to celebrate 25 years of being a shopkeeper.
I went on a sensorial journey to Grasse in the south of France last year to discover the magical Rose de Mai flower and drew inspiration from picking the perfect blooms at dawn to extract the first drops of precious oil. That’s when the creative process began and Rose Petal 25 was born.
Which are your favourite smells/ fragrance ingredients?
I love citrus notes, grapefruit being one of my favourite ingredients, and floral notes such as rose.
Do you believe that there is an ideal scent for each individual, or should we change our fragrances regularly?
People usually have a preference, such as citrus or woody scents. I tend to always wear Pomelo or Jo by Jo Loves in the daytime, as citrus makes me feel safe, but
always add to my fragrance throughout the day depending on my mood – and I often wear a floral fragrance in the evening.
What perfume are you wearing today?
Rose Petal 25
What’s next for you and for Jo Loves?
I set out to build a global brand and eight years on, that is exactly what we are doing. Jo Loves is a springboard of creativity and I’m always looking for new and innovative ways for people to wear fragrance.