A few weeks ago, I posted my first perfume review in a long time. The reason? I hadn’t tried that many new fragrances as I had been trying to use things up in my collection after finally having figured out what I like. The next step: to update the collection and get some stuff I truly truly adore. I already showed you one of those newer purchases two weeks ago: the Elizabeth + James Bourbon perfume. Today I’d like to review a perfume by a brand that has rapidly become a go to if I feel like my perfume collection needs a refresh: Jo Malone. For my first Jo Malone scent I opted for English Oak & Hazelnut and that is what today’s review is all about.
Review: Jo Malone London English Oak & Hazelnut Cologne
Jo Malone London is a luxury fragrance brand with unisex perfumes, or colognes as the brand likes to call them, at premium prices. Their fragrances come in two different formats: the lighter, fresher Colognes and the stronger smelling Cologne’s Intense. By the time I am writing this I own several Jo Malone perfumes, but I am only getting around to reviewing them now. I bought this perfume at the very start of 2019 and can therefore solidly review this for you as I have worn it on many different occasions. A bottle this size (100 ml) retails for around the €115 mark (I know!) but they also do a smaller 30 ml bottle that retails for half the price.
What does this fragrance have to offer?
As mentioned this was my first pick from the Jo Malone brand and the reason why I bought a big bottle is because I instantly knew this would be THE ONE. After trying popular perfumes for years, either through samples or in smaller bottles, I just never really felt like I had found the scent for me. Until I tried Florabotanica by Balenciaga (which I never reviewed to my horror!) and some others and I have been deconstructing some of the fragrance notes in some of those favorite perfumes to determine what I like. What this has that I like? The fact that it is woodsy! One of the things I love about Florabotanica is that it starts off smelling very fresh and green and this does too. The difference between the two is that this then develops into a lovely woodsy scent.
What does this smell like?
For information on the notes of a perfume I always like to consult Fragrantica. According to that website this only has three notes: hazelnut is the top note, the middle note is cedar and the base note is oak. It is a very simple perfume, but I think that is why this is so effective. What this reminds me of most is a walk through the woods after it has rained. That’s the best way to describe it I guess. It is fresh but without any hint of citrus, it is sweet but without a hint of floral, it is warm but without a hint of amber, and it is musky but without being heady.
I remember smelling a few of the perfumes in the store and where I had always felt meh when smelling perfumes (nothing ever truly stands out to me), when I tried this, I instantly perked up. By now that is my way of telling whether I like a fragrance or not: if I don’t instantly have that ‘pick me up’ feel, it does not get to come home with me anymore. Other than that this perfume feels very light and airy, yet lasts a full working day and then some on my skin. This is easy for everyday, but with another spritz this even works well as a night time perfume for me. It is a great allrounder.
Why would you spend so much money on a perfume?
I think to answer that question I have to again point out that you can buy a much smaller version at half the price of this. However, I knew, based on my knowledge of what I like in a perfume that this would be a hit and that I would wear it a lot. Where in my 20s I didn’t dare commit to a perfume as I had not clue what I liked, I only ended up buying small, 30 ml bottles. By now I know I like these fresh, woodsy scents a lot and therefore I knew I’d get lots of wear out of this. I knew I wanted to commit. And when I did the math: the bottle that’s €58 comes with just 30 mls of product, whereas this comes with more than 3x the amount of product at double the price. Therefore, it is a much smarter choice to make if you know you will be wearing it a lot. And wear it a lot I have, especially because it goes with every mood and occasion.
Is there more than one reason to love a Jo Malone perfume?
Would you believe me if I answered that question in the affirmative? Not only is this wrapped beautifully when you decide to make a purchase, the help I have received from Jo Malone sales assistants has been phenomenal. The lady who helped me pick this one was super helpful and really took the time to tell me about the different perfumes. It was her who convinced me to go with this OVER Wood Sage & Sea Salt (a cult favorite Jo Malone scent) that I was hoping to buy when I first walked up to the counter. By now I own 5 Jo Malone perfumes (including this one and no worries all the other ones are smaller bottles) and the way this perfume smells has been only one part of the reason why I went back for more. The other part was definitely the lovely ladies at different Jo Malone counters and their great customer service.
My final thoughts
Welp, I guess my Jo Malone rave train is over by now. It’s a brand I really enjoy and I love their fragrance. They do some more unique scents that not everyone will be wearing (I’m looking at you Flowerbomb) and that are still great for everyday wear. There is something sophisticated about this fragrance and that is why I love it. It is never heady yet still has great sillage and it wears for a long time. The way this develops on my skin makes me happy and whenever I spray this on it just puts a smile on my face. It is also one of the few perfumes in my collection (together with Florabotanica) that I do not link to a specific season or occasion for wearing it. In short, this perfume was indeed the hit I thought it would be, so I am glad I went with the large size.
Would I recommend the Jo Malone English Oak & Hazelnut perfume?
Fragrances are so personal that I think it is very difficult to recommend them. I know there are entire Youtube channels dedicated to perfume but I just don’t exactly know what the appeal is. Fragrances smell different on different people and therefore I would recommend to go to a Jo Malone counter in store, try them on your skin and then walk around for 30 minutes or so before you make a decision. If the decision IF you should purchase a Jo Malone perfume than I would wholeheartedly recommend the brand as they do some lovely lovely scents. Yes these are pricey (this is hands down the most expensive fragrance I own), but to me they are worth every penny.