Saturday, August 6, 2022

Sampling Seven Citrus-Based Scents From Jo Loves


On a recent trip to the Alsace region of France I took the opportunity to explore a few of the Jo Loves line of fragrances. Most perfume lovers know the story of Jo Malone who worked in England as a florist and part time beautician, then started her own line of perfumes which were met with great acclaim. The Jo Malone line of perfumes was one of the first successful brands of niche perfumes, and it was also one of the first niche brands acquired by a beauty company giant, in this case Estee Lauder.

Jo Malone stayed with her company under the Lauder banner for about five years before leaving. After waiting out a non-compete clause, she eventually started a new company called Jo Loves. It shares similarities with her original enterprise, unique combinations of notes, simple but elegant bottles, and a tendency toward fresh scents. Trying the Jo Loves scents, I remembered the original excitement of discovering new fragrances in the early days of the launch of Jo Malone.

I took a sample set with me on a trip through the Alsace region of France, a charming area on the border of France and Germany. Century old villages with half-timber houses make one think they've stepped back in time 500 years. 

The town of Kayserberg.

Jo By Jo Love
The scent that Jo Malone gifted her name to is my favorite of the bunch. It opens with a bright grapefruit note, and is classified as an aromatic, but to me it feels like a low-key chypre, a little assertive and elegant, considering its simple notes. In addition to grapefruit, it also has black pepper, bitter orange, lime, and spearmint to enforce the zingy notes. Cedarwood, guaiac wood, and vetiver provide the dry base notes.

White Rose & Lemon Leaves
The first hour of this fragrance's life is all about the lemon leaf. Jo Malone seems to love citrus notes, and here the lemon is both bright and a little green. Eventually the rose transitions in, and it is a white rose, which has a lemon tinge and is quite different from the scent of rich red roses. The Jo Loves website says that beautiful white Norma Jean Roses are used in the perfume, and their scent blends perfectly with the lightness of the lemon leaf. 

The town of Colmar.

Orange Butterflies
This scent opens with a burst of mandarin orange and the lushness of neroli. Pettigrain adds a bitter green thread through the scent, and orange blossom adds a sweet orange flavor, like drinking an orange laced lemonade. This is a simple scent but wear it for an instant mood boosting effect!

Jo Loves Pink Vetiver
The pink in Pink Vetiver comes from a heaping of pink peppercorn in the scent. This is just the beginning of the spices. there is also cardomom, cumin, angelica, juniper berries, ginger, and nutmeg. The spice adds an interesting aspect to the dryness of the vetiver and is a combination I have not tried before. Anyone looking for a dry and spicy aromatic scent should give this a try. 

The town of Ribeauville.

Green Orange & Coriander
This is another version of a citrus aromatic scent from the Jo Loves line. The tartness of green orange and the bitterness of the coriander are a unique combination and combine to give an invigorating scent. I love to eat coriander in my food and I also enjoy the smell, but I know it is a divisive note for some. Black pepper and coriander add to the spice, and oakmoss in the base brings out greener notes in the scent and adds deepness to the fragrance.

In some ways this citrus-based scents seems the least complex of those listed here, but there is a beguiling sense of mystery to it, like there is more than meets the eye. The notes are vetiver, pomelo zest, and patchouli, simple, but one of those scents that you can't stop sniffing yourself.

The town of Riquewihr.
Mango Thai Lime
Oh my! This scent does make me miss my years of living in Asia. My palette became used to bright and tangy combinations of food, and in Thailand, a green mango salad was one of my favorite dishes. Thinking of the combos of salty and sweet makes my mouth salivate.

On first spray I get juicy mango, a squeeze of lime, and a sprinkle of black pepper. This is food love! I wish this stage could last forever, but citrus notes are notoriously elusive. This scent explosion fades fairly quickly to a softer version of itself. Notes of mint, freesia, vetiver, and thyme are in the base.

If you love Asian food this fragrance will trigger some good memories for you, hopefully. If not, then it comes across as a nice tropical scent, somewhat akin to Creed Virgin Water. I really like this one. I just wish it lasted longer.

Jo Loves sells a sample set of these citrus-based scents. Although Jo Loves Jo is my favorite, there wasn't one in the set that I didn't like. If I'm rating, I'd say Pink Vetiver would be my last pick, as I'm very picky with the vetiver note. They are all perfect for these 100-degree-plus days we are still experiencing in North Texas every day!


I highly recommend the Alsace as a vacation destination! I would have loved to have gone in the December, when just like their nearby German counterparts, the little towns dress themselves up as Christmas markets. They would be so festive! But any time of year one can appreciate the feeling of walking back into the past. Colmar is known as the town that inspired Beauty and the Beast!

If you enjoy citrus scents, you must give Jo Loves a try! It seems to me that citrus notes must be Ms. Malone's favorite!