In 2006, when Jo Malone CBE exited the eponymous fragrance brand she’d sold to Estée Lauder, the beauty industry obsessed over what she’d do next. I was adamant Malone would launch an inexpensive diffusion range with a high street retailer, where she was guaranteed to clean up. I was, until now, very wrong.
Instead came Jo Loves, a luxury perfumery producing Malone’s trademark light, elegant, expensive-smelling scents at a premium price. Gorgeous though they continue to be, I’m thrilled to see her finally democratise. Zara Emotions collection of eaux de parfum, created exclusively and entirely by Jo Loves for the fashion chain, is the brand’s first retail collaboration. These are not the nasty Malone ripoffs of the bargain supermarket, but the real deal.
There are no huge surprises here except the bargainous price, and who wants any? All eight fragrances are as you’d hope and expect, and exceptionally good value. Ebony Wood (my favourite) is a wintery, balsamic number with added boozy fruits. Bohemian Bluebells is possibly the nicest bluebell scent I’ve tried. Fleur de Patchouli – though slightly on the sweet side for me – will be pleasing to those turned off by the foggy, slightly dirty smell of many patchoulis. Tubereuse Noir isn’t my bag, but tuberose rarely is – if you’re a fan of the big, carnal, honeyed white flower scent, Malone has made it a little more decent for daytime. Amalfi Sunray is for those who reject the colder seasons, offering sun-scorched oranges and sweet basil. Similarly, Fleur D’Oranger smells like a holiday in Provence, and Waterlily Tea Dress is the very pretty, green, bright smell of a rain-soaked flower stall. The cheerful, zesty Vetiver Pamplemousse is classic Malone and a no-brainer – a sort of pared-back little sister to Jo Loves’ much-loved (and costly) Pomelo, which layers well under something bolder. All are gender neutral, to my nose, utterly wearable and unlikely to offend a soul; so if you’re a fan of uncompromising, ball-busting perfume, walk on by.
The 10ml rollerballs are a frankly irresistible £5.99 and a great way to decide which large-sized scent (90ml at £25.95) you’ll make your signature. So while these perfumes will not change the world, they do have the potential to save you a packet. The collection isn’t limited, but I am predicting a stampede, so get to Zara fast, no dilly-dallying. Candles next, please.