Deep, intense ingredients born in the desert. Musk, amber and oud. Blended with quintessentially English florals. Captured in two mysterious scents.
Jo Malone’s Head of Global Product Development, Céline Roux, and Master Perfumer, Anne Flipo embarked on this journey to create something completely new for the brand.
Left: Anne Flipo – Right: Céline Roux
What inspired the concept of Absolu?
Céline: «It all began with my travels to the Middle East – I’ve visited a few times and have always been inspired by their passion for scent and ritual of layering fragrance. As you walk around all the markets and souks there, you’ll notice the air is infused with rich, deep, warm scents. So, I started to think about how we could interpret this, but with a Jo Malone London signature.»
Anne: «Together we identified the elements that are key in the Middle East – amber, oud and white musk. Not only are they in the air, but people also use them to scent their clothes and their hair. We then created a base around these three ingredients. The result is something truly unique and exclusive to Jo Malone London.»
Céline: «The thought of flowers came naturally after we’d worked on the base. We asked, ‘how could we combine the Middle Eastern air with an imaginary English garden?’ It felt like the perfect way to give each Absolu scent our signature freshness, and that Jo Malone London twist.»
Rose & White Musk Absolu
An English rose. Flowering in the heart of the Arabian desert. Unexpected. Mysterious. Enfolding with petal-fresh sweetness. Rich with oud and amber. Balanced on a powdery clean base of white musk. Soft and sensual. A mesmerising treasure. Brought to life in Jo Malone’s first Cologne Absolu. A bold new innovation in scent that dives straight into the heart note of the cologne, keeping our signature freshness, while leaving a beautiful, lingering trail of scent.
What makes Absolu different to other Jo Malone London Colognes?
Céline: «Absolu combines base and heart notes alone, to exude both warmth and freshness, woods and flowers, earth and air – creating captivating scents that evolve on contact with the skin and continue to inspire the senses after they are applied. We approach an Absolu in a very different way to our classic Colognes. Instead of starting with the top notes and the first olfactive impression, we work from the base up and emphasise one of the ingredients to complement each of the flowers we chose. So for Rose it was White Musk, and for this one we really pushed the amber to complement the elusive aroma of violet. We also eliminated the top notes entirely, so you go straight into the heart of the fragrance.»
Violet & Amber Absolu
In the Arabian night, an ethereal violet mysteriously blooms. Beloved of the British flower bed, its elusive scent of darkly purple petals and violet leaves wraps around oud and white musk, anchored by warm, sophisticated amber.
Why did you decide to work with violet?
Céline: «Violet is one of the most-loved flowers in the British flower garden! It was also a favourite among royals and poets. There are many quotes about violet in Shakespeare – one of my favourites is from Sonnet 99, “The forward violet thus did I chide. Sweet thief, whence didst thou steal thy sweet that smells, if not from my love’s breath?” So, it’s something of a classic.»
How would you layer and combine Violet & Amber Absolu?
Céline: «I recommend pairing it with Bronze Wood & Leather Cologne Intense – it brings even more depth and sensuality to the scent.»
Anne: «I combine it with Wood Sage & Sea Salt – it really amplifies the woody notes in the base and creates a very enthralling fragrance. It’s also intriguing to layer Violet & Amber with Rose & White Musk – the two Absolu scents together have such intensity and a really addictive quality.»
Both are available now ONLINE and in Switzerland at Jelmoli Zurich, Globus Zurich, Globus Glatt, Globus Bellevue, Globus Lucerne, Globus Geneva, Globus Lausanne and at Perfumery Hyazinth in Basel for CHF 280.00 (100ml) each.
Photos: Courtesy of Jo Malone London and © Sandra Bauknecht