That totally romantic childhood memory of being high, high up in a tree, surrounded by a cathedral of green, the scent of crushed leaves, warm wood, dirty hands, faces, sheer exhilaration and at the same time a kind of calm – it’s here. Jo Malone’s newest release, English Oak & Hazelnut (there’s a redcurrant combination as well), has been fabulously received and it’s surely because Malone does nostalgic like no other. If they claimed they’d managed to capture the scent of actual wood nymphs using their ‘headspace’ extraction technology I wouldn’t bat an eye.
But simultaneously, these scents are extremely grown-up, proper, British (let’s all pretend Jo Malone London isn’t now owned by American company Estee Lauder). Oak and Hazelnut opens with a crunchy kind of nuttiness, and some grapefruit (my favourite), which adds a bitter freshness. Vetiver adds complexity to the cedarwood heart as does elemi, a resinous note that’s cirtusy but ambery and just perfect in this.
The solid, spicy, Robin Hood masculinity of the roasted oak lingers for ages at the base – much more than your typical JM cologne, and it’s pleasantly resinous and complex. Beautiful to wear alone or of course matched with something else fruity and dewy from the JM range, English Oak & Hazelnut is a walk in the woods of your childhood, even if you’re chained to your desk.
Jo Malone London English Oak & Hazelnut Cologne, 30ml $98.00. From Jo Malone London.