“Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors.” – Alice Walker

And that was exactly the case at the launch of Jo Malone London‘s latest fragrance collection, Rock the Ages . With an epic afternoon English tea set before us, Debbie Wild, the brand’s Lifestyle Director, took us on an olfactory journey through the history of Britain. “This is Great Britain celebrated in scent,” she said as we all tucked in to tiny sandwiches and scones with jam and cream. Much like our apt feast, the collection is bursting with Britishness. The delightfully quirky line up consists of five different colognes, each inspired by a different era in history, from Tudor times right up to modern day. Each 30ml bottle is trimmed with a chintzy fabric, expressive of the time,  so pretty in fact that you’ll want to collect them all.

Despite the focus on the historical, the fragrances themselves are refreshingly contemporary in the unique way that has become synonymous with the Jo Malone London limited edition collections. Perfumer Christine Nagel, blends beautiful, traditional scents then gives them an unexpected and sudden twist that draws them in to the now.

Jo Malone London Rock the Ages Perfume Collection

The Notes

Tudor Rose & Amber: Rose Absolute, Clove, Ginger, Amber

Lily of the Valley & Ivy: Cassis, Green Ivy, Lily of the Valley, Narcissus

Pomegranate Noir: Pomegranate, Casablanca Lily, Pink Pepper, Guaiacwood

Geranium & Verbena: Verbena, Basil, Geranium, Coumarin, Vetiver

Birch & Black Pepper: Black Pepper, Cardamom, Birch, Ink, Gurjum

The Scents

The collection is a lavish display of luxurious ingredients and is a perfume enthusiast’s dream. The heaviest fragrances of the collection,Tudor Rose & Amber and Pomegranate Noir, are reminiscent of the opulence and regality of two of Britain’s most dominant eras- Tudor and Victorian. Forget what you think you know about roses and fruits, both of these are decadent, warm and spicy head turners with incredible staying power.

Lily of the Valley & Ivy, the interpretation of Georgian London, is my personal favourite. It opens with a delicate freshness then dries down to a heady bouquet of white florals. It’s very feminine and works well for both day and night. Geranium & Verbena (Edwardian England) is the most unisex of the group. Clean, herbaceous and easily layered with other Jo Malone favourites like Earl Grey & Cucumber or Blackberry & Bay.

Birch & Black Pepper is the androgynous, super sexy embodiment of modern day Britain. With eccentric notes of smoky birch and magnetic ink, it’s strong yet not overwhelming, with a deeply masculine edge. A definite must-try just for the curiosity value if nothing else.

The Rock the Ages Collection is set to launch in the Middle East in April 2015.

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