Jo Malone launches Wild Bluebell – Sept 2011

by Katie on June 27, 2011

Growing up in the outskirts of Glasgow, I was surrounded by wild hills and plentiful woods. Bluebells regularly carpeted the expanses of green and, at that time, were not yet listed as under threat.  Come Springtime, little girls would fill their hands with them and present them to their mothers as floral gifts.  The flower is synonymous with fantasy and our imaginations ran wild with imagined wood sprites ringing the bluebells and playing tricks.  (At the time, we were reading E Nesbitt, Edith Blyton and watching Eastern European TV programmes tinged in magic such as The Singing Ringing Tree).

Such rich memories are embedded in one’s scent history.  I can still smell the mossy damp freshness and the green, damp air tinged with blue-purple bobbing flowers and their delicate distinct scent. 

Until now, Bluebell scents while purist have languished in delicate hands and have been assigned as ‘older lady scent’, and, while being distinctly British, haven’t attracted a younger more switched-on audience.  Penhaligons Bluebell is archetypal of such an English scent as is Floris’ Hyacinth and Bluebell.

Step forward Jo Malone to take a Wild Bluebell scent into the 21st Century come September 2011. Using successful perfumeur, Christine Nagel, as the creator, Nagel was a safe hands choice as she has been core to previous Jo Malone success stories including Fresh Mint Leaf, Rosewater and Vanilla, Iris and White Musk and English Pear and Freesia.  “Wild Bluebell is very different from anything the brand has ever done before,” confirmed Jo Malone Fragrance and Lifestyle Director, Debbie Wild. 

New creative Director, James Gager, has charged the brand with life to reinvigorate it and to push the boundaries.  His vision was to interpret Nagel’s Bluebell character and to give her life and a story which will stick in the consumer’s visual and olfactory memory.  English Photographer, Tim Walker was then commissioned to photograph the campaign which reads as a part Miss Haversham, part Alice Through the Looking Glass, John Galliano-Dior-tinged vision of English eccentricity and ethearealness.

As no natural extract of bluebell exists, Nagel had to ‘imagine’ the scent, adding Jo Malone style to her interpretation of wild bluebell.  And she has done a fine job, if a little heavy on the Jo Malone clean aspect of the fragrance.

The scent opens in a lush burst of fresh floral fracard as the deep blue-ness of fresh English bluebell and clove sweeps over the skin and is followed closely by a big bunch of jasmine, lily of the valley, and eglantine at the heart that’s so rounded, it practically rolls across in bouncy waves.  There’s a soft fuzzy warmth emphasising those bobbing, bluebell heads like downy velvet petals brushed against baby soft skin in the white amber and musk at the base.

There’s a distinct air of Jo Malone’s trademark cleanness throughout with a tinge of metallic at it’s heart.  It’s this that gives the fragrance the modern air when juxtaposed with the rounded warmth.  While Wild bluebell may skip and saunter in a fantasy land of green woods, white rabbits and ballet tutus, the fragrance is anchored firmly in the damp green earth, so the artistic ‘vision’ contrasts slightly here with the olfactory experience.  It would have been a truer reflection of the fragrance had Betty Blue(bell) dropped some her English, otherworldy whimsy and took control, rather than passively tip-toeing, slightly out-of-kilter to a floral beat that has 21st Century modernity running through it’s core.

Like all Jo Malone fragrances, Wild Bluebell is said to be ideal for fragrance combining. Three fragrances which work particularly well with it are Vanilla and Anise, Nectarine Blossom and Honey and White Jasmine and Mint. I can vouch for the added depth given by the Jasmine and  as I was liberally sprayed.

Jo Malone Wild Bluebell is available from 1st September as a Cologne (30ml and 100ml; £36 and £72 respectively), a Body and Hand Wash (250ml; £30), Body Creme (175ml; £48) and a Home Candle (200g; £38). 

NB: The native English bluebell is under threat.  To help England stay carpeted with this flower, Jo Malone London has made a donation to the Woodland Trust. 

What do you think of the new Jo Malone Wild Bluebell scent and visuals?  Please let me know in the comment box below.  Thank you.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

pheromones attract women June 29, 2011 at 8:10 am

Cool! I am sure many gals/guys will gonna be interested by this post. Like the images and the bottle design. 🙂

eula w


Disneyrollergirl August 6, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Love the Tim Walker shots, what a lovely concept


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