Review | Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne

November 10, 2011
By

The latest in Jo Malone’s concise fragrance collection, Wild Bluebell Cologne caught my attention with its dewy notes bursting into floral accords.

The bluebell doesn’t yield its fragrance as a natural extract, so the bluebell component in this scent is essentially an impression of the happy flower (I can’t help but associate joy and a little whimsy with this bloom, having been weaned on Enid Blyton books as a child!). According to the brand, the blend of aromas is composed of crisp green leaves, spicy clove buds and a delicate marine accent. This top note is mostly aquatic to me, with a sweet melon hint.

The heart notes are uplifting, thanks to the fruity-floral tones of persimmon, lily of the valley, jasmine and eglantine rose (sweet briar).

According to the brand, the base notes of musk and white amber amplify the top and middle notes, allowing them to ‘bloom on the skin’. On me, they aren’t obvious; I’d say the musk is fairly clean.

I received this cologne from the brand and have been using it for more than a month. I’m still enjoying it a lot, thanks to its lightness and sweet feminine notes.

Created by perfumer Christine Nagel (she also created other Jo Malone scents, as well as popular perfumes like Miss Dior Cherie), Wild Bluebell has received a balance of positive and negative reviews online. I do think that its easy appeal, which some perfume snobs scoff at, is a plus and not a flaw.

Wearable and pleasing, this fragrance apparently won in a blind test when it was pitted against Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia during the marketing development of the two scents. Both were well-received but the response was warmer towards Wild Bluebell. However, the brand decided to launch English Pear Freesia first (I’m not sure why) and it went on to become one of their top-sellers. It’s not surprising then that the brand has high hopes for Wild Bluebell.

On me, it doesn’t last as long as Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne (one of my favourite scents from the brand) but I’ve found that spraying it on the nape of my neck and on the hair near my ears prolongs the scent. It is, as a whole, a fleeting scent that requires layering to last the day. As expected, its sillage is faint too – I can detect it in my room hours after spritzing it but it’s just a lingering hint, really. I’m not sure if this is climate-related, though; it seems that people who live in temperate countries find this a fairly tenacious fragrance!

As a nursing mother who appreciates a nice scent but doesn’t want something too heavy or cloying, this is actually quite a good product for me. My baby girl has not had any negative reaction to it, despite me wearing this fragrance on a daily basis while slinging her. :)

This linear scent is an excellent one for Jo Malone’s signature fragrance combining. The brand recommends combining Wild Bluebell with:

  • Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne
  • White Jasmine & Mint Cologne
  • Vanilla & Anise Cologne

In a complete turnaround, the ad visual of this new fragrance features a model – a personification of the flower – lying amidst bluebells and bunnies, unlike the brand’s previous ads which centred on a Jo Malone flaçon and its scent ingredients.

While I like the ad concept of Wild Bluebell as a naughty but nice girl ‘who lets nature run riot for all the right reasons’, I’m not fond of the almost-cadaverous expression on the model’s face.

It has shades of high fashion, though. I went ‘Ah!’ when I learnt that the creative director behind it was James Gager – yes, he of MAC Cosmetics fame! (Remember, Jo Malone is now part of the big Estée Lauder family and shares their resources. ;)) The ad was shot by top British fashion photographer Tim Walker, whose extravagant settings and theatrical pieces have consistently appeared in Vogue magazine.

This departure is attributed to the new global direction of the brand: a more sensuous and organic feel, in order to court the young and trendy. I can see this happening – the visuals are oh-so-cool, compared to the traditional English feel of the earlier ones. Nevertheless, I like the simplicity and classy nature of the latter.

Interestingly, this fragrance is part of an initiative to preserve the native English bluebell. To this end, Jo Malone London has made a donation to the Woodland Trust to keep England carpeted with bluebells. :)

Here is the price list of the Jo Malone Wild Bluebell range in Singapore:

  • Wild Bluebell Cologne (30 ml/S$95, 100 ml/S$190)
  • Wild Bluebell Body & Hand Wash (250 ml/S$95)
  • Wild Bluebell Body Crème (175 ml/S$140)
  • Wild Bluebell Home Candle (200 g/S$115)

As with good fragrance boutiques, Jo Malone Singapore offers scent profiling to help customers find their ideal Jo Malone fragrance. A complimentary hand and arm massage accompanies this personalised service but is subject to the availability of the staff.

In Singapore, Jo Malone is located at Ngee Ann City, #02-12.

Image source: Jo Malone Singapore and Woodland Trust UK


Posted in: fragrance reviews | jo malone

6 Responses to Review | Jo Malone Wild Bluebell Cologne

  1. November 11, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    It’s a pleasant scent but it didn’t impress me as much as their other florals…But definitely v wearable and pretty.

    • makeupmag
      November 14, 2011 at 11:41 am

      Hi Astrorainfall,

      It’s definitely not an intriguing scent, just very wearable and sweet. :) I like its lightness, though.

  2. November 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    I first got a whiff of Jo Malone’s fragrances during my trip to HK earlier this year, I think it was the Rose. It smelt absolutely divine and had wanted to bring home with me, but sadly the price were too steep! :(

    maybe someday in the near future, i’ll be able to bring home one myself. And yes, bluebells brings back happy memories of reading Enid Blyton’s books! I have always love Enid’s books for being whimsical and fantasy like :D

    • makeupmag
      November 14, 2011 at 11:47 am

      Hi Plue,

      They’re cheaper in London and more so at duty-free – Rouge Deluxe bought me a bottle from Heathrow Airport earlier this year. :) Bluebell is so EB, right?!

  3. jy
    December 6, 2011 at 8:55 am

    bluebell is so nice! esp when i pair it with nectarine blossom! heavenly!

    though the hubs complained that it is too ‘thick” for his liking

    • makeupmag
      December 7, 2011 at 12:29 am

      Hi JY,

      I love this scent. :) That’s a great fragrance to pair it with, according to the brand. Does he mean that it’s too heavy when paired with that?

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