Review: Jo Malone Poppy & Barley Cologne, English Fields Collection
When I saw this collection of colognes by Jo Malone on Paris’ blog (My Women Stuff) I melted! I generally don’t gravitate towards Jo Malone’s colognes as I find them so incredibly intense at first, it’s like a smack in the face. I think it’s the fact that the scents are very simple and hence very concentrated. The scents can also very food orientated and I don’t know, I just don’t want to smell like a giant cucumber. I can see how someone might like those kind of scents though – being as cool as a cucumber would be very refreshing 😉 They are also quite expensive, so I didn’t even bother trying to buy a scent to see if it would grow on me (an expensive exercise I wasn’t going to try). So what was different about this collection? It felt personal. Fields, wild flowers, sunlight dancing on pastures of grain and bread for that matter, reminds me of Europe and more specifically, to the time that I was studying in Poland. I feel very connected to the countryside in Poland and the natural landscapes of woods and farms. In particular, the Poppy & Barley cologne sparked my interest because poppies are my favourite flowers, so I prayed that I would like the scent! Fun Fact: Red poppies are the national flower of Poland 🙂 Of course, the collection is supposed to symbolise something very English – once a year, Jo Malone releases a Brit cologne collection curated around something that is very British. The English Fields collection is this years ‘British themed’ limited edition collection, with 5 different scents. I’m sure the collection however, speaks to those who grew up on farms or the countryside and perhaps other lands, as well as the UK. So did I like the scent of the Poppy & Barley Cologne? Yes! 🙂 It’s different to any other ‘perfume’ I own, which is probably a good thing, since I own a lot of perfumes…
The five scents of the English Fields Collection; Poppy & Barley, Oat & Cornflower, Primrose & Rye, Honey & Crocus, Green Wheat & Meadowsweet
I love that each cologne consists of two main notes; a flower and a grain. Poppies don’t actually have a scent, so I was super intrigued to see how they would interpret how a poppy might smell if it did indeed have a scent. Here is how Jo Malone describe the notes and what feeling the scent is trying to invoke;
Rich red poppies dancing in the wind. Violet flowers, alive with colour. Fruity with blackcurrant. Cocooned by barley and bran. Softened with powdery notes of white musk. Lively. Cheerful. Inviting.
Yep, the above photo is of me, taken many moons ago! It is taken in the countryside, on the boarder of Poland and the Czech Republic. One of my aunts lives in the rolling hills of a predominantly agricultural town.
I love that they added in violets as the floral component of the cologne – the scent of violets is very striking (especially for such a small, dainty flower) and that’s how I see poppies actually – tiny and delicate, yet so striking usually – you can always spot them in a field of wild green grass or in a field of grain. There’s no missing a poppy when it grows! The blackcurrant adds a little sweetness (wild grown berries are the best!) and the grain scents of barley and bran make the scent earthy and ground the sweetness. It is a touch powdery, which I can pick up once the scent settles on the skin and starts to develop. Poppy & Barley is probably the sweetest scent of the bunch, or maybe it is on par with Honey & Crocus (honey and lavender make it also a sweet scent). Pimrose and Rye is the warmest scent of the lot, and has a touch of spice to it (mimosa, rye, golden corn and vanilla do the trick!). Green Wheat & Meadowsweet is a ‘green’ type of scent – super fresh and fizzy (grapefruit, green wheat and meadowsweet). Oat & Cornflower is also a little warm and spicy, with the addition of hazelnut and vetiver (vetiver is a grass, native to India – a little bit of a random addition if I say so lol but very warming and spicy as you can imagine).
Can you see the poppies in the field of wheat (growing quite wildly) above? Now you can see why it is such a familiar sight for me! This was taken in the countryside of Poland.
Another point of different of this collection is the bottles the scents are house in. I loooove the pastel colours (very dream like), paired with a stone like natural texture on the bottom half of each glass bottle. It’s very romantic and rustic, but minimalistic at the same time. It reminds me of hand made pottery. Each bottle is 30ml, so quite small, and of course pricey! Each scent/bottle comes in at $98 Aus dollars. What I was most worried about after reading Paris’ review of the colognes (I take what she says very seriously 😉 haha) is that she doesn’t find them to last on her skin for very long. Jo Malone fragrances that is. This worried me because I didn’t want to love a scent and then have it disappear from my skin an hour later (not at that price point anyhow). I did a little digging and I found that colognes have the weakest concentration of perfume oils in their formula, 2-4%. They can last on the skin for up to two hours. Maybe this is why? For comparison, Eau due Toilettes contain a composition of 5-15% perfume oil and are said to last on the skin for 5 to 8 hours. However I also read that the word ‘cologne’ is the old fashioned word for perfume, so Im not sure which it is when it comes to Jo Malone fragrances (I’m leaning towards the first option though). Also note, that if you live in a hot climate or it’s the middle of summer and the sun is really beating down on you, whatever perfume you apply to the skin, will evaporate quicker. This means that the perfume will seem very intense at first, but should dissipate relatively quickly. I actually find that these colognes last on me for quite a while. I applied two different colognes from the collection on my wrists at about 5pm one afternoon and could still smell them at 10pm. I went to bed around 1am and could still smell the cologne, although it was faint as expected.
As an introduction to Jo Malone, it’s not a bad start if I say so myself 🙂 I actually also loved they Honey & Crocus cologne, but I’ll see if I can splurge on it next week… I bought my Poppy & Barley Cologne in Myer (Sydney city store). Not a lot of Myer stores have Jo Malone counters, so if you can’t get to a city store, you can order it online from Myer also or from the Australian Jo Malone website!
Are you a fan of Jo Malone colognes Beauties? What kind of scents do you gravitate towards? Does the English Fields collection speak to you? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time,
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