Beauty: Jo Malone makes scents of far-flung travels

Ever wondered how a new fragrance is created? Beauty Editor Stephanie Smith finds out from Jo Malone perfumers Celine Roux and Mathilde Bijaoui. Plus Celeb Get the Look and Beauty Products of the Week.

Jo Malone Jasmine Sambac and Marigold Cologne was inspired by travels to Southern India.
Jo Malone Jasmine Sambac and Marigold Cologne was inspired by travels to Southern India.

“Once in a while, Cologne Intense lets us look outside of Britain and focus on a precious ingredient from a special place with an element of travel,” says Celine Roux of Jo Malone. “It’s an opportunity to go on a faraway journey and create fragrances with olfactive diversity.”

Celine, who is head of global fragrance, and master perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui have created Jasmine Sambac & Marigold Cologne Intense, taking inspiration from travels to Southern India.

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Celine says: “I was captivated by their particular interest in one variety, Jasmine Sambac. The scent is spectacular and it was clear this was the most special and precious one. It is the queen of jasmine in Southern India, the one they adorn their hair with and use in cultural rituals. I travelled to India three times and followed its journey. It is picked early in the morning when the blossoms have just opened, surrounded by serene countryside. Then they are transported in trucks to the markets – and suddenly the atmosphere completely changes.

Jo Malone Jasmine Sambac & Marigold Cologne Intense. It's £75 for the 50ml and £115 for the 100ml.

“The market erupts with excitement, energy and anticipation, as if you’re at the theatre and the main star steps onto the stage. I loved the juxtaposition of the crazy, colourful and loud market scenes, against the calm, silent fields.”

Mathilde says: “My challenge was to make this Cologne Intense smell as close to the natural flower as possible.

“The intention was to have Jasmine Sambac in the middle of the creation, and to enhance it a dewy green note and an addictive, warm base. The marigold flower worked perfectly as it has aromatic fruity top notes and a vegetal freshness. I like the fact it’s not very common in perfumery; that’s very much in line with the Jo Malone London twist.

“For the warmer side of the fragrance I pushed the solar facets with honey, vanilla and benzoin, and a special type of ylang ylang.”

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Jo Malone Jasmine Sambac & Marigold Cologne Intense 50ml is £75 in store and at See for store details and to buy.

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