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Makeup. Fragrance. Nails. Skincare Today is Monday, April 21, 2014
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Spotlight: Jo Malone's Earl Grey And Cucumber Makes A Comeback This January


Dec28
Hello!

In 2011, Jo Malone launched the Tea Fragrance Blends collection much to the delight of tea-note enthusiasts in the fragrance world. Inspired by the quintessential British tradition and love for tea, the 5 fragrances, Sweet Milk, Sweet Lemon, Fresh Mint Leaf, Assam and Grapefruit and Earl Grey and Cucumber featured notes typically found in popular tea blends - spices like aniseed and cardomon, milk, caramel, vanilla, lemon, bergamot, Assam Tea and rose were some of the notes featured across the 5 fragrances.

The delicate brews were snapped up everywhere, including at our Jo Malone boutique in Ngee Ann City. I remember taking a whiff and liking Earl Grey and Cucumber and Sweet Milk (though I remember I kept thinking Sweet Milk had a coconut note to it) - by the time I decided I wanted one of them ... POOOF! All gone.

If like me, you were one of those who missed out on the collection last year, Jo Malone is bringing back and adding to its permanent collection, the Earl Grey and Cucumber fragrance.

Earl Grey and Cucumber is a homage to one of the most famous British tea-blends, Earl Grey. 

It features Head Notes of Bergamot, Apple, Jasmine and Aquatic Notes, a heart of Angelica, Cucumber and Davana and has a base of Beeswax, Vanilla, Cedar and Musk

In the Jo Malone tradition of fragrance layering, Earl Grey and Cucumber is recommended to be paired with Grapefruit for a bright, uplifting and fruity concoction while Nutmeg and Ginger will warm it up.

While the original Tea Collection featured the 5 fragrances in only one size of 30ml, Earl Grey and Cucumber will now be available in both 30ml (SGD$95) and 100ml (SGD$190).

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Earl Grey and Cucumber will be available from January 2013 onwards and if you missed it in 2011 or would like to re-stock, pop by any of the 3 Jo Malone boutiques located in Ngee Ann City, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands or Tangs Beauty (Tangs Orchard) soon. 

Click HERE to check out the rest of the Jo Malone fragrances I've featured :)

                                           PS: Elaine ... you NEED this :P

                                 Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

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Disclaimer: This entry contains images and information extracted from a press file furnished by the brand. All opinions expressed are my own and unbiased.


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Qwic-Pic: Rose, Rose ... I Love You


Oct28

Hello :)

Roses have always been a weakness - I think they are one of the most beautiful flowers ever, not just because of the age-old association with romance and love. The soft velvety petals ... the myriad of beautiful colours they come in ... the many many uses in fragrances and beauty products ...

Pink roses are gorgeous but the ones that always make me weak in the knees are this crimson variety - the petals often have that plush velvet look to them that make them look regal.


The rose has made a huge comeback this year - there are more beauty brands including the beautiful rose in their products and fragrances. Skincare brands love the rose for it's restorative, hydrating and balancing properties and are often used in anti-ageing and hydrating products. The scent of the rose is also said to have a calming, positive effect on the user - any positive association is a natural boost to the complexion. 

The New York Times recently ran an article pointing out how the it is now the year of the Rose and how it has made a comeback in the worlds of the apothecary, beauty, fragrance and even fashion. Larry Yeo had posted a link to the article on Facebook which I read with great interest, seeing how I personally love using rose-oriented products. You can read the NY Times article HERE.

Here is my personal Ode to the Rose - the beauty and fragrance products I'm featuring in this entry are some of the rose products I reach for very often.


Starting off with Lush Turkish Delight ...



Made with a base of rose water, infused with rose oil and rose absolute, this creamy whipped body polish is a dream to use. It's like an in-shower moisturiser - after I've soaped up and rinsed off, I scoop a little of this and apply to my wet skin and massage it in. Once I've rinsed off with cool water, skin is super soft and smooth and gently scented with a powdery rose fragrance.


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When I first started off with a proper skincare (use of masques, weekly treatments, etc) when I was about 16, 17 years old, I was too scared to use anything from mass brands - I stuck with herbal, ayurvedic and DIY products only. Even my first proper introduction to the world of non-Indian or ayurvedic skincare was to Clarins - that too, because it was mostly plant-based. Ayurvedic or Indian herbal skincare often masks and scrubs that come in powdered or grain form and they will require a mixing medium to make a paste - for that, they always recommend using Rosewater. Rosewater is also recommended as a toner.


Rosewater as a toner has a cooling, soothing property - it instantly refreshes tired skin and makes it feel very comfortable. Rosewater is said to clear skin of excess sebum and is considered to also keep acne at bay.

The Khadi Pure Rosewater (right) was a gift from my chum Joey (who also gifted me a Neem / Margosa powder face pack to use with the rosewater).  The ShaRose toner (left) is from a very famous Indian Ayurvedic skincare and cosmetic brand, Shahnaz Husain and is further enriched with dates. 


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And finally, one of the fragrances I've been reaching for on a regular basis - Jo Malone's Red Roses.


To be honest, it was Penhaligon's Peoneve (reviewed HERE) that made me crave a pure rose scent on my skin - Penhaligon's Peoneve is a spritelier, spicier version of a rose fragrance and I was reminded by how much I loved rose and craved the traditional old-fashioned rose scent.

When I initially bought Jo Malone's Red Roses, it was with the sole intention of layering it with Jo Malone's Vintage Gardenia. On its own, I found Red Roses a little overwhelming and the violet leaf and lemon accords at the top notes wasn't quite what I was looking for. When I finally overcame my bias and used it on its own, I was blown away by the beauty of it - the green and citrus accords dissipate in no time, the pure rose heart unfolds like a rose blooming in fast-forward motion similar to what you see in nature documentaries. I love the YouTube clip below!

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My latest rose crush? This gorgeous Rose candle from Diptyque - the whole of Escentials at Paragon was enveloped with this gorgeous scent and it just filled me with happy thoughts. I really want to get one of these soon ... Edit: Just found out it's SGD$102!


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Here are reviews and mentions of some other rose-based beauty products I've featured on the blog so far:

 

Badger Balm Rose Geranium Soap Bar - HERE

Penhaligon's Peoneve - HERE

Penhaligon's Elizabethan Rose Shower Gel - HERE

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Skincare Collection - HERE

Lush Imogen Rose Solid Perfume - HERE

Shu Uemura Depsea Water in Rose - HERE

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Thanks for stopping by and have a great day ahead :)

 

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Disclaimer: All products featured were purchased with my own money unless otherwise stated. All opinions are unbiased and my own. I am not affiliated with any of the brands mentioned.


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Review: The Soft Radiance of Jo Malone's Plum Blossom


Jun12

Hello!

In May, in conjunction with it's anniversary, Jo Malone premiered a new fragrance, Plum Blossom.



I was hoping that Plum Blossom won't be one of those immensely fruity concoctions that several fragrance houses are so busy rolling out these days. And I was so thankful that Jo Malone has created an light but radiant white floral composition that immediately appealed to me.


Plum Blossom flower


The bottle is a slight departure from the regular line-up. Instead of an opaque label, there is a semi-translucent white lable laced with etchings of the Plum Blossom flower on the bottle, keeping with the theme of delicateness


Which is really pretty hard to photograph clearly so here is a better shot ...


Also, around it's neck, is a pretty mauve-pink cord - the US Jo Malone website indicates that the cord is not part of the retail units but my bottle purchased at our local Jo Malone store came with the cord - not a major issue but it's aesthetically pleasing.


The top notes of Plum Blossom is yellow plum - I've had purple plums but doubt I've ever eaten a yellow one so I can't quite comment on how that is scented. There is no bite or tart tones from the yellow plum - in fact, the plum is not distinct to my nose. What is prominent in this fragrance is the white floral heart and the creamy sandalwood base.

 

Together the white florals and the creamy sandalwood create a soft, slightly warm floral fragrance that is light and unobstrusive. I associate pureness and innocence with Plum Blossom - I picture the first rays of the morning sun slowly centering light on a field of flowers glistening with dew. Something like this ....


Plum Blossom has been critiqued elsewhere for being a perfume for "non-perfume wearers" - several have pointed out that the sillage and longevity are less than stellar and that it's too much of a barely-there wisp of fragrance to be actually worn alone. I am used to and do revel in strong fragrances like Serge Lutens' Fleurs de Oranger so this would be of particular concern to me.

 

I have worn Plum Blossom on its own several times and it lasts a couple of hours on me - after perhaps the 4th hour, the scent fades a little and recedes to the background. However, I really like the soft sweet floral on my skin and so I got myself a Travalo refillable spray so I can tote a Plum Blossom decant with me. And what luck - there happens to be a Travalo atomiser that is practically the same shade of glistening mauve-pink as the cord on the Plum Blossom bottle!


As for layering fragrances which is a Jo Malone signature, Jo Malone recommends that Plum Blossom pairs well with English Pear & Freesia, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, Orange Blossom and French Lime Blossom. I have none of these - with the exception of Nectarine Blossom and Honey, the other 3 tend to take on a more sharp, tart note on me. 

Although not part of their recommendation, I instead adore the combination of Plum Blossom with White Lilac & Rhubarb


I don't know which fragrance enhances which but the resultant combination is a bright, sweet floral - a polished, genteel lady's fragrance, comforting, innocently sexy and alluring all at the same time. And the resultant longer-lasting sillage is a bonus.  An absolute new favourite combination. 

I've heard that Jo Malone has another new fragrance in the works for a fall release - Blackberry & Bay. I'm secretly hoping that Blackberry & Bay will take the non-fruity road like Plum Blossom has, and turn out to be a decadent spiced floral instead. 

 

In the meantime, I shall revel in the soft radiance of Plum Blossom and her new best friend, White Lilac & Rhubarb.

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Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

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Disclaimer: All products featured, Jo Malone & Travalo, were purchased with my own money. I am not affiliated to Jo Malone. All opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone.


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Haul: Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia & Blue Agava and Cacao


Mar30

Hola!

So the last six months have been whirlwind of fragrances. I've enough to last me .. ok let's not go there (and there is Diptyque fragrance hiding in my drawer which I've neither opened nor declared). And yet, I think nothing of prancing into Jo Malone and picking more up.


In my last post on Jo Malone's London Blooms Collection, I mentioned I had asked to be notified when stock of Vintage Gardenia arrived. It came in last week and together with Vintage Gardenia, I picked up Blue Agava and Cacao. I really like how the fragrances in Jo Malone are packaged - there is something almost special of having these fragrances hand-packed into a box and watching the BA tie the black gros grain ribbons on the box. I know I'm being frou-frou here but it makes it so different from unwrapping a plastic wrapper and opening the box with other mainstream mall-bought fragrances. Like I've mentioned before, fragrance is an experience, a memory, a moment and I think this touch just adds to it



 

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This was the total unintentional purchase. I picked it up because it was just so unusual to me, despite being classified as a Floral by Jo Malone. It has Top Notes of Fresh Lime, Grapefruit, a Heart of Blue Agava Flower, Sea Salt, Cacao and a Base of Vetiver, Cinnamon and Musk.

Maybe it's because I know that Agava (Agave) is a cactus that they use to make Tequila from ... but I swear the first whiff was reminiscent of that limey, cocktail note - I exclaimed to Wynne, my regular BA, that it smells a little of alcohol. Then as it settled, it took on a warmer note, the cacao mingles with the warm, woody, spicy base notes. Don't worry about smelling like a candy bar - it is not an outright chocolate scent and neither does it come across to me as a total floral scent either. It stumped me a little and that was precisely what drew me to it. I need to experiment a little more with layering combinations - it's nice layered with Vintage Gardenia but I totally didn't like it with Wild Bluebell.

 

And here, finally, is my beloved Vintage Gardenia


Another floral - a headier, white floral which I always fall for. Gardenia, Tuberose and Jasmine scents always make my heart flutter. Vintage Gardenia is also significant to Jo Malone - Gardenias are her favourite flower and this fragrance was created to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of her first boutique. In this fragrance, the heady Gardenia and Hyacinth florals meet a warm base of Cardamom, Sandalwood and Myrrh.


Vintage Gardenia is lovely on its own and lasts pretty well for a good number of hours. I discovered that lacing Vintage Gardenia with Red Roses creates a lovely heady floral - the sweet Rose peeks out as an when for what I feel is a very sensual fragrance. I've really come to love rose scents of late, cementing my love with my nightly Jurlique ritual (upcoming entry!).


Red Roses hits me right smack in the face on its own - a little cloying for my liking, but I find it makes a great layering fragrance, adding that little special something to whatever it's interlaced with. I think I might have to get a bottle of this soon ...

 

And what makes this whole fragrance experience even more beautiful? I receive wonderful personalised service in the store always ... and then I come home to see this in my mail


A hand-penned note from my regular BA at the Jo Malone boutique ... Hand-written letters and cards are rare these days as it is ... in an era where I often see emails that don't even refer to me personally, this was a lovely touch that really made me smile.

 

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Smack me if I buy any more fragrance this month ... *wink*

 

Thanks for stopping by and have a lovely weekend

 

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Disclaimer: All fragrances pictured were purchased with my own money.


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Haul: I'm Totally Smitten with Jo Malone's White Lilac and Rhubarb


Mar18

Hola!

I made a trip with my chum Joey, to check out the limited edition Jo Malone London Blooms Collection which is now available at the Jo Malone Boutique in Ngee Ann City.


You know, even if I wasn’t interested, I would have still popped into the store – the window display is beautiful and positively inviting! I much prefer this to the window display of the Wild Bluebell Collection.


The London Blooms Collection pays homage to the art of botanical gardening in the blooming English gardens and lawns and stars typical English florals such as peonies, irises and lilacs.



The collection is a slight departure from the regular Jo Malone line-up – all 3 bottles feature a printed sticker bearing vibrant images of the main notes of the ingredients as well as a deep eggplant grosgrain bow. Unfortunately, the bow does not sit firmly on either the neck or cap of the rectangular flacon – it tumbles off so I’ve kept it away in the box. Also, unlike many of the other fragrances at Jo Malone, the trio in the London Blooms Collection is only available in the 100ml flacons at SGD$190 each.


 

I fell in love at first sniff and White Lilac and Rhubarb came home with me!



To be honest, I went to the store with an open mind and proceeded to very calmly try the fragrances one by one. I’ll admit that I envisaged liking Peony and Moss the most but unfortunately, the earthy green and the peony didn’t sit well on my skin, taking on an almost plasticky note. I can’t remember how Iris and Lady Moore smelt like – it wasn’t something that made me go “aaaahhhh”, that’s for sure.

Having not much idea of how lilac would smell like and only having eaten rhubarb once and immensely disliking the super tart-sour-ear-splitting taste, I actually didn’t have much hope for White Lilac and Rhubarb. And I was proven wrong for I fell in love at first sniff with it.

On my skin, the rose note dominates but there is something else to it which I can’t quite put my finger on. It is sweet and powdery but there is this delicateness to it – perhaps the heliotrope, which is known to be a comforting scent, lends itself to the softness that arises from White Lilac and Rhubarb.


Clockwise: White Lilac, Rose, Rhubarb and Heliotrope

 

Having worn it to bed (extravagant no doubt) and during the days, it appears that White Lilac and Rhubarb is pretty much a linear fragrance – it remains very much the same at the end of the day as to when I first spray it, only lighter. It doesn’t have a powerful sillage like some of the other fragrances I have – by the end of the day, I don’t find it billowing about me but I do catch whiffs of it as and when. This would definitely be a fragrance I would like to fill into one of those travel atomisers and keep with me to refresh the scent.


 

I was surprised at how fast I decided on this purchase – it was really love at first whiff. I was also in a generous mood with myself and decided to "treat" myself since it was my Birthday - like I needed an excuse, really :P I'm happy to add that it also passed the "Mom Test" - my mom was all "heyyyyyy, what perfume are you wearing? So niiiiiiice" when she hugged me as I was going out!

The other fragrance I wanted to pick up that day was Vintage Gardenia but what luck that the 30ml flacon was out of stock. Customer service at Jo Malone is a pleasure (look for Wynne, she’s realllllly sweet) and they’ll call me when the stock gets in J

 

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Have you checked out the London Blooms Collection yet?

Thanks for stopping by and have a fab week ahead!

 

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Disclaimer: Product featured was purchased with my own money. I am not affiliated with Jo Malone


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Holiday 2011: Pampering Treats at Jo Malone's This Christmas


Dec19

Hello!


Jo Malone presents Christmas 2011 with beautiful additions to an already pampering fragrance, bath and body line.


 

Jo Malone's Christmas is one of decadence, indulgence (self or lavished upon) and the warm feeling you get, seeing the smiles upon your loved one's face


Can you picture the smile I'd have if this dapper chap presented himself at my door, laden with all those gifts for me?!

 

Its all about celebrating the holidays with friends and family ... in style of course!


 

Jo Malone's gift boxes and packaging get festive with a bright splash of crimson ... but you know what? I'll take one of these gifts anytime, crimson bow or not (I still haven't bought my Vintage Gardenia! I should do it soon!)


 

Speaking of gifts, here is a selection of some of Jo Malone Christmas sets if you're looking for Christmas gift ideas (yourself included! Ahemmm).

These sets feature a mixture of Jo Malone's timeless favourites as well as some of the seasonal offerings such as the crisp herbaceous Pine & Eucalyptus or the warm, gourmand Roasted Chestnut. You'll notice that several different fragrances are combined in the various sets - that's Jo Malone's way of suggesting how the different fragrances can be layered for a sensorial treat.


POMEGRANATE NOIR COLLECTION (SGD$180) - Shower Gel 100ml; Cologne 30ml; Body Creme 50ml

 


COLOGNE COLLECTION (SGD$180) - 9ml bottles of Grapefruit, Pomegranate Noir, Wild Bluebell, Red Rose and Vanilla & Anise Colognes

 


PAMPERING COLLECTION (SGD$115) - Red Roses Bath Oil 30ml; Pomegranate Noir Candle 30gm; English Pear & Freesia Body Creme 15ml

 


WORLD OF JO MALONE COLLECTION (SGD$270) - Orange Blossom Body Creme (50ml); Grapefruit Shower Gel 100ml; English Pear & Freesia Cologne 30ml; Nutmeg & Ginger Bath Oil 30ml; Pomegranate Noir Travel Candle 60gm.

 


Travel Candle Collection (SGD$170) - 60gm votives of Pomegranate Noir, Roasted Chestnut and Pine & Eucalyptus

 


CHRISTMAS CRACKER (SGD$85) - Grapefruit Cologne 9ml; Lime, Basil & Mandarin Shower Gel 15ml; Pomegranate Noir Body Creme 15ml

 

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Christmas and the New Year are just in the next 2 weeks - I don't know where the days have gone but I wish for wonderful, happy days ahead!

Thanks for stopping by and have a good week!

 

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Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Jo Malone. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by anyone.

 

 


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Showcase+Review: Let Jo Malone's Wild Bluebell Cologne Softly Pirouette Around You


Sep21

Hello!


Jo Malone has recently added another new fragrance to her repertoire - the softly shimmering WILD BLUEBELL.

Wild Bluebell is not just a new fragrance - it also heralds in a new direction for Jo Malone - the decadence and elegance traditionally associated with Jo Malone is still key but it's been peppered with dashes of whimsy and quirky for a more contemporary feel. James Gager (Jo Malone's new Senior Vice-President and Creative Director) wanted Wild Bluebell to reflect a fragrance fantasy - one of eccentricity, whimsy and delight.


Very English, very nice and just a little bit naughty. It tells the fairytale-esque story of Miss Bluebell herself - her personal thoughts, her journey and her aspirations ...


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The English Bluebell which once grew in lush abundance is now under threat and Jo Malone pays homage to these beautiful sapphire blooms by crystallising them in her new fragrance in addition to making a donation to the Woodland Trust.


Close-up for the bluebell in bloom


Lush carpet of bluebells in a forest in the UK

 

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Wild Bluebell is a delicate floral - watery, dewy, iridescent even. Rather than mellow and powdery (which is what some other bluebell fragrances are like), Wild Bluebell is fresh and light - like the glistening morning dew in a field of flowers or a girl in a white cotton dress by a shimmering lake ...


Here is the scent breakdown:

Top Notes: Fresh Bluebell, Clove

Heart Notes: Lily of the Valley, Eglantine (a rose variant), Jasmine

Base Notes: White Amber and Musk

 


 

There is no natural extract available of the bluebell - the bluebell note in Wild Bluebell is Christine Nagel (the perfumer's) interpretation of what bluebell should smell of - crisp green leaves, spicy clove buds, a touch of sweetness and a slight marine accent.


Jo Malone also added another note, Persimmon - the milky, peachy and slighty citrusy note blends with the Eglantine which is said to make the fragrance brighter.

 

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On me, the floral notes in Wild Bluebell dominate - it reminds me very much of a gentle, unobtrusive gardenia and jasmine medley but then watery accords that remind me of fresh cucumbers or melons, float to the foreground. The fragrance borders on crisp .. well, more cool than crisp - I think this is the "marine accent" that Nagel envisioned.

What I like is that the fragrance doesn't change much as it settles on me - although the base note is musk, it remains decidedly feminine and gentle and the musk note mellows it just one notch.

The sheer veil that is Wild Bluebell makes it a perfect companion to other fragrances. I personally loved it layered over Jo Malone's Vintage Gardenia which heightened the white floral component which is really my favourite kind of fragrance!

Another pairing which I loved was Wild Bluebell layered underneath White Jasmine and Mint - the White Jasmine again complemented the white floral notes of Wild Bluebell but the Mint? It made it a cooler, slightly more crisp fragrance which I actually found rather refreshing - yes, refreshing almost like as if I was hit by a cool breeze.

Both pairings settled well on my skin but I'm gravitating more towards Vintage Gardenia (as I love it on its own too!)

The only thing about Wild Bluebell is this - the longevity on me is about 3.5-4 hours, unlike the more bodacious Eau de Parfum's I'm used to. Nonetheless, I enjoy the delicacy of it all. Moreover, the delicate characteristic sets this cologne apart from some other EDTs and Colognes, where the sharp, acrid alchohol content can make you gag and suffocate.

 

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Jo Malone's Wild Bluebell is available as a Cologne (SGD$95/30ml; SGD$190/100ml). To complete your olfactory experience, Jo Malone recommends layering your cologne with the Wild Bluebell Body and Hand Wash (SGD$95) and the Wild Bluebell Body Cream (SGD$140/175ml)



I particularly like the Body and Hand Wash - it foamed up perfectly and rinsed off cleanly, leaving my skin fresh and very delicately perfumed


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The blue bell is the sweetest flower

That waves in summer air;

Its blossoms have the mightiest power

To soothe my spirit's care

- Emily Jane Bronte


If delicate, watery florals are your type of fragrance, you might want to let Miss Bluebell pirouette around you ... I'm thinking she might want to have tea and scones very soon, with Miss Vintage Gardenia ... let's see *wink*

 

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Jo Malone is available at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, #02-12

 

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Thanks for stopping by and have a fragrant week!

 

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Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Jo Malone. Fragrance provided for review purposes. All opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced by anyone

 


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