Beauty, Life Style, Product Review

Jo Malone London: Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense Review

Jo Malone is a British Brand, now under the Estee Lauder umbrella. I have always been a fan of their aesthetics, minimal presentation & philosophy behind designing a fragrance. It has been over a year since they launched in India and I have since tried three of their fragrances. In this post I am talking about Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense. It is an oriental scent composed by Mathilde Bijaoui. The brand describes it as “a nomad song of sand and smoke-threaded twilight” which paints the image of a fragrance thats mysterious and nuanced.

Jo Malone – The Fragrance Designer & the Brand

Jo Malone is a UK-based fragrance designer who got her start in the fragrance industry as a florist. Her love for scents began as a child, when she tried to make her own fragrances using flowers and grated soap. She worked as a florist & a beautician initially, but her buisness flourished after one of her bath oils became popular with clients. She went on to open her first boutique in 1994.

The success of Jo Malone caught the eye of industry giant, Estee Lauder Companies. They acquired the Jo Malone brand in 1999, and Jo remained with the company as its chairwoman and creative director until 2006. ELC continues to operate and produce new scents under the Jo Malone brand and has expanded its distribution globally.

Jo Malone – Fragrance Philosophy

All their fragrance share a common characteristic of being light fresh & airy. They have a delicate feeling about them. Most of them are cologne concentration and not EDT or EDP which essentially means that they wont necessarily last for ages. The base character of the fragrance is such that it allows one to combine and layer to create their own personal scent.

Jo Malone is known for their floral fragrances which are full bodies & opulent. Also a noteworthy trait across the portfolio is the fact that they are very realistic floral scents.

There are two main ranges; Core Range in clear bottles and then there is the Intense Cologne Range (this one) which comes in the black bottle- the difference is that the intense one is bolder & is supposed to last more than the core range.

Jo Malone London Myrrh and Tonka Cologne Intense Review

Packaging Design

The simple but elegant cream coloured packaging with black trim perfectly embodies the tasteful, often subtle and dignified scents in the line. It is highly representative of the brand’s image.

The bottles also carry forward the same aesthetic. The glass and spray mechanism also seems of a superior quality as against some of the competitors.

Jo Malone London Myrrh and Tonka Cologne Intense Review2

Myrrh & Tonka – The fragrance

This is an intriguing oriental scent. It opens with a very strong lavender almost medicinal, gradually it dries down and the myrrh emerges in combination with Almond all mixed into a sweet Amaretto note. The almond and vanilla amplifies the creaminess and brings balance to the composition. The base note is well blended and brings out a smoky powdery Tonka which is encased in a rich vanilla. One needs to wait for the dry down for the full reveal of this blend.
It is bold enough to live up to being named cologne intense. It is a scent perfect for fall-winter evenings, think of fragrance meant for classy black tie events. The sillage of it doesn’t disturb despite being so bold but remains present.

“There is an atmosphere of addiction and carnal richness to this fragrance which appeals to both men and women. At the top there is a hint of lavender and a floral note, creating a comforting and voluptuous opening. The big, rich heart and base note of myrrh is sensual. And the tonka brings generosity. It’s captivating and mesmerising.”

– Mathilde Bijaoui, PerfumeR
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Lavender- Fresh with accents of camphor, honey and hay, it opens the fragrance with an aromatic quality.

Omumbiri Myrrh- Uniquely rich with a warm balsamic note of amber, Namibian myrrh infuses the fragrance with vibrant sensuality.

Tonka Bean- A signature ingredient in the composition of sensual fragrances, tonka bean is wonderfully warm with accents of almond and vanilla, adding tangible richness to the fragrance.

Characteristics & Suitability

This is a bold scent to state it simply. It has the biggest projection and longevity amongst the Jo Malone Fragrances I have tried so far. It is definitely a winter night time fragrance and is truly unisex. If you tend to enjoy the Dark, sweet, smoky, creamy and mysterious attributes in a fragrance you may want to try this. People around you will take notice when you have this on.

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Closing Thoughts

Personally I am not a fan of intense fragrances like this one, I prefer fresh and floral. Despite that I know for a fact that people who enjoy stronger scents have claimed to find this one truly beautiful.

It is undoubtedly a unique oriental gourmand due to its sheer quality very unlike the heavy- oppressiveness found in oriental fragrances. I purchased this from Nykaa and here is an affiliate link if you want to explore this scent by Jo Malone.

I am all ears to know what you think of this scent, please let me know your thoughts in the comments. Also here are some of the other fragrances I have tried and you might enjoy.

Jo Malone: Peony & Blush Suede

Jo Malone: Wood Sage & Sea Salt

YSL Black Opium

Miss Dior

Burberry Body


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