Our sense of smell is closely linked with our memories which is why it’s not only important to scent your wedding, it’s also why it’s recommended that the bride and groom have a unique fragrance to wear on their special day. That scent can instantly transport you back to a memorable moment and when you wear it again on an anniversary or special occasion and you’ll reevoke a particular emotion.
Jo Loves, created by Jo Malone CBE, offers an unforgettable experience called ‘Fragrance Tapas’ where you and your partner can indulge in a one-of-a-kind experience to discover your perfect wedding scent and create a unique blend for scenting your special day.
It’s no secret that Jo Malone CBE has a profound sense of smell. In fact, she once came second in a sniffing competition with a labrador. Rumour has it she can literally see smells like colour. In her autobiography, ‘My Story’, she unveils her struggles with dyslexia which in turn has led to her predominant sense being her sense of smell. A sense so strong she can use it to go back and recall specific moments in time.
Jo began her career as a facial therapist and fell in love with fragrance while working on her discreet skin care clinic which she set up from her London home. It wasn’t long before the secret of her exceptional talent spread, soon she could barely keep up with the demand. Jo Malone was then launched and acquired international status. The business was then sold to Estee Lauder Companies in 1999 and Jo remained Creative Director until she left in 2006. After a devastating battle with breast cancer and temporarily losing her sense of smell due to aggressive Chemotherapy, Jo eventually regained her extraordinary sense of smell and returned to her original love of creating fragrances. This is when Jo Loves was born – a deeply personal project – each fragrance from the collection is a story in Jo’s life.
The Fragrance Tapas experience is both an exploration into Jo’s library of memories and a way to deepen your relationship with fragrance. Jo is passionate about storytelling and created the experience to share her love for fragrance with an unforgettable quirkiness. She describes the Fragrance Tapas as your ‘first kiss’ with Jo Loves.
The Jo Loves flagship is on a beautiful corner on Elizabeth Street. As we walked inside, we were immediately struck by the alluring scent of her signature candles. Any stress or tension from the day was soon lifted with the heavenly perfume. Anna, the store manager, introduced herself and sat us at the Fragrance Brasserie Bar. In front of us was an intriguing menu, a cocktail shaker and martini glass amongst other cooking apparatus. Anna then offered a glass of champagne or Kir Royale to help refresh our palettes between scents – a touch I particularly enjoyed.
For the first part of our sensory journey, we were introduced to her signature scents. Anna indulged us with an evocative story on each of the fragrances and the details of how – and sometimes why – they were created. ‘Pomelo’ – one of my personal favourites – is inspired by a holiday in Turks and Caicos. The sandy beaches, blue skies, fresh linen sheets and icy sparkling water are some of the memories encapsulated in the scent. Then there’s the delicious grapefruit-infused alluring citrus notes – Jo often enjoyed fresh grapefruit at breakfast on holiday. Pomelo really does feel like a summer day on vacation. Scents come to Jo like melodies, Anna explained, and ‘Pomelo’ was one of the first scents that came back to Jo when her sense of smell returned. Anna asked us to choose our two favourite scents which were layered on our wrist with Jo Loves Fragrance Brushes.
Now we knew more about the type of scents we loved, it was time for the next course of the Tapas, ‘On The Rocks’, where Anna put the cleanser of choice in the cocktail shaker, shook it with filtered water and poured the foamy mix into our martini glass. We then chose a bath cologne which was poured into a small tagine dish and topped with boiling water. The lid was placed on and then Anna released a divine ‘Scented Steam’ haze by opening it close to each of our noses. The following course, ‘Velouté’, we chose from the Jo Loves body lotions which were placed onto a rice spoon and then painted across our forearms.
We then chose to create our own ‘Shot Candle’ – we chose a shot of Base scent and a shot of our favourite fragrance which are then fused together to become a bespoke candle in a Jo Loves artisanal hand-blown glass jar which is beautifully wrapped in their signature luxury packaging. We’re planning to relight it when we plan the details for our wedding to invoke the calm, relaxed emotions from this enchanting experience.
I was initially much more excited by booking the experience than Pete, but both of us found the Fragrance Tapas experience totally beguiling from start to finish. It was a fabulous way for us to discover the scents that we loved individually and as a couple and create our own story for our wedding scent. The one-of-a-kind experience would also be wonderful with your maid-of-honour, mother-of-the-bride or the future in-law.
Jo Loves – 42 Elizabeth St, London SW1W 9NZ
Related Article: Inside: The Ultimate Wedding Scenting Experience With Jo Loves