Jo Malone London launches a limited edition Rare Teas collection

Jo Malone London launches a limited edition Rare Teas collection

A different brew

Text: Renée Batchelor

If you want a scent that is both unexpected and bewitching, this enchanting collection from the niche fragrance brand just might have something up its sleeve

Jo Malone London has been upping the ante in 2016, with quirky, inspired scent collections, its last one being the Herb Garden range of fragrances. In the month of April, the brand releases a unique collection of six rare and luxurious scents that are priced in a higher realm— and with good reason.


Dubbed the Rare Teas Collection, each scent is based upon six different kinds of tea — silver needle, jade leaf, darjeeling, oolong, golden needle, and midnight black tea. Travelling from the foothills of Japan to the heights of the Himalays, each tea bud is meticulously sourced and hand picked by the brand before being directly infused (and captured) in six, exquisite scents. Working with master perfumer Serge Majoullier, the unique facets and characteristics of each tea leaf is brought out in scents that range from light to smoky. Hear about the process, including infusing the tea directly into thes scent, from Majoullier himself.


Jo Malone London Oolong Tea Cologne

How did feel when Jo Malone London approached you to develop this collection?
It was something completely new for me. While there are tea fragrances on the market, this pure kind of treatment was very different. One of my strengths is sourcing and working with natural ingredients, so it felt like a great fit. Jo Malone London are very true to the natural ingredients they use and I knew they would approach tea in the same way I instinctively would.

Where did you look for inspiration on the olfactory concept of the collection?
I have discovered tea all around the world, from China to India. I like the way it is associated with strong local traditions, from the Japanese tea ceremony to the nuanced design 
of a tea pot in China. We met tea masters all across Asia and tried a huge number of teas, each its own unique provenance. After drinking these teas, their refinement and elegance made it hard to go back to commercial teas. I hope this collection will open up an addictive new world for the people who wear them.

Rare Tea behind the scenes

You used a traditional infusion process for each tea, can you tell us more about why and how you approached this?
Infusion is a traditional perfumery process not often used today. We thought it would be interesting to revisit it to create a highly modern collection of scents. We also liked the idea that the process is similar to brewing tea. You leave the tea leaves in alcohol, choosing an optimum amount of time. It's both an art and a science with a bit of personal preference involved too.
 This subtlety of the rare teas was completely preserved.

Tea is an ancient commodity but this feels like a very modern collection — how did you create this modernity?
This collection is modern in its clarity. It is pared back and elegant with depth too. I didn't want to create traditional tea accords or replicate the teas exactly. There wouldn't be as much of an art in that. I wanted to create an interpretation, focussing on their most surprising and beautiful facets.


$500 each for 175ml. For a limited time only at Jo Malone London stores and counters