Jo Malone Boutique at Toronto's Pearson International Airport

Jo Malone Boutique at Toronto's Pearson International Airport

Fragrances are such a personal expression of ourselves. This is why most of us have several bottles of cologne or perfume we use depending on our mood. But when it comes to a home fragrance that you live with day after day, if it imperative to find something that really represents you.

Friends gave me a Jo Malone gift basket as a housewarming gift a few years back. My best friend said that as she sampled the different scents, one stood out as being particularly suited to me - Lime Basil and Mandarin. Lime Basil and Mandarin is bright, clean, citrusy with an herby asian note. She was right - it represented me and my style. The diffusers are strong enough to be present without being overpowering. One diffuser will last you approx. 4 months. The candles seem to burn slower than regular candles and are also quite concentrated. I'd light the candles a few minutes before company would arrive and it just gave the scent an instant refresh.

While in a Jo Malone boutique, the salesperson asked me if I had mixed any of their products before. I had not. She asked which scents I liked or used and I told her that I had Lime Basil and Mandarin at home and had a tester of the Red Roses cologne. Red Roses is a springy mix thats sweet, fresh and delicate.  She suggested that I mix the two fragrances - and at first I was slightly taken aback. The next thing I knew, she mixed them together in the boutique and I was immediately impressed. She had melded two of my favourite fragrances together into something more complex and more representative of my style. 

Jo Malone is an interesting success story. Joanne Lesley Malone grew outside of London in Kent in a subsidized housing complex. In her youth she struggled with severe dyslexia and left school without graduating. She followed in her mother's steps and became a facialist where she made her own masques from scratch. As a small thank you to her clients, Joanne began giving them a nutmeg and ginger bath oil that she made at home. It was an instant hit and in 1994 at the age of 30, Joanne opened her own shop in London - with lines forming around the block to sample her fragrances. Celebrities instantly feel in love with her home and body products and the business exploded. 5 years later, Estée Lauder bought a large stake and took the company international. The business has expanded from bath oils and colognes and now offers everything from room diffusers, candle, skin care, soaps and hair products. 

Jo Malone's latest offering is Herb Garden and include fragrances such as Carrot Blossom and Fennel, Nasturtium and Clover and Wild Strawberry and Parsley. Look for it at Saks in the USA and Holt Renfrew in Canada and of course in boutiques around the world. Their flagship store is on Regent St in London - and also offers scents exclusive to that shop.

Candles are priced between $65-455 USD and Diffusers are $85 USD. Colognes retail for $125-170 USD / 100 ml and the bottles and lids can both be engraved.