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Amber & Lavender – You smell good, really good!!

“Mmm, you smell good, really good!” This is my greeting as I breeze past a colleague’s desk into my office.

Settling in my chair and leaning in to turn on my desktop, I catch a waft of the really good smell.  “Well! You really hit the fragrance jackpot today, honey. You really DO smell good! In fact, I think you smell GREAT! It’s going to be a very good day!” says my inner voice. 

And the fragrance? A simple charmer by Jo Malone, Amber & Lavender, introduced over a couple of decades ago in 1995, but which I discovered just a few days ago. Where have I been?? How did I miss this gem?

Lavender has been on my mind recently, after visiting Laveanne,  a small organic lavender farm just north of Port Hope, sixty minutes east of Toronto, and talking at length with the amazingly knowledgeable owners. For millennia, lavender has been used as a natural remedy and is acknowledged to have healing powers. Used medicinally as a disinfectant or for anti-anxiety, the essential oil is in many of the products we use today, especially scented products for the home and personal care, and of course, perfumes. My husband and I learned so much about the many lavender varieties, growing and harvesting the plants, distilling the essential oils, making the exceptional skin, beauty, and food products offered in their store.  

The amber and lavender notes are two of my favourite notes and I own many perfumes which feature them, but I’d never experienced the two as a featured duo in the same fragrance. Back in the city after our country weekend, I stopped at the Jo Malone counter in Nordstrom’s in Eaton Centre and quickly fell in love with Amber & Lavender. The Sales Rep told me that like Jo Malone’s perennial best-seller, Lime, Basil & Mandarin, the scent was originally introduced for men and is still listed in their Men’s section as “cultivated and cosmopolitan” but it has become a favourite for women too, because of its uniquely wonderful dry-down. After wearing it for a few days, I agree – the dry-down is wonderful!

Bursting with limey bergamot, cool mint and bitter-orange petitgrain, the opening accord smells fresh and citrus-bright. And then the French lavender appears in all its purple splendour, aromatic, slightly camphorous and earthy and mossy, skewing the accord toward masculine with the clean balmy scent of an upscale barbershop. 

As Amber & Lavender warms on the skin and dries into the heart, the lavender accord sweetens somewhat with floral notes from lily-of-the-valley, and becomes lightly spiced with clove and cinnamon. These notes add delicious warmth and depth, then the lavender changes again, layered with notes of honey and hay… bees are buzzing in the summer heat… and the accord begins to really mellow. 

Myrhh and patchouli add softness and a sensation of dark mystery as Amber & Lavender dries down into the base, but it’s the amber note that opens up this fragrance into non-gendered splendour. Amber, the traditional Oriental note which is a mix of sweet resinous balsams and vanilla, can be overpowering but in Amber & Lavender it’s paired to perfection with the lavender accord, wrapping the aromatics  with a cozy woody warmth, building on the sensuality. The sillage is controlled but projects enough to be noticed, in the best way, and the dry-down becomes a soothing meditative waft that lasts for hours, which makes a day in the office just whiz by. 

I’ve learned to listen to my inner voice. It can be annoying, especially when I don’t agree, but it is definitely right about Amber & Lavender. I hit the fragrance jackpot, and it’s a very good day.

Amber & Lavender is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.

Image - Amber & Lavender 100 ml. bottle - jomalone.com