Meet The Founder

Meet the Founder: Jo Malone, CBE

Responsible for creating some of the world’s best-loved fragrances, Jo Malone CBE’s latest perfumery venture provides an olfactory glimpse into memorable moments and magical milestones. A sensorial journey of things that {Jo Loves} – from sun-ripened figs to ice cold winter strolls through the streets of New York – this range of Parfums, Fragrance Paintbrushes and Body Sprays whisks you from summers in Sicily straight to the heart of a rambling rose garden. 

One of the most recognisable names in the realm of perfumery, we spoke to Jo Malone about her influences, favourite blends, and how to please your favourite frangrance-phile…

{Cult Beauty} Jo Loves is based on your personal memories. Can you talk us through some of your most interesting inspirations?

{Jo Malone} {Jo Loves} fragrances are interpretations of my life and my way of telling stories through memories or things that inspire me.

Memories of a walk along a white sandy beach in Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos inspired me to create my first ever fragrance for Jo Loves, {Pomelo}.

{Green Orange & Coriander} is a lazy Sunday in New York City in the middle of a snowstorm, wrapped up in a cashmere sweater, while {White Rose & Lemon Leaves} is my interpretation of the Union Jack, full of creativity and potential.

{CB} Are there any unusual notes we should look for?

{JM} A really interesting note is guaiac wood, which you will discover in the {Grapefruit Graffiti Fragrance Body Spray} and the {Log Fires Candle}. It comes from a small tree and is one of the hardest and most resilient woods in the world. It is an exotic smoky note and when blended, it gives fragrances a beautiful richness, amplifying the top and heart fragrance notes.

{CB} Do you have a personal favourite?

{JM} {Pomelo} is my signature fragrance and I surround myself with the scent wherever I go. When I travel with work, I spray it on my bedsheets because it always reminds me of home. It’s a sharp grapefruit-infused citrus which is fresh and instantly energising.

{CB} Any tips for where or how to apply fragrance – and do you ever layer several scents?

{JM} I created the {Fragrance Paintbrush} and the {Graffiti Fragrance Body Spray} to be used together and to create art. The {Pomelo Fragrance Paintbrush} layered with the {Grapefruit Fragrance Body Spray} is a divine combination – an absolute winner!

{CB} How would you approach selecting scent for other people?

{JM} When selecting scents for other people, I would first find out about all the things they love most and I’ll then put a profile together in my head. Citrus is always a good ingredient to go with though, if you’re not sure, as it’s very popular and suits most people.

{CB} How do you source the ingredients, and how do you approach sustainability?

{JM} Sustainability is really important to us and our paper, glass and plastic is all recyclable. We are always seeking to find new ingredients with a sense of responsibility towards the environment, the consumer and also to build a successful business.

{CB} Have you witnessed any trends or shifts within the perfume industry?

{JM} I think trends come and go and there are always shifts within the perfume industry but {Jo Loves} doesn’t tend to follow them. Instead, we concentrate on setting trends and finding new innovative products and experiences to bring to the market – things like the {Fragrance Paintbrush}. Change is inevitable and constant, so we have to get used to it because it’s here to stay!

{CB} You’ve created exciting new ways to administer fragrance – can you talk us through the benefits of ‘Paintbrush’ application?

{JM} The {Fragrance Paintbrush} is so versatile and can be used to apply, top-up or layer your fragrance wherever you are. It brings creativity alive and completely transforms the way you think about fragrance. It’s no longer just a cosmetic, but an art whereby you are the artist.

{CB} What makes fragrance so evocative? Why is it such an emotional ‘trigger’?

{JM} Scent is closely connected to your brain and it’s the fastest way to evoke a memory. It has the rare ability to instantly bring alive a person, a place or a moment. You can smell something and be completely transported somewhere.

{CB} For those who’re playing host throughout the festive season, how would you create the perfect ambience with scent?

{JM} One of my tips is to create a different scent in each room as a theatre for your guests’ noses – so a different one in the hallway, dining room and front room. {Log Fires} is a favourite of mine to burn when opening presents around the tree with my family as it gives you that warm and cosy feeling.

{CB} And finally, what’s next for {Jo Loves}?

{JM} We have some amazing projects lined up for next year and I have worked on a beautiful fragrance that I know you are all absolutely going to fall in love with. I have been wearing it every day for the last few months and I have never had so many compliments so just wait – 2019 will be a big year!


Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Verity is our Content Editor and a Cult Beauty veteran. Currently on maternity leave, raising Cult Beauty’s honorary ‘word nerd’, Tabitha, she speaks fluent ‘beauty’ and loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm (and cleanser and candles… ad infinitum). Nothing can stop her from quoting Nancy Mitford, treating herself to yet another Bella Freud candle for her desk or buying that pilgrim-esque collared or heavily fringed outfit she’s been eyeing. You can trust her to debunk widespread beauty myths and dispense invaluable advice with ease…