The city scents are changing to a much more sweeter and sensuous note. Reason? The launch of Jo Malone in our very own Mumbai today! This British Fragrance house has been a popular choice for many abroad. Their exquisite range of scented candles, fragrances and bath & body care products are truly exquisite.
I was first introduced to this brand in a sort of bizarre way. I was on a vacation with my parents in London and my dad has a penchant for luxury when we travel. We checked into a fabulous hotel and my lil sis and me had a room entirely to us. I kind of have a habit to check the bathroom instantly when I enter a hotel room. I cannot understand my bathroom obsession till date! Out there on one of the shelves my eyes fell upon tiny bottles of Jo Malone Bath and Body Products. I first wondered what it was and how it would be. Just for fun sake I opened one of the bottles to take a whiff of what was in it. No exaggeration, it was an intimate and scent-sual affair from that day on.
I was much younger when I was introduced to Jo Malone products. I became completely obsessed with it on that trip. I had gone shopping with my dad to try to “find my mother a birthday present” to Selfridges. He has always been, and will always be, totally clueless when it comes to shopping for women. He is a big fan of buying exotic food products and bits of technology which always comes with the “I will teach you how to use it but we can share it darling” speech. Basically he is a typical male shopper. But we wandered into Jo Malone that day and walked out with a very successful birthday present in the shape of a big candle and some hand creams.
Since then, I have always been a fan of the brand, though it was out of my normal high street price range at that time. I just used to live my Jo Malone addiction vicariously through my mum’s birthday presents. (She now gets Jo Malone pieces every single year… It went down so well the first time that my dad has just stuck to getting her the same thing every year so she isn’t disappointed. Men!)
A few months ago I got an introductory email from my dear friend Pooja regarding Jo Malone coming to India. Excitement was instantly building up! I could imagine my dad being so relived that no longer he had to tell someone to carry a few Jo Malone products for my mom all the way from London. A few days later I learnt that the brand was going to whisk a few key media people and bloggers to the Pink City of Jaipur for a weekend getaway to the stunningly luxurious property Amanbagh for its mega launch in India. My enthusiasm knew no bounds. Less did I know, I was on a flight to Jaipur waiting to be engulfed by the exotic smells of Jo Malone!
A grand welcome by the smiling staff of Amanbagh greeted us with a lovely prayer, garlands and the traditional tikka ceremony. The ever-gracious Joanna Huang from Estee Group was so warm and made us all feel so comfortable instantly. We were then escorted to our rooms to relax and recover from our journey and to be fully charged for the welcome dinner. I walked till my room standing in front of a wooden carved door with a lock on it. Didn’t realize that unlocking that door I would be entering straight into the lap of luxury! A humongous courtyard with plumeria trees, outdoor seating and pebble-strewn pathways was the first part of my palatial room. Upon unlocking another door a huge floral arrangement under a dome shaped structure and a royal seating was a part of my living room area. The bed looked so comfortable and cozy and the master bathroom was fit for a king! An overabundance of Jo Malone goodies was in my room to pamper myself. But as they say, save the best for the last, the bedroom was attached to what I thought was a balcony, I stepped outside to check out the view and to my surprise there was a massive plunge pool complete with sun beds and the works! That very minute I knew that my Jaipur Getaway with Jo Malone was going to be SCENT-SATIONAL!
The welcome dinner was nothing less than a classy affair. The lavish dinner table definitely conveyed the grandeur of the brand. There were flowers, scented candles, fragrances, pretty much everything you can expect and more. The food was a traditional Indian feast and I honestly thought that I would burst after eating so much! It was a great night mingling with the Jo Malone Team and fellow media people. We all retreated early to our rooms as the next day was a power packed day with loads of excitement!
5am wake up! At that time I could have killed someone from those extra few minutes of sleep in my cozy new bed. I somehow managed to get out of bed and get ready for a crazy fun filled day ahead. Quickly got my early morning caffeine fix was ready to take on the world! Our day began with a short drive to the Siriska National Park. Our entire crew jumped into the National Park jeeps ready for our TIGER SAFARI! I cannot begin to tell you how stunning the forest was. The silence was eerie and beautiful. The fresh smells of earth and the chirping birds was such a relief from the city’s hustle bustle. We spotted a lot of diverse birds and animals but no TIGER. Tch.. tch.. That was a little disappointing but hey! you only see what the forest wants you to see! I truly believe this but the experience was justly mesmerizing.
Upon return to Amanbagh, we hogged on some delicious breakfast. Next on our itineraries was an introduction to the brand Jo Malone followed by my most favorite part of the trip, scent mixing. This British lifestyle brand had set up a two-day makeshift fragrance bar in the gardens of the Amanbagh boutique hotel as an experiential precursor to its launch in India. 3 different fragrances in 3 different giant oversized boxes. The minute I entered each box I was transported to another world. It was quite possibly one of the most instagrammable places I have ever been and it smelt ridiculously incredible in there too, as you would expect.
Fragrance Bar 1:
Peony & Blush Suede
Described as luxurious and seductive, with notes of red apple, peony, and suede. For me I think it smells like springtime – light, floral, with a hint of sweetness. But it’s not like any other sweet floral scents I’ve smelled in the past – it feels more mature and elegant without being musky. Clearly I need to work on my scent description skills, but I can tell you that this has replaced my current floral scent as my new favorite.
Fragrance Bar 2:
Wood Sage & Sea Salt
I rubbed it on my wrist and I fell in love. It is, as the name suggests, a woody fragrance. So fresh, so zen, so good. Typically fresh scents have a citrus note to it but not this one. I don’t think “mmmm salty air” when I sniff it, but I do adore it. Endlessly.
Fragrance Bar 3:
Basil & Neroli
Aside from the fact that Basil & Neroli is uniquely rich and fresh, it has a citrusy burst, but it’s not fruity. This fragrance works as well as a perfume, as it does as a candle. If my apartment could always smell of this, I would be a happy girl. And if chic were a smell, this would be it
I started off with my fragrance combination session. Basically just an excuse to smell every single Jo Malone scent. I went through all the different fragrances to try and find my perfect combination and which were my favourite notes in the different colognes. They were sprayed on those pieces of card (I am sure there is a posh word for them but I don’t know what that is) and then I smelt two at a time, mixing and matching trying to find a combination that I really love. “I love the smell of tuberose angelica, but it’s a bit too floral, too nice for me. Can we make it a little murky, dark and mature?” I asked them. To my illogical brief, the fragrance bartender first dabbed some of the Jo Malone signature Tuberose and Angelica on my wrist and mixed it with Myrrh & Tonka. I swear a unicorn was born somewhere when you combined these two together, because that’s how magical it is. I got the warmth and sensuality from the Myrrh & Tonka, plus the fresh floral notes from the Tuberose Angelica and the synergy they created was just incredible. I wished someone had taken a video of me at the Jo Malone Fragrance Bar because my embarrassing display of awe and love for this is proof that it’s out-of-this-world amazing. The scent, like a subconscious thought, lingered all day on my wrist and mind.
The day had almost come to an end and so had our getaway. As we slipped into the night, the entire Amanbagh property was lit with Jo Malone candles. Every walkaway, pathway, corridor and corner of the hotel was immersed with sensuous scents. We readied ourselves to party the night away and stepped out in our finest best. True to its British style a sit down dinner with the most exquisite florals and a menu so well curated left me awestruck and overwhelmed. The soulful tunes of Parekh & Singh marked the farewell dinner along with some enthralling toasts and speeches.
Right under the stars a weekend so beautiful is something I had clearly not expected. I’ve attended a lot of fancy launches as a part of my job, but I’m assured, Jo Malone surely knows how to pamper and spoil you. I’ve experienced nothing less that royalty and luxury! It is true – Jo Malone colognes, candles and bath & body products will burn a hole in your pocket but you are buying into a magical world of total scented luxury. And it is a world I am loving being part of and will stay a part of forever. I’ve left Amanbagh laden with gifts, and memories to last a lifetime! Thankyou Pooja, Joanna and the entire Team of Jo Malone London, Estee Group and PR Pundit for this unforgettable experience. I’ve felt like a total QUEEN for the weekend. It will stay with me forever!
Until Next Time
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