Why Jo Malone is launching its most masculine fragrance to date

February 10, 2015

The launch of a new fragrance is always big news in the Middle East's scent-obsessed luxe sector, let alone a fragrance that uses exclusively sourced Omani incense as its base. Well, that is exactly what British fragrance house Jo Malone London has done with the release of its new, and most masculine fragrance yet, Incense & Cedrat. Ahead of this month's launch, EDGAR hopped on a flight to Jo Malone HQ in London – which was transformed into a stunning Omani-style village, complete with Majlis and a huge indoor Frankincense tree – to hear what its Executive Director of Fragrances, Celine Roux (pictured below), had to say about the radical new scent... Celine Big Universally unisex Fragrance is all about perception. When I test fragrances on men and women, I never tell them what it is, and I watch their natural reaction. Traditionally, if you told a man that a scent was floral, then he might reject it on principle. The way people perceive fragrances is changing, and it’s my job to nurture that. Local Knowledge In general, men tend to be less daring   when it comes to fragrances. They tend to stick to one fragrance and need reassurance from others that the scent works well on them. But, there is a growing trend, especially in the Middle East, that men are becoming more adventurous and starting to develop more confidence. I always find it fascinating in the UAE, where the local men have such a deep level of knowledge when it comes to fragrances, much more so than in the UK. No limit There is no limit to the number of colognes a man should own. Consider it like a wardrobe – you wouldn’t limit yourself to only two pairs of shoes, would you! The more variety you have, the more options available for you to match it with your lifestyle.

“Men in the UAE have a deep level of knowledge when it comes to fragrances”

Mix and match Combining fragrances is one of the hallmarks of Jo Malone. The idea is to create something is unique to the wearer. As men build up their knowledge and confidence with regards to fragrances, that’s when they will be more willing to start combining, and creating something that is unique to them. It is comparable to having a tailored shirt with your initials embroidered on – it is a little bit more work, but it is more personal and sets you apart from everyone else. You want to have something that is special and just for you. [gallery link="none" ids="16336,16337,16338"] Familiar fragrance I am not a psychoanalyst but I believe there is some truth in the idea that women are drawn to the scent of their fathers. If you analyse the smells that you love, there is a natural connection to your parents or to the culture that you grew up in. It’s a type of reassurance. But also conversely, there might be people who hate a certain type of fragrance because it reminds them of their father or mother, or even a bad period in their lives. Risk taker When the economy is tough, the general reaction is for companies play safe. For example, gourmand scents have been popular over recent years because during tough times, people turn to scents that they find comforting and reassuring, like vanilla. I believe that you have to take risks in life, otherwise you’ll just end up doing the same thing over and over and it’ll become boring – that is one of the reasons we made our new fragrance Incense & Cedrat. Hopefully, 2015 will see more brands taking risks with their fragrances. Details: Incense & Cedrat is available now. For more visit jomalone-me.com