Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Blue Agava & Cacao

This is a very peculiar Jo Malone, and is really different from the rest of the line. Even more different than Pomegranate Noir, as it not only combines notes that are very unusual and not often used in perfumes, but also notes that don’t really go very well together… This starts off kind of aromatic and green (must be the agava), but you can smell the cacao bitter-sweetness in the background. For some reason, this smells like a toilet duck to me. I usually try to stay away from such associations to describe scents, but this is what this reminds me of, in a peculiar, perfumey kind of way. Thankfully, it’s a well done toilet duck and it actually smells pleasant in its own odd way. The dry down smells to me almost exactly like Coty’s Musk Vanilla. Very nice. But we all know of the price difference between the two… And Musk Vanilla not having the toilet duck scent and also costing a fraction of Blue Agava and Cacao – I think the bottom line can be left out as it’s so obvious.

Blue Agava & Cacao also stands out (in a negative way, I am afraid) because of its lack of balance. The other Jo Malone scents, even if theoretically sweet (such as Vintage Gardenia) or gourmand (Black Vetyver Café) do have something else to balance that sweetness, and so the final result fits in well with the “Cologne” concept of the line: simplicity, freshness, elegance. Blue Agava and Cacao seems as an artificial installation in this clean gallery of odours. It may please many, but it doesn’t seem like a “real” Jo Malone.

To me it smells like "Jo Malone meets Tom Ford", an event that might have taken place in the Estee Lauder boardroom.

It does get better though, when layered with other Jo Malone classics, such as the Grapefruit Cologne or the Amber & Lavender Cologne.

As a side note, Agava just sounds plain horrible in my native language, so I may not be all that objective after all. It sounds very similar to both the name for syphilis and tomato… Ouch!

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At May 05, 2007 4:09 AM, Blogger teacake said...

Ayala both your "installation" comment and your wild comment about Jo and Tom in the Lauder boardroom make me want this scent very badly.

What kind of table do you think Jo and Tom were having their interlude on? I'm picturing an enormous Santa Fe style distressed antique but that might be the effects of the word "agave" (thankfully my associations differ from yours).

At May 05, 2007 8:36 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

To be honest, I never imagined a particular decor for that board room. Just a really large corporate board room, perhaps with the mahogany table. And in the corridor there were white Roman pillars, occasionally. That's pretty much where my vision ended visually.

By the way, I figured out the cleaning agent association in this fragrance, it's because of the lime. A brilliant note in many cases, but one has to be careful as to not make it smell too much like cleaning agents... This particular combination is obviously not my personal favourite. In the meantime I learned to get used to Blue Agava & Cacao's unusual opening notes, yet I enjoy it more when I layer it with the Grapefruit cologne. It covers up the lime and add a sparkling and tart opening.

A little note on the spelling of Agava: I've seen many perfume blog writers spelled it with an "e" at the end (Agave), but in Jo Malone's site it is spelled Agava with an "a" at the end. So I'm sticking to that spelling... Regardless what the correct spelling of this cactus might be.


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