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!