Jo Loves Orange Tulle (perfume review)

 

We all know the story: Jo Malone sold her eponymous perfume company to Estee Lauder in 1999, stayed on as Creative Director till 2006, and then presumably sat out a non-compete clause for a few years before starting a new fragrance company called Jo Loves. If you’re interested, you can listen to her thoughts about starting her second company here:

Orange Tulle is one of the original four perfumes created for Jo Loves (you may remember Derek recently reviewed two others from the line [http://perfumeposse.com/2012/05/25/feels-like-first-time-jo-loves-review/]). The company gives the notes for Orange Tulle as orange flower, mandarin, and neroli. On my skin, the perfume opens with a bright burst of bergamot along with the orange, rather like a classic cologne. This phase has a delightful luminescent quality, heightened by astringency and some herbal green bits, as if the bottle contains the whole shebang: bergamot and orange fruit, peel, and leaves together. These joyful opening notes don’t last long: less than ten minutes on my dry (scent-resistant) skin. The perfume gets sharp at this point before transitioning into the shape it takes for the rest of its journey: soapy orange. If that sounds harsh, I don’t mean it that way. Its soapy nature keeps Orange Tulle light and buoyant throughout. Many orange blossom fragrances veer into overly sweet territory, but the astringency of Orange Tulle keeps it on the lively—but dry—side of orange.

In the promotional material, Jo Malone says she wears Orange Tulle on occasions when she wants “to feel completely frivolous.” I suppose the bright quality of the fragrance is in keeping with frivolity, but I find Orange Tulle has a spine. It’s an orange blossom for a grown woman, one who prefers bright white paint on her walls and polishes her floors regularly. Ms. Malone’s original neroli fragrance, Jo Malone Orange Blossom, comes off as a braying floozy compared to the brisk, understated charm of Jo Loves Orange Tulle. As for the “tulle” in the name, the company forces a fit in its promotional copy, saying, “Orange Tulle’s soft floral notes dance up and down…” (get it? dance?), while I’d say the lightness of tulle is evoked by the fragrance’s buoyant nature—never too sweet, never heady, almost lighter than air.

For those who like Orange Tulle, the downside may be its muted nature. Not only does it disappear quickly on me, it plays at low volume from the start. (I should point out that I didn’t find this to be as true of the other Jo Loves fragrances I tried.) Someone with less-dry skin might find Orange Tulle has more presence or tenacity. If you’ve tried it, please share your experience! For Jo Malone’s own take on Orange Tulle, you can watch this video:

Jo Loves Orange Tulle comes in 30-ml and 100-ml bottles, which ship only to the UK at this time. Samples, however, appear to be available, perhaps at www.joloves.com? If you know more about sample availability, please let us know in the comments. My sample was provided by Jo Loves.

 

10 Comments

  1. Hi, Sam. Thanks for reviewing this; been wanting to try the Jo Loves line since I first heard about it, but will have to watch and wait for a sample for now, I guess. I’m eager to try this one, although “braying floozy” 😉 that I am, I feel certain that it won’t replace her original Orange Blossom near the top of my list. But for my citrus-lovin’ self, there’s always room for another one — can’t have too many!

    • Hey, wait–you’re not the braying floozy, JM OB is! 😉 The two fragrances are quite different, so there’s no question that a person could happily own both. However, since they are so different, OT is definitely not something to purchase unsniffed. I’m a total citrus lover and adore the opening notes of this one, less so the dry down; nonetheless, I prefer the more bracing nature of OT overall vs the sweeter/louder OB.

  2. a shame, really. I love the name and wished for something else – not sure what. I wonder how weird it is to go from a big, successful company back to scratch.

    • I would imagine the Estee Lauder money was too good to pass up, but once she left the original company she got bored. But what do I know?? The odd thing to me is how similar the style–and even the notes–are from one company to the next. I kinda hoped she’d use the new company to stretch in a different direction. Then again, Jo Malone London seems to be doing extremely well, so perhaps she thought there was room for another company with similar offerings. Not identical–but stylistically quite similar.

  3. This sounds better than the original. Not usually a fan of orange blossom (though I do love ORANGE) – this review makes me want to try this!

    thanks!!
    xoxxoxo :Devil:

    • If you don’t like the original (I don’t, either), I think there’s a decent chance you might like this one. But if you like orange–as in a lush, juicy, orange scent–this ain’t it. I find Dior Escale a Portofino to be quite a juicy orange fragrance, and it’s nothing like OT. OT is dry and subdued in comparison.

  4. I have not had a chance to try any of the Jo Loves but I love watching her speak. I can see what an asset that would be in business. She delivers with great precision but is also relaxed and sincere. Like a friend you did not know you had. An amazing ability, I think. Thanks for the review.

    • I agree! She comes off as warm–yet always has professional polish. A good “muse” for any woman starting a business, I’d say.

  5. This perfume has not arrived in my country. Would love to check what is the smell. Should be floral.

    Regards
    Ariffshah

    • It hasn’t arrived here in the US, either! Right now, according to the Jo Loves website, Orange Tulle is only shipped within the UK. It is rather floral–a citrus-heavy floral to start with, then more of a soapy floral later on.

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