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.