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Jo Malone London: The Marmalade Collection




We're proud to welcome Jo Malone London to our 2nd Floor Beauty & Fragrance department and celebrate their latest launch, The Marmalade Collection, with an exclusive trio only available at Fortnum's.




Jo Malone London are proud of their British roots. Whether it’s picturesque villages, rolling hills and windswept beaches or the latest in art, culture and design, they're inspired by the best of British. Scents synonymous with Britain - bluebells, King William pears, oak trees and lavender - infuse their products and light up our imaginations. Everything they do is shot through with creative flair, a sense of charm and elegance and a distinctive British wit, making them an ideal partner to join our cast of unique and rare fragrances here at Fortnum's.


Inspired by nostalgic scenes and dreams, sunshine, family gatherings, joyful coloured bunting and jars of homemade preserves infused with scents of summer from elderflower and blackberry to rose, coupled with all the fun of the village fete, The Marmalade Collection celebrates all things bright, beautiful and British.


Featuring delectable Rose Blush with its vibrant basil and juicy notes of lychee as well as the soft Elderflower Cordial with its powdery appeal, these two fragrances sit alongside Blackberry & Bay as a trio in a gift box that's exclusive to Fortnum's.

Read on to find out just how this quintessentially British fragrance collection came to life, including how our very own preserves helped inspire these delicious new scents...


The Marmalade Collection Q&A


Celine Roux, Global Head of Fragrance, and master perfumers Marie Salamagne and Nicolas Bonneville discuss the limited-edition, marmalade-inspired collection.


Where did the inspiration come from for a collection themed around marmalade?


Celine: Over 10 years ago, we launched the Sugar & Spice collection, which was
inspired by beloved British puddings. This worked really well, and I started thinking
about fragrances themed around jams and, in particular, marmalade. Using seasonal
fruits to create homemade preserves that you can gift to family and friends seems like such a quintessentially British pastime, conjuring up images of English breakfasts, high teas and village fetes.


What made you decide that now was the right time to make this idea a reality?


Celine: When you think about marmalade, you tend to think of something quite
sugary, so the idea of creating elegant and wearable fragrances around it was hard
to envision. But one day Marie told me about a supplier in Scotland that made natural fruit flavourings for the food industry, using a process that could be potentially adapted for fragrance. I immediately thought that this might be the missing link that would allow us to create fruit-based fragrances with the kind of elegance and naturality we were after.


What else did you do to develop the idea?


Celine: The perfumers and I paid a couple of visits to Fortnum & Mason in London,
where they have a really impressive amount of jams. We took away a lot of preserves
and marmalades and tasted them all to get us thinking about different flavours. A year later, once we had developed our first fragrance submissions, we met with the Fortnum & Mason team for another tasting.


Tell us more about the supplier in Scotland and their role in the development process?


Celine: After I heard about the Scottish supplier from Marie, we decided to visit
their fruit fields and facility in the Highlands. There, they take the produce of local
farms – strawberries, blackberries and blackcurrants, which sometimes grow just
metres from their site – and slowly heat them to release natural extracts, which
are then recovered in a condenser. They usually supply these fruit extracts to the
food industry, but we found a way of using them in our fragrances.



How did you incorporate the fruit extracts into your fragrance formulas?


Marie: The fruit extracts are very volatile ingredients that can’t be added directly
to fragrance oil. But in every fragrance there’s a small part of water. By switching
out the water for the fruit extract, we were able to introduce fruity notes that were
fresh, vibrant and completely natural.



What fruit extracts did you use in The Marmalade Collection?


Celine: We really loved the blackcurrant fruit extract, which was just so juicy
and true to the fruit. This turned out to be a perfect addition to our beloved
Blackberry & Bay fragrance, but when it came to our new Orange Peel and
Tangy Rhubarb scents, we wanted something a bit different. We were able
to get the producers to specially create a rhubarb fruit extract just for us,
which was fantastic. Rhubarb is such a wonderfully British ingredient –
tart and a little bit unexpected. It added just the right note of bitterness to
Orange Peel and was the star of the rhubarb accord that formed the foundation
for our Tangy Rhubarb fragrance.




Can you tell us a bit more about the new fragrances in the collection: Orange Peel, Tangy Rhubarb and Rose Blush?


Marie: Orange Peel took a long time to perfect as it required striking the
right balance between the juiciness of the fruit and the bitterness of the rind.
We used natural orange together with the orange molecule Sinensal, which acts
like a booster for orange and really makes it last, preserving a lovely zesty note
all the way to the bottom of the fragrance.

Nicolas: We also worked with warm woods and clary sage to add elegance
and refinement. Our wonderful rhubarb fruit extract gives things a unisex
quality and adds a hint of bitterness that works so well for marmalade.

Marie: With Tangy Rhubarb, we started with a rhubarb accord, featuring lemon
top notes to really push the juiciness. The heart has a lovely yumminess and
addictive quality that’s underpinned by sophisticated musk and cedarwood in
the base. It’s this tension between the top and the base notes that really makes
this fragrance. It’s masculine as well as feminine, tart as well as juicy, and has a
wonderfully playful, unruly quality.

Nicolas: We did a lot of work on the texture of Rose Blush, really trying to tease
out that transparent jelly effect. This was quite challenging, because with most
extracts of rose you get something a bit honeyed and even a bit spicy, which can
translate as quite old-fashioned. We worked hard to make our rose petal-fresh
and added a hint of basil leaf in the top notes for a green, herbaceous twist.


How would you summarise the new fragrances in the collection?


Celine: For me, Orange Peel is all about the balance of bitterness and sensuality.
Tangy Rhubarb is unexpected and a little bit wild, but so very wearable. Rose Blush
is dewy fresh with a characteristic Jo Malone London twist.



What can you tell us about the two other scents in the collection?


Celine: Elderflower Cordial is a beloved fragrance that has been brought back
from our previous Sugar & Spice collection. It offers a wonderful contrast between
powdery elderflower and tart gooseberry; it’s delicate, fruity and so very English.
Blackberry & Bay is our fruity hero. At the beginning of the development journey,
we hadn’t actually thought to feature it in this collection, but it soon became
apparent that it was destined to be the core fragrance.


What was it about Blackberry & Bay that makes it the perfect core fragrance for the collection?


Celine: Scent Pairing is definitely part of it. It’s also a fragrance that has always
been about jam-making, born from childhood memories of picking blackberries and
simmering them on the stove. But it does effortlessly pair with all the other fragrances: Orange Peel adds juiciness and zest, Tangy Rhubarb brings a striking tartness and tang, Rose Blush develops a fresh femininity and Elderflower Cordial elevates the florals. You’ll notice that apart from Blackberry & Bay, all the other fragrances in the collection only have single ingredient names. That’s partly an homage to single ingredient jams, but it also encourages you to use each fragrance in combination with another. They all have a perfect Scent Pairing in Blackberry & Bay.



Did you learn anything new when working on The Marmalade Collection?


Marie: Using the fruit extract process was something quite new. We felt like kids
in a toy store when we discovered we had this new material to play with, which is
a really rare feeling in perfumery.

Nicolas: Thanks to the fruit extracts, we were able to create fruit fragrances that
were unique, addictive, but not too sweet or sticky. This felt like a new way of working and we’re all really proud of the results.