Delicious, dangerous, and desirable: The Jo Malone Cologne Intense Collection

Heady, sensual scents have a place in my perfume closet because they add texture to my collection; they are dark, mysterious. They whisper of secret longings that are not touched by daylight, places that you only wish you can go. They balance out bright and happy scents for a change. They show a different facet of personality that perhaps few others see, and only in unguarded moments naked of pretensions.

If you get what I mean, then I think you'll love the newly launched Jo Malone London Cologne Intense Collection. It is inspired by rare flowers, woods, and spices used in rituals around the world. It features eight sensual scents with a delicious, dangerous edge: Myrrh & Tonka (with the potent sap of the Namibian myrrh tree), Orris & Sandalwood (derived from the iris pallida, dried for three years), Tuberose Angelica (the queen of white flowers harvested from India, spicy and intoxicating), Velvet Rose & Oud (dark Damask Rose wrapped with smoky oud woo), Amber & Patchouli (opulent amber with suede-like patchouli), Dark Amber & Ginger Lily (with rate Kyra wood used in Japanese incense), Incense & Cedrat (mystical incense with the brightness of cedrat), and Oud & Bergamot (smoky wood with crisp bergamot).

I've been trying out the Tuberose Angelica Cologne (P10,800 /100ml) the past few weeks and I've been enjoying its intoxicating sweetness and unpredictable spiciness. It was created by Marie Salamagne, one of Jo Malone's master perfumers. "The idea was to interpret the tuberose flower in a Jo Malone London way. I wanted to create a custom-tailored flower; modern and intensely sensual, simple yet refined, rich yet fresh. Tuberose possesses sumptuous femininity and angelica adds the unexpected twist," Marie says. I have to agree that she did this, and more, as Tuberose Angelica has so much character that it is easily one of the most memorable (not to mention long-wearing) scents in my personal collection.

I learned that tuberose can be harvested only in specific conditions. It is cultivated mainly in the province of Tamil Nadu, in India, and must be picked every morning at dawn. The harvest respects the local ritual, where women wearing saris carefully collect the velvet petals both for custom ceremonies and use in perfumery. 

I've also finally tried one of Jo Malone's Scented Candles! The scent is called Oud & Bergamot, also part of Cologne Intense. It's an alluring green scent with that rich oud wood flavor that makes my home smell fantastic. I only need to light it for less than 30 minutes and the perfume lingers for days!

Jo Malone London's perfumes are a worthy indulgence if you are a fan of unique, complex scents for yourself and your home. The Cologne Intense Collection will be available in January 2017. Find JM's beautiful stores in Greenbelt 5, SM Aura, and Rustan's Shangri-La.

Photography by Samantha Gonzales