Creating Basil & Neroli
Basil & Neroli was born through a working collaboration between Fragrance Director Céline Roux and Master Perfumer, Anne Flipo. Here Céline and Anne tell us more about how they created Basil & Neroli.
What was the inspiration behind the fragrance?
We wanted to celebrate our heritage. To create a fragrance anchored in London’s vibrant spirit and inspired by the botanical gardens and leafy squares hidden within the urban spaces. It felt right to return to a signature ingredient, Basil a fragrance rule breaker when we included it in Lime Basil & Mandarin 20 years ago. Basil & Neroli was created with some of our most-loved ingredients which have become an integral part of our olfactive signature. We spotlighted the basil alongside the fresh floral note of neroli. I have to give credit to our Master Perfumer, Anne Flipo – it was her idea to combine it with neroli.
How is the story behind Basil & Neroli depicted in the fragrance?
With London as our inspiration we wanted it to be original, impetuous and lively, with a sense of hedonism that makes you feel although you haven’t a care in the world. Anne was the perfect choice to create this fragrance; she has such a love and affinity with nature and the outdoors and she totally understands the Jo Malone London sense of elegance and optimism. During our research we spent a lot of time together in London walking around all the beautiful botanical gardens and hidden residential squares surrounded by townhouses. That’s what’s so great about London; you have a blend of urban and natural within spaces that are so peaceful and refreshing.
Why are these ingredients such a good combination? How would you describe Basil & Neroli as it unfolds?
The top notes sing with basil’s freshness and generosity; sparkling and joyous. We used two varieties of basil; an overdose of both Basil Grand Vert and Basil Verbena, for a modern interpretation.
We added an invigorating cedar needle note while the heart notes of neroli and orange bigarade create the glow of warm sunlight, and a floral aspect that balances well with the basil. Then the lasting notes of white musk and vetiver feel enveloping and grounding. It’s a game of colours between the green and the orange. They are welcoming ingredients that you want to touch.
Tell us about Basil & Neroli Headspace used as an individual ingredient within the overall fragrance?
We exclusively commissioned a headspace technology, with the idea of combining basil and neroli where two plants are put next to each other and we see what happens when they merge and react. We capture the living aroma and analyse it, and obtain a result that becomes a new scent note. This was an unconventional blend and the concept come to life as fresh, vegetal and sap-like, like a botanical garden.
Which scent would you choose to layer with Basil & Neroli with Fragrance Combining™?
For a sparkling floral fragrance, mellow with touches of fruit I love to combine Basil & Neroli with English Pear & Freesia Body Crème. However, my personal favourite is Black Cedarwood & Juniper, the combination creates a fresh woody scent, green with fresh basil and resinous juniper.