One Thousand Scents

Friday, May 22, 2009

Decaffeinated: Jo Malone Black Vetyver Café

I confess to not having tried every single Jo Malone scent out there, but there are twenty of them, so perhaps I can be forgiven. Maybe some of them are good, but of the ones I have tried, six or seven, I haven't been able to find a single one that I would want to own, for the simple reason that they're uniformly dull. Pomegranate Noir: overripe fruit stewed in patchouli oil. Grapefruit: just grapefruit. Lime Basil and Mandarin: I don't even know how to describe that one, except that you'd have to pay me to wear it. The only one that even comes close to holding my interest is Black Vetyver Café, and it falls so far short of the mark that I would consider it a waste of time, money, and natural resources to own a bottle.

There's nothing terribly wrong with Black Vetyver Café, exactly. It's just as advertised; it starts with black coffee, slightly bitter and astringent, and then moves on to vetiver with a hint of incense, and both these elements are true-to-life and quite nice. The trouble is that after not even an hour of that, you're left with something so generic, so indefinable and uninteresting that it might as well have come out of a bottle marked "PERFUMERY BASE: MALE". It smells vaguely fresh and a a little sharp, like a cleaning product, and also slightly warm, like something left out in the sun. And that's about it.

If you want a proper coffee scent, you can try CSP Vanille Moka, Bond No. 9's New Haarlem, Demeter Cappuccino or Black Russian, or A*Men Pure Coffee for a gourmand experience, or Demeter Espresso for something a little more hard-edged (burnt, to be honest). I can't imagine having tried any or all of these and then somehow deciding that Black Vetyver Café was the best choice.


  • Oh, goodness, did you ever try Dark Amber and Ginger Lily? I found it intoxicating, mostly because of the kohdo wood in it.

    It was a limited edition, but I think they re-released it because it sold out in a matter of weeks.

    By Blogger Andrea Karim, at 8:46 PM  

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