Jo Malone Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense
Jo Malone Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense

For a fragrance entitled Myrrh & Tonka, you might be surprised to know that the top note to this new cologne is lavender – to my mind it’s completely unisex being both lavish and rich but without having a specific, traditional gender note. There’s no oud here but something about this blend gives the impression of a smoky oud.

The tonka bean, which I always think of as a vanilla scent, is probably what provides the smokiness – you can play with this ingredient to bring out its best side for the composition you want to make – it can be almondy, creamy or warm or all of those things plus vanilla! It’s also a mercurial food ingredient requiring different flavours to harvest its complex elements. The Myrrh is Nambian – traditionally wild-harvested in northwest Namibia and used for centuries as a traditional perfume.

I find Jo Malone Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense rather strong – I love the lavender opener but less so the dry down. It’s for you if you like a full and deep, resinous fragrance: it’s not for you if you like your perfume delicate, happy and floral.

As a side note, I had a spritz of Frederic Malle Carnal Flower yesterday – I’m completely back in love with it and I am sure that it’s my McQueen fragrance that’s set me off; they are not dissimilar in that they’re both animalic white florals with sweetness and woodiness.

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