Q & A with Marie Saiamagne, Master Perfumer for Jo Malone

On the 1st June Jo Malone will be launching the new Tuberose Angelica Cologne as part of the Cologne Intense collection. As one of the most noble ingredients in perfumery, Tuberose is referred to as queen of the white florals and their latest fragrance showcases why. The intoxicating and voluptuous nature of the scent makes it irresistible for summer nights.

To celebrate the launch of the new cologne, Jo Malone London boutiques will be hosting discovery events throughout the month of June. Customers will be invited in store to experience the scent before anyone else, enjoy complementary Hand & Arm Messages at their Tasting Bar as well as Fragrance Combining with the new scent to find their bespoke  fragrance combination. Details of dates and locations can be found at the Jo Malone London Facebook Page.

How did the concept for Tuberose Angelica come about?

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.

Traditionally tuberose as a natural is extracted using enfleurage. What is the difference in result when using solvent extraction, in the case of Tuberose Angelica?

When using solvent extraction, the tuberose concrete is heated with alcohol to remove impurities and waxes, and to obtain the absolute. The heat changes the olfactive profile and brings new facets to the fore. While enfleurage highlights the white, creamy and thick side of tuberose, solvent extraction allows one to obtain intensity, character and complexity. All the facets of tuberose are sublimated:
a green and heady floral with undertones of honey. While enfleurage plays on the petal roundness, solvent extraction gives an extremely sensuous scent.


Why is tuberose extremely rare and expensive when used in perfumery as a natural?

Every year, the majestic and elegant flowers appear on long stems from May to December but needs specific conditions to bloom. Tuberose needs a warm and sunny climate and a rich clay soil to give us its sensational, enveloping scent. This demanding and rare flower only blooms for one year in the same place. Moreover flowers are fragile and need to be harvested at dawn, very quickly, to obtain the precious elixir. It is worth it though; one of the most beautiful flowers to work with!

How is tuberose harvested?

Today, tuberose is cultivated and still hand harvested in India, and is also how and where the tuberose in Jo Malone London Tuberose Angelica is sourced. The flowers are picked every morning at dawn and then processed locally to produce the concrete. The flower is cultivated mainly in the province of Tamil Nadu where the finest and freshest flowers are harvested.
The harvest respects the local ritual, where women wearing saris carefully collect the velvet petals both for custom ceremonies and use in perfumery.

What have you learnt from working with a natural tuberose?

The main challenge was not to accentuate the natural opulence but to make it in the style
of Jo Malone London, adding the unexpected twist to create femininity, power and a multifaceted signature. What I loved about this project was adding modernity to this addictive floral.


What are the main differences between natural and synthetic tuberose?

The synthetic one will open new territories, new floral sensations, lush
in colour and emotion, more delicate and transparent notes. It is very important
for the perfumers to continuously find and use synthetics to sublimate nature.
But only natural tuberose has this exceptional strength, authenticity and richness. Its high quality and land of origin ensure a beautiful extract with a distinctive signature.

Tuberose is seen to be quite a seductive scent; why is this?

More than other white flowers, tuberose captivates. Its apparent fragility and virginal whiteness contrasts with its voluptuous and narcotic sensuality. I love this duality – it’s highly desirable.Tuberose CI_100ml-178_Tuberose_PRINT_87kb

Tuberose is a night blooming flower; what does this characteristic say to you about the fragrance?

All white flowers capture the sun’s heat and fully release their scent at night. That’s also why the harvest takes place at dawn; to preserve their freshness. I love the idea of a flower increasing in power throughout the day. This is what happens with Tuberose Angelica. The fragrance grows in intensity from the first spray and diffuses a powerful sillage even after hours.

What is it about Jo Malone London’s interpretation of tuberose that is different from other scents on the market?Tuberose has been historically associated with warm spices or with a floral bouquet. This kind of structure is now a bit “vintage” and so we moved towards a contemporary story enhanced by the woody base. Tuberose Angelica revisits the classics but, for the first time, it turns the warm and spicy tuberose into a fresh spiciness, with the addition of angelica and pink pepper. Vivacity and modernity is added without hiding the voluptuous sensuality of the flower, which is deeply supported by amberwood in the dry-down.

Tuberose with angelica is an unexpected combination. How did you arrive there?

I was looking for a way to bring a memorable signature to the top note of the fragrance. I needed something vivid, different and unexpected to disturb the tuberose. Suddenly I found it! Angelica was the perfect partner for tuberose. Angelica essence is earthy and aromatic, with a herbaceous peppery edge. I love the masculine side of this plant that contrasts with the extroverted femininity of tuberose. It’s sophisticated and contemporary.

How does the scent develop from first spritz?

“The queen of the white florals” – I love this definition of tuberose. The flower really is the star of the fragrance. From top to drydown, it unveils its uncommon sensuality through different facets.

First, an intoxicating freshness through the aromatic angelica, and the sparkling burst of pink pepper and mandarin. It reminds me of the green characteristics of fresh tuberose.

Then, a sumptuous floral sensuality built around tuberose, sophisticated by jasmine sambac and gardenia. This white floral bouquet reproduces the natural sensuality of the flower.

Finally, a voluptuous woodiness based on the warmth of amberwood, and associated
with creamy sandalwood and intense cedarwood. I chose these woods for their incredible power, and to increase the captivating strength of tuberose.


How long did it take to create Tuberose Angelica.Did you face any challenges along the way?

It took two years to create Tuberose Angelica, an interesting journey with the Jo MaloneTM Studio. The main challenge was how to bring power and contrast, without losing the freshness.
How do you feel Tuberose Angelica fits into the Cologne Intense collection?

Each Cologne Intense fragrance is more textured and richer than the rest of the
Jo Malone London collection. And that is Tuberose Angelica. A sumptuous floral richness, twisted with an edgy spicy green hook.

What other Jo Malone London fragrances would you choose to combine with Tuberose Angelica?

Oud & Bergamot for both its sparkling citrus and its mysterious woody character. Peony & Blush Suede adds floral opulence and luxurious sensuality.

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