To counterbalance its bitter green bite, the duo added tea extract—but not just any tea. “Jean-Francois told me he liked the smell of Earl Gray tea they serve at Claridge’s Hotel in London,” Céline recalls. “Earl Gray is made with bergamot, a citrus fruit we use regularly in our perfumes because it brings freshness, clarity, and luster without much flavor.”
It wouldn’t be a Jo Malone London creation without a whimsical flavour: entering the stage left a unique note inspired by a turning point in Jean-Francois’ career.
“For several years now, my kitchen has been preparing some rice for staff lunches,” says the chef. “My office, just above the kitchen window, was filled with the most exciting aroma – enveloping, warm and comfortable – it was utterly charming. In that moment I knew it was this delicate welcoming atmosphere and intimacy that I wanted to recreate through my dishes. It was a very profound experience. Today I cook many From fresh ingredients inside A bowl of rice to add the same rounded flavour: it adds nature and excitement which – to me – is one of the most beautiful fragrances I have ever smelled.”
This aromatic moment is best captured by perfumer Mathilde Bejoy, longtime collaborator of Jo Malone London (her work includes Jo Malone’s Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense and Poppy & Barley Cologne), Celine’s trusted friend and foodie. Her father took her to food markets when she was a child where he tasted and cursed everything on offer.
“I loved the challenge of recreating Jean-Francois’ memorial of rice steam,” Mathilde says. “We used a technique called Jungle Essence that’s typically used to capture the scent of blooming flowers. It’s an amazing system where the steam builds up in glass tubes and you can harvest a very small amount of the scent essence that the vapor expels. The extract is then analyzed inside a machine again in our labs, so we can replicate the formula. With fragrance molecules. The whole experience of being in the kitchen with all that steam was kind of a wonderful scented chemistry project! In the scent of the candle it imparts a lovely musky-like scent. It’s enveloping and nourishing, but also light and airy.”