Impetuous Hedonism ~ Jo Malone’s Basil and Neroli Candle

Jo Malone Basil and Neroli

The way my home smells is so crazy important to me. In order to function in the madness that is my work and life schedule I need clean, clear, beautifully lit spaces that smell just right.

It sounds a little righteous, and there was definitely a time in my life when I would have rolled my eyes at a statement like that and said something incredibly clever like “oh pu-leeeeze!!”

Smells bind with memories in our brains, and for a long time now spring and summer in my home have existed on an olfactory loop that mixes lemon with jasmine and honeysuckle, the heady fragrance of Capri and the Amalfi Coast.

I can walk into my home after the longest, most stressful day and in a single breath be transported back to the bluest ocean you’ve ever seen. It’s like magic.

I don’t like most of the mass market seasonal home fragrances. Over the years I’ve tried to give my son an autumn home that smells like pumpkin spice or vanilla and brown sugar and any of the traditional scents, but just between you and me, I can’t stand them.

I’ve been searching for a new home fragrance for a while now, and I’ve become fixated on the new Jo Malone Basil and Neroli.


I love verbena smells, this one also has a cedar grounding it somewhere in its base along with a sexy yet fresh white musk followed by basil up top and warm sun kissed neroli at it’s heart.

This fragrance still manages to transport me back to Italy with a single breath. 

the sun setting over beautiful San Gimignano

Evoking a hundred nights in Tuscany the basil note reminds me of evenings drenched in the golden sunsets of San Gimignano, sitting along the city wall, a glass of local vernaccia in hand,watching over the fields and vineyards and olive groves as the afternoon moves into evening.

late afternoon in San Gimignano smells like fresh basil

The neroli smells like the blood oranges we eat for breakfast on the terrace in Sicily, or while looking out the palace windows at the screaming blue of the Adriatic in Puglia. 

morning coffee on the Adriatic in Puglia

Blood oranges that ripened in the blinding heat of the summer sun in the Mezzogiorno. 

breakfast time by the sea in Puglia

On the island of Lipari we stay in a place named after orange blossoms that fill the garden looking out over the bay at the live volcano of Stromboli, and that line the street that leads down to Cannetto bay. 

Stromboli volcano smokes menacingly across the bay

The neroli in the Jo Malone fragrance is a heady mix of all these memories.

One of the things I love about this fragrance is that even with so many notes it stays fresh and light.  It’s not weighty or cumbersome. It makes the perfect end of year gift, be it a business gift, personal gift or gift to yourself.

I read that it was designed to reflect the green leafy spaces in London, combined with London’s impetuous hedonism.

I like that idea. Impetuous hedonism. 

The Jo Malone Basil and Neroli candle is available both online and I store at Nordstrom.

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