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Baking with Jo Malone

I made big plans regarding food this morning as I lay in bed – decided to start the day with applesauce pancakes, progress to some autumn-type salads and squash soup for dinner. What goes well with all these harvest flavors and spices? Jo Malone’s Blue Agava and Cacao, as it turns out. I grabbed it and spritzed it on clean skin under a Hanes T-shirt, and it turns out it is exactly what I wanted.

I bought two Jo Malones this fall to add to the ones I already had. Jo Malone is supposedly great for layering and I wanted to try more of it. But when I love them, I love them on their own as much as anything, and they are light but not insubstantial. They wear close to the skin and somehow manage to be both simple and interesting.

This one starts out like, well, a cologne, but settles down to a gently sweet aura of cocoa with its edges lightened with a hint of unidentifiable citrus. It’s definitely cocoa, not chocolate – it is the dark raw ingredient, that wonderful vegetal quality that you smell in real, good dark cocoa. And the agava is more like agave nectar than sugar. As I just had agave on my applesauce pancakes, I should be able to identify the difference, but I can’t, quite. Perhaps more of a green quality? I hadn’t thought about it before, but perhaps it’s these green vegetal hints that keep this from being a straight-up gourmand. It is indeed sweet and foody – but it isn’t heavy and wears as lightly as any cologne (sort of a signature of Jo Malone’s perfumes, as far as I can tell, and something that some people like as much as others dislike). If you’re looking for something to form a miasma around you and never leave your nose, a Jo Malone isn’t it. But if you’re looking for something that stays with you, and you occasionally get that hint of “Oh, what smells great? Oh it’s me!”, a Jo Malone is perfect.

And this one is suiting my fall Sunday just perfectly!

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