Jo Malone Sugar & Spice Collection: Red Currant & Cream

10 Mar

Red Currant & Cream opens with some sort of juice… Juice… JUICE… RED CURRANT!

Red Currant & Cream is the perfect example of currant in a fragrance. Red or black, it is unmistakably CURRANT. I did not notice the prominence of the currant on paper, or in the store. It was not until I brought Red Currant & Cream home and tried it on, that currant sprang at my face like a pop-up book.

Once it calms down on my skin, I begin to be able to detect elements of the other berry notes, but the bitter, almost boozy red currant continues to make its presence felt, loud and clear.

I used a ton of red and black currants when I worked in a kitchen making frozen sorbet and other desserts. I became acquainted with it as an ingredient then.. However, the first time I recognized currants as a note in perfumery, was when I tried Enchanted Forest by Vagabond Prince, which is an homage to the entire forest but especially to the black currant. As soon as Red Currant & Cream resonated in my mind, I was brought right back not to the kitchen, but to my first experience of Enchanted Forest.

It seems to me that red currant and black currant smell very similar if not identical to one another in perfumery, but VERY DIFFERENT from other berry notes.

Whereas strawberry and raspberry can often be used interchangably (especially because they are so often synthetic-smelling in fragrance), a very bold currant note could not be substituted for anything else. There is an outstanding bitterness along with the sweetness. I would describe most berries as sweet and sour, compared to the currant, which is sweet and BITTER, sometimes so much so that it goes the direction of woody/ fermented and starts to turn into berry wine.

Don’t let that discourage you from trying Red Currant & Cream. If you aren’t sure if you know what the Red Currant note is, Jo Malone provides you with the perfect example of an almost isolated currant in this fragrance.

The other berries fall to the way-side here, and the musk in the dry down develops a nice cushion for the currant to float on until it dissipates, but is nowhere near CREAM to me. I don’t really mind that though. The projection is good and a little goes a long way, so I am careful not to over-spray with this one. I would not want to be announcing, CURRANTS! GET YOUR CURRANTS HERE! to an entire movie theater. Longevity is average for JM, meaning unless you douse yourself or spray your clothing, it won’t stick around all day.

Another successfully simple and articulate scent from Jo Malone. I imagine this layering very well with something more rich, creamy and gourmand.


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