Creating Paradigms with Scent

BY | J MIKEL SACHER

Jo Malone has been highly regarded for creating unexpected fragrance combinations and has a new memoir, Jo Malone, My Story which details her inspiring humble journey to international brand prominence. Her story stands to introduce us to the courage, drive and entrepreneurial spirit which all creatives must listen to fearlessly. Jo magically shares how she built two successful brands with creative brand DNA and a willingness to shift paradigms that broke the traditional model for creating scent.

Jo Malone has been known to share how she views fragrance as a kaleidoscope that can be twisted to capture textures and experiences into non-conventional combinations through her gifted sense of smell and expert training in Grasse.  Once again, Jo is setting out to change the way we enjoy fragrance with her indie brand, Jo Loves, which is not affiliated with the original Jo Malone Brand she sold to the Estee Lauder Companies in 1999, she debuted in 2014 as a new company and brand that is built on all her favorite loves and fearless nature rather than data points and trends.

While Jo is not concerned with trends, she has a history of offering the fragrance market exactly what it needs. In so many ways, she is intuitively current and works to improve the shopping experience with her personalized process of sharing fragrances. At Jo Loves Fragrance Brasserie Bar at her Elizabeth Street boutique, clients are presented a personal plate of scented tapas to ensure they experience each aroma fully. The journey goes beyond the customization trend to be highly personalized and experiential: lotions are whipped and foamed before swept on skin with a paintbrush, bath colognes are warmed in a tagine and released as scented steam and the cleansers are shaken over ice and strained in a glass before presented.

Publisher | Simon & Schuster
Published | November 29, 2016 | Hard Cover


When asked about how she might do things differently with Jo Loves or how she might learn from the past business experiences, Jo spoke candidly on her past and earnestly believes there is more weight to living your authentic life than being absorbed by trends or outside influences. Jo has always listened to her little voice inside and operates without fear of uncontrollable variables and in many ways always triumphs against the odds. Jo explained her approach, “ If I apply all my conviction, integrity, personality, creativity, and full imagination into what I create, I will create products that people will love.”

Jo detailed how 1994 was not the ideal time financially to open her first shop, Jo Malone London. Everyone around her told her she was going to fail, it felt like that was all she heard morning, noon and night. Jo heard what everyone said but only listened to the little voice inside and that she has never been afraid to fall down. She explained her inner voice against the cautionary advice of others:

But I’m not going to let it fail… I am going to try my hardest and even if I do fail, I know how to pick myself up, dust myself off. You know it is not a huge shame to fail… the biggest shame in the world is to never try and get up and do anything.

- Jo Malone

 

When asked how she plans to respond to the ever-changing beauty landscape and advance in the digital age, Jo said that she sees the biggest difference between the past and the present is the way communication with consumers is more direct today and that the internet opened up ways for brands like Jo Loves to really speak directly to the consumer and react to their needs with social media and retail partners communication.

None of us have a crystal ball, we just don’t know what tomorrow holds and if you looked at our world a year ago no one would believe everything that is happening today. The reality is crazy things do happen and we need to always be prepared to react to change.

- Jo Malone

Rather than play the guessing game of what is next, Jo explained her recipe for successful fragrances: “If I pour all my integrity, personality, creativity and full imagination into my products, I know I can create products that people will love.” Jo doesn’t over analyze or worry about timing in her creation funnel, she concentrates making the heartbeat of each fragrance work and then perfects the aroma until she feels the fragrance has legs and expresses something unique and memorable for her clients. This is illustrated in her Tapas Bar Video which she created in collaboration with Framestore.

 Agency | Framestore


So what does the future hold for Jo Malone and Jo Loves? Jo is driven to create newness that will revolutionize how consumers use scent. To keep up with change and consumer demands, Jo’s husband/ business partner, Gary, wants her to create a patented product every 3 years and paradigm shift every 5 years.

Jo thinks she found her next Paradigm shift and will be launching it before the end 2017. If she gets it right, Jo Malone will change the way people think of fragrance once again.