JO MALONE LONDON SCHOOL
Remember that moment Harry Potter receives his letter of acceptance to Hogwarts? Well, I’ve been waiting for mine since I was eleven and the wait has finally paid off. It wasn’t a letter to Hogwarts though, but to something equally thrilling : Jo Malone’s London School!
Now, why so much excitement you might ask? Firstly you cannot follow me without knowing that I’m a huge fan of the brand, their fragrances and body creams haven’t left my shelves since 2015 and « Red Roses » is forever associated to wonderful memories as I wore it on one of the most important days of my life: my wedding. Secondly, from what I had heard a Jo Malone trip is truly next level, from the guest list that includes great international influencers to every single detail of the trip being carefully planned to generate a maximum wow-effect. Needless to say : from the moment we got invited, Charles and I couldn’t wait to fly to London and discover Jo Malone’s unique universe and get a better understanding of the brand’s DNA.
Arriving in London, we checked in to the beautiful Rosewood hotel located in the Holborn area – very close to Covent Garden. As you can imagine, we quickly made ourselves at home. When I entered the bathroom I immediately understood that, when the Jo Malone team suggested us to « bring a second suitcase in order to take home some treats », there were no joke there . The bathroom had everything to make myself feel like a privileged English princess : body creams, bath oils, shower gels, soaps etc … all Jo Malone of course, and it was only the beginning of the major gift givings that awaited us.
ENGLISH BREAKFAST AND SORTING
We kicked off the entire immersion by a typical English breakfast at the hotel’s Scarfe’s bar. There, the table setting was all you could dream of and even more: Jo Malone candles (just imagine how delightful it smelled in that room), gift boxes for everyone, fresh flower arrangements – highly #instagrammable as you can see on the pics. Over breakfast we were all introduced the headmaster, Mr. Juniper and split into school houses – mine was House Juniper (yes I tried giving the headmaster a wink to get extra points but I’m not sure he saw lol).
A LITTLE LONDON TOUR
Stepping outside of Scarfe’s, we were greeted by a line of custom taxis that were at our entire disposal to explore a bit of the city before heading to a new Jo Malone destination. As soon as Charles and I heard « free time » we immediately thought #ContentCreation – blame it on our love for what we do, but we’re real workaholics and couldn’t miss the opportunity of shooting some additional pics. Our little cab first drove us to the London Eye and then to one of my favorite neighborhoods – Chelsea – where we had a coffee at the Insta-famous Ivy Chelsea restaurant.
By the end of our free time the real fun began, our driver dropped us off at our first Jo Malone location : a Just Because arcade event with tons of balloons, a teddy picker filled with Jo Malone gifts (after the 99th try I finally managed to win a JML Mint&Ginger Lip Care that I still use btw), an Air Hockey table and even the Zoltar machine from the movie BIG.
From there, we were whisked to the next location, one that I’ve been thrilled to discover : Sloane’s Street Jo Malone boutique! I didn’t even had time to say olala that my hands (pro tip : always blame your hands) were already taking off shelves some exclusive products that we don’t have in Switzerland. After my little I-need-everything session we began the fragrance combining lesson; as Red Roses is my all-time favorite scent I decided to pick up something to match with it. A hand massage and several fragrance tests later I ended up with my ideal combination scent – Wild Bluebell which is also lovely to wear alone by itself.
The last stop of our little London Tour was a pub, a real English pub called The Grenadier, where we all learned how to pull the perfect pint – ok actually Charles was learning (and I’m very impressed with his pint pulling skills!) while I was just enjoying the British atmosphere and sipping on a bloody Mary.
A SCENTED SUPPER
If I’ve been blown away by the breakfast’s table arrangement, I totally lost my words when I entered Kettner’s Townhouse on the evening of our first day. Imagine a chic electric atmosphere, live piano as a background sound, Jo Malone candles everywhere, champagne in beautiful vintage cups – this is what a supper looks like with Jo Malone. That night I’ve been wearing a dress from my of my favorite London based brands : Perseverance London and it felt like such a good choice because of its Victorian style and yet light fabric. Needless to say that I went to bed full of emotions that night.
JO MALONE LONDON SCHOOL
On the following day our joyful group headed to the Jo Malone Townhouse, a gorgeous Georgian property located in Mayfair, which was transformed into a school for the occasion – and what a school! We had black&white lockers entirely decorated with posters and stickers, retro classrooms as well as a candy bar (yes you read that right) where candies were served by a handsome British gentleman. Hum I can’t remember school being THAT fun.
#1 CLASS : THE PERFECT GIFT WRAPPING
The first class we attended that day was the wrapping process Jo Malone is so famous for. I’ve always been sensible to the brand’s beautiful boxes, shiny ribbons and scented tissue paper – “the packaging is often what you fall in love with first,” said Jo Malone herself back in the years, and I take it for a fact. At Jo Malone, gift wrapping is an integral part of the customer experience.
The team surprised us all with the combination of fragrances we selected the day before at Sloane Square boutique as well as a beautiful candle that we had to wrap as a gift for someone we loved (I wrapped mine for my cousin Renata). When I was attempting to make the perfect bow on my box I realized that although the ladies at the Jo Malone boutique made gift wrapping seem so simple, it is definitely a skill to practice!
#2 CLASS : THE PERFECT INGREDIENTS LAB
Our second lesson happened to be about ingredients, and this class was given by Celine Roux, Jo Malone’s Global Director of Fragrance. This passionate lady has been at JML for ten years, and she explained us how each fragrance is crafted from the best quality ingredients and how sometimes, when you’re looking for the very best, it can be hard to find (yet worth it!). She also taught us that by layering fragrances you can really get a unique scent, your own fragrance code.
#3 CLASS : THE PERFECT CANDLE MAKING
There can’t be many people who haven’t had some Jo Malone signature scented candles in their home – and that simply because they are the best. Fun fact : the amount of Jo Malone London home candles bought in December would burn for 740 years if they burned consecutively.
Our final lesson was about them, these candles that I’m so obsessed with now. Did you guys know that a Jo Malone candle is all handmade in the English countryside? From the wax filling to the final labels applications, and each candle passes through 16 pairs of artisans’ hands, no less. For this class we all received an unfinished candle, and had to first trim the wicks to a neat 6mm, add the front and bottom labels (again : not easy breezy at all, Charles totally ruined his by trying to be quick) and then place the silver lid (mine was engraved with my Instagram handles, how thoughtful!) and complete the wrapping with a black grosgrain bow.
A TRADITIONAL BRITISH PUB DINNER
Our little London adventure was coming to an end, and to celebrate these intense couple of days spent all together in a proper British way, Jo Malone’s team brought us to a proper British pub, the Albion. Mum and dad shall be proud, because that night I got graduated from the Jo Malone London School. Not a real graduation you say? Nonsense, I had a real Graduation Cap! All jokes set aside it was a great evening, we did a themed quiz, had a bit too many glasses of champagne and exchanged inside jokes with my fellow Jo Malone London School graduates.
Pictures : Charles Legrand
Major thanks to Agency Q and the Jo Malone London team for having me