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An olfactory trip with Jo Malone London’s Celine Roux

January 1 | 3 minute read

Jo Malone Celine Roux Interview Hero 16x9

Words by Alexandra Whiting

Originally published on | October 9

Jo Malone London has become a byword for exquisite lifestyle fragrances.

Launched in the 1990s by one Ms Jo Malone, the brand has earned a reputation for pairing unexpected ingredients, encouraging us all to layer and combine scents to compose our own bespoke blends, and dreaming up enchanting backstories and magical campaigns for their creations.

And Jo Malone London wants us to scent our entire world, offering a wide range of home, bath, body and personal scent. The brand's candles are a collector’s item, and bestselling scents, like Lime Basil & Mandarin or English Pear & Freesia, can be found on the vanities of discerning fragrance lovers the world over. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't delight in holding one of their iconic cream-and-black packaging in their hands.

Here, Celine Roux, the Marseille-born, London-based head of fragrance development for Jo Malone London, explains the DNA of this quintessentially British brand, and shares her most intoxicating scent memories.

Our fragrances all have an unexpected twist, therefore they can be worn by men or women.
Celine Roux

What do you do at Jo Malone London?

“I head up fragrance development, so I work on concepts for fragrances and products for the whole brand, and then track development until it’s on the shelves.”
Jo Malone Celine Roux Interview 16x9 1

What makes Jo Malone London fragrances so special?

“I would say three things. Firstly, they always have a story that ties to an emotional link – that’s really important. Secondly, we focus on ingredients and maintain an authenticity to those ingredients. Thirdly, our fragrances all have an unexpected twist, therefore they can be worn by men or women.”

How has Jo Malone London stayed quintessentially British?

“In every fragrance, there is always a link to Britishness, whether it’s the inspiration of a place, a cultural significance or something from history. Wood Sage & Sea Salt was inspired by the English coast, and Blackberry & Bay was inspired by blackberry picking in the summer. There’s always something that resonates with the British people.”

What three beauty rules do you live by?

“A lot of laughter, a lot of water and always go to bed with clean skin.”

Tell me about your skin and hair care regimen?

“I have used La Mer Crème de la Mer for a very long time, morning and night. For my hair, I use the Aveda Be Curly line – the full range: shampoo, conditioner, styling prep, curl enhancer, mask– I use it all!”

If you could only wear one scent for the rest of your life, what would it be?

“If I could capture the scent of my two boys when they first wake up, that scent in their necks, that would be the scent I would like to wear for the rest of time.”
Jo Malone Celine Roux Interview Hero 11x4 2

Scent quiz: finish these phrases

  • Christmas smells like… “Clove and fireplaces. Every year my mum bakes cookies with cloves.”
  • New Year’s Eve smells like… “Party poppers!”
  • Travel smells like… “The homemade English lavender sachet that I always put in my suitcase.”
  • Summer smells like… “Watermelon and figs. What I eat all summer long!”
  • Happiness smells like… “Candy, no doubt!”
  • The Jo Malone London terrace smells like… “Our Peony & Blush Suede scent.”
  • London smells like… “Our Earl Grey & Cucumber scent. It’s reminiscent of a cup of Earl Grey tea.”
  • Paris smells like… “Croissants.”
  • Monday morning smells like… “Something fresh. I always like the start of the week with good resolutions.”
  • Sunday smells like… “A bunch of flowers from the flower market. Right now, I have tuberoses and I adore them.”
  • Nostalgia smells like… “The sea, where I grew up.” Love smells like… “A beautiful red lipstick.”
  • Heartbreak smells like… “Something I don’t want to smell ever again.”
  • Success smells like… “Wood Sage & Sea Salt, a fragrance I worked on that does very well.”

Related topics and brand tags

Jo Malone LondonFragranceHome fragranceAromatic notesCitrus notes

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