We chat with the perfumer behind Jo Malone London Poppy & Barley Cologne.
When Jo Malone London launched its limited-edition English Fields collection last year, while all enchanting, there was one fragrance from the collection that stood out from the rest. And now, thanks to its overwhelming success and popularity, the warm and mesmerising Poppy & Barley Cologne has been added to Jo Malone London’s permanent collection of fragrances. Mathilde Bijauoi, the perfumer behind the much-loved fragrance – and a handful of other Jo Malone London favourites including the heady Myrrh & Tonka and Jasmine & Sambac – says she was very excited when she found out the news. “The fragrance itself was quite an achievement,” she says. “And it’s always so nice to know that so many people love and can wear the fragrance you’ve created.”
With its warm, golden notes of barley, vibrant poppies and a contrasting hint of juicy blackcurrant it’s easy to understand why the fragrance has become such a hit. Just one spritz of Poppy & Barley Cologne is enough to transport you to a sun-drenched English field where grains and flowers mingle. “It was an exciting creative challenge and new territory for me — exploring the potential of the ingredients and their combination,” she says.“Poppy & Barley has an element of the unexpected and unusual — a contrast between the vibrant poppies and the nourishing grains, rounded by hints of violet and fig,” explains Bijauoi.
Bijauoi, who says she owes her career to her father who introduced her to the olfactory world through his passion for gastronomy, is well aware of the powerful impact fragrance can have on each and every one of us. It was in her early childhood that she first discovered the power of fragrance and at the tender age of 13 during a trip Osmothèque – the world’s largest fragrance archive – in Versailles, Bijauoi decided that it perfumery that would become her future vocation. When Bijauoi isn’t busy concocting captivating fragrances, she spends her spare time running olfactory hospital workshops for women suffering from cancer.
Bijauoi believes that scent has the ability to help us reconnect with our wellbeing, which could help to explain the affinity with Jo Malone London Poppy & Barley Cologne that many have experienced. Bijauoi says she believes that Poppy & Barley Cologne has resonated with so many because there is something incredibly uplifting about the scent of barley. “There’s something about barley that has a bit of a reassuring effect,” she says. She believes that the world we live in can be somewhat of an assault on the senses and in our hectic lives when need something that can help us find those moments of serenity. For Bijauoi her Poppy & Barley creation does just that. When asked what feelings the scent conjures up for her personally she says it’s most likely the same feelings that lovers of the fragrance have when they were – a sense of reassurance, almost like a security blanket. “People need something comforting in their lives,” she adds.
MADE FOR YOU
In Jo Malone London world there’s no such thing as owning too many fragrances as each scent has been designed with the ability to be layered with your other favourite Jo Malone London colognes. Try these mesmerising combinations with Jo Malone London Poppy & Barley to create a bespoke scent. Pair Jo Malone London Poppy & Barley with the iconic Wood Sage & Sea Salt and you’ll be transported to a coastal paradise in just one spritz. Take Jo Malone London Poppy & Barley into the evening by layering it with the opulent and enchanting Myrrh & Tonka Cologne.
Jo Malone London Poppy & Barley Cologne is available now (30ml for $120 and 100ml for $240). Click here to purchase.