Our Cup of Tea

To celebrate the launch of Jo Malone London’s Rare Tea collection, we chat to perfumer and mastermind behind the enchanting scents, Serge Majoullier.

How did you feel when Jo Malone approached you to develop this collection?

It was something completely new for me. While there are tea fragrances on the market, this pure kind of treatment was very different. One of my strengths is sourcing and working with natural ingredients, so it felt like a great fit. Jo Malone is very true to the natural ingredients it uses and I knew the company would approach tea in the same way I instinctively would.

Where did you look for inspiration?

I have discovered tea all around the world, from China to India. I like the way it is associated with strong local traditions, from the Japanese tea ceremony to the nuanced design of a teapot in China. We met tea masters all across Asia and tried a huge number of teas, each with its own unique provenance their refinement and elegance made it hard to go back to commercial teas. I hope this collection opens up a new addictive world for the people who wear them.

You used a traditional infusion process. Can you tell us how this works?

Infusion is a traditional perfumery process not often used today. We thought it would be interesting to revisit it to create a highly modern collection of scents. We also liked the idea that the process is similar to brewing tea. You leave the tea leaves in alcohol, choosing an optimum amount of time. It’s both an art and a science with a bit of personal preference involved, too. The subtlety of the rare teas was completely preserved.

Tea is a very ancient commodity but this collection feels very modern – how did you capture this modernity?

This collection is modern in its clarity. It is pared back and elegant with depth. I didn’t want to replicate the teas exactly. There wouldn’t be much of an art in that. I wanted to create an interpretation, focusing on the most beautiful and surprising facets.

The Rare Tea Collection is available from Jo Malone London Britomart, Auckland, (09) 309 4418. 

Trade Secrets

With almost 20 years in the industry, Smashbox’s global pro lead artist, Lori Taylor, may be a walking, talking encyclopedia where all things beauty are concerned. Yet the talented make-up artist who’s worked with everyone from Sandra Bullock to pop star Bruno Mars says she’s all about make-up that’s easy to understand. “Gorgeous make-up can prepare you for any situation,” an exuberant Taylor exclaims. “There’s no ‘one fits size all’ with make-up,” she goes on to explain. “What’s good on one face shape doesn’t necessarily look good on the next. I want to empower women to be their own best make-up artist.”  We sit down with the queen of Smashbox and get her thoughts on the future of beauty and ageing gracefully.


“I want to look fresh, I want to look youthful. I definitely don’t want to look like I did back in my 20s. I want to use make-up to enhance my look. Helen Mirren, Jane Fonda, Meryl Streep – look at them. They are so great and they still look like themselves.”


“It has shone a spotlight on beauty and women are much more aware. Before social media, you used to have to explain everything as a make-up artist, but now women come armed with a list: they can tell you exactly what they want.”


“We’re starting to really see ‘no make-up’ make-up. Soon no one will know that you didn’t just wake up like that.”


“Technology has changed beauty so much; the make-up we are using now is nothing like the make-up that our mothers were using. Everything is sheer but still offers coverage, is lightweight but still enhancing. It’s so different. We’re going to see apps and technology change how we purchase and look at make-up.”


“Follow the red carpet; it’s where you can pick out all the wearable beauty trends. Think fresh, nude, pinky and ethereal. As for the smokey eye, it’s not going anywhere but these days we’re doing it with a wash of colour, less liner and more smudged shadow under