Thursday, 20 April 2017

The great Jo Malone cult mystery

I have just read a lovely blog post on the 4160 Tuesdays website  on aspirational and less-aspirational scents and although I entirely agree with the general gist of what it says (go on, read!) I take exception to one example of less aspirational given there.

Jo Malone. The mysterious Jo Malone cult. I don't mean the appeal of the fragrances, nothing wrong with that, though not my kind of thing at that price point tbh.

I mean the lower-key, sneaky, very... very English, perhaps very lower-middle-class English aspiration of a perfect honey-blond bob and Boden.

Jo Malone, however simple and Demeter-like the frags are, is, somehow, unbelievably aspirational as well as pretty bloody expensive for what is essentially a cologne house. It seems to have a cultish following unlike any other mainstream designer brand (mind you, these are all conclusions derived purely from regular observations of eBay sales, which just tells you how much you can tell from second-hand sales patterns) which basically defies my understanding. A kind of English wholesome equivalent of the American soccer mom thing.

Sure, the following of Jo Malone's is very different from, let's say, Creed's but also very different, I'd guess, from Lush's.

But consider this: people sell not just the empty bottles (this is common for many perfumes) but also empty boxes and even empty carrier BAGS (!!!) of Jo Malone products on eBay. I doubt all of them are bough by shady individuals intending to produce fakes.

You see, I get that. In the 1980's Poland, I strategically chose German supermarket and cheap high street shops' carrier-bags to make a certain impression (of someone who has been abroad! in the West! and even did some shopping there! not just in ALDI!). Totally aspirationally.

To see a similar pattern repeated in relation to standard designer-logo-ed stuff is expected, to see it repeated in relation to the boring-in-a-bottle embodied by Jo Malone is... curious.

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