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Latest Jo Malone Scent: An Ode to Keats

Jo Malone's English Pear & Freesia perfume is meant to capture the essence of the fall season and is due in September.

LONDON — Jo Malone’s latest fragrance marries poetry and perfume.

This story first appeared in the June 9, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

English Pear & Freesia, which will bow in September worldwide, is meant to capture the essence of the fall season and was inspired by John Keats’ ode “To Autumn.”

Presenting the scent in Keats House, where the poet lived from 1818 to 1820, in London’s tony Hampstead neighborhood recently, Dominic De Vetta, Jo Malone’s global general manager, also introduced perfumer Christine Nagel. As well as blending English Pear & Freesia, Nagel will work on upcoming scents alongside the Jo Malone Creative Studio.

“We wanted going forward to work with an individual perfumer of great talent who understood [the Jo Malone] philosophy,” said De Vetta, adding the brand focuses on using high-quality raw materials to create fresh, simple scents. “We can genuinely have a meeting of minds.”

Despite her relationship with the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc.-owned Jo Malone, Nagel will be free to create scents for other brands, too. (Nagel composed English Pear & Freesia while working at Fragrance Resources.)

“She will not be contained within a walled garden,” said De Vetta, who noted working with one perfumer rather than fielding pitches for each new scent from several fragrance houses, as is more widely the industry norm, offers the brand a sense of continuity and signature.

Jo Malone may work with other perfumers in a similar fashion in the future.

For English Pear & Freesia, Nagel focused on delivering an autumnal flavor with a burst of King William Pear in its top notes.

“It had to have a sensation of juiciness,” she said.

White freesia is among the scent’s heart notes, while its drydown includes patchouli, white amber and musk.

The cologne will be available as 30- and 100-ml. sprays priced in the U.K. at 32 pounds and 64 pounds, respectively, or $46.37 and $92.74 at current exchange. The line also comprises body cream, body-and-hand wash and a candle.

According to industry sources, English Pear & Freesia could generate first-year retail sales of $15 million worldwide.