Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne Review

Jo Malone & London Wood Sage

Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume

I rarely pay attention to Jo Malone London Launches mainly because they’re never what I want them to be and they perfumes themselves are too fleeting. We all have a brand (or brands) who’s aesthetic doesn’t really fit with ours. One of these brands for me is Jo Malone London. I think they’re perfectly fine but they don’t attract me. There are some exceptions in the brand but let’s just put it like this: I don’t own any of their perfumes. None have made me part with my money. Since Wood Sage & Sea Salt’s launch friends and readers have tried to encourage me to try it. I love “New Aquatics”. Here we are years later and I’m finally sampling it. You guys were right, I would really like Wood Sage & Sea Salt.

This perfume is one of those gloomy aquatics that has me living a Channel Islands fantasy of eating abalone seaside while wearing a guernsey while gazing over the rocky shore of Guernsey. Wearing this perfume turns me into a petite marinière or a moody writer living a provincial life after self-exile from the city. It really depends on my outlook that day. I mean, in both scenarios I’m contemplative and chilled to the bone by a cocktail of sea mist and wind¹. Wood Sage & Sea Salt opens with bright, tangy citrus like bergamot and grapefruit. It starts to smell tea-like, reminding me of Earl Grey tea. But, not a warm cup. It’s like iced Earl Grey tea. There’s also a faint dried apricot. The rest of the fragrance wears rather linear. It’s like a mineral ambrette/amber. I think it brings to mind “sea mist”. And not the “sea mist” of a mainstream mid-90’s aquatic. This one smells gray and somber. It’s airy but dry giving the feeling of driftwood and rocky cliffs. The dry-down is a salty amber and dry, weather-beaten woods.

While wearing this, I was reminded of Byredo (somewhere between Palermo and Mojave Ghost). It has that Byredo gauze-y style. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Wood Sage & Sea Salt smells “modern”. It’s abstract without losing focus. It’s pleasant and easy to wear. It’s not overly complex but it smells good.

Alaia 1986

Notes listed include ambrette, sea salt, sage, red algae and grapefruit. Launched in 2014. PERFUMER – Christine Nagel

Give Wood Sage & Sea Salt a try if you like Neo-Aquatics or sheer ambers. Or perfumes like Byredo Palermo, Byredo Mojave Ghost, Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune, Fueguia 1833 Ballerna de la Pampa, Prada Infusion d’Iris, L’Artisan Bois Farine, Hermes Santal Massoïa and/or Bvlgari Thé Rouge.

My issue with all Jo Malone London perfumes is that they don’t last on my skin. The scent of the body products linger on my skin longer than the perfumes. This one has average projection and below average longevity. I mean, they do call it a “cologne” but at its price, I expect more.

Wood Sage & Sea Salt is available in a few sizes with the 1 oz bottle retailing for $65 at Nordstrom and Sephora.  Bath and body products are also available in this fragrance.

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONEarl Grey tea and sea mist. I really like this one but I’m trying to talk myself out of it. I should probably buy HEELEY Sel Marin instead. It’s weirder (and has been on my to-buy list for ages).

¹Why is this my mind romanticizing this? Because it’s summer?

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*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from the brand. Alaïa 1986 pic from PleasurePhoto Room. Post contains affiliate links. Thanks!

10 thoughts on “Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne Review

  1. I agree…this is one of the few Jo Malone’s that I’d like to own, having used up my sample. It’s just the poor staying power that keeps me from purchasing a full bottle…

    1. The Jo Malone’s that I want to last on my skin never do. I wonder if the body products are better? I know with Orange Blossom the cream lasts much longer on my skin than the cologne.

  2. I was wondering if this was comparable to Heeley Sel Marin (my favorite of all time). Maybe I’ll stick with that.

    And you should get a bottle. It’s fantastic.

    1. I really should get a bottle. It’s been on my list for AGES.

      In my opinion, Sel Marin is much more interesting. Sel Marin is weird but wearable. The JML Wood Sage & Blah Blah is like a pretty version of a cool coast. It’s been cleaned up and romanticized. It’s very nice but Sel Marin does feel more “special” (in that nothing else is really like it).

  3. This one smells JUST like a Korres Fig body butter I used to use… do you get fig leaf at all? I’m not sure where it comes from. I’m 100% with you on Jo Malone – it just doesn’t work for me. Plus, I hate the marketing ploy of suggesting that they’re SUPPOSED to be worn together, or that you should buy the scent and the lotion to extend the longevity (every Jo Malone salesperson has suggested this to me). Just make a better product, I say.

    1. You know, I do see that. It’s got that same sort of hazy fig fog thing going on that I picked up from a perfume that I tried recently, Phlur Hanami (which lasts much longer than this one by the way). I used to love that Korres body butter back in the day too.

      Their marketing does irk me. I guess it’s not even their marketing as much as their SAs. I know they are just doing a job and mean well, but I hate being told to layer (with the same layering suggestions they give everyone all day long) and to buy all those extra products in hopes to make a perfume last as much as a regular perfume (that retails for cheaper). I always feel like saying “I know you want to sell me 3 products instead of 1 and I’m not falling for it”. But, then I remember they are just doing a job and I can say “No” without sounding like a jerk.

      But, yeah, I never really connected with Jo Malone London (FYI, I have to put London at the end because one time someone showed up out of the blue from their PR to tell me that Jo Malone is a person and Jo Malone London is a brand…). I like a few of their things but not enough to buy. I get why people like it. The line has a style and that style isn’t really my thing.

      1. Haha! I appreciate the distinction. You’re far more patient than I am with SAs – I struggle with the temptation to bait unknowing consumers with lines like “it’s made to fade!” (which I was told once when I asked about the longevity). Even if it IS their job… Now I’ve learned to simply walk by the Jo Malone London*** counter.

        I’m DYING to get my hands on Hanami and the rest of the PHLUR lineup… unfortunately they’re not shipping to Canada yet! Haven’t figured out crossborder PO boxes either…

        Do you have any other PHLUR scents to recommend?

        1. I mean, I guess I should be flattered that they were reading my blog, lol.

          I really need to start doing a “sound off” post, because geez, I have some SA stories to share. Did you know that Chanel No. 5 is made entirely of natural ingredients? Did you know that layering the Jo Malone London*** perfumes will mix perfectly with your own natural pheromones and make you irresistible? These are just a few of the things I’ve learned from perfume counters.

          I have reviews of 3 Phlur and they are the only ones I’ve tried – Hanami, Moab and Hepcat. I was surprised by how much I like all three (Hanami and Moab being my two favorites). I really should order samples of the others. I mean, they could also be excellent…or they could be duds. You never know until you try.

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