Best Jo Malone perfume: Our beauty editor's ranking of the top 12 fragrances

We've tested the best Jo Malone perfumes to bring you our editor-approved ranking of the iconic British brand, complete with unisex, fruity and feminine scents

collage of the best Jo Malone perfumes
(Image credit: Jo Malone)

Perfume is incredibly personal, so choosing the best Jo Malone perfume is a tricky task. But our beauty team has been busy spritzing and sampling to bring you our comprehensive list of the top Jo Malone fragrances. The iconic British brand creates some of the best perfumes for women, and its unisex offerings also make a fantastic purchase to see you through the winter, Christmas gifting, and even wedding season. 

“Jo Malone London is interestingly one of the only brands where I ask someone, ‘What perfume do you wear?’, and they answer: ‘Jo Malone” – they don’t specify which one,” says Jo Fairley, perfume expert and Editor of the digital fragrance magazine The Scented Letter. But even if your friends won’t share the exact details, we have all the intel you need. 

To make this list as helpful as possible, we've interspersed the brand's best-sellers in with even more personal picks of the best Jo Malone scents right now. So whether you want to know how to choose a perfume that's a crowd-pleasing classic or want a niche tip-off by a beauty insider, consider this your definitive list of the very best Jo Malone fragrances money can buy. And if you're on the lookout for a great saving this festive season, you can take a scroll through our carefully curated list of Jo Malone Black Friday deals

The 12 best Jo Malone perfumes

How we tested the best Jo Malone perfumes

A selection of my favorite Jo Malone fragrances

A selection of our favorite Jo Malone scents and top 5 classics

(Image credit: Fiona McKim)

To put together our list of the 12 best Jo Malone perfumes, we tested a selection of the brand's scents for a number of months. And because those bottles can last a long time, you could say we're still testing! Our expert team of editors has also interviewed experts from the Jo Malone London team to hear more about what makes their scents to special, and we've included quotes (and their best-sellers) below. 

Fiona McKim, our Beauty Editor, tested the perfumes you see above, and our Acting Digital Beauty Editor Aleesha Badkar has also samples a range of the brand's top scents, which meant we were able to compare notes. 

When testing, we looked for unique notes that warranted that pretty high price tag, as well as longevity. We also took note of how strong the scent carried on our skin. Some may prefer a perfume that sits subtly throughout the day, whereas others would prefer an intense cologne that turns heads and wins complements throughout the day.

Why is Jo Malone so popular?

Like many great fragrance brands, Jo Malone London is hugely popular not for one big reason but a multitude of smaller ones. The first – and most obvious – explanation for this brand's popularity is that the perfumes are just really lovely. 

As well as nailed-on classics like Pomegranate Noir and Lime, Basil & Mandarin, this brand consistently releases excellent new fragrances that fit within its fundamental principles – gender-neutral, luxurious, ingredient-focused, quintessentially British. These are not generic fruity-floral blends that smell like everything else, Jo Malone perfume is willfully distinctive. That means you won't love everything, but there's something here that everyone will love. 

“I am lucky enough to know the inner workings of their perfume teams, and to see their creative journey is truly an honour,” says fragrance expert and journalist Alice du Parcq. “The perfumers they work with are some of the best in the world – such as Anne Flipo, Yann Vasnier and Mathilde Bijaoui – and they work with the most beautiful sustainable raw natural ingredients blended with supreme high-tech synthetics and clever methods such as headspace and CO2 extraction. I also think the brand is so popular because they keep the names simple and literal, but with a romantic rhythm that lures you in. They capture a perfect balance of sophisticated quiet elegance, with slightly bonker English eccentricity – you can see that perfectly in the visual campaigns. They maintain this cool, fun and chic identity, and they transcend trends, so you always feel that your favourite Jo Malone London perfume will forever be relevant.”

This aside, Jo Malone London's branding is also incredibly strong – that recognisable, chic packaging makes it desirable and very giftable. “Who wouldn't want to be gifted a cream box with thick black grosgrain ribbon?” adds Du Parcq. This is also a brand that maintains popularity by releasing just the right amount of newness on a drip feed throughout the year. Seasonal limited editions, artist collaborations, and one of the most covetable Christmas collections of the year, every year, keep customers coming back for more.

What is the most popular Jo Malone scent?

We asked Jo Malone's in-house experts to find out the top five most popular Jo Malone scents. While fragrance is incredibly subjective, it can be useful to help identify which scents would work well as a risk-free gift, or as a starting point for those who are new to the brand. 

The most popular Jo Malone scent is English Pear & Freesia, and we can see why. "When you smell English Pear & Freesia, you’re instantly transported to an orchard where juicy fruit mingles with blooming flowers. There’s something unexpected about the combination of key ingredients and it’s got that freshness and elegance we’re known for," says Celine Roux, Global Head of Fragrance for Jo Malone London.

Another fresh scent, and in fourth place for the brand's best-sellers, is Lime Basil & Mandarin. "It has become synonymous with the Jo Malone London brand," says Jo Malone London Fragrance and Lifestyle Expert, Emma South. "It was one of the very first fragrances created over 30 years ago which set the aesthetic template for everything that followed: highest quality ingredients in simple yet elegantly wrought formulas, always with an unexpected twist – in this case with the vibrant, peppery overdose of freshly torn basil. Its tantalising, zesty character has an enduring vitality, and it is still one of our very top scents year-round." 

In second place is Myrrh & Tonka Cologne Intense. It "exudes the scent of sun-baked earth entwined with mesmerising myrrh and it is our rising star both literally and figuratively. Created in 2016 it steadily climbed to join the top 5 scents, it is popular irrespective of gender and paints a scene of the Omumbiri myrrh harvest under starry desert skies." 

South also discusses Pomegranate Noir, another of the brand's all-time best-sellers. "This fragrance is really original as fruity scents tend to be sweet and gourmand but Pomegranate Noir is woody, sensual, and dark. 

A lot of heady flowers and woods were used to create this enigmatic, sensual scent. The seasons certainly influence our tastes and as the temperature drops, we reach for warmer layers of scent. Iconic Pomegranate Noir, a jewel-bright cocktail of ruby fruits, spice and incense, overtakes everything during the winter months and this is a trend we see year in year out." 

Which Jo Malone fragrance is best for weddings?

Jo Malone stores famously offer fragrance scaping sessions for weddings, and its most popular scent for brides is also one of our favourite feminine offerings.

"Peony and Blush Suede is the most popular wedding scent for brides," says South. "It bottles abundant, unfurling peony petals in every shade of pink accompanied by the flirtatious bite of juicy red apple." 

Which celebrities wear Jo Malone?

Jo Malone London is a cult brand with a loyal following – many of which are celebrities. “Sofia Richie Grainge recently went viral talking about her favourite Jo Malone London scent ‘Wood Sage & Sea Salt’,” says South. “It is already one of our universally loved scents, a fragrance for any mood and occasion, clear-headed with the mineral bright scent of a windswept shore. Previous Jo Malone London celebrity fans have included Poppy Delevingne, Karen Elson and even Kate Moss.” Rumour has it that Catherine Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge, is a fan of Jo Malone London Orange Blossom, and Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, wears Wild Bluebell as her everyday perfume. 

How long does Jo Malone scent last?

Jo Malone scents come in two strengths, cologne and cologne intense, with different lasting powers. Cologne or eau de cologne is one of the lightest styles of fragrance available, typically they contain between 2-5% pure perfume oils and last a few hours before needing to be topped up. This can also vary depending on what perfume notes are included in the cologne, for example, citrus dissipates quickly, while woods and musks tend to last longer on the skin. Jo Malone's Cologne Intense range ramps up the lasting power by using precious heady ingredients in higher concentrations. So you can expect to get right through the day with a lingering fragrance when you select one of these scents. 

Which Jo Malone perfume is the lightest?

Some of the lightest Jo Malone perfumes in simple terms – e.g. how they smell – are Earl Grey & Cucumber, Basil & Neroli, and Fig & Lotus Flower. If you are looking for a light, fresh Jo Malone perfume (or from any brand truth be told) it's best to seek out either citrus, green or aquatic compositions. Typical citrus notes used in perfumery are fruits like lemon and lime as well as zesty botanicals like neroli and or bergamot. Or seek out green herbal notes such as basil, cypress, and violet leaf or splashy blends designed to replicate the ocean. 

Fiona McKim
Beauty Editor,

 As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about brilliant finds on or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus). Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013 under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). She has since covered every corner of the industry, from interviewing dermatologists and celebrities to reporting backstage at Fashion Week and judging the w&h Beauty Awards.

With contributions from