I always took for granted what I had surrounding me as a kid. I took advantage of a lot, but I also didn’t appreciate it all. One of those things was having all my grandparents so close by. I could spend time with them whenever I wanted because they were all a bike ride away. My grandfather was always outside taking care of his house and garden. Where my grandmother favored gardenias, he loved the hibiscus flowers which grew in S. Florida. He had bushes growing all around his home. He taught me the patience of waiting on nature one day as we watched a bud unfurl in the late morning sunlight. I also remember thinking for as big as these flowers were, they didn’t have much of a scent. Colorful but missing an odor equal to the visual.
Hibiscus is an easily found essential oil but just like the real thing it doesn’t have much of a scent profile. A pretty, subtle floral is how I would describe it. Which means when a perfume says it is a hibiscus perfume there are some other florals along to add some color. Which is what’s happening in Jo Malone Red Hibiscus.
Red Hibiscus is part of the Blossoms collection which also includes Frangipani Flower and Nashi Blossom from previous releases. There is also another hibiscus, Yellow Hibiscus. What drew me to Red Hibiscus is it was the only one of the four in Cologne Intense concentration. Creative director Celine Roux and perfumer Mathilde Bijaoui collaborate on this.
One of the things I enjoy about all the perfumes in this Blossoms collection is the sunniness with which they open. Red Hibiscus uses orange as its citrus solar surrogate. There also seem to be some other slightly ozonic ingredients adding that blue sky to the citrus brilliance. The heart is the floral accord. I am hesitant to call it hibiscus because this is not how a hibiscus really smells. Mme Bijaoui uses jasmine and ylang-ylang to form a tropical flower accord. I am sure there is some hibiscus oil in there, but it is the other two flowers you will notice. Along with the top accord this is a sunny day in S. Florida or any other tropical locale. The base is a lovely comforting warm vanilla with a bit of patchouli. It is a dreamy way to complete things.
Red Hibiscus has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
A quick word about Yellow Hibiscus. It does the same thing but uses lime as the citrus, rose and jasmine as the florals while going more transparent through white musks. They are quite similar which is why I’m only reviewing one. Although if that set of ingredients done lighter appeals then you might enjoy Yellow Hibiscus more.
Red Hibiscus was just what I needed in the last days of winter. A fragrance to let me feel like the warmer days are coming and they’re full of sun and flowers. I can do some tropical daydreaming until that happens wearing Red Hibiscus.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Jo Malone.