On the scent: how Jo Malone sniffed out an unfaithful man




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Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “On the scent: how Jo Malone sniffed out an unfaithful man” was written by , for The Guardian on Monday 13th May 2019 15.17 UTC

Name: Jo Malone’s nose.

Age: 55.

Appearance: Triangular, equipped with two nostrils.

Location: Below and between Malone’s eyes.

It sounds like the majority of noses, if you ask me. Oh, but this is no ordinary sniffer. “All my senses are muddled but actually that has caused me to change the world because I think very, very differently,” Malone told an audience on Saturday.

Remind me who she is? She is a scent magnate, who made a fortune by creating and selling posh perfumes, bath oils, face creams, candles and the like.

Ah, you mean what some people call “smellies”? That’s right. She’s the Queen of Smellies, basically. “I can’t remember a point when I wasn’t governed by my sense of smell,” she has said previously. “I see fragrance. It’s like having a paintbrush for a nose.”

But less awkward, socially, I expect. I hope she uses her powers for good? Oh yes. “I remember as a child,” Malone says, “I was like: ‘Mum, it’s going to rain today’ and she would say: ‘How do you know?’ I would say: ‘I can smell it.’”

Pow! “I could smell if the dog was sick and smell how to make face creams.” She says her husband, Gary, once failed to pay her a surprise visit because she could smell him as soon as he entered the lobby of her hotel.

It’s like that when my partner gets back from jogging. I believe Gary was clean on this occasion.

Crumbs. She sounds like one of the Avengers. Is there an origin story? Yup. Malone’s nose grew up in a council house in Bexleyheath, south-east London, in the 1960s. Malone was dyslexic and left school at 13 to look after her ill mother. Her father was a philanderer.

I didn’t know that was a job. It isn’t, really. But Malone says she was able to identify the perfumes of different women on his shirt. She started a business under her own name in 1983, which she sold to Estée Lauder in 1999, but had to leave the company in 2006, when she lost her sense of smell as a result of being treated for breast cancer.

How terrible! But it has since come back with renewed power to help with her new company, Jo Loves.

Phew. “There’s this real guts to the fragrances I create now,” she says. “I work with notes that are so extreme that I would never have chosen before.”

Like a post-jogging partner? Not quite that extreme, I think.

Do say: “If you strike me down I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

Don’t say: “I expect Jo Malone’s nous has been quite helpful, too.”

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