Jo Malone was told her signature Jo Malone fragrance would ''never work'', because the insertion of basil in her Lime, Basil and Mandarn perfume was ''overbearing''.
Jo Malone was told her signature Jo Malone fragrance would ''never work''.
The British perfumer launched her eponymous beauty brand in 1983, which she sold to Estée Lauder in 1999, and when she created her iconic scent Lime, Basil and Mandarin she was told by a fellow perfumer the ''very dominant note'' would be ''overbearing'' and would not interest customers.
Speaking about the comments she received when she was launching her career, the mogul said: ''I think, if you know me, I'm a 'What you see is what you get person'. Lime, Basil and Mandarin was created in this tiny little kitchen in Chelsea, I rented this apartment, and [husband] Gary [Willcox] and I were just married, we had no money for fortune so I spent a lot of time in the kitchen because it was the only place where there was a stool that I could sit down.
''I had these little bottles on the side, and I'd spoken to a perfumer who said 'Jo, no one will wear basil', because it's a very dominant note it can be overbearing in a fragrance, it will become aniseedy, or woody or herby, but it's not something you wear on your body.''
However, the businesswoman - who has since launched Jo Loves - disagreed, and proved the naysayers wrong as the perfume was a hit with consumers and because the beauty product became the ''benchmark around the world'' for other brands.
Speaking at an event held at London's The Mayfair Collective, which was attended by BANG Showbiz, she explained: ''And I said to him 'But it's about balance, surely?' So if I balance it with something citrus and I take the mandarin with the sweetness like honey it will re-balance it out. That really taught me that everybody I knew said 'It will never work'.
''But it did, and we called it the Pension Fund because it sold a million times more than anything else, and it is actually used as a benchmark around the world with some of the great perfumers use it as that moment where a fragrance changed and the truthfulness of creating a fragrance really pushed forward.''