Homes & Gardens

WHAT HOME MEANS TO ME Fragrance doyenne Jo Malone



MY first memory of home is conjured up by different scents; the linseed oil that my artist father used to clean his brushes and the smell of skin creams that my mother used to develop from the kitchen table. I’ve never been able to recreate the rich aroma of the peachy pink roses that grew in our back garden. We lived in a council house in Bexleyheat­h but the back garden always looked like the Queen’s at Buckingham Palace.

WE moved into our current home, a two-bedroom Victorian flat in Chelsea, over 20 years ago. Everywhere is white – the wooden floors, the walls, the cushions; it’s like a beach house in London. We have a terrace and I sit and have a coffee in the morning sunshine and smell the lemons on the tree feeling very blessed.

WHEN I was going through cancer treatment in New York in 2003, I used to walk around my London home in my dreams, picturing the white floor and the linen closet. I found it calmed me, until I woke up and realised I wasn’t there. As soon as they told me I could be discharged from hospital after a year of treatment, I couldn’t wait to be back in my own home again.

IN 2012 our flat burnt down after a faulty light bulb two floors below set net curtains on fire. I ran out with my husband, my son and my dog under my shirt as the floorboard­s burnt from under our feet. We lost everything and had to move into a rental for a year. I scrubbed the floors of the rental with Pomelo, the scent I use at home, and it made me realise it is the people who you love that make a home not the things, and if you add a scent and some flowers it doesn’t matter where you are.

I LOVE entertaini­ng and missed it so much over lockdown. My husband Gary had to shield and we couldn’t invite anyone over – even my son Josh who was sent home from Harvard University moved out and went to work in Egypt where he learned

Arabic. Going to the shops once a week was such a treat, I used to get dressed up for it!

LIKE everyone our home became a cinema, restaurant, office… our castle during lockdown. I have always worked alone creating scents from home and have a desk in the office. But during lockdown the whole place was taken over. I had test tubes on the kitchen table and candles lit on the staircase to test scents. My husband, who deals with the business side of Jo Loves, turned the living room into his boardroom. We launched Jo Loves in two territorie­s during lockdown and I had to design the shops in China over Zoom while sitting at the kitchen table.

THE time and place I have most felt at home is right now, here in Chelsea. You can’t change your wallpaper every week but you can change the scent to make your home feel different.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom