Jo Malone goes Wild

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Last night, Jo Malone hosted a dinner at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge’s, to celebrate the launch of its new feminine fragrance, Wild Bluebell. Journalists from as far afield as Australia and Japan enjoyed Bellinis and assorted hors d’oeuvres, before dining on white onion soup with lobster, wild sea bass and asparagus, and hot chocolate and pomegranate fondant, with a raspberry sorbet (note to self: go to gym later).

The whimsical world of Jo Malone’s new Wild Bluebell fragrance

Today, the brand transformed 6 Fitzroy Square, London, into a whimsical world of bluebells and bunnies, in an homage to the fragrance’s advertising visual, shot by photographer Tim Walker, and overseen by Jo Malone’s new Creative Director James Gager.

In short, this new fragrance heralds a fairly radical change of direction for the brand – Gager has lost no time in making his inimitable mark on every aspect of the Wild Bluebell concept.

The quirky new “face” of Wild Bluebell personifies the brand’s new direction

Gone is the safe, serviceable (though perfectly successful) “product as hero” visual. Gager has instead chosen to personify the fragrance with a somewhat outré Wild Bluebell character, who sports a lilac wig and reclines with rabbits. (Yes, you read that right.)

“Wild Bluebell is very different from anything the brand has ever done before,” Jo Malone Fragrance & Lifestyle Director Debbie Wild told The Moodie Report. “James is working with us to reinvigorate the brand and he has allowed us to think in different ways.”

The London launch location was transformed with bluebells and bunnies

The brand believes that those different ways will help it to attract a new and different kind of customer. The quirky, eccentric nature of the visual should certainly catch the eye not just of younger consumers, but of those who seek to align themselves with brands that have a bit more of an edge.

Do not mistake edge for a move downmarket, however. Wild Bluebell Cologne might embody English eccentricity, but it remains resolutely high-end in terms of ingredients, overall execution and pricing. The luxe has not been lost.

Even the walls were customised with bluebells for the fragrance reveal

It’s only the beginning, but Wild Bluebell is already everything one might expect from Gager, formerly Senior Vice President Creative Director for MAC Cosmetics Worldwide, and rightly described by the Lauder group’s John Demsey as a “game-changer”.

Gager began conceptualising all creative activity for MAC in 1999; highlights to date include Barbie for MAC, Hello Kitty for MAC and Lady Gaga for Viva Glam. He is considered to have been instrumental in growing MAC to be the number one make-up artist brand in the world.

Gager’s journey with Jo Malone has barely begun, but he has already taken some fairly significant steps. Watch this space. Closely.

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