I’m a royal love child.

My parents aren’t as famous as William and Kate, and I’m not BFFs with Princess Charlotte – yet – but my “father,” basil, comes from the Greek word basileus, which means king. My “mother,” neroli, is named after Anne Marie Orsini, the 17th-century princess of Nerola, Italy. But don’t let my royal lineage intimidate you. Céline Roux, one of the “matchmakers” behind this fragrance love affair, describes me this way: “This scent, like the English, is original, carefree and a little bit eccentric but very elegant.”


It was a high-tech affair.

Basil and neroli didn’t meet in the fragrance-world equivalent of Tinder, but their romance wasn’t an old-fashioned case of mixing one note with another to seek compatibility either. Anne Flipo, the brand’s master perfumer, used Headspace technology, a technique for capturing scents emanating from objects. “We imagined that these two plants could have a relationship,” she explains. “We captured the unique airborne scent that resulted from their union.”


Our first date

For my campaign, a gorgeous young couple was filmed “larking” their way through London. “There’s a ’60s mood,” says Roux, who is Jo Malone London’s vice-president of global fragrance development. “Think of Twiggy and the Beatles and how they captured that carefree, hedonistic spirit of the times.” For my first date with Black Cedarwood & Juniper, Roux suggested that we lark around the Columbia Road Flower Market. We did – but we also stopped at the Jo Malone London flagship store on Regent Street, and that’s where I met Dark Amber & Ginger Lily. Who says a girl has to be exclusive?


I have some fairly famous rellies.

Some 25 years ago, basil was the central note in the now-iconic Lime Basil & Mandarin. In 2003, Orange Blossom, with its clementine-flower notes, was released. “It was a breakthrough when we introduced basil, so we wanted to bring that unexpected twist to this new scent,” says Flipo. “We im­agined that neroli would be the perfect counterbalance to the basil and a nod to Orange Blossom, which is also a bestseller.”


Who will be my future prince?

I’m perfect on my own, but perfumers Flipo and Roux love layering fragrances. They say that my ideal match is Jo Malone’s Black Cedarwood & Juniper. “It’s not a king or a princess, but it’s sexy and a little naughty,” says Roux. We agree to meet. “Do you like the affair?” she asks. “Love at first scent,” I confess.



Jo Malone London Basil & Neroli Cologne ($165 for 100mL), at jomalone.ca.