I have finally finished this book! I don’t usually read biographies but because it was by Jo Malone I had to read it. Anyone who loves scent will know her perfumes and the impact they have made on the perfume world. I do love Jo Malone perfumes but Lime, Basil & Mandarin is possibly my favourite scent from Jo Malone. The unique blend is so intoxicating to me.
As English isn’t my first language it took me longer to read this book than I would have liked. I have to say that it was hard to start as her humble beginnings of her life was very emotional and I did cry a lot! I found it quite difficult to cope with that. Her parents made it a difficult life for her to have a childhood as she had so many adult responsibilities rather than enjoying being a child. Having to make money to put food on the table is not something a child should have to do but she had too. Reading that did upset me.
I did enjoy reading about her meeting her future husband, Gary and how she started her beauty treatments to her clients. That was inspirational to read how hard she worked to build her client list and make her products which become the business that become Jo Malone. Gary encouraged her to make the business and their relationship is so strong as they really do love one another. The business would never have grown as it did without her creative ability and drive and his encouragement and love. After a struggle and sheer hard work they eventually made enough to open a shop in London. Jo and Gary worked hard and then broke into America, expanded and drew the attention of the cosmetic giants, selling to Estee Lauder in 1999 but Jo remaining creative director until 2006.
Jo had a baby boy and then soon after disaster struck as Jo was diagnosed with cancer and then the book become difficult to read again as I read the story how she fought the cancer and won.
The last chapters cover her business venture of setting up a new company, Jo Loves, in 2013 which continues her perfume adventure as she starts again as a shopkeeper!
This is a moving, emotional and inspiring autobiography. It proves that you can do anything if you put your mind to it and work hard for it. Of course meeting the right people helps but creativity and talent are also important and Jo has a lot of that!
I have yet to go to the shop in Elizabeth Street but after reading it is tempting me and my nose even more to visit and of course I will have to buy a perfume…