As we head toward Autumn we think of a reset for our body and mind and with that comes a little space for a new fragrance. This weeks  Ask the Expert  is Jo Malone London’s Global Head of Fragrance Céline Roux talks about the English pear fragrances with perfumer Anne Flipo.



Jo Malone London has long celebrated the beloved English pear through our timeless fruity-floral fragrance, English Pear & Freesia. Officially now launched, this most-loved scent is now available in a special-edition cologne with a fluted bottle design, alongside a selection of curated collections to complete the line-up. Furthermore, and very excitingly, we have now also launched a new floral partner to take this mellow and juicy ingredient in a fresh direction. Introducing English Pear & Sweet Pea.

English Pear & Freesia and English Pear & Sweet Pea colognes are created using a 100% natural pear fruit extract. An upcycled ingredient utilising a by-product of the food industry, the process was exclusively developed for Jo Malone London. Each bottle contains the equivalent of one pear.


What started Jo Malone London’s interest in the English pear? 


Céline: There are few more British sights than a pear tree, whether that’s in someone’s garden or in a beautiful orchard. We chose to celebrate the English orchard at the end of summer through English Pear & Freesia. We came across the poem To Autumn by Romantic poet John Keats and this helped us to evolve the idea, particularly the imagery around that time of year filing ‘all fruit with ripeness to the core’. To us, the pear represents that feeling of ripeness and fruitfulness just beautifully. They have been such a staple of the English orchard for hundreds of years—a place where we can find so much to be inspired by. You focused on the Williams pear for English Pear & Freesia.


 What is so special about it?


 Céline: It’s such an interesting, sensual and noble fruit, with a curve that reminds you of a woman’s body. The russet colours that come with the change of seasons, the taste, the weight, the slightly grainy texture, I could go on! Williams pears are fresh and vibrant, some of the first pears of the season. We loved them so much we wanted to capture them authentically, but fruit is so hard to extract naturally in perfumery due to its high water content. 


This leads us nicely to talking about the new fruit extract.

Céline: To push the boundaries of the industry and reinforce Jo Malone London’s fragrance authority and craftsmanship, we were determined to have our own natural pear fruit extract. Using natural pear in perfumery is very unusual due to the fruit’s high water content so the ingredient wasn’t available in the perfumer’s palette, but we didn’t let the challenges stop us.

How did you go about creating the pear extract?

 Céline: We looked outside of the fragrance industry for a solution and we found it within the food industry, where pears are steamed for fruit juice. From this process we take the pear water which would otherwise go to waste. In this way, the ingredient is upcycled to create something new that we can use in perfumery. It’s a little like cooking but in much bigger quantities —imagine steaming pears in your kitchen and the delicious smell you get. The pear water is then concentrated multiple times to achieve the final extract which is the equivalent of one pear in every bottle. It’s easy to visualise and a simple and powerful message—a real contrast with the two years’ work it took to develop. This natural pear fruit extract is exclusive to Jo Malone London and forms the basis of the pear accord in both English Pear & Freesia and English Pear & Sweet Pea. 


Let’s go back to the English orchard as a source of inspiration. What have you found there this time around? 

Céline: English Pear & Freesia was our first journey into the orchard, and it has become one of our all-time favourite fragrances. We loved the pear note so much that we started to wonder what else we could do with it—what other flowers it could be ‘married’ to. Pretty soon, the idea for English Pear & Sweet Pea was born, as not only do I personally love sweet peas, they also felt like a perfect match for English pear. 


Talk us through why you chose the sweet pea. 

Céline: There were so many wonderful English flowers to choose from as a companion for the pear. The freesia is a classic of both gardens and orchards, with white petals perched on top of long green stems. In English Pear & Freesia, it balances the luscious fruitiness of English pear with a lovely, elegant softness. The sweet pea flower offered a different appeal: its petals are blowsy rather than upright, and appear in pastel hues of mauve and lilac, coral, peach and pink. It also has a kind of delicacy and softness but can give off quite a powerful scent too. Marrying it with the pear allowed us to explore a different kind of olfactive. We asked Anne Flipo to help us imagine this new combination, such was our experience of working together with florals, and this was the start of English Pear & Sweet Pea.


How did you go about capturing the flower’s characteristics? 

Céline: We often get sweet peas in our flower deliveries to the Jo Malone London Townhouse from our resident florist, Scarlet & Violet. I remember photographing them once and sending the pictures to Anne and saying, ‘the fragrance has to be pastel.’ We were guided by the aesthetic of the flower: this, as well as the scent, gave us an olfactive direction from the start.


 Anne, what was your brief for creating English Pear & Sweet Pea?

Anne: I was thrilled to work with such an iconic ingredient, the English pear. The challenge was to offer a new olfactive interpretation of it while staying true to its original signature. The sweet pea flower gave us the chance to do this by exploring a new kind of floralcy. As Céline has explained, sweet pea is quite different to freesia, both in appearance and scent. It was the colours of the sweet pea that really provided the focus point in the creation of the scent. 


Talk us through the development of the fragrance.

 Anne: Translating this pastel concept into fragrance was definitely the most interesting aspect of the development. It’s one thing to know what pastel means visually, but another to recreate it olfactively, alongside the fresh, green, dewy aspects of the flower. And we also had the challenge of how to craft a bunch of sweet peas to complement the olfactive structure of English pear. I think the fragrance is a fascinating evolution for this beloved key ingredient. 


How would you describe the olfactory profile of the fragrance?


 Anne: English Pear & Sweet Pea is a light floral fragrance with the sensuous freshness of luscious fruits enveloped in soft sweet peas. I think of it as a garden-fresh floral. How did you create the pastel effect? Anne: The olfactory effect of pastel to me is softness, so I used ambrette seeds to wrap the luscious note of pear and white musk to help the softness leave a lasting trail as the fragrance is worn. Dewy rose brings the floral garden freshness appeal.

 Finally, woody patchouli and warm tonka add comfort, sensuality and make it easy to wear.


 Describe English Pear & Sweet Pea in a few words. 


Céline: Pastel-soft, luscious and romantic. 

Anne: Luminous, delicate and sensual. 


What do you think makes English Pear & Sweet Pea a characteristically Jo Malone London fragrance?


 Céline: Like every fragrance we create, English Pear & Sweet Pea is true to our brand DNA. The Englishness of the story, the clarity of the scent, the uncompromising focus on key ingredients and the freshness and wearability of the scent are all recognisable Jo Malone London traits and are all present in this new fragrance. We’re really proud of it.


 How do the two English pear fragrances contrast with one another?

 Céline: English Pear & Freesia really captures the elegance of bright, white freesias and English Pear & Sweet Pea the exquisite pastel softness of sweet peas. They both olfactively describe the different architecture of the flowers, and the differences in colour, scent and texture are all there in the subtle interplay of fruit and florals. The luscious, fruity signature of the English pear note takes centre stage in both fragrances, of course, but it’s as if you’re exploring different avenues of the same English orchard.


 How would you recommend pairing English Pear & Sweet Pea?

 Céline: I think both English pear fragrances combine really well together, mixing dewy fresh notes with a touch of sensuality. I also really like pairing English Pear & Sweet Pea with Blackberry & Bay to create a soft fruity fragrance.


  • English Pear & Sweet Pea Cologne – Now Launched
    • NEW! English Pear & Sweet Pea Cologne 30ml –  €64
    • NEW! English Pear & Sweet Pea Cologne 100ml -€134


Also watch out for The Jo Malone London English Pear & Freesia Special Editions

Open the door to the enchanted world of English Pear & Freesia and discover special-edition designs, an additional product and a brand-new light floral scent offering a fresh take on this timeless ingredient.English Pear & Freesia imagines orchards steeped in golden sunshine, warming the russet curves of luscious pears. The sensuous freshness of the just-ripe fruit wrapped  in elegant white freesias, enhanced with rose and rooted in patchouli. The delightful fruity scent can be enjoyed in a special-edition cologne, housed in a fluted glass bottle, and Home Candle, finished with a decorative lid.Leave skin feeling silky smooth and with a subtle sheen with band-new English Pear & Freesia Scented Body Powder. Encased in a mirrored compact, it includes a kabuki brush for on-the-go application.The complete English pear & Freesia Collection includes:


  • English Pear & Freesia Collection – Now Launched
    • Special-Edition English Pear & Freesia Fluted Cologne 30ml -€64
    • Special-Edition English Pear & Freesia Fluted Cologne 50ml – €94
    • Special-Edition English Pear & Freesia Fluted Cologne 100ml – €134
    • NEW! Special-Edition English Pear & Freesia Home Candle -€65
    • NEW! English Pear & Freesia Scented Body Powder –  €64