Who is the Bloomsbury Group and why has Jo Malone created fragrances for them?

Jo Malone London’s latest collection brings us through a day in the life of creatives like Virginia Woolf and John Maynard Keynes in their favourite home – the Charleston House.

The Charleston House in London

In the early 20th century, literature got a boost in England thanks to a group who called themselves the Bloombury Group. Made up of an influential group of associated English writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists, its best known members included Virginia Woolf, John Maynard Keynes, EM Forster and Lytton Stachey.

Some of them were related, some of them were friends, but the one common thread they had was where they lived – Bloomsbury, London – and an abiding belief in the importance of the arts.

Their favourite place to congregate to work on their respective passions was the Charleston House in London. Its surrounding English countryside beauty was matched by the culture and character nurtured within the space of the house, so much so that today, it is being refurbished as a holiday destination to reinvigorate and reignite the fire in all fellow creatives who wish to stay a night or two under its roof.

Jo Malone London Bloomsbury Set

The Charleston House and the influence it had over this group inspired Jo Malone London to create a collection of scents specially to relive a day in the life of the original members. Five beautiful scents bring us through what Ms Woolf experienced in the morning, to what Mr Keynes surrounded himself with in the late evening in this old but majestically storied house.

Dawn: Blue Hyacinth

It is said that the intoxicating scent of bold blue hyacinth warmed by the first rays of sun floods the house in the early hours of the day. Entwined with the vibrancy of garden geraniums and woody vetiver, it wakes up the mind and spirit of the house’s inhabitant, readying them to start creating their respective art.

Late Morning: Garden Lilies

As the sun climbs higher into the sky, a change in scent takes over the house. The pond nearby the house will let its lilies bloom and a light breeze will carry the perfume of effervescent water lilies, tinged with the fresh green sap dew of ylang ylang, through the space. White musk and a wisp of vanilla complete the rousing of the household.

Noon: Tobacco & Mandarin

In the many reading rooms, the rich scent of tobacco is sweetened with a touch of Mandarin oranges as creative minds light their pipes to encourage inspiration to flow. Vibrant and herbaceous, the scent of the sage and wise is polished with an elegance of beeswax, just like the stuff used to shine an olden day pipe.

Evening: Whisky & Cedarwood

As the day intensifies, so does the poison of choice. The whisky starts to flow in the late evening to unleash radical ideas and thoughts. Jo Malone London translates this raw love for one’s art with an enigmatic blend of fine whisky and opulent roses edged with spicy pimento, warm cedarwood and an intriguing accord of waxy wooden floors.

Dusk: Leather & Artemisia

As evening gives way to night, the house winds down, as do its inhabitants. Leather chairs are filled in with tired but inspired beings, a special fragrance Jo Malone encapsulates with the striking green facets of anise-tinged absinthe blended with aromatic artemisia, soft orriswood and deep richness of leather enhanced by the amber woody notes of Cypriol.

Here is the immortalisation of a hugely intellectual environment in 5 precious bottles of intoxicating essences.

Jo Malone London’s The Bloomsbury Set will be available in stores from March 2017. Log on to the official website here to keep updated.

(Photos: Jo Malone London and The Charleston House)

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