How Jo Malone Moved On After Divorcing Her Namesake Brand (2023)

Jo Malone’s is a rags to riches story. After growing up poor in a council housein England, battling dyslexia, and quittingschool withzeroqualifications, shewent on to launch one of the most covetedperfume brands of all time. Shortly after selling her namesake company to Estée Lauder for "undisclosed millions," the wife and mom-of-one was diagnosed with breast cancer and given one year to live. Once again, shedefied the odds and not only recovered, but found the courageto start over — and risk a very public failure — by launching her sophomore perfume startup, Jo Loves. Here, Malone, who's been awarded both an MBE and a CBE by Queen Elizabeth, shares the secrets to her entrepreneurial spirit — and Midas touch.

Claire Coghlan:Was it terrifyingto try to recreate the successof Jo Malone, this time in the public eye?

Jo Malone: Yeah, with capital letters. If I’m ever even slightly thinking about doing another one, I want someone to lock me in a room and throw away the key.

Coghlan: What was the biggest challenge in coming back afterparting ways with the namesakebrand that made you famous?

Malone: It’s like you have to prove your own existence again. People who have sold their namesake business, they have a right to still live their life, to still be that creative person. You’ve sold a business — not your person, not who you are.

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Coghlan: You had to wait fiveyears because of a non-compete. You call those the “wilderness years.” Why?

Malone: I lost my identity. I didn’t know who I was, I couldn’t find anything with potential to build on, and I didn’t know where I was going. Creatively, I hungered. I remember sitting downstairs and putting together a resume. I looked at it and thought, “No one’s ever going to give me a job.” It's so funny, when I tell that story now everybody says, “Have you any idea? If we knew you were looking, we would’ve given you a job there and then.” But I didn’t have the courage or the self-confidence. When you’re going through those times, you couldn’t feel any smaller.

Coghlan: Did anything good come of that time?

Malone: I learned more about Jo Malone than I had ever done in my life. I went to the depths and back. I really saw what I was capable of. I learned that your dreams, your aspirations, and the things that you want to achieve in life, they belong to you. They’re your inheritance.

Jo by Jo Loves is the first ever fragrance Malone named after herself

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The Masons

Coghlan: You also battled breast cancer. Did it feel unfair, having just reaped the rewards of years of hard work?

Malone: It was gutting, and terrifying. I was 38 years old. I was told that I probably had about a year to live. I remember thinking, “You’re not going to tell me when I’m going to die.” It was like when my teachers told me at school, “You'll never make anything of your life. You’re lazy and stupid." I knew I was neither. I was dyslexic. I fought cancer in the same way I built my business. I fought every single day... and it was absolutely grueling. My body was taken to the wire. And I felt guilty.

Coghlan: Why guilty?

Malone: Because this amazing family had just bought my business and I’m sick. Leonard and Evelyn Lauder were amazing, I can’t tell you. They didn’t just save my life, they helped me get through. When I was walking down to the operating theater on that first day, I had Evelyn Lauder on the phone saying, “Honey, don’t you worry. You’re going to come through this.” They were the most loving, caring, wonderful family, and I’m truly grateful, but I felt guilty. I felt, “Why me?” Then I thought, “Why not me?” Nobody deserves that. Nobody.

Coghlan: Yours is an unlikely success story. What strengthscan anyone draw on— no matter herbackground, education or qualifications?

Malone: 1) Passion. You have to feel what it is to want for your product, or whatever it is you're doing, and not be afraidto show that passion to others.

2) Resilience. Don’t be frightened of where you come from, who your parents are, your lack of education, because that doesn't take away your right to become globally successful. If I’d listened every time somebody told me who I should be and what I didn’t have the right for, I'd never be where I am today. It’s funny, I walked in the door today and there’s this huge, beautiful envelope sitting on my dining table with the crest of Buckingham Palace. Inside is a piece of paper with the signatures of the Queen and Prince Philip, acknowledging my CBE, which is a Commander of the British Empire. I looked at it, and it represents sheer determination and hard work and never, ever, ever, ever quitting — that resilience.

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3) Respect for creativity — what it does for your life, what you do for it. When you walk the road with creativity, it can be very isolating, because you’re the first one with the idea and there’s often no one around who believes in it. I don’t believe you own creativity, I believe it’s a relationship you have with it. When you acknowledge that relationship, really great things can happen.

Coghlan: What convinced you to risk a potential public failureandcome back withJo Loves?

Malone: I remember I was making a television show with BBC One called Classic Dreams. I was filling bottles with chili sauce, and I stood there thinking, “Jo, give it one more try. What have you got to lose?” I probably had everything to lose — and everything to gain. Ultimately, I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life never creating fragrance again.

Ever the innovator, Malone conceived of a Fragrance Paintbrush (here) and Fragrance Graffiti

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The Masons

Coghlan: Two years in, you almost quit. What stopped you?

Malone: Never quit on a bad day! On a bad day, you look at the landscape and think, “Oh my God, I just cannot cope any longer.” Seven days on, 10 days on, six months on, the landscape changes. Would you still make that call? I promise you, nine times out of 10 you wouldn’t. I kept saying to myself, “Not today, Jo. Just get through today.”

Coghlan: What’s your #1 piece of advice for defying the odds?

Malone:Don’t let other people’s opinions dictate your dreams and define who you are. You’re the only one who has the power to do that. Everybody has the right to dream, every single person, but it’s up to you to make it happen.All the way through history, when things were tough, that’s when you see that entrepreneurial spirit raise up.

Coghlan: You’re lobbying to have entrepreneurialism added to the school curriculum in the UK. Why?

Malone:I'm very sad about where we are as a country at the moment, but entrepreneurs will always pick up the pieces that are left and build, and that’s what I'm dedicated to. I want to see it taught in schools from the age of eight so that we’ll have a generation of young people who all know how to build, how to create. Wouldn’t that be amazing? That's what changes the world.

The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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FAQs

Why did Jo Malone leave Jo Malone? ›

However, she stepped away entirely from business in 2006 after being diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and losing her sense of smell during intense rounds of treatment. From 2006 through until 2011, Malone was also restricted by a non-compete agreement that prevented her from creating fragrances for five years.

Who took over Jo Malone? ›

Jo Malone London is a British multinational cosmetics company, perfume and scented candle brand, founded by Jo Malone in 1990. It has been owned since 1999 by Estée Lauder. The brand is known for its perfumes, candles, bath products, and room scents.

Did Jo Malone sell her business? ›

In 1999, Malone sold Jo Malone London to Estée Lauder Companies for "undisclosed millions". In 2011, she started a new fragrance company, Jo Loves. In 2008, Malone received an MBE, then in 2018 a CBE. In 2015, she was a castaway on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.

When did Estée Lauder take over Jo Malone? ›

In 1999, Jo sold the business to Estée Lauder Companies and remained Creative Director until she left in 2006.

What is the most popular Jo Malone smell? ›

Find Out Which Fragrances Are the Best-Sellers
  • English Pear & Freesia. This is one of the first fragrances from Jo Malone and it is one of the reasons why many ladies around the world started using Jo Malone products. ...
  • Wild Bluebell. ...
  • Peony & Blush Suede. ...
  • Wood Sage & Sea Salt. ...
  • Nectarine Blossom & Honey. ...
  • Lime Basil & Mandarin.

What is the best selling Jo Malone? ›

The best Jo Malone perfumes you can buy in 2022
  1. Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Cologne: The best Jo Malone classic fragrance. ...
  2. Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne: The best Jo Malone day-to-night perfume. ...
  3. Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia Cologne: The best uplifting Jo Malone spring scent.
17 Jun 2022

What scent does Kate Middleton wear? ›

According to Vogue, Kate's signature scent is Jo Malone's Orange Blossom. In fact, she loves it so much that she reportedly even chose to have the citrusy aroma waft through Westminster Abbey on her wedding day to Prince William in 2011.

What are the four pillars of Jo Malone? ›

Quintessentially British fragrance brand Jo Malone is renowned for its iconic fragrances and luxury products. The brief was to restructure and refresh the ecommerce site, highlighting the four main brand pillars; Fragrance Combining, Scent Surround, Art of Gift Giving and the World of Jo Malone.

What is the original scent of Jo Malone? ›

While working as a facialist in London, she developed a scented lotion and body oil to give to her most loyal clients; the fragrance became Nutmeg & Ginger, the first Jo Malone scent.

How much do Jo Malone employees make? ›

Jo Malone pays an average hourly rate of $71 and hourly wages range from a low of $63 to a high of $81. Individual pay rates will, of course, vary depending on the job, department, location, as well as the individual skills and education of each employee.

Is Jo Malone a good company to work for? ›

Is Jo Malone a good company to work for? Jo Malone has an overall rating of 3.9 out of 5, based on over 190 reviews left anonymously by employees. 73% of employees would recommend working at Jo Malone to a friend and 62% have a positive outlook for the business. This rating has improved by 3% over the last 12 months.

Who owns Jo Malone fragrances? ›

Jo Malone London – The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

Who is Estée Lauder's biggest competitor? ›

Estee Lauder's competitors
  • CHANEL.
  • Beiersdorf.
  • Coty.
  • Shiseido.
  • L'Oreal.
  • Johnson & Johnson.
  • Unilever.
  • Procter & Gamble.

What is the oldest perfume still being made? ›

Acqua di Colonia Santa Maria Novella

The oldest of their perfumes still in production is their Acqua di Colognia which was first bottled in 1533 by the Dominican friars that ran the apothecary. This perfume was created for Catherine de' Medici and the main notes are rose and citrus.

What is the oldest fragrance brand? ›

On 13 July 1709, Giovanni Battista Farina founded the company "G. B. Farina" in his adopted home of Cologne. His family originally came from Santa Maria Maggiore in Piemont, Italy.

What fragrance does Meghan Markle wear? ›

Meghan Markle is a big fan of fragrance…

"So much so that if I leave the house and I don't put any on, I'll turn around and go back home." Prince Harry's wife announced that her favourites are Oribe Côte d'Azur Eau de Parfum and Jo Malone's Wild Bluebell and Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne.

What is the most sold fragrance of all time? ›

You had to know this was coming. Chanel N°5 is, without a doubt, the most iconic fragrance of all time. It's been a staple within many a glamorous woman's fragrance wardrobe since its creation back in 1921.

What is the best selling scent of all time? ›

The All-Time Best Selling Greatest Fragrances on the Market
  • Black Orchid Eau de Parfum by Tom Ford. ...
  • The Eau Dynamisante by Clarins. ...
  • The English Pear & Freesia Cologne by Jo Malone. ...
  • The Eau de Parfum by Jimmy Choo. ...
  • Chanel No. ...
  • The Curious Eau de Parfum by Britney Spears. ...
  • The Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum by Byredo. ...
  • Conclusion.
12 Apr 2022

What are the top 5 most sold perfumes? ›

Here are the most popular perfumes of the moment
  • Baccarat Rouge 540 by Maison Francis Kurkdjian. (c) Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
  • Sauvage by Dior. (c) Dior.
  • No. 5 by Chanel. ...
  • Miss Dior by Dior. (c) Dior.
  • Aventus by Creed. (c) Creed.
  • Black Opium by Yves Saint Laurant. ...
  • Shalimar by Guerlain. ...
  • Acqua de Gio by Giorgio Armani.

What is the Favourite Jo Malone perfume? ›

Taking the crown for the most popular Jo Malone fragrance is English Pear & Freesia – a light and fresh scent that combines the two aforementioned notes on a base of patchouli.

What is Jo Malones signature scent? ›

Lime Basil & Mandarin

Jo Malone London's signature fragrance. Fresh, zesty and instantly uplifting, the classic scent blends sharp Lime with aromatic Thyme to create a modern yet classic perfume. Perfect for every day wear, the scent evokes the sense and aroma of a hot summer's day. Top note: Mandarin. Heart note: ...

What was Lady Diana's favorite perfume? ›

Princess Diana's favourite perfume was Penhaligon's Bluebell - and you can still buy it today | HELLO!

What is Queen Elizabeth's favorite perfume? ›

Queen Elizabeth reportedly wears Guerlain L'Heure Bleue, a spicy citrus with a powdery dry down. It's been a classic for the fragrance house ever since the scent was created in 1912.

What was Marilyn Monroe's favorite perfume? ›

Marilyn Monroe famously told interviewers that she wore Chanel No. 5 to bed (and nothing else), but it wasn't her only favorite. Like millions of other women, Monroe was a fan of Chanel No 5. However, in 2002, it was revealed that she also had a secret penchant for Floris Rose Geranium.

Who is Jo Malone target audience? ›

Across, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, Jo Malone London speaks to a predominantly (87%) female audience who are typically married and around 30 years old on average.

Is Jo Malone a luxury brand? ›

Jo Malone London is a British lifestyle brand known for its unique fragrance portfolio and luxury products for the bath, body and home.

Why is Jo Malone so popular? ›

Jo Malone London is a brand famous for its 'unique fragrance portfolio,' says South. 'Having rewritten the rules of perfumery by mixing unexpected combinations of ingredients and providing elegant yet playful concepts where scent is used, we are known for pushing the boundaries of fragrance development.

What scent did JFK wear? ›

His mark on not only America, but 'Americana' is a great one. From his years as King of Camelot to his effortless style from his boat to the ballroom, Jack oozed All American-ism so much that he even wore a fragrance called America One by Krigler, a fragrance brand with an incredible history that spans over 100 years.

How long does Jo Malone smell last? ›

How Long Does Jo Malone Perfume Last? The general rule is that most perfumes will last around three to five years, however, they can be worn long after this as long as they don't smell 'spoiled'. Perfumes in cooler climates tend to last longer than perfumes in warmer climates.

What is Jo Malone's newest scent? ›

Moonlit Camomile

How much does a Jo Malone counter manager make? ›

The estimated total pay for a Cosmetics Counter Manager at Jo Malone is $64,243 per year. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $51,116 per year.

What is it like working at Jo Malone? ›

The job is interesting and learning about new products is a fun part. It can be very boring especially working in a boutique on a quiet day. The salary should be higher but overall a positive experience working for this company. They are a part of Estée Lauder group so you get discounts on all companies that they own.

What is it like working for Jo Malone? ›

Productive and fun workplace

I enjoyed working at Jo Malone. I had friendly colleagues, and the team dynamic was great. I would say higher management was a bit tough and demanding. I did not feel comfortable engaging with higher management, I would much rather then engage with my colleagues.

How many employees does Jo Malone have? ›

Jo Malone London has an estimated 72 employees and an estimated annual revenue of 3.0M....

Where are Jo Malone products made? ›

Everything is still made in England, from high-quality ingredients, an understated elegance shining through every sparkling creation. But if one scent's gorgeous, so the Jo Malone London thinking goes, maybe two could be better.

Is Jo Love successful? ›

Is Jo Love successful? Yes, Jo Loves is a successful niche fragrance brand. It is a lot smaller than the Jo Malone brand, but it's very beautiful and well loved.

What was Jo Malone first fragrance? ›

While working as a facialist in London, she developed a scented lotion and body oil to give to her most loyal clients; the fragrance became Nutmeg & Ginger, the first Jo Malone scent.

Is Jo Malone under Estée Lauder? ›

We, Estee Lauder Cosmetics Pte. Ltd., being the operating company of Jo Malone London in Singapore, are an affiliate of the Estée Lauder Companies Inc.

What is the oldest perfume in the world? ›

What is this? Acqua di S.M. Novella is the oldest perfume!

What is the oldest womens perfume? ›

Acqua di Colonia Santa Maria Novella

The oldest of their perfumes still in production is their Acqua di Colognia which was first bottled in 1533 by the Dominican friars that ran the apothecary. This perfume was created for Catherine de' Medici and the main notes are rose and citrus.

Who are Jo Malone's competitors? ›

Top Competitors of Jo Malone
  • Penhaligon's Ltd. 104. $62 Million.
  • The Thymes Co. 155. $25 Million.
  • Alpha Aromatics Inc. 106. $36 Million.
  • Pink Zebra. 399. $64 Million.
  • Agilex Fragrances. 125. $26 Million.
  • beFragrant. $20 Million.

Why did Estée Lauder change her name? ›

In the late 1920s, Estée met Joseph Lauter. They were married in 1930 and moved to Manhattan. Shortly thereafter, the couple adopted the surname Lauder, correcting a misspelling that dated back to when Joseph's father emigrated from Austria to the United States.

What scents does Rihanna wear? ›

Rihanna famously wears Kilian Love Don't Be Shy, but she alternates that sweet fragrance with selections from her own line of perfumes. You may find Rihanna wearing Rihanna Nude, Rihanna Ri Ri, or Rihanna Rebelle, along with the captivating Tom Ford Lost Cherry or the sexy Armani Si.

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