This March, Harvey Nichols hosts the exclusive global launch of OdeJo, the first fragrance from renowned former GQ Creative Fashion Director Jo Levin. She has collaborated with Jeff Lounds, one of the instigators of the cult fragrance brand Escentric Molecules, and award-winning fashion writer, Tim Blanks.
‘The Story of O’ is a story of one woman’s obsession…with a fragrance.
Jo Levin found the oil that would become her scent signature in an apothecary long ago and far away. While her career as a fashion stylist blossomed, she was often asked about her perfume, and she never really knew what to say about her enigmatic oil. So she came up with a simple, enigmatic answer. “It’s Eau de Jo.” Levin, and Levin alone.
Over time, her response became even more abbreviated.
“What are you wearing?”
But the day inevitably came when O passed from obsession to memory. That was when Jo enlisted the support of her old friend Jeff Lounds, one of the instigators of the Escentric Molecules fragrance cult, to revive her olfactory past. One night, also long ago, he’d been stopped in his tracks by O, and she’d never forgotten how insistent he was that there was some magic to be made with it. “He said, ‘When you’re ready, call me’. And eighteen months ago, I was standing in my kitchen, daydreaming, and I suddenly realised I was ready.”
Daydreams have always been an inspiration for Jo. So here we are, with Jeff putting together a dream team to bring O back to life, and Jo once again sifting through sensations she thought were lost to time. Her favourite time of day is the golden hour in summer, just before night falls, when the earth still holds the heat of the sun. That sensual reverie is the essence of OdeJo: lily and Tahitian rose, warm and lingering, cucumber oil and blue sea kelp, fresh and vivid. Jo always wore O as an oil, so OdeJo comes as an eau de toilette and a rollerball, which deepens the fragrance on the skin.
“It’s been an extraordinary experience seeing something that has always been so personal to me turned into a scent that the whole world will have access to.”
It’s an insinuating approach to seduction, something subtle and new. “People like a bit of a tease,” says Jo. “I believe there’s a swing that way, away from the blatant, towards something hidden that slowly reveals itself.” That’s why renowned design team Michael Nash Associates has boxed OdeJo in pristine white banded in intense fluoro, elegant with a hint of the perverse. Lift the lid, and there’s an explosion of colour. “It’s like the opening of a kimono,” suggests Jo.
The slow reveal is at the heart of perfume’s elusive nature. OdeJo began as a mystery, and, like any great obsession, it’s not yet ready to give up all its secrets.
Jo says of launching her first fragrance: “It’s been an extraordinary experience seeing something that has always been so personal to me turned into a scent that the whole world will have access to. I only hope that everyone else gets to build up the library of memories that I have every time I catch a whiff of OdeJo.”
Harvey Nichols Group Commercial Director, Daniela Rinaldi: “Discovering the perfect signature scent is something we at Harvey Nichols are passionate about and our customer continuously in search of. Our fragrance buy is increasingly focused on championing bespoke scent and working exclusively with Jo to launch her very own signature eau de toilette has been a fascinating journey; her industry expertise and authority has made for a seamless pairing of style, creativity and sophisticated luxury.”
For more information: www.harveynichols.com