Well, Saturday was a totally random day for me. I landed back from Cuba at 8am, feeling like I had been dug up and ready for a little snooze. By 1pm I was making my way to Selfridges Exchange Sq to meet the distinguished and very handsome Richard E Grant for a little informal chat about his newest fragrance; Jack Covent Garden. I will hold my hands up and admit that I wasn’t even aware that Grant had released the original Jack in 2014, which subsequently became Liberty of London’s second best selling fragrance, so to hear that a second fragrance was being released was somewhat of an eye opener for me.
Before I talk about Jack Covent Garden, I’d like to tell you about the history behind the Jack line as to hear it directly from Grant was quite moving and it’s story is very expressive of Grant and as he put it ‘autobiographical’. Grant has had a long term love affair with fragrance and his passion has lead to self funding his first and second fragrance. From the fragrance itself to the design of the box and signature Union Jack pouch which encases the bottle. I adore the fact that Grants name isn’t splashed all over the box, and this takes away the pretentiousness that can be associated with celebrity fragrances. Jack is different. It’s more about the fragrance than the name, and the creator behind it has had a huge input rather than just placing his name on the box. The passion for his product is so clear to see when speaking to Grant, his eyes light up as he talks about Jack and the newest addition Jack Covent Garden. His history of working with fragrance started when he was pushed into following his passion by Anya Hindmarch and now he works with expert perfumier Alienor Massenet in Paris. From this, after two gruelling years of creation, Jack was born and hit the headlines for its key ingredients being lime, mandarin orange and cannabis. Jack has really had an effect on me, and now I cannot stop thinking about it. I must get a bottle as soon as I can as I think I’m addicted. It must be the cannabis!
Jack Covent Garden was inspired by his experiences in Covent Garden as a waiter after he moved to London from his native Swaziland. Covent Garden is also filled with theatrical history and pays homage to flower seller Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady to real life orange seller Nell Gwyn, mistress of King Charles the 2nd and one of the first actresses of Restoration England. The key ingredients of Jack Covent Garden are oranges, roses and ginger; oranges for Nell Gwyn, roses for the flowers thrown at the stage and ginger which was used to clear the actors throats prior to heading on stage.
The unisex fragrance is incredibly fresh and an outstanding fragrance. Top notes of orange, lime and ginger mingle with rose, peppercorn and pimento until they settle down to the carrot oil, iris and musk. It’s longevity is supreme, and I could still detect the fragrance on my coat the following day.