Fragrant Frangipani

Who knew something so pale and delicate could also be so powerful? The plumeria, with its bright, intoxicating fragrance, is the prize in nature’s treasure chest. Its scent is so evocative, transporting you to tranquil, tropical sun-drenched beaches in one deep breath. Soft sand beneath your feet. The hypnotic sound of breaking waves. Heat on your skin. The essence of island life.

You may know plumeria better as frangipani, which is named after the Marquis Frangipani. The 16th-century Italian noble created perfumed gloves that had a scent bearing a striking resemblance to that of the plumeria flower. The nickname stuck. It will answer to that or ‘flower of the gods’ – it’s not fussy.

You’ll find this beloved flower growing all over Indonesia, where they tell tales of how the tree provides shelter for demons and ghosts. In Bali, frangipani is often planted near temples because its beautifully fragranced flowers are used as offerings to the gods.

Plumeria’s scent is so evocative,
transporting you to tranquil,
tropical sun-drenched beaches in one deep breath

Symbolising femininity, in Polynesian culture, a woman wearing a frangipani flower behind her right ear means she is looking for love, while a bloom worn behind her left ear means she is spoken for. In India, the flowers represent the happy couple’s loyalty and commitment at weddings. In China, it is given as a sign of unspoken love. And for Hindus and Buddhists, the plumeria’s ability to survive even when removed from the soil, means it has come to signify immortality. In love, in life and for all eternity, the frangipani brings its own ethereal magic.

Jo Malone London’s new blossom fragrance pairs this island empress with luminous jasmine, its airy lightness enhanced by ylang-ylang, notes of sandalwood for creamy warmth, while a twist of lemon gives the scent freshness. A blend of bright, tropical stars coming together for a fragrance that is both radiant and sweet.

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