How does fragrance virtuoso Jo Malone MBE unwind on a Sunday? With family dinners, homemade skincare and plenty of scented candles, of course.
The Wind Down
Sunday night is family night so Sunday morning is when I do everything, it’s my time. I’m not a lie-in kind of person, my mind is activated at about 6am or 7am. On Sunday I like to watch Andrew Marr, I’m very interested in politics. And I love The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network channel too. I love everything about her and want to be her! We ride horses in Montana every year and that show is that place. I love having it on, it’s just heaven.
On each of my three floors at home we have a different fragrance. I don’t like heavy notes up in the bedroom so it’ll be a lemongrass or a petitgrain, something nice and light. The beds are changed on a Friday night and then sprayed every evening with a clean, fresh cologne, which signifies bedtime for all of us. I’m always burning and testing candles so we usually have about 20 burning around the house at any one time. We have a cloakroom downstairs and it’s the perfect place to test a candle because it’s such a concentrated space with no windows. On a Sunday morning I light a candle too, if it’s not my own, I love Diptyque Coriander. I love the combination of Tubereuse with it too, the two just balance together so well.
I love the Sunday papers so I’ll sit in bed during the morning and read them with a pot of tea or coffee and some fresh juices. My husband will be off running in the park and my son will usually be out with his mates, so I like to be on my own. I’ve got two double doors in my bedroom and I shut them and it’s just my time to think. I love it. Once I’ve read the papers I make lists. I’m a big list maker and a very structured organised person. I used to have Muji pens with thick and thin ends that I wrote everything with; thick meant something was urgent and thin meant I could carry it through to the next day. I’m not quite as bad as that any more but I still like to sit there and make my lists. I have a diary with a page a day throughout the week and everything that has to be done that week, from trips to speeches to evaluations, goes down in order. I love it. If I’m agitated – I get very anxious from time to time – I organise and I sort things out. I recently cleaned out all my wardrobes and I thought “Ahhhh, that’s better”. It just makes me feel calm that everything is ordered again.
I also like doing lots of things in one shot so while I’m making my lists, I’ll wash my face and do a face mask. I love the Eve Lom Gel Balm Cleanser, it’s just gorgeous and I like it because it’s not quite as thick as the original but still just gets absolutely everything off your face. So I’ll cleanse first and use a nice warm towel to get that off, and then I love the Eve Lom Rescue Mask. It’s so healing and is especially great for any bits of eczema or any inflammation. I also put it on my feet; I get terrible cracked heels, so I do the same with my feet as I do my face. I think your feet are really important, they’re the thing that are most active. I’m on my feet all day long and I’m always barefoot at home so they need looking after. I’ll leave that on while I’m sitting in bed — it’s dead time really so I like to make sure I utilise it.
Then I use a hair oil, which I put it all the way through my hair, then onto my nails and my feet — everywhere. I love it when I’m like an oil slick! Then I put on a face moisturiser, which I usually make myself. I like it thick and leave it so it’s not completely massaged in, so it just sits on my skin. The exact blend differs each time but it tends to be a mixture of avocado oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E and calendula, just something very nourishing. I did a year’s chemotherapy about ten years ago and my skin totally changed as a result. My scalp also became very irritated which is why the hair oil is important too. I wash my hair with a shampoo to rinse out the oil but never use conditioner, I don’t need to. After that I very rarely put makeup on; even if I’m going out for lunch I couldn’t care less really.
I love my bath, I’m a real bath girl. I like body scrubs and sometimes make up my own, just salt, olive oil, grated lemon and orange rind and a little bit of lavender oil. I mix it up and apply it everywhere, especially my heels. I keep a hand cream close by too and then I’ll often have a manicure and pedicure on a Sunday morning at Chloe’s Nail Bar on the King’s Road in London. They’re quick and brilliant and I love to just sit there with a cup of coffee.
I love Sunday night TV. We’ve just finished The Crown and I’m devastated! I love any of those dramas that are on a Sunday night though, they’re so engaging and you end up living in another world. We have tapas dinner, just whatever is left in the fridge really. We call it “Bits and Pieces” – it’s when the council estate girl really comes out in me, I can’t ever throw any food away. We light all the candles and I make sure everything is neat and tidy, and then we get cosy. Whoever is around is welcome, it’s just lovely family time. I head to bed around 11pm after I’ve watched the news.
I suffer from anxiety and adrenaline rushes, which can be hard to control, so to help that I use this amazing breathing tape by a woman called Anne Pitman. I’ve used it for nearly ten years and it literally just sends me to sleep, it’s the most brilliant thing in the whole world. It works by helping you to concentrate on your breathing so much that you forget to be anxious. It’s a great distraction from an over reactive brain. I do it while lying on my bed with my hands on my stomach. She tells you when to breathe and guides you through, and by the time I’ve got half way through my body is just so relaxed. My dog sits on my feet the whole time and I’m convinced she does the breathing with me too. If someone comes in the room she growls! The other thing I do from time to time is have reflexology. I have a lovely friend that comes to me for 45 minutes and by the end of it I’m literally comatose. I can feel it and I’m aware of her but my body goes into this unbelievably calm state.
Lately I’ve been finding it hard to fall asleep before 2am, it’s the cancer backlash. Once I am asleep though, I’m a really strong sleeper. One thing is for sure, I really do need eight hours. I’m not a four or five hours person, I really do need a solid stretch. If I don’t get it I’m miserable and it really affects me.
I’m up at 6.30am or 7am everyday. I don’t set an alarm, my body wakes me up naturally. The first thing I do is have a cup of tea, then I walk the dog. We have a Border Terrier, she’s an old girl now and likes to go at the same pace as me. Then I have my fresh juices, which I make every day. I have a red juice, which is berries, banana and anything red, and then a green juice. It’s not as nice but has things like kale and broccoli in it. I find they keep me feeling good and everything working as it should. One day never looks the same for me. I love that feeling and I have a real sense of anticipation on a Sunday night, which is how I feel on Monday morning; it’s a clean sheet, you can go again – what will the week bring? I’m always anticipating something great will happen.