Secret Santa & Product Review: Jo Malone Lime Basil and Mandarin

It’s the holiday season and it’s starting to look like it! Every mall and shopfront window in Reading Town Center is decorated and spotting a Christmas tree, with sparkling baubles, hearts and ornaments, complete with faux gifts; perfectly wrapped, stacked and tucked neatly under every tree.

As postgraduate students, this is the only Christmas we get to spend together as a class and perhaps as friends and so I proposed a Class Secret Santa! Secret Santa is a Christmas game or an arrangement where a group of friends exchange gifts anonymously on a chosen day in the season. Interested classmates participated and we decided on a £5-£10 budget.

On Reveal Day, my secret Santa, Uinso (I think she is Chinese) showed up, hugged me and presented me with a cute little Christmas bag, with this Jo Malone (Lime, Basil and Citrus) Cologne and a complimentary Christmas card.

Described as a summer scent, it’s a fresh fragrance with the lime and Mandarin giving a strong citrus top note that makes me feel delicious and clean after a shower. The Oriental scent of the Basil goes beautifully with all that freshness but I have reason to believe it makes me quite hungry.

For a cologne, this scent lasts a long time. I haven’t tried it on a sunny day but so far, it passed my recent 6-hour test. It’s been described as a men’s fragrance but I’m considering getting a bigger bottle come summer. There’s nothing in the rules that says women can’t enjoy or wear men’s cologne.

Speaking of price, I think my Secret Santa broke the budget limit here. A 30ml bottle costs about £47 in Jon Lewis which means this little 9ml might have cost her somewhere around £14? Bless her heart.

Now I know you are thinking “So, what did you give for Secret Santa?”. Well, I wasn’t sure if it was a guy or lady I picked because the name was in Chinese, so I settled for a chic Boardmans Oversized scarf.

I’m a huge fan of gifting. Contrary to popular opinions, giving is just as exciting as receiving, and most importantly, an act of self-expression. In the past 3 months, I have learned a lot and gained so much in giving and receiving love, kindness and life-long friendships and I can’t wait for the rest of the academic year!

So tell me, what are your plans for the Holiday season?
Who are you gifting and what’s on your wish list?
Let me know what you think in the comments!
As always, thank you for reading!

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