In the darkness of winter, perfect packages of succulent citrus bring a flash of summer sunshine. The mandarin is the sweeter sister of the orange and ripens in November and December, just in time for the festive season. How thoughtful. Such is our love affair with these vitamin C powerhouses that their place in our annual culinary traditions is without question. From cocktails to cakes, candied and chocolate-dipped, the House of Citrus blazes through the decadence with much-needed freshness.
Mandarins are a species of orange with hybrid offspring that include tangerines, satsumas and clementine’s – as familiar to this time of year as the characters in a pantomime. For the Japanese, mandarins are said to signal the start of the yuletide season. Japanese immigrants were sent mandarins by their relatives over Christmas as presents, eventually merging with the tradition of putting an orange at the bottom of Christmas stockings. Conjuring a note of tropical opulence, they have come to be synonymous with the festive treats that make the season special.
Mandarins came to Europe in the 1800s by way of India and China, where they had been cultivated for more than 3,000 years. The mandarin is said to symbolise wealth and good fortune in Chinese culture and plays a significant role in New Year celebrations, offered as presents or displayed as decorations. They’re quite simply impossible to resist, so why try?
Given that this citrus queen has such a beloved place in our hearts at Jo Malone London (just ask Lime Basil & Mandarin), we have given it a new story to tell as Starlit Mandarin & Honey, the Bright Star Scent of the Season. Glittering, vibrant and fresh, it is the essence of marvellous parties, where the guests are well-dressed, the conversation is riveting and the call of mischief becomes louder with every passing hour.