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Monday, April 13, 2009

Lotus Blossom & Water Lily and Dark Amber & Ginger Lily: The Kohdo Wood Collection by Jo Malone

The Kohdo Wood limited edition collection made a brief appearance in 2008 and has been re-introduced again this year. I managed to miss it last time, so I cannot compare the fragrances, but I assume they were not reformulated. The fragrances are homage to Kohdo, "the ancient Japanese art of incense appreciation". Both, therefore, have a resinous undertone, however, lovers of hardcore incensey incense should not expect to get their fix here. Incense is fairly subtle in both perfumes (stronger in Dark Amber) and serves more as a balancing tool.

In the case of Lotus Blossom & Water Lily it balances the fresh wateriness of the floral accord keeping it from becoming too aquatic and too transparent. It gives body to the ethereal composition and infuses it with a hint of darkness. I wrote before that I am in a mood for fresh floral fragrances right now, and LB&WL is exactly what I am in a mood for. The scent is a sip of cold water on a hot day. It is a gauze of pure-white, fragile petals...I could go on. I love it. Jo Malone copy warns about "aquatic nuances", but, even though present, the watery element is not agressive. It is, moreover, a necessary and attractive part of the composition. That wateriness is what evokes an image of lotus and lily, what gives the scent its transluscency and what contrasts so beautifully with the darkness of incense. Sometimes ,the scent is completely dry, cold and "pure" on my skin, sometimes ,the sweetness of freesia, mandarin and lily is more apparent. I love it more when it is coldly innocent.

Dark Amber & Ginger Lily is indeed a dark(er) scent. The black angel to the snow-white one of Lotus Blossom. It is sweeter, more full-bodied, a sensual, languid fragrance. It starts with a hit of pepper and ginger, which simultaneously announces both incense (which, to me, has a very obvious peppery undertone) and lily. The floral accord, which includes rose and jasmine, is ripe and candied and brings out both the balsamic sweetness of amber and the heady honey-like quality of ginger lily. Were there no incense to keep it in check, it could have been too sweet. As it is, every ingredient in the composition makes sense in regards to every other ingredients, everything is in there for a reason; I love it when a scent is so well-blended. I don't want to scare anyone off by repeatedly using the word "sweet". DA&GL is indeed sweet, but it is Jo Malone sweet, as in - still rather transparent. To bring down the sweetness, layering with Lotus Blossom works wonders.

Both are available for a limited time at Jo Malone boutiques, Bergdorf Goodman, etc., $55.00-$100.00. The collection also includes bath oil and candle in both fragrances.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Красивая картина: белый и чёрный ангелы )

9:36 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Контраст всегда красив

9:38 PM EDT  
Anonymous lady jane grey said...

J.M.'s transparency is always poetic and wonderful - and I adore her for that. Right now I'm burning the "DA&GL" candle, and it's the right one for Easter Monday (which is public holiday in Europe).

4:34 AM EDT  
Anonymous surely-shirley said...

This is not the first time, when I read a story at your blog being attracted by the title. And not the first time when the content appears to be even more catchy than the title itself.

Thank you fer a perfect review.

4:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Ah, lucky you! A day off, a yummy candle, enjoy!

9:47 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you so much for your kind words!

9:48 AM EDT  
Anonymous March said...

I was so glad to see these back. I was "talked into" buying the Lotus Blossom in addition to the Dark Amber last year (which is the one I wanted and went to the store for.) I really fell for the LB, which turned out to be a more useful summer scent. Thanks for the layering recommendation, I am wearing that as we speak! Very nice. The Dark Amber has a fun coconut-oil smell on me.

11:03 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

True! Coconut!
Never in a hundred years did I expect to actually prefer LB to DA :-) But I do.

11:07 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

That resinous undertone is what makes both of these so delicious for me. Love them! I'm hoping they make them a permanent part of the line. There are a couple of Jo Malone scents I love, but, for the most part, I've given this line very little attention. I'm beginning to think I should pay more attention.

12:28 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

These renewed my interest in the line too!

12:33 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

could it be a Jo Malone I fall for?

1:18 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think it could (the amber one), easily!

3:15 PM EDT  
Blogger lovethescents said...

I'm glad to see the return of the Kohdos. The Lotus Blossom is my favorite of the two, but I've barely touched my sample because it wasn't quite 'enough' for those very long,cold days of winter. The Dark Amber I didn't care for at all; it had a strange sour note in the heart that sent me scrubbing!

Thanks for the reviews :-)

5:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Maybe it's the coconut that March pointed out...

5:38 PM EDT  
Blogger lovethescents said...

I typically adore coconut: wearing it, eating it, drinking it, etc. It might be the ginger...ginger does funny things to me olfactorially (making up words now), as I painfully discovered in those Angel Schlessers!

5:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Quite possibly! :-(

5:46 PM EDT  
Anonymous Dnalow said...

The combination would make an interesting person- delicate on the outside, dark on the inside. I'd like to meet someone like that! ;-)

8:55 PM EDT  

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