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Jo Malone Kohdo Wood Collection — Light & Dark, Day & Night

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Two sides: one is light, one is dark. Okay, I’ll stop with the LOST references before I get ahead of myself, but it’s uncanny how well that particular phrase fits a description of this fragrances collection, which consists of the Jo Malone Lotus Blossom & Water Lily, an invigorating scent suited for daytime, and Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily, a more mysterious and calming scent for dusk and evening. Together, the two scents constitute the limited edition Jo Malone Kohdo Wood collection, which was inspired by the Japanese Kohdo practice, a ritualized ceremony that involves smelling and experiencing incense with one’s entire being, leading to spiritual enlightenment and heightened mental awareness. In keeping with this theme, then, both fragrances include incense notes: the Jo Malone White Lily Temple boasts a Temple Incense base note, while the Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily features a Kyara Incense base note.

The two fragrances work as an olfactory yin and yang. The Lotus Blossom & Water Lily opens with really watery notes, with hints of citrus (mainly grapefruit and mandarin notes) to refresh and invigorate the senses, and a bergamot note to add a bit of spice tot he mix. The scent then transforms into an greener, lusher scent, as the middle notes of lotus blossom, freesia, honeysuckle, water lily and jasmine start to surface, as dot he base notes of temple incense, amber, sandalwood, musk, aloewood and bamboo. Within an hour of applying the scent, you’ll notice how subdued and serene the scent is, mixing watery and green notes with the occasional hint of a floral or citrus note to liven up your energy base.

The Dark Amber & Ginger Lily fragrance (aptly packaged in a black glass bottle), meanwhile, features spicy, exotic top notes like ginger, pink pepper, and black cardamom, followed by middle notes of night blooming jasmine, orchid, water lily, and rose, finally leading to the base notes of black amber, white pepperwood, patchouli, sandalwood and Kyara incense. Though it does have floral notes at its heart, this is a smokier, perhaps even more masculine fragrance (leather and sandalwood are common notes in men’s fragrances). The black amber and Kyara incense notes relax the mind while creating a sensual mood that’s perfect for the evening hours.

The fragrances can be worn separately or layered atop one another for a more intriguing experience.

Jo Malone Lotus Blossom & Water Lily Cologne, $55 for 1 fl. oz. or $100 for 3.4 fl. oz; and Jo Malone Dark Amber & Ginger Lily, $55 for 1 fl. oz. or 3.4 fl. oz. Available at Jo Malone Shops, JoMalone.com, and Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus stores.

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