Reviews of Kohdo Wood Collection: Dark Amber & Ginger Lily by Jo Malone

    Find out more about Kohdo Wood Collection: Dark Amber & Ginger Lily by Jo Malone in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


    Showing 1 to 17 of 17.
    Darvant's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Before testing it for the first time nearby the Bangkok airport i expected it was a more compelling, deep, dark and dreadful juice while i stumbled in to something delicately floral, smooth and silky as the oil. Anyway for not more than twenty minutes the juice is a bit fruity, gingery and barely dusty/incensey but in a while it slides towards a sort of silky ambery/floral delicacy. This is an extremely silky/floral delicious amber indeed, with an initial spicy/gingery cool chord soon morphing towards a really delicate final creaminess . The beginning is dusty fresh because of a sparkling ginger and a cardamom/incense/nutmeg spicy accord for a while cloudy and airy. A starring floral presence mastered by an heady lily of the valley starts to take the stage in order to escort the smell towards the final woody and ambery suede that is barely leathery and just a bit shadowy (not a real dark one to me as well as Pomegranate Noir for instance). The juice is smooth, discreet and almost edible with all those culinary and yummy elements. Too much shy to be a real night out winner but pleasant for sure.

    07 November, 2012

    verycharlie's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    The opening has a wonderful green, translucent woods, as Odysseusm describes very well. I also get the hint of ginger and the scent develops into a beautiful, slightly sweet sandalwood then woodsy dry down that somehow retains a cool bite throughout. I really love this scent because it's warm and comforting yet has a sheer, cool translucence and dark spice, tang and hint of floral hovering at it's edges that keeps it interesting and changing subtly. It's very elegant, doesn't shout and lasts well on my skin. A perfect everyday scent. I wish I had more than the little bit given to me by a friend.

    09 November, 2011

    teardrop's avatar

    England England

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    The ginger & cedar in the opening come across as bright & lively, but the ginger irritates my nose a little, & it takes 90 minutes before l detect anything floral. Even then it's faint, & more like tuberose than lily to me. Another 30 minutes later the amber base shows up, but it's quiet & woody, not sweet or vanillic at all. On subsequent wearings l like this a little more, but only on very cold days, & it smells vaguely similar to Sheer Obsession, which l already have. l'm giving this a neutral because l didn't get the expected lily note.

    10th February, 2011

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Notes: black cardamom, orchid, kyara wood (a type of agarwood/oudh)
    This scent is part of the JM Kohdo Wood Collection (Limited Edition). Kodo: (Japanese, “the way of incense”) is a Japanese incense ceremony.
    This is an attractive wood-incense scent. It starts with green, translucent notes which suggest a tropical forest. The cardamom gives a slightly sweet, spicy aspect. There is a ghostly silver trail of incense smoke which lurks in the background. The dry-down gets pleasantly woody, with cedar being the major element and a minor brightening from the agarwood. This is lovely and warming on a cool day.

    06 January, 2011

    superped2's avatar



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    Great scent rom Jo Malone I honestly cannot get enough of this scent, it is perfect for the fall and winter.
    I have like 5 samples of this and would really like to get a bottle so if anyone is selling one please let me know thanks

    05 October, 2010

    irfan's avatar

    Malaysia Malaysia

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    Just got a bottle. Definitely my favorite Jo Malone. Enaf said.

    12 August, 2010

    keta6atl's avatar

    United States United States

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    interesting is what I say about this scent...very seductive...perfer it on my female counterpart...but can work on me....only in the winter..and if I am in the mood for it....would I buy this again?...yes...but almost to spicy for me...I prefer jm pom over this but still give this a buy

    16 December, 2009

    Grrlscout's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    I agree with terrypitts and an_oud_girl - it's like finding flowers in a slightly autumnal forest. Terrific winter scent! I think it might be a tad too floral to be truly unisex. It's still on sale at Jo Malone shops in the UK, last time I checked.

    06 October, 2009

    terrypitts's avatar

    United States United States

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    The more I try the Jo Malone line the more I realize that purity and clarity are not what I seek in a scent. At first whiff, I really disliked this. There seemed to be two quite distinct layers - one a kind of brutish amber, the other an undefinable, overripe floral (obviously the "ginger lily" half of the equation). But after a short while to two converge into something delightfully woody and musky with nice floral hints. I can imagine walking through a very old growth forest filled with fragrant wildflowers. I am growing to like this scent, but I'm not sure I'll ever love it. Jo Malone seems to embody a kind of post-modernist approach to scents: a genuine commitment to ingredients with little concern for predetermining the outcome. Instead of an omniscient perfumer, there's a predilection for letting the user be "interactive" by encouraging layering.

    13 July, 2009

    Heartwood's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love it. This is a beautiful treatment of lily-- not honey-sweetened, not ripe and lush, but elevated to something bright, weightless and almost pungent by spicy ginger. I don't find amber to be much in evidence until well into the drydown, but it is quite exotic, especially when the incense comes forward. Yet, I wouldn't call this scent "dark." The incense isn't brooding, the lily not funereal. This to me is a beautful summer fragrance; serene and uplifting. It reminds me of visiting a Japanese garden on a warm afternoon, sitting in an azumaya shaded by surrounding cypress trees, watching the koi investigate brightly hued fallen leaves from Japanese maples floating on the surface of a sun-dappled pond.

    14 June, 2009

    Tovah's avatar

    United States United States

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    I adore this. It's sensual, deep, woody, earthy...yet light... It's gentle for an incense-wood fragrance, with a clear, very dry, ambery base, Beautiful spices make this fragrance intruiging, because they are, somehow, both bitter and sweet. I do love to layer this with Lotus Blossom & Water Lily, but Dark Amber & Ginger Lily is absolutely gorgeous on its own. This fragrance was just what I needed to reignite my scent curiousity, which had dulled due to burn-out from my disappointment with countless new releases. WHY is this a limited edition? Now I have to hoard.

    04 June, 2009

    coastfansocal's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is a very nice scent, smooth, warm, amber...so inviting and lush. Very masculine, Along with the Amber&Lavender , and the "Vetyver" by JM this is probably her most refined and distinct men's scent.

    The only problem is that its a dead ringer for "Black Walnut" at Banana Republic . Seriously, go to your local Banana Republic in the mall, smell the "Black Walnut " and then smell the Dark Amber and Ginger Lily. They are so close in comparison its almost scary.

    Dark Amber and Ginger Lily is great but for the money and longer lasting cologne...Black Walnut by Banana Republic sounds pretty good. Especially in this terrible Recession of 2009

    28 April, 2009

    Kaern's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    This comes in a black bottle to accentuate the 'dark' aspect I suppose. I'm not sure why it is categorised as feminine -- it seems pretty unisex to me. It has a spicy incensey feel right from the start with the lily joining in later -- all very funereal. The ginger isn't that strong to me, but I have trouble identifying that note amongst other spices anyway. The best is yet to come though with the fabulous amber rendition kicking in at the bottom-- similar to the one in Cavalli Black -- so very sexy. A real return to form for this House imo. You need to seek this one out.

    27 April, 2009

    Kewal's avatar

    United States United States

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    I also love this fragrance. Stock up now, it's going away again! (sorry, I'm not joking)

    25 April, 2009

    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Jo Malone Dark Amber and Ginger Lily

    Jo Malone is a British perfumer known for their simple one or two-note fragrances. As a line they are usually very high quality and they are ideal for layering. That is why the 2008 limited release Dark Amber and Ginger Lily was so surprising to me. For the first time this was a Jo Malone which felt like it was meant to stand all on its own. So much so that I couldn't possibly think about putting anything on top of this because it is so nice it would ruin it for me. The top of this scent begins with a light combination of spices. First to my nose was cardamom followed by pepper and then ginger. This leads to the heart where the ginger slowly morphs into a lily accord combined with incense. This scent was inspired by Japanese incense ceremonies and it is here where that mood is most evoked as the combination of floral and incense comes off near-perfect for me. In the base is where the amber finally makes its appearance and it is combined with a suede-like leather and sandalwood. I'm not sure this is a "dark amber" but it is a deeper less sweet amber than is usually present in the base of most scents. For me this scent is a complete triumph as it mixes almost all of my favorite things and does it in a way that keeps it from being jarring or banal. From spice to floral incense to woody amber this scent pleases me on every esthetic level I hold for perfume. As mentioned above this was a limited release in 2008 but it was brought back in 2009 also in a limited release and is as the time of this review still available. For me this is the best Jo Malone to date and is one of my favorites in any line.

    04 April, 2009

    Kevin Guyer's avatar

    United States United States

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    A cedar dominated floral that mysteriously, as Luca Turin has pointed out, creates the illusion that you're wearing Mysore sandalwood: alchemy at its finest! I sure hope it loses its Limited Edition status and becomes a perennial!

    04 April, 2009

    Morgaine's avatar



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    No reviews? Then let me be the first to say this is wonderful. I don't know nor care what dark amber or ginger lilies are supposed to be or smell like, but the resulting fragrance is enchanting.
    It opens on a candied gingery note which slowly sinks in a pool of resinous smoothness, laced with incense. There's a clarity about the whole, a complete lack of powderiness that makes it feel very bright and awake. It was meant to interpret a tea ceremony, I believe, but I think this is a very seductive scent.
    Lasting power is excellent, and on clothing it lingers for days on end.
    Shame it had to be a limited edition. Thumbs way up.

    23 March, 2009

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