The Japanese “Way of the Fragrance”, the Kohdo ritual is at the heart of Jo Malone London’s Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne Intense. Heady dark amber and black orchid notes are paired with the rare Kyara wood, this ingredient is prized in the ritualistic ceremony of Kohdo, the traditional Japanese art of incense burning. This fragrant wood is enriched and illuminated by the sensuality of black cardamom, ginger and water lily.
'Light the incense! You have to burn to be fragrant.'
As legend has it, a log of incense wood drifted onto the shores of Awaji Island centuries ago, and when the wood was burnt, an artform was born. Japan’s position at the Eastern end of the Silk Road meant that incense was brought in from China and Korea, eventually taking a vital place within the rituals of Samurai warriors who would prepare for battle by purifying their minds and bodies with incense and among the nobility. Within the royal courts, the appreciation of scent has long been considered art form. In the 11th century classic masterpiece, written by the noblewoman and lady-in-waiting Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji, she describes the ritual where the ladies in waiting offer their perfumes to the Prince.
At the heart of Dark Amber & Ginger Lily is the Black Orchid, complemented with jasmine blossom and water lily, giving the composition a modern twist. The rare Orchid notes symbolise great power and authority, establishing a strength to the sensual incense notes of the dark amber. Meanwhile the warmth and aromatic smoky notes of Black Cardamom are transportive to another world. On the outer edges of the top notes is a hint of ginger, which adds a warmth and prosperity. These modern notes denoting power and strength over the deep sensual dark amber and Kyara incense wood give this cologne a distinctively sensual dark finish, just insistent enough, and never bland.