Jo Malone Kohdo Wood Collection review

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Regular readers of we heat this will already now we love almost all things British. Today, I’m thrilled to share one of my all time favorite bath, body & home lines from across the pond, the legendary Jo Malone. Whether you’re looking to indulge in top-notch bath luxuries, searching for a signature scent or shopping for a special gift, a visit to a Jo Malone boutique (or a cruise through the online store) is a true delight.

I remember the first time I stepped foot into the Jo Malone boutique at the South Coast Plaza. After a hectic day filled with traffic, noise and crowds, walking into the stunning Jo Malone shop was like being transported to another world. One that you really want to visit – a magical combination of charming, old-world English countryside cottages filled with the accouterments of an upscale, sleek and serene London spa. I was greeted by large, cream painted wooden cabinets filled with row upon row of striking glass bottles and candles, comfy chairs at high tables supplied with sleek white ceramic basins and fluffy white towels (for all the sampling you’ll soon be doing) and the intoxicating scents of the famed English countryside (jasmine, mint, honeysuckle, rose and more) filled the air.

The wondrous surroundings (and my obsession with Harry Potter) made me feel as if I was in a magical potions room whipping up my dream concoctions; heavenly scented and luscious lotions and oils. The true beauty of the Jo Malone line is that all the scents and products are meant to be worn and layered together to create a unique scent for each person. These magical recipes are the result of the Jo Malone philosophy they call the Art of Fragrance Combining which encourages customers to create their own signature style. Any of the knowledgeable staff will be happy to help you pick out a few base favorites or use the Fragrance Combining Menu online to start your own mystical experiments!

Every fairy-tale-like experience needs a little happily ever after and the Jo Malone shopping experience ties everything together in an elegant little bow. Shoppers both in store and online will be wowed by the artful packaging and thoughtful presentation of every purchase. Elegant bags, cream colored boxes, glossy black ribbon and tissue all combine to present a divine and dramatic statement.

Our lucky testers received items from the one of the latest lines released by Jo Malone, the Kohdo Wood Collection. First launched in limited editions in 2008 (it quickly sold out) this cult favorite line, still be found in France, has been reintroduced in the United States due to popular demand. Once again, it’s limited edition so grab them while you can! There are two distinct scents in the Kohdo Wood Collection, Lotus Blossom & Water Lily and Dark Amber & Ginger Lily and they are both very sensual with a slight floral and woodsy tone. Inspired by the ancient Japanese incense ceremony of Kohdo, “where emotions are influenced according to the different scent of nature. The blend of ingredients in each scent is designed to create scents that inspire the senses and encourage emotions.” Personally, I’ve been inspired to breathe in deeply and happily exhale all day long, every time I use either of these products from the Kohdo Wood Collection:

Lotus Blossom & Water Lily Bath Oil – Bath lovers will be enchanted by these oils that turn ordinary bath water into a creamy, almost foamy, moisturizing delight that is both lusciously and delicately scented. The bath oils can be rinsed clean in a shower, but for best results, towel dry lightly straight from the tub – the soft oil and scent will cling to skin all day long. And the scent is light enough to work as a layering scent with any product from the Jo Malone line. Lotus Blossom & Water Lily contains a blend of mandarin, sacred lotus blossom, bamboo and aloeswood, designed to increase energy and focus the mind. Just another reason you should be using this refreshing oil every morning!

And, in all honesty, I would love this bottle if it contained cod liver oil. Just look at that amazing, vintage inspired square glass bottle. The classic, elegant bottle alone deserves a highlighted spot on my vanity.

Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne – Striking in it’s own right, the dramatic black bottle and silver cap of the Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne will add some Hollywood glamour to any perfume collection. Touted as the ideal evening scent, Dark Amber & Ginger Lily contains cardamom, orchid and kyara wood to cleanse and soothe the senses while promoting calmness, relaxation, even positive thoughts! I find the Dark Amber & Ginger Lily scent striking and sensual, and that it really adds some swagger to my step when applied for a nice night out. The intoxicating scent is never overwhelming and on me becomes a warm, slightly musky, slightly spicy heady mix I hope to be wearing for years to come. (Please add it to your permanent collection here in the States, Jo!)

Review team, spa lovers, Anglophiles and packaging junkies: I know I’m not the only fanatic of this amazing British import! Let’s talk Jo Malone!


  • tyna

    Tyna is a former editor of we heart this that worries about becoming a crazy cat lady, reads at least a book a week, checks in at a Flyers fan forum every morning and is forever organizing her closets and drawers. skin tone: NW 20/25 skin type: combination favorite beauty product: eye shadows and lip balms


  1. I can’t tell you how thrilled i was to recieve my Lotus Blossom and Water Lily Bath Oil! I’ve never bought Jo Malone, simply for the fact that perfumes do not last on me at all, so i don’t usually buy them. I swear this is true and you can throw pretty much any scent out there, i’ve tried it. I even have witnesses that can back me up. Well, Stef gave me a great idea to try the bath oil as an actual oil directly on my skin, i guess you can call it the first step in layering, minus the water. Well, i tried it the other night, i went light just in case because this is the first time doing it. I was suprised because the oil is very light, and absorbed into my skin quickly without feeling oily at all. The scent was beautiful and light and it lasted!!!! I have a witness to that too! So, i tried again the next night when i went out and the first time in years someone actually complimented me on my scent! NEVER HAPPENS! Now to the packaging! Amazing! i didn’t want to open it at first either, but i have the beautiful glass bottle front and center on my bathroom shelf.

  2. Hi! Would you mind if we post this blog on our site? We’ll give you full credit and link back to your site as well. Please email me and let me know. Thanks!

  3. I was beyond thrilled too when I got to test the Lotus Blossom & Water Lily Bath Oil. Stef introduced me to Jo Malone awhile back and both my Mom and myself have become addicted. From the timeless classy package to the lasting amazing scents, there’s so much to love about Jo Malone!

    I had never tried her bath oil before, and was so excited to add it to my Jo Malone collection. I love a good soak, this oil is such a bath transformer! It really turns the water almost a milky white and fills the room with this incredible floral scent. And like the girls said, with a little layering after, it lasts all day! It’s such a soft floral, the kind of scent that conjures up memories of walking past a batch of Lilies in bloom, with their scent lightly floating in the air.

    I have some other Jo Malone perfumes and sprayed on some Orange Blossom after my bath, and that combo was pretty dreamy too!!

    This bath oil is by far the nicest bath oil I have ever tried! It leaves your skin so soft, and you and your bathroom smell amazing! And the bottle!!! It’s as elegant and gorgeous as the scent inside!!
    5 stars from me.. I wish I could give it more!

    I also have to say how beautiful the Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne is! I actually got that for my birthday & I LOVE IT!!! I’m a big fan of musky, amber filled scents and this does not disappoint! And I went to the Jo Malone site to see what to combine it with. Since it’s limited edition it wasn’t on the fragrance combining menu, so I clicked the bottom where it says “chat with a Jo Malone stylist now” and instantly had a friendly IM chat with one of the stylists. She suggested mixing it with the Pomegranate Noir, which I had a sample of and is that ever a gorgeous combo!

    What I love is how you mix and match to get your own scent. You can’t go wrong with any of them.. they are all gorgeous!!!

  4. Oh Jo, you have gone and done it again! Can I just say, thank you for gracing us with your wonderful Kohdo Wood Collection! Honestly, we feel set apart around here. Just to have the privilege of experiencing your line is quite a luxury and I don’t’ take for granted!
    In November 2006, Jo Malone opened a lovely boutique at South Coast Plaza. I remember the day the barricade came down and we could see inside this gorgeous store. Just beautiful.. and my favorite colors! I love the cream and dark wood. Tyna I’m with you, this store is stunning.
    I’ve been watching the growing appeal for her amazing creations for years now. So much so, that I sit on the edge of my seat longing to see what Jo will WOW us with next –as if what she has already created wasn’t enough! It’s very reminiscent of the way you felt when you were a child on Christmas morning! So you can only imaging how overjoyed I was to see her signature cream box and jet black bow of, “Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne” in my bag of goodies to review. I had a head start on this review of both Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne & Lotus Blossom & Water Lily Cologne as I was given a sample several months ago when I had slipped into the boutique to say hello. Together, they indeed strike your senses with an incredible sense of calming and relaxing thoughts. When wearing this, never rub it into your skin. Let it dry and press it only. This is important! It lasts from morning to night, and you will get compliments. I am impressed with people that will actually know what you are wearing! I think her line is so distinctively hers. Of course, I now layer this with Lotus Blossom & Water Lily and love it. It’s woodsy and very sensual. So, you know how the men will love this on you! You must see for yourself… Sensual yet subtle! My senses feel tranquil when wearing this and love it! If you are someone that hasn’t experienced Jo Malone’s creations, I beseech you to find a boutique near you and familiarize yourself with sheer luxury as soon as possible!

  5. I can’t rave about Jo Malone enough (as you can see from some of the above comments “Stef turned me on to…”) Seriously, if you hang out with me long enough, I’ll start talking Jo Malone!

    I chose to test the Dark Amber and Ginger Lily perfume. But can I just say how hard it was to pass up the Bath oil? The bottles are AMAZING. Those stoppers slay me. Luckily, I have a Jo Malone bath oil already so it helped ease the pain. But, if you’ve never tried their bath oils, go get one now! I was introduced to it in store where they poured it into a basin of water. It turns the water into a milky, moisturizing thing of beauty. And the scent lingers on your skin all day. I barely have time to shower, let alone take a bath, so I use mine directly on my skin with the same silky, scented results.

    Ok, on to the perfume. Oh my yum. This is a deep, spicy and super sexy scent. I think this could almost be a unisex scent. I would imagine it would be as great on a man as it is on me! I’m loving it on a night out, and I think I’ll really love it in the fall. It’s got that rich, fall vibe to it.

    But the beauty of all of Malone’s product is the layering. It’s a whole experience. It’s really exciting to see how the scents change, improve and develop when their mixed with similar or complimentary scents. I’ve tried the Dark Amber and Ginger Lily over Pomegranate Noir as Christy mentions above and it takes both scents to a new level. Absolutely amazing.

    As much as I love this, I have to give a shout out to my favorite Jo Malone scent of all time (and really, one of my favorite scents in general), her Orange Blossom. Oh my, if you are an orange blossom fan, you have to smell this. It’s the most fresh, lush, gorgeous scent ever.

    I agree with Christy, I wish I could give this more than 5 stars!

    .-= stef´s last blog ..Cosmoholic liquid lipstick – review =-.

  6. I was so excited to try the Jo Malone Dark Amber and Ginger Lily perfume! I’ve been coveting some Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir perfume for a while, but I have to say this one gives it a run for its money (yeah, that doesn’t stop me from still wanting the Pomegranate Noir, it just reinforces my belief that I now NEED it). It’s a very dark, warm, and spicy scent that I think my hubby and I will be fighting over this Fall and Winter because Stef is right, it really lends itself to being a unisex scent. This fragrance has a very woodsy scent that is tempered with the scent of ginger that keeps it from being too manly, so don’t be afraid of that, ladies! I have to say that I usually prefer a fruitier fragrance, but this scent blended very nicely with a custom-made lime body wash that I had on hand and created a really unique and sophisticated scent. I’m a big believer in layering scents to create something that’s more personalized, so I like the idea of taking other Jo Malone fragrances and combining them, so I’ll definitely have to explore that feature of their website a bit more. 5 stars from me!

  7. I have both of these new perfumes and adore them – couldn’t wait for them to come out, as I love oriental scents, and they were well worth the wait. Lotus in the daytime and Amber at night – it’s perfect. I had not thought of combining them with pom noir, but am gonna try that for sure! I have Jo’s collection of 8 small bottles – that’s an excellent way to introduce yourself to it – and have lots of options for combining scents. It has the favs Pom Noir and Orange Blossom, Grapefruit, Blue Agave, and others. My favorite Jo scent (which is not in the kit) is Verbenas of Provence. It’s wonderfully lemon scented and was the only perfume I could wear when I was pregnant. Everything Jo does is top notch and 5 stars!

  8. Melinda your right, the small bottle collection is a great way to get to know her scents! I think they come out around Christmas, so ladies be on the look out..

    & I meant to thank Stef in my post!!! Girl you know how to turn someone onto the crem de la crem of fragrance.

    I am anxious to try her new one too, the Vanilla & Anise Cologne…
    Ahhhh sounds amazing.

    Melinda, the Verbenas of Provence is really pretty!! That’s so cool you could still wear it when you were pregnant! Another testament to
    how good her scents are, no weird synthetic undertones like many
    perfumes.. her scents are very pure.

    My Mom is addicted to the Nutmeg and Ginger, it’s really amazing.
    As is the Blue Agave.. ooo I just love them all!!!

  9. As my opus post above indicates – I truly heart everything Jo Malone. I was the lucky tester of that beautiful bottle of Lotus Blossom & Water Lily Bath Oil. Like Bronwen, I had to force myself to open it – it’s just too pretty to use! But for the sake of we heart this, I did it! This is no ordinary bath oil – all of the JM oil turn into a fabulous milky, fragrant brew that is the crème de la crème of bath time literary. Oh and a tip of the hat to Stef for advising we can use it on dry skin as well. A very enthusiastic five stars. I’ve yet to not be gob smacked (hee – this piece of British slang always sounds dirty to me) by a Jo Malone product – her perfumes are superb, the candles so beautiful (again I had to force myself to actually light them – they must be savored for a looong time!) and the skin care is amazing as well – I love the Vitamin E Lip Conditioner.
    .-= Tyna´s last blog ..Skyn Iceland – review =-.

  10. Being a bona fide Brit, I’m also a MASSIVE Jo Malone fan. I was lucky enough to meet her once, at her tenth anniversary bash (her company’s, that is – she’s a bit older than that herself!!). I love all her products, including the classics such as the Grapefruit Shower Gel (so refreshing!) and the Nectarine Blossom & Honey Cologne (although my husband hates it!)

    I also received the Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne to test for We Heart This. Lucky me!! I’d had my eye on it for ages, but when I went to buy it at SCP they were sold out. Bummer! But then mine arrived to try out, and it made my day/week/month!

    I was expecting the scent to be a bit heavy for this time of year, but, no, t’is not. Maybe it’s to do with the layering – if you only put one layer on it’s not too strong, and therefore not overwhelming in summer.

    Now I just need the candle and bath soak, which would both be lovely for winter. Sigh.

    DEFINITELY five stars from me.

  11. I was another lucky tester who tried out the Lotus Blossom & Water Lily bath oil. I was beyond happy to be able to test this product. Jo Malone is a brand I’ve coveted forever, but haven’t ever had a chance to try. This bath oil couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve had an extremely stressful month, so I took my testing duties seriously and took as many nice long soaks in a tub as I could. This bath oil is amazing…from the delicious scent to the gorgeous packaging. I love that the oil soaks right in and leaves your skin soft and silky. The scent is really just perfect. It’s light enough that it doesn’t overpower you, but strong enough that you can smell it lingering on through out the day. Jo Malone has won my heart. I will definitely be trying out more of her lovely products and can’t believe it took me this long to do so. If I could give this oil 10 stars I would…it’s that good!

  12. OK so I read all of your posts and had never tried Jo Malone.. I’m usually just an perfume oil girl… and regular perfume always kind of turned me off, but I went to the Jo Malone counter and OMG AMAZING! The Amber Lavender…Nutmeg And Ginger… GOD they were all so good!!! That new one Vanilla Anise..
    I got a small bottle and they loaded me up with samples.

    The packaging is like the prettiest ever. I’m officially into my first non-oil perfume. I actually mixed the Vanilla with my amber oil and it’s amazing together too. I can so see myself getting addicted to Jo Malone.
    Thanks WHT!!!

  13. I’m always singing the praises of Jo Malone, so much so that I thought I posted a review on this. I was gently reminded that I hadn’t and thought to myself how could that be? Sure enough I hadn’t although I could write a book about my love for Jo Malone products, I’ll stick with a large paragraph. My love for Jo Malone started a few years ago with a body wash. The flame burned a little brighter with a shampoo. Fast forward to this past spring when I was at the amazing South Coast Plaza and had my first in-store experience. I could have dropped a grand in that store easy. We had some champagne, cheese and grapes and sniffed around at all the yummy products. I actually purchased the Dark Amber and Ginger Lily cologne that day. Yes, it was over $100 but I didn’t and still don’t feel an ounce of guilt about it. It’s such a unique scent and since a little goes a long way, I’ll have it for about a year. I’ve spent $100 on face wash that lasts 3 months and only I enjoy that. I’ve received so many compliments on the Dark Amber I’ve lost count. For review I received the Lotus Blossom & Water Lily bath oil. I love the bottle it defines understated beauty. It looks so pretty in my bathroom, when it’s gone, I may fill it up with a cheap oil, just for decoration. The smell of this is enchanting. It’s not something I would normally be drawn to as I’m not a flowery scent girl but WOW do I love this. I’ve been using it as a perfume oil rather than a bath oil. It stays put all day and doesn’t make a greasy mess on my clothes. I’ve used it on my legs as a regular body oil too. I am most certain I will be buying the cologne in this as well. Once again I have no intention of feeling any guilt. I’ve tried Jo Malone candles and they are like all other JM products wonderful. Also, I can testify to Winnie and her perfume/cologne/oil issues. I’m so happy for you B that you found something that sticks.

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