September 05, 2018

Listening to Nippon Kodo Oedo Koh - Water Drop

In creating Water Drop, one of the fragrances in the Oedo Koh series, Nippon Kodo set out to capture the experience of the elegant Japanese baths of Edo - from the warm water to the perfumed lotions employed afterward. The resulting incense provides a unique listening experience indeed where the listener is easily transported to a warm, luxurious, relaxing bath!

Nippon Kodo describes Water Drop's fragrance as having "the warmth and friendly glow of the moment you step out of the bath." The remarkable nature of this fragrance is due to Water Drop focusing not just on the bath, but the whole  bathing experience, including, "... a scented lotion made with floral essences distilled using a still known as a ranbiki." This completeness sums up Water Drop: there is a water element and a "ranbiki" element that work together to complete the illusion of a luxurious spa experience in a fine Japanese bath house.

The stick note is one of elegant bath oils - slightly sweet, floral, and light. There is very little wood note here, with the focus being the ranbiki perfumed note of floral lotions and oils one would find in splendid containers on a silver tray next to the bath during a spa experience. There is a refreshing clean note, somewhat tangy with a slight hint of citrus below the soft sweet perfume. The stick essentially provides the same feel experienced in preparing for a luxurious soaking in a warm bath with all the spa accoutrements.

Once lit, Water Drop takes on a more salty, tangy, earthy fragrance. The warmth of the bath house shines through as the fragrance takes on the illusion of warm water, slightly salty with a decidedly mellow tone. The soft floral perfume of the stick is still present, but in a much more supportive nature that nearly reverses roles experienced in the unlit stick. Although every so often a sweet floral note rises to the top, the primary focus during the burn in on the warm and refreshing bath. The overall tone Water Drop provides during the burn is one of warmth, relaxation, and mellowness.

The after-note again reverses roles, bringing the floral notes back to the fore. There remains a warm sweetness to Water Drop, much like the warmth of the bath after the bathing is complete. The saltiness from the burn remains, however taking a supporting role this time to the ranbiki floral perfume. The after-note continues for some length, with the floral notes diminishing over time and the salty warmth remaining more consistently.

From its warmth, refined floral notes, and the relaxed nature of its subtle fragrance, Water Drop admirably completes the illusion of a Japanese spa experience.

 The water greets me warmly,
Fragrance mixing like watercolors.
Time vanishes from awareness.