The Internet is absolutely amazing.
It makes it possible to keep in touch with people who live hundreds of miles away. It make it possible for everyone to be an expert on everything.
But one of the truly beautiful things about the WWW is the way it can connect cultures. On any given day this very blog receives hits from Singapore, Slovakia, Canada, the United States, Belgium, Egypt, Ecuador, and lots of other countries I’ve never even been to!
This really is the Global Village.
The really great thing about this is that it makes it much easier to embrace things that you don’t really have at home. Reindeer meat in Finland, wild safari animals in Africa, and Korean K-pop are tiny in the great scale of things, but extraordinary to outsiders.
Another of those things is the Japanese lotus, and the symbolism it holds. Not only is it a symbol of Buddhism, of which two thirds of Japanese are affiliated with, but it is also a metaphor for attaining enlightenment. They say that the birth of the lotus flower from the murky waters and then its death are representative of our own life cycle.
The apple blossom is also a Japanese icon, perhaps as much as the cherry blossom. Both trees typically bloom in spring and symbolize the ephemeral human life, and entire festivals are dedicated to the phenomenon.
Today’s review is for a product that borrows from all of that cultural symbolism to create a fragrance experience.
This is the Bath & Body Works 88 mL Tokyo Lotus & Apple Blossom fine fragrance mist, which retails for $6.
I’m all for uniform packaging, but sometimes the pastel hues of fragrances and their clear glass bottles can get a tad repetitive. That’s why I love that for the World Gardens collection Bath & Body Works chose colourful, unique patterns for their packaging. The bottle for Tokyo Lotus & Apple Blossom is clear in colour, long and narrow in shape, with a clear plastic cap on top of a bright red atomizer. There is a wrap-around sticker on the bottle with a bronze design of arches, which when held upside down reminds me of the Japanese torii (“bird abode”), a gate that marks the transition into the sacred. There is an orange flower that resembles a rounded lotus in the middle of the bottle with the fragrance name, and the concentration and bottle size is printed under that. The back has the bar code and the rest of the information is on a small sticker on the bottom of the bottle. The fluid is red-hued in colour, and the sprayer works accurately.
The Bath & Body Works website description reads:
Experience the joyful rush of cherry red lotus & Japanese apple blossom, uplifted by crisp mandarin zest & imperial peony petals.
After hearing the name I thought, oh great, another fruity floral. But this isn’t that, it’s something else entirely. When I first sprayed it I was dumbfounded; it smelled exactly like another World Gardens fragrance, Morocco Orchid & Pink Amber. It has the same type of honey note that is sleepy and floral, but this one was much woodsier, like there were fragrant twigs dipped in honey stuffed into the bottle. When the scent evolved a bit it became rather floral, but lightly so, the way Morocco Orchid is. It’s got a red apple sweetness, and a pang of saltiness like ocean-side wind. In the dry down there’s a whole bunch of incense, and the effect is exotic and comforting, a sort of lightweight lady’s perfume, but watered down. It’s the type of fragrance you’d enjoy smelling on someone’s skin, easily become addicted to.
Projection wise, this mist is alright. It’s not like it screams and yells and calls attention to itself, but it’s better than some. Longevity is poor, but that’s what you tend to get with this low a concentration.
Verdict: From the two scents that I’ve tried from this collection, Bath & Body Works knocked it out of the park. The scents are lovely, sophisticated, and unique. I recommend it, although as usual, my main complaint is that not all B&BW scents are available as EDT/EDP, which makes them difficult to pull off.
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