Jo Wood Organics Usiku EDT is a natural smelling unisex fragrance that lacks floral notes. If you like the smell of essential oils but want something a bit “lighter” than give this one a try. Jo Wood’s website describes the fragrance as “a sensual, spicy, woody, and earthy fragrance”. Usiku means “night” in Swahili.
The fragrance is surprisingly light wearing on me. I applied it after shower and found that I couldn’t smell it underneath the overwhelming aroma of Aveda hair products that I use. At first the fragrance smells so vaguely familiar. I guess it is the ginger. I used to make myself a ginger splash to wear in summer as a teenager. It reminded me of a ginger essential oil that I used to “water” down (and my organic ginger body spray costs much less than Usiku). I get foody cardamom. I love cardamom in fragrances. The fragrance wears very gingery on me. It’s warm and spicy with the faintest hint of spice. I get clove and nutmeg. These spices add a “numbing” quality to the fragrance, making me crave clove chewing gum. The dry down is earthy, fresh, and somewhat creamy thanks to a gentle dose of vanilla. Resting on the vanilla is a fresh vetiver. But, mainly on me it is creamy vanilla. And the ginger never leaves my skin. I still gets lots of ginger with the vanilla. I would easily say that Usiku is a ginger fragrance all the way down to the core. But, not a dessert or baked ginger, a refreshing “fresh” ginger, think ginger root essential oils here.
I really do not see this as a “sensual” fragrance. I can’t really explain why. It just smells very laid-back to me with no frills. I can see how laid-back is sexy. I see Usiku as an everyday fragrance. I guess when I think of “sensual” fragrances, I think of heavier fragrances or “special occasion” fragrances like Guerlain pure parfums or sexy woodsy Arabian perfume oils.. This one is spicy but not heavy. The ginger seems fresh. The fragrance wears closely to the skin and is light-wearing. I guess it’s sexy because it’s an intimate fragrance. You have to be close to the person wearing it. This is a spice fragrance that one could get away wearing in the summer or in warmer climates as well as in the cooler months.
I find that this scent is a bit of a chameleon on me. It changes every time that I wear it. Some of the notes stand out more, but the notes are rarely consistent. I can say that my skin really holds on to the ginger and cardamom. That being said, I feel you should give it a try before buying. Shouldn’t you try all fragrances before buying? This fragrance doesn’t wear very long me. I feel that it really doesn’t develop in each stage because the lifespan of the fragrance is so brief. I get maybe 2 hours wear out of this. I really have to try hard to smell it. Jo Wood Organics Usiku doesn’t “wow” me and I’m not crazy about how it wears on my skin. But, you already know that I’m a bit sensitive when it comes to ginger. It seems that I only want to wear those “gingerbread” scents.
Notes listed include: rosemary, pine needle, cardamom, ginger, coriander, clove, Morroccan cedarwood, patchouli, vetiver, and vanilla.
I say to give this one a try if you are looking for an organic fragrance that isn’t your usual single note essential oils or you are looking for an organic fragrance that is spicy ginger sans florals or if you like Aveda fragrances, Molton Brown fragrances, Origins Ginger Essence, Jo Malone Nutmeg & Ginger Cologne, Annick Goutal Mandragore, Diptyque L’Eau de L’Eau and/or DSH Bancha EDP.
A 1.7 oz. bottle retails for $95. Other bath products are available. UPDATE: Product has been discontinued.