Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Judging by the passionate colours of the fluidly designed phallic yet curvy bottles, I was really expecting something powerfully seductive. Instead, what I got from KenzoAmour was a cuddly synthesis of gourmand suggestions, what is now known as “comfort scent” – the olfactory equivalent of a chocolate, ice cream or a bag of chips on a lonely Friday night, watching cartoons on the couch and wearing pyjamas with matching cartoon character prints.

Kenzo Amour starts with a confusing floral bouquet – nondescript, abstract, utterly synthetic florals labeled as frangipani and cherry blossom. I smell a hint of rose and powder that is a faint déjà vu of FlowerbyKenzo – one of Kenzo’s greatest hits. There is an underlining of powder and musk. The heart notes dive into a concoction of cherries and steamed rice, in a dessert connotation such as rice dumpling or a fluffy coconut bun sprinkled with crushed raw peanuts; And a rather gentle suggestion of cherries – somewhat like a subdued version of Lutens’ Rahat Loukum. What saves me from drowning in sweetness is a slightly tart note, which I cannot quite place my nose on, and might be the white tea notes.

I was really expecting for something truly new from Kenzo Amour, and instead I got quotes from different perfumes: The base is powdery musk and vanilla, as in Flower, or the signature dry down of the Ormonde Jayne line (The tartness of Amour reminds me of the pink pepper and dates notes in Ta’if, and the steam rice recalls the basmati rice in Champaca). Also, it is also not far off from other mass-marketed scents such as Armani’s Mania and Code.

As for the beautiful packaging and bottles - this is quite a clever marketing stunt: three bottles of the same fragrance, in three different colours and slightly different shapes. These look great next to each other in the ads. But in reality, they look like an interesting take on clean Scandinavian and/or Japanese design gone affordable and sold at IKEA, after being molded into cheap plastic or ceramics, or worst yet – adapted into leather couches. I almost bought into it, and first bought the large freesia coloured bottle, only to discover that in this size it looks more like a vase than a perfume flacon – and the colour is all wrong, it’s orange and plasticky looking (anyways, when displayed on its own…). I suggest starting small, with the fuchsia bottle, which is truly adorable. However, when it comes to functionality, these beautiful designs can act rather odd: the elongated neck of the lid creates the peculiar feeling of gabbing onto a drumstick, prepared for a juicy bite… (well, it is juicy, actually…).

Notes: Cherry Blossom, Frangipani, White Tea, Steamed Rice, Thanaka Wood, Vanilla, Musk Perfumer: Daphne Bugey
Bottle design: Karim Rachid
Box design: Research Studios

Images and information about notes and designers adapted from Kenzo's website.

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At September 19, 2006 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ayala
I haven't sniffed it, won't probably either, but I must admit that the packaging concept and the images used for marketing: These I like a lot!

At September 20, 2006 8:30 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

The campaign is stunnning and very well done. I lurve the colours!
Unfortunatley it has very little to do with the fragrance. You should give it a try though, just to see how it's done (meaning: image and fragrance discrepencies).

At September 20, 2006 9:33 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Seriously gorgeous campaign and seriously boring scent that was gone in few seconds on me.

At September 20, 2006 11:40 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

This lasted well on me, but as far as interest goes - just put the jammies on, yawn and cuddle back in bed... This is not something to wake anybody up from a winter hybernation...

At September 21, 2006 5:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so excited & couldn´t hardly wait to test Amour - and then...I was kind of disappointed :(
I think it just doesn´t smell very exciting at all, I don´t get any fragnipani from it, it´s rather linear smelling from beginnig to end. (By the way, lasting power is amazing.)
On my skin it smells very synthetic & reminds me a lot of Escada Magnetism.
Amour´s not really bad, but I must admit that I don´t like it very much.

At September 21, 2006 7:26 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Malena, I agree with you - it's very synthetic, and while it is not a bad fragrance (in fact it is pleasant), it is downright disappointing. It's just nothing original (which the packaging is, and therefore sets up an expectation). Also the campaign is misleading me to think this is something a lot more special than it is. Haven't tried Escada Magnetism yet (I smelled it briefly), all I remember about it is that it's the only Escada some perfume afficiando will get near their delicate nose!
(in other words: I must give it a try soon).

At September 25, 2006 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have smelled the scent only as a sample and find it inoffensive. it's not something i would wear.
i just wanted to say that the bottle seems like a rip-off of the shiseido feminite du bois bottle.
that's all. (great blog, btw, ayala :-)


At September 25, 2006 10:07 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

It is inoffensive, in fact pleasant. Not something that would make me feel excited about though. There are so many other, better comfort scntes that I would rather wear.

Good point about the Feminite du Bois flagiarism. It is similar. The vibrant colours are visually arresting.

Glad you like my blog - hope to see you here again!



At August 02, 2009 10:49 AM, Blogger BeyondBeautiful... said...

my friend just came back from italy and brought me a bottle and the sent is divine and i love the packaging... the hummingbird is my favorite bird!


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