Kouros review

Kouros was made in 1981. but that information is just facts. It could have been made 100 years before or even 100 after and still, it would be modern and hip because it is timeless. It was created by Pierre Bourdon, perfume genius, maker of Cool Water, Dolce Vita, and other perfume legends. The bottle itself is like an antique statue and if antique statues had a scent it would be Yves Saint Laurent Kouros. Both animalic and fresh and light. Dominant notes are citrus, musk, and flowers.

Why is Kouros so good?

It can’t be copied, and there’s nothing else like it. Kouros has a distinct sound, similar to that of famous singers. It only takes one drop to realize it’s him. And, like any other brilliant achievement, it is highly polarizing. People either love it or hate it, but they are never indifferent. That is a true testament to the strength of his character.

Is it reformulated?

Kouros was reformulated over the years but it never lost its personality. Uncompromisingly masculine perfume embodies man’s dual nature – animalistic and divine. I grew up with this perfume and Azzaro Pour Homme and even though I don’t use it today, I am drawn to it every time I am in a perfume shop. There aren’t that many perfumes I would call perfection, but Kouros is definitely one of them.

Many people have a very negative reaction to Kouros. Some say it smells like a public loo, urine, and feces. Blame it on the civet. Civet – which was one of the original ingredients of Kouros formula before Europe banned the use of animal-based ingredients – has that filthy, animal, sharp but oddly sexy odor. Dirtiness is a fantastic quality in perfume when done properly. It shows the duality of human nature, animal on one hand and divine on the other. Physicality with soul.

The power of wearing Kouros

Ancient Greeks said they wouldn’t trade their sculpted bodies even for a kingdom. That is exactly how a man who wears Kouros feels, like the owner of the most beautifully sculpted body, the Narcissus with biceps that tear the sleeves, a modern Juggernaut who when moved cannot be stopped. Except maybe by the greatest force in the universe, Aphrodite’s Hypnotic Poison. Yin to Kouros’ yang.

In her book Perfume, a Century of Scent, Lizzie Ostrom describes the social structure of America at the time Kouros appeared. In 1981 the world was heading for the bodybuilding revolution. Movies with skinny, lean martial art experts were out and oily, puffed guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Konan and Silvester Stallone in Rambo were in. Olivia Newton-John sang Let’s get physical, physical on the radio and Jane Fonda launched her aerobics tutorial. Everyone was obsessed with muscles, exercises, and voluminously sculpted bodies. And then this scent equivalent appeared, that embodied the idea of a perfect musculature in a perfume, bringing together the sensory impressions only genial perfume works of art can.

I suppose not much has changed since then, but men and their tastes became meeker, just like Kouros. But still, even after all these years, when someone wants to explore the very depths of masculine perfumes, Kouros is the first stop.

READ MORE ABOUT PERFUME CLASSICS: Sticky and seductive Joop Homme and Strong and uncompromising Antaeus by Chanel.

[Fragrance notes] top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, sage, coriander, laurel; middle notes: carnation, cinnamon, geranium, honey, jasmine; base notes: patchouli, iris root, moss, leather, tonka, vanilla, civet, musk, amber, vetiver.

[Fragrance group] aromatic fougere.

The perfume creator is Pierre Bourdon.