Dirty Boy: Yves Saint Laurent Kouros fragrance review

Yves Saint Laurent Kouros cologne for men

No matter where I’ve traveled outside the United States, I’ve heard fellow Americans, also on vacation or on business trips, ridicule the hygienic habits of the locals — “these people” don’t: bathe or shampoo enough, use enough (or any) deodorant, or wash their clothes correctly to remove every particle of dirt and scent…on and on. It’s no surprise that Americans, even many perfume lovers, don’t like perfumes that smell “dirty;” perfumes that contain civet, musk and castoreum come under fire, as do perfumes with a hefty dose of coriander, cedar, cumin, labdanum, costus roots or any other ingredient or mix of ingredients that produces a smell of “body odor.” One of the ‘chestnuts’ of perfume description is “It smells like a cab driver!” (Poor cab drivers, always used as examples of the unwashed.) Recently, someone said the Eau d’Hermès I was wearing smelled like a “bum” — it took just a few seconds to figure out the person was not talking about a street person but a body part: the arse.

Yves Saint Laurent’s Kouros (1981), created by Pierre Bourdon, has been hit hard with the “unclean” rap. Before smelling Kouros, I read about 100 online reviews of the fragrance. Kouros inspires rapture — or revulsion. Kouros was compared, over and over again, to the smell of urinal cakes, men’s dirty public restrooms, fecal matter, semen! Many reviewers opined that only European men (undertone: they are used to smelling funky) would dare wear Kouros.

In his upcoming book, The Perfect Scent: A Year Behind the Scenes of the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York*, Chandler Burr has a few choice words for Kouros too. Burr feels Kouros, in 2007, is “unwearable”, “unthinkable;” Kouros “is brutally not en phase.” Burr’s weirdest thought: “Kouros will get you expelled from a restaurant.” Burr feels that Kouros, like Miss Dior and Caron Yatagan, is probably best worn only by the French in France.

As the abuse piled up, I started to feel protective of Kouros. I’m often puzzled when certain perfumes are categorized, and dismissed, as being ‘old fashioned’, ‘unwearable’, ‘of an era.’ I don’t want every cologne I wear to smell “modern” just like I don’t want to listen to one type of music or wear a uniform. If a perfumer is intent on being “modern” with his or her creations that’s fine, but I don’t want my fragrance choices restricted to the here and now, a current ‘trend’ or ‘attitude.’

Kouros’ list of ingredients varies greatly from one reference source to another; the Yves Saint Laurent website lists only coriander, clove, oakmoss and ambergris. Kouros is rough, brash and hefty, and it has fistfuls of spices. On my skin, Kouros starts off with a wild medicinal/disinfectant menthol-citrus accord. As the powerful opening subsides, Kouros begins to smell of bruised orange blossoms and carnation buds dusted with spices — clove, coriander and perhaps bay leaf and cumin. As Kouros dries down on my skin, it becomes creamier and sexier — I smell a mild flowery accord, a Moby Dick-sized dollop of ambergris, leather and, every now and then, a wisp of incense (reminding me of floral incense cones from India).

Many wearers describe Kouros as “too sweet” but on me, the tonka bean-vanilla accord that appears near the end of Kouros’ development is tempered with its ever-present, dusty spice aromas. And where is the civet everyone talks about? Kouros failed my civet tests: my nose does not detect strong civet when Kouros is on my skin (perhaps that’s a failing of my nostrils), and my cat, Uncle Vanya Mandelstam, does not stalk me, meowing loudly, and try to bite me as he does when I wear civet-rich fragrances. Kouros makes a bold statement (“I. AM. STRONG. PERFUME!”) but I don’t find it obnoxious. Unlike many contemporary designer perfumes that ‘speak’ in a fast, precise, humorless, high-pitched monotone, Kouros’ speech is showy, bawdy, a bit slurred and loud. Kouros does not gently touch your forearm; it gropes you. If you like things a bit rowdy, you may like Kouros. If you’re an understated, quiet type I predict you will hate it.

Unlike many Kouros reviewers, I don’t know much about urinal cakes, but if Kouros smells like them, please provide me with a brand name so I can buy and hang a few cakes in my garage and basement! As for Kouros’ shock value in modern-day Seattle — in the week I’ve worn, and enjoyed, Kouros, not one person has asked me to leave a restaurant or has sneered at me and shouted: “Go back to France you stink-pot!”

*Quotes are from the ‘advance reader’s edition’ of The Perfect Scent.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    My lovely 64 year old Jamaican step-dad wears Kouros as his signature scent. It suits him perfectly. But then, he is living in decadent old Europe… ;-)

  2. Anonymous says:

    I love Kouros. I don't get any urinal cake in it at all. MKK, on the other hand is chock full of urinal cake to my nose. I don't own it or wear it because it is so extremely masculine and makes me feel uncomfortable…but I still love it!
    As for Chandler Burr, how could he say that? I have read so many of his reviews and I read the “Emperor of Scent” and all I can is that I won't waste another minute reading his writing. If I remember correctly, he absolutely loathed M7. Somebody needs to take away his credentials…ooops, I guess he doesn't have any!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Kelley, thanks, and apologies for censoring!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Leopoldo: You Europeans are given SO much leeway in what you can wear and get away with! HA! K

  5. Anonymous says:

    Kelley: (Burr does loathe M7) Kouros is very masculine, but I bet some women could get away with wearing it…Grace Jones for instance!. To my nose, MKK is MUCH more 'in your face' with the civet, musks, cumin than Kouros is. Kevin

  6. Anonymous says:

    How very strange. I've seen Chandler Burr's comments about Kouros and its unwearability due to the civet. I don't get it.
    I really like Kouros on a chap. It reminds me of its heyday back in the 80s, when it was very popular among young men of my acquaintance. It was a bit powerful when first applied but absolutely lovely when worn in and a real pleasure if a boyfriend ever leant me a jumper that smelled of it. To me it's warm and snuggly. (But yes, I'm European.I like a bit of stink.)
    Also, it's very very similar to Creed's Orange Spice.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Excellent review– you've completely intrigued me. I'm 50/50 on Burr's reviews– I certainly don't think Coco Mlle deserved 5 stars (in the NY Times). Your cat bites you when you wear civet? Brilliant! ;)

  8. Anonymous says:

    Kevin, I really appreciate the deft way you've sketched the American obsession with hygiene/class and it's connection to our (mainstream) fragrance preferences (not to mention xenophobia). Makes me feel all the more grateful for our skanky little cyber-holdout spaces…
    There's so much *fear* underlying that obsessiveness…and it's paired with so much defensive agression (thinking of Hummers as the perfect example of both).
    Even more than fragrance, I feel sad about the way this translates to the food industry. I just want to scream when I see the way American children are treated as though its natural for them to want bland, processed, oversalted/sweetened food. It just isn't. I was at a Taiwanese cafe the other day and saw a three-year-old happily scarfing down shiny black ribbons of preserved seaweed with his Dad.
    I wonder if all those “clean” fragrances are the overprocessed olfactory equivalent of frozen chicken fingers and mass-produced plain cheese pizza?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wordbird: You're right about the Orange Spice! I really love the Kouros dry-down, and even like the wild opening minutes. K

  10. Anonymous says:

    P.S. That is one of the best names for a cat EVER. It's running neck and neck with my favorite: The Holy Golden Monkey.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nikki: My cat is quite wild-eyed and CRUEL when I wear civet. I can't figure if he's MAD at me/jealous for having some “hidden civets” in the house or if he HATES the smell.

  12. Anonymous says:

    AHTX: I see your point…there are so many processed “cheese-food” and doughy white bread fragrances on our perfume shelves, aren't there?

  13. Anonymous says:

    AHTX: LOVE cats that look/act like monkeys!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Our annual Xmas party was once held in a new restaurant opened by the mother of one of the people in the company. When we arrived to meet her, I remember thinking, Poor woman. She's worked all day and hasn't had time to shower and maybe even forgot her deodorant. When I later smelled the same scent on a co-worker, I asked what it was. Well, her husband loved it but she was French Canadian after all. It was the original Bulgari. It's that vanilla cumin combo that smells like stale sweat that some would interpret as sexy. But, I am a HUGE fan of Bulgari Aqua. So perhaps we on the Wet (and I mean wet) Coast of N.A. are the happy medium between the people in Europe who prefer scents with depth and staying power and the people in Japan who like really light clean scents.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Celestia: I do think cumin is a most hated ingredient by Americans…even more than musk. I guess in the US we should always LOOK ultra-fresh when we wear a cuminy scent?

  16. Anonymous says:

    You all make dirty sound sooo good! LOL!

    I'm just not *there* with you yet, but I love the smell of cumin when I cook with it, so there's hope!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Rose: tis a short step from eating cumin to applying it to skin…you are ALMOST THERE!!!!! K

  18. Anonymous says:

    Chandler said that about Kouros? And Miss Dior?! Hmph! I guess I should switch citizenship. Adore both. An ex used to wear Kouros and I thought the dry down was pure heaven on him – didn't love the top notes, but wasn't offended by them either. I've even worn Kouros myself a few times for nostalgia's sake and enjoyed it. I actually find I rarely like scents which are too clean. My favorites all are just a bit (or a lot) skanky. I *adore* cumin and can't think of a single cumin heavy scent I dislike. Very clean scents seem too bright and sanitized to me – sunny, midday scents w/out any interesting shadowy sides. They also seem to lack the primal comfort factor I like in scents (well, my personal idea of primal comfort). I do, however, habitually underapply scents, so have yet to have anyone glare at me or kick me out of a restaurant.
    LOVE your cat's name. :-)

  19. Anonymous says:

    I was pretty naive when I first got involved with perfume, and did not realize that cumin was a “dirty” scent. I love it in food, and thought of it as more gourmand than anything else. I was wearing Rochas Femme (the new formulation) to work. It still does not strike me as that physical a smell, unlike, say, civet. As you say, perhaps the solution is to look as clean-cut and spiffy as possible to avoid people thinking we're just unwashed.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Great review. And an even better Kouros ad you placed there also…wow, the Kouros doesn't make me think of dirty things but that Kouros model does. :)

    Seriously, I wore Kouros in the 80's as a teen and probably over applied it and loved it anyway. To my nose, I'm a little burnt out on it. But maybe for sh*ts and giggles I'll reapply a little to see how my new 'trained' nose feels about it after all of these years.

    I adore Burr's reviews (most of the time) but yes I think his scorn for Kouros is a little heaby handed.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Exist: Probably to be thought “dirty” is the worst thing in our society…I wonder if people automatically associate cumin with sweat/body scent? I've worn really cuminy/cedary scents and have people RAVE…till someone in the room, I could smack 'em, says: “But it smells like SWEAT.” Then the person who initially liked the perfume RECOILS. HA!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Elle: I'm with you…if a scent's too clean I'm just bored and a little annoyed…I think I'll do a CIVET post soon and have Uncle Vanya as the Cover Boy! K

  23. Anonymous says:

    Mike: yes, the Kouros models are always quite, a-hem, fetching aren't they? THEY certainly don't look unwashed either. Do give it a try again…esp. if it's been years since you wore it. I found Kouros very pleasant to wear…I think many people went overboard in their disdain and talk of its 'filthy' 'repellant' aspect. I could name quite a few scents that have come out in the last few years that are far more 'dirty'…and plan to review one of them soon. K

  24. Anonymous says:


    Your wonderfully named civet-hating cat ought to meet Inky, my flamboyantly diva-esque cat/human who loathes musk. She has decreed that all heavy musk scents should go, so she licks them off of me or she wrinkles her nose, rears up, and dramatically exits the room in a huff. Or she beats up her older brother who is not very tough or good at self defense. Most often the latter.

    I am one of the few Americans, it seems, and probably the only American woman, who enjoys a bit of skank in real life scents and in the odors of the natural environment. Unlike Inky, I like a good whiff of musk as well as castoreum and civet. I feel one of the greatest scents in the world is a man with a light sheen of sweat, and a room just after vigorous sex is far better without Oust, Glade, scented candles, or even those newfangled scent diffuser sticks-in-a-jar that do f***-all beyond a radius of six inches.

    You should have seen the reactions the day I sprayed a little Kouros on my feminine wrists. All those Febreezed noses wrinkled with horror and disdain. “Ewwwwww!” After all this is the country that offers feminine deodorants, and I'm not talking about for the armpit area.

    Agreed with always-wise and always-tasteful MikePerez that the male model in the Kouros ad you chose is, uh, inspiring! Does anyone have his email address?

    ::fans face vigorously::

  25. Anonymous says:

    Apparently I likes me some poop, because when I was about 14 I fell in love with Kouros and bought it for all the men in my life (N=3, two brothers and one father). I smelled it again a month or two ago and it merely struck me as clean. I'm bewildered by this classification of Kouros as animalistic and dirty. As I said… I guess I likes me some poop.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Aesthetica: HA! I'm afraid I do NOT have the model's email address or even the name of his modeling agency! You are not alone in loving “skanky” scents but you may be a rare woman that proudly wears them out and about. I've read so many perfume loving women on blogs who'll write that they use musky, cuminy scents “in the privacy of my home”! Or call such scents “my private passion.” Such furtiveness!!!!!!!! (and I learned my lesson about letting Uncle Mandelstam LICK my arms when I wear civet: he'll actually BITE me, REALLY bite me as he smells my arms with his mouth wide open, breathing heavily. SCARY

  27. Anonymous says:

    I remember in the movie “Breathless” starring Richard Gere, his character asked the herione to not wash after sex because he wanted her to smell like they'd just had it! Could this have been a way of marking his territory or showing his male bravado?

    And as for the yummy Kouros male model, the point where the photo was cropped was an, ahem, interesting choice…

  28. Anonymous says:

    I would imagine there is a kind of pheromonal “marking” aspect, but a LOT of men — and women? — just dig that smell for its own sake. Maybe not so many in America, and probably many keep that predilection a secret from their bros, but seriously, they do in private. Not to get too much naughty, but the odor of “ladyparts” is adored by many around the world, and honey — yes honey! — is said to simulate the odor to the point that traditionally, high priced courtesans would use honey as a perfume (they also used eau de ladyparts). If you doubt me, get a good whiff of Miel de Bois from Lutens and Sheldrake, never ones to, um, pussyfoot around strong odors.

    AND YES! that photo cropping does draw one's attention downwards an, um, dangle the forbidden fruit just out of reach, so to speak. ;)

  29. Anonymous says:

    Celestia: I'm sure there was no “choice” involved in the cropping…that is if they wanted to use the ad in the US! Now, what we're missing in the Kouros ad WAS present in “Breathless” wasn't it? Or did Gere just show his stuff in “American Gigolo”?

  30. Anonymous says:

    You should rename Uncle Mandelstam Chandler. I think Mr Burr dislikes Civet as well. Whether he bites and sniffs with his mouth open is anyone's guess.

    And yes I challenge all women bloggers to stand tall and wear their stinky fumes proudly! Vive la stank!

    They could even *gasp* try going a day without showering and see what interesting smells develop. Or skipping the deodorant just once and sniff. a few hours later That might be asking too much, though.

  31. Anonymous says:

    WW: I wonder if the formula's been tweaked in the last 27 years? Surely it has been. It would be interesting if someone knew the 1981 Kouros and could tell us how the current version stacks up. I don't smell anything fecal in the current mix either.

  32. Anonymous says:

    i love kouros – it smells like a soft mix of nag champa incense and other spices on my skin. i get compliments on it, too. being half-french, i am so tired of hearing all the american digs at the supposed body odor of the french (and other non-americans, actually). as if the entire culture were unwashed and stinky. lord knows i've smelled many a ripe and unwashed body living right here in america. it's not like other countries have a lock on it. we just have greater paranoia about smelling “bad.” witness all the feminine hygiene products and body powders and sprays for both sexes. heaven forbid you smell human and animal and alive. better you smell like starch or detergent or something else synthetic and “clean.”

    i don't know, maybe it's because of my genetics that i love perfumes like kouros – and can wear them without raising eyebrows. i have always preferred the french perfume aesthetic over the american. and i'm glad to hear pierre bourdon did kouros – i seem to have an affiinity for his creations.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Aesthetica, you posted a comment here that had a huge link that stretched the page…sorry but I've deleted it. If you want to repost using tinyurl, please do.

  34. Anonymous says:

    so true. And Ironically the stinkiest people i've ever met were American…and not cab drivers, either! And I've been told by those who've met them that Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp and the star of a top rated sitcom don't bathe regularly. Hey wait, Depp moved to Paris, didn't he!? Probably run out of town by people bearing ptchforks and spraying him with Febreeze and Right Guard,

    I think it's part of that streak of puritanism in American. Fear and loathing of that sinful ly human yet slightly bestial side of us all. Simply spray wash and clean it away and our sins are washed away along with them. Halleiuja!

  35. Anonymous says:

    oh oops sorry, thought it would wrap. Oh well it was very dirty anyway, probably best to shield you all frrom such naughtiness.

  36. Anonymous says:

    I will freely admit to being what is known in Britain as a soap dodger. In cool weather I often go a couple of days between baths and no-one seems to mind. I often wear yesterdays t-shirt too and who wears a pair of jeans just once?

    Does this all make me a nasty old skank? I don't think so. I may not be 'cotton fresh' at all times, but I don't reek of BO and I change my underwear daily.

    And I'm not alone in this cavalier attitude that I'm sure is making some US readers feel faint. Most Brits I know don't shower or bath every day. If you don't get sweaty or dirty during the day, you don't really need a full bath or shower. A bit of a wash of the bits that aren't posh and you're good.

    Does this mean I can sit next to Brad and Johnny now?

  37. Anonymous says:

    No you can't sit next to Brad and Johnny because that's here I'm sittng. :-D

    Here in Los Angeles, only the unnaturally beautiful are allowed to go unwashed without drawing crowds of jeering villagers with pitchforks and burning torches. Being both unwashed and fat is, I believe, listed in the Los Angeles County penal code as a felony. I won't tell you what they do to those who are unwashed, fat, and also with big noses, wrinkles, stretchmarks, and/or acne because it's too too shocking.

    Wordbird, I remember enjoying getting away with a couple of days without a bath during my years in England. The cool (arctic) weather makes it a lot easier to skip a wash. The possibility of freezing to death in the process of the toilette also encouraged this practice. Here in the Southwest of the US of daisy-fresh A it gets very warm, even in what we like to call “Winter”, so going au naturale gets challenging. I commend Mr Pitt and Mr Depp for their commendable SoCal natural fragrance efforts.

    And yes, Wordbird, I imagine many American readers of this comment thread are getting the vapors and retiring to their fainting chaises, fanning themselves briskly and calling for a moistened washcloth for their forehead.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I'll take the model in the ad wrapped with a large bow stat, thanks.

    That's all.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Yep, the man who wears this is very PRESENT in the room and when goes he leaves some strong trail behind… it's a territorium thing…

    I do like it but I like M7 better.

    Chandler Burr is all about trends and trends are a big part of his income.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Minette: I love the Indian incense vibe in Kouros too. And what pray tell is stinkier than some American man coated in AXE bodyspray? I'm for smelling “human” too..but I am obsessive about CLEAN HAIR and scalp! HA!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Wordbird: I don't think Americans know much about washing just “bits and pieces”…thus the raised eyebrows and consternation when faced with a bidet!

  42. Anonymous says:

    Marianne: I like M7 better too but I'm glad YSL headlines Kouros on its American website…where it features only two men's scents: Kouros and L'homme.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Ah, I didn't know that. Too bad.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Would love to see a list with e.g. 25 most interesting fragrances for men.

    Have a strong impression that mens fragrances are somehow of better quality and just more classic in general. Could be so because there are too many produced for women in too short a period of time.

    Where is the men's list!? ;)

  45. Anonymous says:

    What would the bow be wrapped around? lol

  46. Anonymous says:

    oh drat. This was supposed to be a response to eminere™ post as follows:

    “I'll take the model in the ad wrapped with a large bow stat, thanks.

    That's all.”

  47. Anonymous says:

    Marianne: putting together a 25 Best Men's Fragrances list would be a nightmare — the choices!! HA!

  48. Anonymous says:

    Exactly..! I don't know much, lead me through the jungle!

    Today I stood at Marionnaud and looked at a wall of very promising bottles..

    Help me out, start with the 'stinkers'. I like Kouros and I do not like soft stuff that is hardly noticable.. The great thing with the men's perfumes is that they can be so powerfull so greatly present.

    Personally I fall for the oriental stuff like Boucheron Homme, Jean Paul Gaulthier Le Male and Bogart One Man Show, but there is more so much more…

  49. Anonymous says:

    Could be worse…you could wear Paris 1738 or Human Existence from the Parfum coffret…

  50. Anonymous says:

    Kevin: I think you're right. Gere only revealed all in “American Gigolo”. And yes, I agree that there is nothing horrible about “that” smell. I wonder how many have tried to bottle it?

    The ads for Shalimar a few years ago came with three options: the model for Europe was nude with her hair cascading down over her breasts. For the North American market, the nipples were air-brushed. For the Middle East, she was wearing a light cardigan. So we're all different in our customs and taste in odours and that's what makes the world so interesting.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I'll step up, too – I don't shower daily unless it's over 30 decrees Celsius outside (certainly not now, when the temp in my bathroom rarely rises over 15). With an effective deodorant it takes a lot more than some days without a shower to begin to smell funky in cold climates, or anywhere, I imagine; serious body odour takes time to develop.

    I wear clothes more than once, too. Washing everything between every use is a huge, unnecessary waste of water, energy and other resources, and it's not good for the garments, either. They age and get worn out much faster that way, which in it's turn leads to more waste of resources, because you have to buy new ones more often.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Tim: TRUE…but those are “reality” scents…little experiments, like couture on runways, that would never make it to market.

  53. Anonymous says:

    kevin – i am that way about hair and scalp, too! i'd rather smell underarm odor than someone's unwashed hair and scalp. i just don't like that smell for some reason. now i'm going to have to figure out why…

    agreed, it's much easier go without a shower if it's cold and dry out. growing up, i remember my french mother always talking about taking “spanish baths” – her euphemism for washing bits and pieces. have also heard them called spritz baths, french baths, and of course, whore's baths. very few american homes have bidets – so the idea of washing just bits and pieces really is foreign here.

  54. Anonymous says:

    In defense of the overshowered Americans (I guess I'm one of them):

    – I have to have clean hair at least every morning, stinky hair is sexy on no one.

    – I have to wash down below regularly, everyone agrees on this one!

    – Gotta wash the feet, see hair comment.

    – Face washing for obvious reasons.

    Just for practical reasons I can't see using a handheld shower to just wash my hair, then a bidet (that I don't have) for below, a tub foot bath, and then washing my face over the sink. All that hassle to preserve my potentially sexy natural scent?! LOL! I think I'll stick to a daily shower. But I promise not to wrinkle my nose and be judgey if you don't. :)

    *For the record, I'm not one of those who jumps up to shower after the deed and then bleaches the sheets or walks around spraying febreeze to homoginize all the surfaces in my house. There are few things that smell as sexy as a man who's been working hard outdoors or the salty, sticky sweat you get at the beach. A little funk, at the right time (not at the office please) is very nice.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Rose, I couldn't agree more. My favourite male scent of all is just of a healthy, handsome, hard-working man straight home from his job painting houses, after a good romp 'tween the sheets. Better than a gallon of Kouros.

  56. Anonymous says:

    Ladies, please, contain yourselves!

  57. Anonymous says:

    What still surprises me is Kouros' staying power. I sprayed one good spray to the back of my hand yesterday, and this morning (20 hours, several hand washes and a shower later) the sweet base note is still readily apparent. In fact, I think the shower actually revived it!

    It's taken me a while to come around to Kouros, but I now love it. It will sit proudly on my shelf beside Yatagn (my favourite), Antaeus, Santos and Smalto PH. Powerhouses one and all!

  58. Anonymous says:

    JA: Yatagan is great…and I have to retry Antaeus…it's been YEARS since I smelled it. Kouros lasts FOREVER doesn't it…and I love the drydown.

  59. Anonymous says:


    You should try Antaeus. I prefer it to Kouros, although it's only a matter of degrees. I think the dry-down of Antaeus is similar to Kouros – albeit a little bit darker – but it shares the same creamy texture. Both are masterpieces.

    I bought my first bottle of Kouros yesterday, on sale as part of a left-over-from-Christmas gift box at Boots, so I got a 50ml bottle and shower gel for about 2/3 the standard price of the bottle alone. Given Kouros' staying power (in this area it's better than Antaeus), this should last a very, very long time.

    I also invested (and I do mean invested) in a bottle of l'Artisan's L'Eau de Navagateur, which is like the wild and wayward brother of Antaeus and Kouros – what an astonishing scent.

    I understand this has been discontinued, so I was surprised and delighted to find two bottles in a store nearby. Unfortunately they were both 100ml, so I had to pay full whack for it – but it's worth every penny! Another masterpiece…

    I'm debating going back for the other bottle. Is it really that hard to find? Will it keep unopened if I store one away?

  60. Anonymous says:

    JA: I do think Navigateur is difficult to come by and if you LOVE it…why not buy the other bottle? I am still kicking myself over THREE scents that I didn't stock up on as they petered out of favor. And as long as you keep the bottles in a cool DARK place they will last a LONG LONG time. I'll try Antaeus the next chance I get, K

  61. Anonymous says:

    Woo! I sampled this a few days ago, got RAVE reviews of it from everyone I spoke to (everyone preferred it over my current obsession, Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir – try it!) and just purchased it on a shopping trip today! I'm so excited to wear it, and turn heads (it is a thrillingly odd smell to get a whiff of on a 24 year old person, these days, I think).

  62. Anonymous says:

    jczelyph: glad you like it…and you will NOT smell it on many other people around you, especially most men in their early 20s.

  63. Anonymous says:

    But I'am “an understated, quiet type”, and I love Kouros! And I'm a woman! My boyfriend says that Kouros is “too much”,
    but I consider to buy it for myself. And I do smell civet in it. After reading about your Uncle Vanya Mandelstam (love his name :) ) I gave to my cat, Mr. Chatulsky, to smell my wrist sprayed with Kouros some two hours ago. And what you think he did?
    He licked that spot!

  64. Anonymous says:

    lenika: yep, cats go for those civet fragrances. I get up at 4:15 am for work and if I'm wearing a civet scent on a given day I wait till I'm out of the house before putting in on…otherwise I'm attacked!

  65. megank4 says:

    Oh my goodness. My boss (yep, a Frenchman living in France) wears this and it smells fantabulous. I want to put my nose in his neck and sniff. Which is probably not appropriate employee-employer behavior, but for that moment I don’t think I would care….

  66. bayo says:

    please anyone,can you tell me the name for the male model for the kouros perfume.pls send a mail titled “kouros model” to ekuns007@yahoo.com

  67. marios.georgiou says:

    I first smell this perfume in the early 80’s as my brother used it. Then, after 3-4 year and when I was a kid, I used it also a bit. Those days all perfumes were for everybody, not mature or young guys’ perfumes. Then, late 90’s my first boss was using this everyday but it was stinging on him. Now, I decided to give it a try after 20 years and I was surprised how I like this perfume although I never beleived that I will buy this staff again. Now is my favouride perfume and will use it always, perhaps it matches my skin in an unbeatable way!! Fantastic but not for anyone! The true masculine perfume!

  68. fastred1 says:

    I am trying to find Kouros in a splash bottle, not a spray. I read on basenotes (http://www.basenotes.net/threads/229338-Kouros-Second-Chance) that there was a splash bottle, but I’m having trouble finding it.

    I see this site, but how do I know if it’s legit?

    Thanks for any help!

  69. Owen says:

    when did Kouros launch? they have it on Boots.com but I’ve only heard of it today so I have no idea if they’ll have it in store.

    I want to try this, I know I’ll probably hate but still.
    the eau de toilette has 2reviews on Boots.com. one gave 5stars saying “A wonderful powerful fragrance that lasts and lasts”.

    the other gave 1star saying “A dry, woody smell, great for early mornings and late evenings – Yet the aftr-smell has a kind of ‘cat urine odour’ about it. Will not be buying again”.

    • Owen says:

      oh, 1981 it says at the top of the page. silly me.

      I was in Boots today and was suprised to find Kouros so I tested the edt on the back of my hand AND IT WON’T COME OFF! I wish I’d have sprayed it one paper now I hate Kouros, it doesn’t really evoke anger in me but I can smell the faint resemblance of urine.

      it’s disgusting I feel I have to wash my hands every ten minutes and when I first sprayed it I felt sick, it actually made me gip.
      I’ve been trying to wash it off all day. I can’t think straight with it on.
      Kouros gives me a splitting headache, it’s so strong and unforgiving I don’t know why it’s still on the shelves.

      and “some wearers find it too sweet”, they definitley HAVEN’T smelled sweet perfume then, Kouros is without a doubt the DARKEST thing I have EVER smelled. hmm maybe it does evoke a little anger in me.

  70. Subhuman says:

    Chandler Burr, though an excellent writer, has a few rather bizarre opinions on scents. Sometimes I’ll read a review of his, smell the scent under review, and have an “Aha!” moment when I see exactly where he’s coming from, and thereafter experience the scent from a wonderful new angle. Other times I wonder if he mixed up his scent samples.

    The way he describes Kouros, both online and in print, baffles me. I get no feces, urine (feline or otherwise), civet, or semen from Kouros. I do get strong notes of sage, coriander, and a dusting of cumin, which perhaps may explain some of Kouros’ “dirty” connotations, and there is a hint of a milky, slightly animalic undertone (the ambergris?). But overall, I find Kouros a soapy, spicy, floral, incense-y, and musky delight, much softer and subtler than its reputation would have me believe, and with a sunlit, almost overexposed Mediterranean aura. I wore it almost daily last summer – it works brilliantly in the heat.

    • Owen says:

      I get urine, I dont know if it’s cat. and just dark and dirty, I was about to say poo but it doesn’t smell like feces, just reminds me of the smell of it.

      I can’t believe it actually sells.

  71. coffeecup says:

    I just love this scent. but yes, sometimes it is difficult to wear it. I prefer it in spring, for a long walk.

  72. sugarplum says:

    Rcently tried a decant and had the wildest dream about long weekends in bed with my 1st boyfriend; scent memories don’t get more powerful than this. I also layered it under Shalimar which might be the most potent sex potion ever.

  73. Jared P says:

    I bought myself a bottle on a flight back from france. Kouros might be strong, and even slightly medicinal, but it is riveting! I’m the sort who usually sticks to understated scents, but this one might just change me.

  74. GMK. says:

    I must adore the way you defined kouros… probably the best review i have ever read about it.

    keep it up

  75. GMK. says:

    Fecal and urinal odor is due the ambergris imo thats produced from the digestive gland of a whale which is obviously so potent……..

  76. marios.georgiou says:

    Kevin hi, need your assistance…what other civet fragrances you suggest me for men? hard to find civet today…beyond from kouros, Jicky/mouchoir. Can you please help? Mainstream or niche, thank you for your support.

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