Kenzo Amour Indian Holi ~ fragrance review

Kenzo Amour Indian Holi perfume

Amour Indian Holi is Kenzo's new limited edition flanker for 2006's Kenzo Amour fragrance. It's named for the Indian Festival of Colors, and the original Amour juice has been reworked by perfumers Daphne Bugey and Olivier Cresp. Additions to the mix include rose, peony, and, wait for it......yep, pink pepper, the note du jour.

I liked the original Amour very much when I tried it in 2006, and I still do. I've been flirting with the idea of buying it and I may do so yet; wearing it today reminds me of what a perfect comfort scent it is for cool weather. Many people complain that it is too bland, but I find the vanilla-rice-pudding-blandness part of its charm, and the dark woods and incense in the base keep it from being dull (the original notes were cherry blossom, rice steam, white tea, frangipani, heliotrope, thanaka wood, incense, vanilla and musk).

I rather thought they'd do something more exotic with Amour Indian Holi. As much as I like Amour, it doesn't quite evoke the "couple's voyage through India, Japan and Vietnam" that it was meant to, and if it'd been up to me — and it never is, is it? — I'd have amped up the incense and thanaka wood and added a goodly dash of some spice or another.

Kenzo has gone in the opposite direction. You'll recognize strains of the original Amour in Amour Indian Holi, but the top notes are sweeter and fruitier, the woods and incense in the base are milder, and the peony-rose-pink pepper medley, while sheer, gives Indian Holi a more generic-mainstream-department-store-fragrance feel. It smells like it's been "pinked up".

I don't hate Amour Indian Holi, in fact, as pinked up fragrances go, it's rather nice. Still, we've plenty of pink on the fragrance counters already. I don't need it, but if you found the original Amour lacking, it might be worth a try. The bottle is adorable enough that I'd like to own it even though I wouldn't be likely to wear it.

Kenzo Amour Indian Holi is available in 50 ml Eau de Parfum. You can find it now at Nordstrom; presumably it will be in wider distribution shortly.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Is it my deja-vu?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Robin, I believe that I have already seen this review….or am I missing something.. some sort of sequel?

  3. Anonymous says:

    That doesn't sound good. I had hoped for a more daring, incensed or spiced version instead of a “pinked up” one. Like you I always liked Amour but never enough to purchase a bottle.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Your EFT checking in to say that I thought they darkened it rather than pinked it up :-) I thought it had more oomph than the original one and therefore liked it better :-)

  5. Anonymous says:

    What is with Kenzo? They've built quite a reputation among frag fiends and now they seem to be capitalizing on their good name. First the last year's okay but ultimately *bland* Tokyo and now this pinked up Amour. I adore Flower Oriental and very much like Amour, which to my mind is everything but bland (!) so not surprised the flanker is nice and wearable, even if it's fluffy&pink.

    Even so: Kenzo, if you're listening, I demand that you stop catering to the playground pound and start producing grown-up perfume! Please?

  6. Anonymous says:

    No, although I did do a new fragrance announcement for this scent last month.

  7. Anonymous says:

    You know, it's been on my skin since around 8:30 this morning, and at the moment it is really lovely dark woods. I'd like to own it, I just don't buy much anymore. If I see it at discount though, I'm sure I'll cave!

  8. Anonymous says:

    M, would agree it has more oomph, just not the kind of oomph I like, LOL…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Not sure I think the line has changed, exactly, I just think this particular one doesn't work for me… And must say that I liked Tokyo much better than everyone else!

  10. Anonymous says:

    “Really lovely dark woods”? You raise my hopes again. :-)

  11. Anonymous says:

    R, did you like Tokyo better than Jungle PH?

  12. Anonymous says:

    You know I meant the original, right? Not the new one. The new one right now is mostly musky with some mild wood.

  13. Anonymous says:

    D, you are always busting me on the gajillion men's fragrances I've never smelled!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    LOL, sorry! I can be a real pain, I know. Am putting a moratorium on asking questions about the men's fragrances you've never tried for at least a week! :-)

  15. Anonymous says:

    HA, you are not a pain at all, not in the least! At least, not so long as you don't expect me to ever catch up on the men's side of things. Because I'm quite sure I never will.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone else seen the NY Times this morning about the diminishing supply of pink peppercorns in the US due to an FDA ban? The FDA claims that they are toxic, causing “violent headaches, swollen eyelids, shortness of breath, chest pains, sore throat, hoarseness, upset stomach, diarrhea and hemorrhoids.” I adore pink peppercorns as a food ingredient, but must admit I've come close to these reactions during my sampling of Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionelle. But doesn't my beloved OJ Champaca also contain the PP note? Or am I remembering incorrectly? My theory is that the PP/peony combo is the cause of my near-anaphylaxis. Anyhow, I also had some high expectations for Holi. Too bad. Will keep loving on Flower Oriental!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I missed that entirely, will have to go look for it!

    I did know that essential oil can be (and is) extracted from pink pepper berries, but wouldn't have thought the “pink pepper” in most perfume was of a natural source at all. But have no idea.

  18. Anonymous says:

    HikerChick, I deleted your next comment because the long link stretched the page. Here it is w/ the link shortened:

    I should have provided a link…Sorry! And apparently, it was an article from 1982 (hey! I was 9)…so much for my investigation skills so sorry again.

    I will assume we've resolved this little issue, as I can still get my pink peppercorns from Penzey's.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hikerchick, thanks for figuring out that it was old news before I went searching for it!

  20. Anonymous says:

    I like that phrase -“pinked up!” It sounds like I would also prefer the original. What does “rice pudding smell” mean? Is it an accord similar to that in OJ Champaca?

  21. Anonymous says:

    You meant the original – that changes everything, of course. Thanks for clarifying!

  22. Anonymous says:

    OJ Champaca smells almost eerily like basmati rice cooking on the stove, to me at least.

    The Kenzo is more milky & vanillic with a tiny touch of powder. There is supposedly a “rice steam” accord, and the whole thing together smells to me like rice pudding over dark woods.

  23. Anonymous says:


    I liked Amour, and I do want to buy some. But this doesn't sound very special.

    They need to make more greaat fragrances like Flower Oriental. I want a FlowerForMen. :D

  24. Anonymous says:

    Weeping. I am weeping. I too like KenzoAmour (enough to buy one, it's a great comfort scent) and your suggestion for the direction they could have taken it is PERFECT — and instead they pinked it up. Wah. Well, I do like the bottle better! Unlike everyone else, I found the original white/pink/orange bottles sorta ugly.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Flower Oriental was perfect — sort of what I was hoping they'd do w/ Amour. And you're right on Flower For Men!

  26. Anonymous says:

    M, did you know they'd done a 4th bottle for the original? “Fuschia Limited Edition” or something. Not sure you'd like this bottle in person, it looks more like all the others than you can tell in the picture. But note that Marina thought it darker than I did, so always worth a try!

  27. Anonymous says:

    I have yet to meet a Kenzo I have not liked very much. I am surprised how many I have in my collection now. In fact, it was the review of Kenzo Oriental that brought my Kenzo collection from one to two bottles (and I will not tell how many I have now!)
    I really just love the peacefulness that the original Amour gives me. For me, it really captures the real meaning of Amour. It is cozy, warm and comfortable and honestly captures what Amour means to me. It is the subtleness of the notes that is really striking. I find I reach for it as much as I do for my niches.
    I look forward to trying this new version.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kim, hope you'll like the new one then! If you've got the original Amour, this one would look really nice right next to it. I also saw a “Fuschia” special edition of the original Amour that I didn't even know about (same juice, just a brighter pink bottle).

  29. Anonymous says:

    i have my flower, flower oriental and the amour together in my book cases with old books around them, and then I have real flowers in pots near by. Really cool look, and now you torture me with more bottles. (well, you and Kenzo)

    Their bottles are really nice. Good think I love the fragrance, too.

  30. Anonymous says:

    wow, sorry but I feel this is harsh, they are first class in my book, maybe they want all ages to enjoy an excellent product?

  31. Anonymous says:

    Oh, that sounds lovely! Did you know Kenzo has a travel scent coming up this year, 7:15 in Bali? I don't know if it is going to be in duty free only, but looking forward to seeing what they do with that bottle design.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Oh how nice! No, I did not have a clue about this, thanks for the heads up. I still want to buy this rice water stuff from them, did you buy it, Robin, I think you mentioned this once? It is so calming, and I know it would be used up (before ANY thing else). I should get this or ask for this for my birthday this Spring. In fact, I will do just that!

  33. Anonymous says:

    If I mentioned it once, it's gone completely out of my head — can't think of what it is!

  34. Anonymous says:

    Hey I think there should be a legislative restriction on the usage of interesting names for uninteresting fragrances!

    How come you name a thing like this with the word INDIAN and leave unpunished?? Perfumes like Nu (YSL) and Madness (Chopard) stay tuned on what the word Indian evokes in our mind without even shouting about it or trying to catch the interest. Because they already HAVE it in themselves.

    I know I'm repeating a lot of people out there, but really I hoped for something in the direction that the Flower Oriental went away from it's original which I certainly did NOT like and Amour was too much vanilla for my almond-incense-vetiver nose raised up by chef-d`ouvres like Cartier Baiser du Dragon and Flower oriental (is it only me, or they really have a LOT in common?!) and spices in the forementioned Madness and Nu.

    Disappointment. Again. Kenzo, where did your experimenting JUNGLE sense go? Anyway, actually. Sadly, to me Flower Oriental was more of a surprise than the Indian Holi, you know what I mean, don't you…

  35. Anonymous says:

    Legislative restriction would save us from many annoying flankers, LOL, wouldn't it? And presumably, we wouldn't end up with 800+ fragrances a year. I'll go for it :-)

  36. Anonymous says:

    R, I have a generous sample of the Amour Indian Holi, and, ugh, the first impression is “why so much flowery sweetness, I love the Amour, and R, I do urge you to get a bottle of two of that, you won't be sorry, I seem to go to it very often and now I wish I had purchased a bigger bottle (something I never do).
    And I also agree with wishing for more Kenzo along the line of the Oriental, tht is my favorite Kenzo so far. (oh, I like the Tokyo, it is clean and rather nice).
    While I am not running to wash this Indian Holi off, and I am hoping for something better to happen in an hour or so, I do not like the opening. I am really fussy about rose and also peony. I don't think I like it. Maybe I should be relieved? (But I was imagining it among my other bottles!)

  37. Anonymous says:

    I can believe you were imagining it among your other bottles! We'll have to hope they do another, more interesting flanker next year.

  38. Anonymous says:

    LOL, umm, it does look just like the other one I have (also Pink Fushia) but with the cool lettering.

    You know, I love the dry down. I really do, but I do not think I like dealing with the top notes. Would you live with top notes you don't like for a good dry down? It dries like Amour with a bit of pepper, and I really like this…hmm, I guess I test this al week until the sample is gone :)

    Seriously R, what would you do? (Let us pretend the bottle does NOT exist!)

  39. Anonymous says:

    Well, it depends on many factors, but I can think of lots of scents w/ unpleasant top notes that I consider full bottle worthy. Since Amour already exists though, I'd be more tempted to just layer it with something else rather than buying a flanker I didn't entirely love.

    Or, give it another week and see how much you miss it?

  40. Anonymous says:

    I'm wearing Indian Holi today, and the fruital opening is not as pronounced as I previously thought. And this is quite possibly the first perfume with pink pepper that I don't find awful. Still, I prefer the original Amour.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Really, do you hate pink pepper that much? It doesn't bother me, just sort of cracks me up that everybody's using it.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I love KenzoAmour. I bought it for my mom last Mother's Day and she tells me about all of the compliments she gets for it all of the time…which just makes me glow a little bit because I chose that perfume without her prior knowledge (I just smelled a bunch of stuff and chose what I could see my mom wearing the most).

    However, if it's been pinked up, I might have to pass on it for her…she's turning 49 and not really a pink sort of girl. The KenzoAmour is sophisticated but mellow – and she works at a spa.

  43. Anonymous says:

    You know, many others liked IH better than I did — give it a whirl and see what you think.

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