Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, no doubt. Kenzo's Flower is an homage to one of the fragrance world's great classics, and possibly the world's first gourmand - Caron's 1941 Royal Bain de Champagne.
RBC was the first scent I encountered upon moving to New York City. A young man I met on Brooklyn Heights' promenade floated in a cloud of melony vanilla amber, and this was the Caron, which immediately became my signature scent - this was in the early 1970s.
As Turin and Sanchez point out in their Perfume Guide, Kenzo's Flower attempts to recreate Caron's masterpiece. It begins quite similarly with honeydew melon and marshmallow, floating over vanilla and amber. However, Flower is greener than the Caron and inside of 15 minutes, has settled down to a pleasant reedy artemesia-like wood scent. Whereas with the Caron, the melon, amber and vanilla never let up.
A nice alternative, but I'd advise to stick with the original, which is so affordable, it eclipses the Kenzo as an economical investment.
The floral opening is pleasantly floral, rose-centred, with a frankly disappointing hawthorn - compared to the benchmark Aubepine Acacia. In the drydown I get a good opopanax impression, and the base might be nicely fresh, but it is quite generic on my skin.
I get moderate sillage, good projection and four hours if longevity.
The flower in the bottle is kind of cute.
FLOWER BY KENZO is an Great fragrance that Invite to Love. It is The brainchild a Genius Like ALBERTO MORILLAS. It is Asia Prestige in The Perfume World too. I was really Pleasantly Surprised when I first smelled this perfume a few Years ago. Subtle,Clean, Natural,Romantic, Sophisticated,Fantasy,Oriental and Feminine.
A hint of Freshness by Black Currant Open the Scene for the Romance of Rose and the Intimacy of Violet in the heart While the base gains Sensuous from Musk and Vanilla.This Perfect blend is Utterly LOVELY,Feminine yet Clean,Soft and Not Heavy scent that lasts for a Long time without Overwhelming.
It is a Delightful Ladylike fragrance and Makes You Feel Like It is a part of Your Personality. The Scent is Light Enough for day wear and very Lovely for Evening Especially with jeans and when You dress up for a ROMANTIC Dinner or a Garden Party in SPRINGTIME. If You are Looking for a Tender Floral scent This one is a Wonderful choice but Test it first before Buying!
Longevity?+6 hours on my skin.
Why review Flower when it was released 15 years ago? It's been a bestseller for ages, has been the subject of many flankers and is a successful crossover in Japan. Everybody knows what Flower smells like...
Kenzo asked for a perfume that smells like poppy - a scentless flower. Pretentious folly or inspiration? It gives the perfumer rare creative licence - and in response to this zen brief Alberto Morillas came up with a white floral bouquet.
A note pyramid for Flower is:
Lychee supported by ginger and mandarin, violet
Rose, with camelia and mimosa,
Frankincense, white musks, patchouli and amber.
Another way to describe Flower is; sweet, abstract flowers with hard black undertones on a basket of laundry musks.
Synthetic odourants are carefully selected to create approximations of rose, violet, hawthorn and Cassie; quoted from another pyramid. Rather than creating each flower and then merging them, molecules common to more than one flower bridge the gaps. This is economic use of materials as only the most essential components of each flower are represented. Close smelling reveals the limitations of this approach though and it's only partly successful. The texture wears a bit coarsely and the flowers do not smell realistic.
With this reliance on synthetics, Flower lacks finesse and roundness. The only natural materials being opopanax, incense and patchouli, and maybe a minute amount of Rosa centifolia, the high percentage of synthetics gives the perfume an artificial quality. This is not necessarily a bad thing; the plasticy feel of Flower makes it distinct from a more traditional formula.
Flower bears the hallmarks of its time (2000) with a watery-fruit note in the head, but in this case it's lychee rather than melon. Its linear core is built from long lasting materials.
As the intense sweetness of the opening declines, dry lemony accents of incense emerge. These give contrast and prevent Flower from becoming a sweet bomb.
Certain key notes have allowed Flower to become a successful crossover in Japan. The lychee in the opening flourish, supported by ginger - common in south east Asian cuisine, and mandarin, create a hook for the oriental consumer. Rose and jasmin have universal appeal and, and incense also has cultural resonance for the Japanese.
Anaïs Anaïs (1978) and Flower are very similar white floral bouquets, but where Anaïs' soapy bathroom accord of lily and hyacinth feels innocent, Flower is harder and less permissive. Its undertone of incense and patchouli announces in a low but firm voice that the pastel, soft focus reveries of the seventies are over. Kenzo's twenty first century interpretation is a plasticy, confident abstract composition. The white floral has moved from being the virginal symbol of early adolescence to a strategy marketed at young women in the postmodern world.
Flowers' continued production has been due to the cheapness of its formula, and is now thanks to its potential to penetrate the enormous and untapped market in China.
The succession of Flower flankers demonstrates the solidity of its formula, which continues to serve as a foundation for new ornamentation.
Flower (like Anaïs Anaïs) has the lasting appeal of a distinctive perfume that transcends the whims of fashion.
It has endured to become a classic.
28th February, 2015 (last edited: 23rd September, 2015)
I found Flower by Kenzo to be very sweet and one dimensional. In five minutes, all I got was cheap vanilla. It might, however, be good for a young lady of perhaps 12.