Perfume Directory

Kenneth Cole New York Men (2002)
by Kenneth Cole


Kenneth Cole New York Men information

Year of Launch2002
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 116 votes)

People and companies

HouseKenneth Cole
Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Prestige
Parent Company at launchBenckiser > Coty Inc > Lancaster Group > American Designer Fragrances

About Kenneth Cole New York Men

Kenneth Cole New York Men is a masculine fragrance by Kenneth Cole. The scent was launched in 2002

Reviews of Kenneth Cole New York Men

The male version of Kenneth Cole's intial bid into the fragrance world was brought to light by Givenchy and created by perfumer Steve Demercado. It fits snuggly between ozonic bombast like Calvin Klein Crave (2002) and more subtle light woodsy gourmand tones like Burberry for Men (1996). As an "inbetweener" it could straddle both Gen X and Gen Y men of the day, being equally at home in a teen's gym bag or a career professional's wardrobe. It's price point was also intially straddling between drugstore and aspirational levels, since Kenneth Cole was around the same level of Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors. I originally came across this as a 1oz stocking stuffer in 2002, and hadn't handled the Y2K futurism packaging of the larger 3.4oz all-plastic sprayer pictured above until repurchasing recently. It's part of the "radioactive grapefruit" period of ozonic fragrance, often decried as anathema or Kryptonite by lovers of vintage or traditional perfumery, the nadir of it's era. Kenneth Cole New York Men is probably the most likeable of that ilk however, due to it's underlying conventional structures that ever-so-slightly tug it away from synthetic nosebleed territory, hence why I give it a thumbs up and enjoy it in the right kind of weather.

This one is real sharp, wild, and fruity up front, with tangerine, lemon, black currant, and raspberry leaves glowing in a fission reactor and taking your nose to Candyland to snort a line of Pixi Stixs powder. From there, a slight vetiver accord seeks to turn down the amplitude and tone things down a tad in the mix, with florals like iris, lily of the valley, pepper, and calone providing a watery bouquet heart that helps your head come down from the sour drops sugar rush. The subtle base of very light sandalwood, amber, and musk finishes this, but it's really just aromatic bedrock for the rest of the scent, like a typical ozonic from this period, with a little more beef to further emulsify that screaming top into something actually invigorating on a warm, crisp day. The neon flashdance this does on the nose in the beginning is liable to scare away any old moss head that feels no good masculine outside niche has been made since 1990, and even folks with slightly more recent tastes will still find the opening to be sharp and loud like the smell of a Mike's Hard Lemonade spill in the local liquor store. The SweetTarts opening does soon give way to a brisker, more synthetic take on Zino Davidoff (1986) in the dry down, which is probably where the most appeal for this is to be found by any serious fragrance fan, since it does the floral fougère source inspiration a lot of justice, but without the actual fougère base lines, instead being closer to a chypre if anything. It compares favorably to a lot of other ozonics from this period, likely due to the aforementioned conventional/traditional floral/woods core structure, but it still is what it is at the end of the day, and you have to be okay with that in order to take any joy in wearing it.

Kenneth Cole New York Men is a damn well-rounded example of it's genre, among the best of the candied fruit, florals, and woods/musk trifecta everyone from YSL to Coty was playing with from that 1998-2004 time period. It's horribly dated now and a poster child for it's time, just like most early to mid-80's powerhouses, but for Gen Y folks, this is liable to invoke the same degree of post-school or post-college nostalgia when the first few fragrance choices were made with attracting attention in mind, not merely satisfying one's own tastes. For guys who remember MySpace fondly and still wish smart phones had physical keypads, this will wear great in spring and summer, but is too much of a cornucopia for fall unless you like the dandy appeal. Winter time is a definite no and keep this to casual use; it's just too bouncy for formal or romantic wear. It is discontinued like a lot of these "deliberately youthful" ozonics for guys now are, but also is not from the most desirable of designers nor periods (yet) for collectors, so scalpers haven't sent this into unobtanium realms just yet. You'll still pay designer MSRP for it if you really want that neat little plastic hockey puck sitting in your wardrobe, which is still pretty cool to hold I admit, and almost worth the price of purchase. Not a bad start for Mr. Cole, but far from anything truly memorable beyond period nostalgia.
02nd March, 2018
Such a nice fragrance from Kenneth Cole! It's got a very simple, clean woodsy quality that seems to last a good while on me. As some have opined, KCNYM isn't by any means original or outstanding, but I do like its classic, steady composition and can spontaneously wear it nearly at any time and occasion.
15th December, 2016
Nice pleasant office scent that won't offend but is nothing unusual or extraordinary IMO but is nice none the less. It is generic but is well made in the same vein as the mainstream releases... Enjoy!
26th July, 2016
Tony T Show all reviews
United States
gfeneric and synthetic, in the same realm as echo and chrome. i like those 2 more though. try it yourself. smelles good but that's about it. no longevity.
05th November, 2012
Starts citrus and a bit aromatic.
Essentially a nondescript, generic scent. Not offensive, not interesting.
What has this got to do with New York? With anything?
At least it is not super sweet or dense.
03rd January, 2011
Owned this one for a while, don't use it often. I wear it a lot at work.

Do I think it smells good? 4/5
Compliments from the ladies? 1/5
Overall 3/5

24th July, 2009

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