Perfume Directory

Kouros (1981)
by Yves Saint Laurent

Kouros information

Year of Launch1981
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1034 votes)

People and companies

HouseYves Saint Laurent
PerfumerPierre Bourdon
PackagingAlain de Mourgues
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > YSL Beaute
Parent Company at launchSquibb > Charles of the Ritz Group

About Kouros

YSL's best selling men's fragrance and features in the best seller lists most years. The fragrance is distinctly woody, and the bottle based on Greek Architecture.
FIFI award winner in 1982

Kouros fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Kouros

First 20 minutes: Industrial bathroom cleanser

First hour: Generic synthetic floral scent

Afterward: A field of dried wildflowers. This stage is pleasant.

Nothing about Kouros suggests urine, feces or sweat to me. I suspect that this is a sense-memory association that people are experiencing based on the "public bathroom" smell of the opening as well as the toilet-fixture look of the bottle. There's an astringent quality to the opening that to me suggests cleaning chemicals but to others may suggest urine.

There is also nothing macho or manly about this. If anything, it's quite feminine and would probably work better on a woman, and even then only after the chemical opening dies down.

All in all, Kouros is banal and disappointing.

EDITED TO ADD: I definitely get an "unwashed-sweatshirt-left-in-the-men's-locker-room" vibe.

The bathroom cleaner scent takes the lead at first, followed by not so much a BO scent but a certain mustiness. This must be the clean/dirty dichotomy so many speak about with regard to Kouros. But it's a whole lot easier to get that by wearing an unwashed sweatshirt. Amazing that this stuff has such a vaunted reputation.
29th April, 2015 (last edited: 05th May, 2015)
Kouros opens up with spices and civet and musk- a strikingly beautiful vibe that is invigorating. The shimmering notes take a while to settle to exude cool. It's fresh, crisp, non-powdery and enveloping. A beautiful floral theme develops over the woody musky vibe at the heart of the composition. This phase is luscious, and intills in the wearer a sense of tranquility. Then the florals become more delicate as a gorgeous, subtle honey note appears. This phase of Kouros is magical. It is a dichotomy. The fragrance still retains its earlier feel of cool which is a brilliant counterpoint to this sensual honeyed warmth. The fragrance is now hot and cold at the same time. It is still airy, crisp, wonderfully nuanced with the honey note over the lush florals, and the musk as gorgeous as ever. It has been a journey - a transcendental olfactory experience. It has visual interpretations in fresh linen; men and women dressed up in the morning and going to work; spice markets and flower shops; the sweaty crowd of people in the hot streets as the breeze blows; children peeling and eating oranges; beautiful redolent gardens in bloom; porters busy at the docks as ships come in and go out; the din and hustle of the train station; the beautiful evening as the sun dies leaving the sky bathed in orange and scarlet, with a speck of dark grey cloud lurking somewhere.

I know of only one other fragrance which is as evocative and beautiful. It is called Fahrenheit.
05th April, 2015
Kouros is a new definition of freshness, for me, its day and night perfume, absolute after-shower smell and love potion at night.

i absolutely would like to repurchase after this one finish.

04th March, 2015
Wow this stuff is really really bad,gets a lot of good reviews and don't understand one of them....only if you really hate someone this is the perfect gift for sure.
01st March, 2015
Truly awful. A chemical experiment gone bad. Not for me.

I was taking several co-workers to dinner and detected a unusual smell that I determined to be someone's fragrance. It smelled like bandages and maybe a dose of antibiotic ointment. When I finally determined the wearer, I inquired about the fragrance and he replied "Kouros", and began profusely apologizing, saying he knew that Kouros was a strong scent and he perhaps over applied. I laughed it off, and told him I was familiar with the fragrance and he shouldn't worry, as long as he likes it, then it's fine by me. His reply was that he gets all kinds of inquiries about it, but never any compliments, so he was thinking of finding another fragrance. I told him, that's probably wise, if you get inquiries and no compliments.
27th February, 2015 (last edited: 12th April, 2015)
I wore this is the 1980s when it was first released. I have fond memories of it, but it was also the fragrance I was wearing on a day in 1988 when my life took a turn for the worst that it took me two years to recover from. For this reason, I've never been able to wear it again. I smell it occasionally on other men - it's instantly recognisable, and this is another reason to avoid it, I suppose - and it brings back memories of that fateful day.

I don't hate it, I just can't wear it.
05th January, 2015

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