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    Kouros Fragrance Notes

    Kouros information

    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

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    $52.23
    100ml EdT
    $52.99
    100ml EdT
    $56.62
    100ml EdT

    Reviews of Kouros


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    Showing 1 to 6 of 310 reviews.

    toddsmith7378's avatar



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    The first time I smelled this I never thought I'd ever wear it. Eventually, I got turned on to Musck smells and really liked Kiehl's and Muscs Kublai Khan. So, I made it back to giving Kouros another try. I really like YSL's distinctive scents. Surely, I had missed something. On the 2nd go around, I actually love this stuff. Perhaps, my scent palette evolved or something over the past year or so since last squirt, but I just can't get enough of this stuff now. The beginning is best described as fierce. It then mellows into something akin to a sweet musk smell, in the ballpark of Kiehl's Musk, but with a more masculine edge. I don't get anything stinky, or bad, or anything from this. I've noticed women are noticeably drawn to it.

    25 July, 2014

    Dictator's avatar



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    The new formulation seems to have taken something out of it :( But it remains one of my favourite for it uniqueness, boldness and great smell!

    14 July, 2014

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Fougère

    Given all the controversy surrounding it, Kouros is a scent I approached with trepidation. As it happens I need not have worried. After Ungaro II, or even Jicky, it's not that much of a shocker.

    Kouros opens with a powerful blast of citrus and civet, and I'm guessing that the civet note is what turns so many people off right from the beginning. Granted, the civet in Kouros is in-your-face, rather than subtly integrated as in Ungaro II, but it's not mishandled, either. As the citrus note fades, honey and strong floral notes come into play behind the civet to create an animalic, yet sweet new accord. This dense heart is where Kouros strays dangerously close to the liquid excretion territory inhabited by the putrid Amouage Gold. Luckily, some bracing spicy notes, perhaps clove and cinnamon, pull Kouros back from the brink. (Though not without some suspense.) It's very easy to see how at this stage Kouros could become offensive. It is, after all, the granddaddy of all 1980s powerhouse fragrances.

    As things progress a bit of astringency (vetiver? artemisia?) slips in to balance out the civet/sweet floral accord. From here Kouros launches on its extended and well-executed drydown, with traces of the civet over incense, musk, and vanilla. After a few hours, things even become downright powdery. A surprising end point for a fragrance that goes on so wickedly potent!

    All in all, Kouros is a bold scent that was pioneering on its first release. It still stands out tall, like an isolated mountain peak among the timid, undistinguished fragrances that crowd today's designer landscape. Kouros will always be a polarizing scent, as is any that features a prominent note of civet in its composition. Given its animalic character, Kouros's sheer strength and great sillage can also make it hard to wear. In fact, it's not a scent I ever have occasion to apply. But for someone eager to make a bold, if rather crude, statement, this is a fragrance to try.

    19 June, 2014

    cytherian's avatar

    United States United States

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    Reviews written by people who share similar taste in fragrances to you can be very useful, helping you to appreciate what fragrances you might like or dislike before trying them. I'd read a few reviews about Kouros describing it as "urinal cake", "body odor", and "men's locker room", so that I dismissed it from consideration. Then a Basenotes friend of mine insisted I try the vintage version. I managed to get a sample and when I sniffed it, I was immediately reminded of a cologne I smelled back in the 1980's. The impression was very positive for me.

    There is a pungent animalic quality about Kouros, no doubt about it. But there's also a sweetness in there that pulls the aroma away from being a fetid unpleasant raw smell. I'm firmly convinced that each of us smells things differently. While the same molecules impress upon our olfactory senses, our reaction to them is different based on our biochemistries. That's why you find certain odors pleasant that others might find unpleasant, and vice versa.

    My olfactory memories are orchestrated in such a way that makes Kouros more than approachable. I love it. I haven't sampled the current formulation, but I plan to despite being assured by several people that it has been "ruined." I do trust the advice I've been given, and expect I'll prefer vintage over current.

    Thanks to a friend, I managed to obtain a bottle of Kouros Eau de Sport and I must say that it is more approachable than the original. Unfortunately, it is also a little harder to obtain. But for anyone who finds original Kouros a bit too strong, the Eau de Sport and Fraicheur flankers are well worth getting.

    24 April, 2014

    Edgar2Prado's avatar

    Puerto Rico Puerto Rico

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    When I first sampled Kouros I thought: "Wow! This really is quality stuff". Then THE CHANGE crashed and broke on me.

    I do not care how many wonderful things this "fragrance" actually contains. Any of that heavenly stuff, you can actually smell only during the first few minutes. Then all of it is quickly, and very strongly, obliterated by the smell of oily, unwashed skin. The not-quite-fresh urine bouquet is a great "value-added" bonus.

    There is absolutely nothing "borderline" unclean, just plain "lived in", or "attractively" animalic, about this strange liquid that some people call a perfume. The stinky part of it quickly becomes as subtle as a mule's kick to the face. The really cruel irony is that a mule's kick will kill you, and Kouros will not.

    If you want to convince those around you that you put on some very luxurious perfume a long time ago; and then neither bathed, nor changed your clothes in, at the very least, a few weeks, this unpopularity elixir will convey that message to perfection. The urine certainly adds to the unsurpassed credibility this deep olfactory illusion.

    This thing will drive away anyone who thinks that a daily bath is a reasonable approach to personal hygiene. Anyone who is not anosmic will stay well away from you. And you may not like what it can possibly attract: wild animals in heat. It may also be quite effective if you want to befriend a civet, a skunk, curious dogs, crazy cats, or your local rat posse. And if there are any humans nearby who have the kind of smell fetishes that scare the hell out of everybody else; you will be wearing the perfect ice breaker.

    Put this on, and you will be able to walk through a trash heap with the supreme confidence that you will walk out smelling even better to anything and anyone that belongs to the above mentioned audience.

    After a few nice minutes, this stuff became so powerfully bad that it invited me to think about some very twisted theories. Maybe it belongs to an ongoing investigation into the development of smells that will prevent physical assault regardless of time or place. (As long as the temperature doesn't drop well below freezing.) Or maybe it is part of a program to help the homeless. They will now be able to safely sleep within trash bins. Any dangerous animals in there will very much prefer to nibble on the "truly edible" trash than to nibble on the scent-protected human being. The rats will feel very comfortable with any human wearing this, but they will not consider it the scent of even mildly desirable food.

    Perfume buyers beware. If you decide to try and see if Kouros is for you, make sure you smell it all through the changes its scent undergoes. Do not get fooled by those very nice first few minutes.

    19 April, 2014 (Last Edited: 09 May, 2014)

    Kain's avatar

    Iran Iran

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    I want to be completely honest!
    I knew about this fragrance for a long long time and I wouldn't dare to test it out because I've heard most of the times bad and almost terrible things about this fragrance!
    I knew this is a legendary fragrance and If it's going to be as bad as many people around me keep talking about, I'm not comfortable bashing it among the lovers and get killed a few days after! lol
    Finally a few days ago I said OK, I don't care about other people opinions! I want my personal experience with this fragrance.
    I got a sample from a friend and put it on my skin and smelled it.
    Dear lord, I hate those guys for keeping me in the shadows for all these years!
    This is an amazing fragrance and I'm surprised that many people don't like this.
    There is a lot going on in the opening.
    It's semi fresh, green, herbal, soapy, spicy, floral, warm and sweet all at the same time.
    If you're into safe fragrances stay away!
    At the beginning I can smell aldehydes and some citruses that both together creating a fresh, green, clean and almost soapy scent.
    There are cinnamon and carnation flower beside those fresh notes and they add bitter spicy and slightly powdery floral feeling to the fresh feeling of the beginning.
    Also there is a warm and sweet honey/ambery scent to balance all the notes and give the scent more depth an sensual feeling.
    There are other notes at the opening for sure but these are major notes to my nose.
    As time goes by the scent settles down and looses that sharp spicy and fresh feeling and now I can smell more interesting things.
    Now I can smell a little more carnation flower with it's elegant powdery floral feeling and some leather and strong dirty animalic note.
    The mid of the fragrance is a dirty, animalic, a little powdery and floral, warm and sweet scent with noticeable amount of spices and a little bit of aldehydes.
    In the base the scent is very close to the mid, but now the scent has an earthy feeling too which is because of vetiver and patchouli.
    Projection is very good and longevity is around 8-10 hours on my skin.

    17 April, 2014

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