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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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    $50.92
    100ml EdT
    $48.96
    100ml EdT
    $57.99
    100ml EdT
    $40.00
    100ml Fragrance
    $65.99
    100ml EdT

    Reviews of Kouros


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    Showing 1 to 6 of 313 reviews.

    PeteH's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    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

    Casiquire's avatar



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    I don't enjoy Kouros for the same reason I don't enjoy Azzaro. I don't need sweat pre-mixed into my cologne. I want my fragrance to mix well with my own smells, not to fabricate them. Fragrances in this vein tend to smell like something stinks and someone tried, without success, to cover it up. That's why the "urinal cakes" comparison comes up so often, and I have to strongly agree with the people who describe the scent as such. Somebody just relieved themselves in a urinal, and now someone wants me to pay them money to smell like that. I just don't get it.

    It's not that I don't appreciate civet, I thought it was tastefully-used in Jicky. I just feel like Kouros is the 80s version of Azzaro where the unwashed chest hair is replaced with un-flushed urinal. I'm assuming that my body chemistry is quite different from that of the people who love this smell.

    12th September, 2014

    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.

    25th 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!

    14th 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.

    19th 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.

    24th April, 2014

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