Perfume Directory

Kouros Eau de Sport (1986)
by Yves Saint Laurent


Kouros Eau de Sport information

Year of Launch1986
Average Rating
(based on 37 votes)

People and companies

HouseYves Saint Laurent
Parent CompanyL'Oréal Group > YSL Beaute
Parent Company at launchSquibb > Charles of the Ritz Group

About Kouros Eau de Sport

Kouros Eau de Sport is a masculine fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent. The scent was launched in 1986

Reviews of Kouros Eau de Sport

Kouros Eau de Sport by Yves Saint Laurent (1986) is another one of those "real rarities" in the realm of vintage fragrances: A poor-selling and quickly-axed flanker that after years of stock depletion by those few who enjoyed and hunted remaining inventory, has become so scarce that there may come a day when you read this review and other recollections, to learn of what will have by then become an extinct specimen. The good news is there isn't a whole lot to miss out on if you're a casual of Yves Saint Laurent Kouros (1981), as this first flanker and first attempt of two at a "sport" edition doesn't wander far enough from the DNA of the original to warrant tracking down a bottle, potentially in vain if it's all eventually gone. I feel like the lesser version of the same mistake was repeated here as with Chanel when they released Antaeus pour Homme Sport Cologne (1985) the previous year, in that the brain trust of Yves Saint Laurent at the time didn't understand what constitutes a sport fragrance nor knew how to properly distance a flanker from the main entry so people would feel the need to own it if they already had the pillar product. Flankers in general were not common in the 1980's like they are today, and stuff like Drakkar Noir (1982) was really the exception and not the rule, which it is why it became so popular that it eventually overshadowed (then replaced) the original Drakkar by Guy Laroche (1972). At least with Kouros Eau de Sport, the packaging was significantly different to tell it apart from the main Kouros by way of blue shoulders instead of chrome one (then later white on original Kouros bottles), but in terms of smell, it is neither all that sporty nor enough degrees of separation away from the composition of standard Kouros to justify existence. Now, I know concepts of "sporty" have shifted from what they were in the 80's, but fresh, clean, and light on performance have always been hallmarks of a sport scent, with entries like early Lacoste fragrances made by Jean Patou good examples of what I mean. Kouros Eau de Sport doesn't even mildly follow that formula, but is it good? If you're a dyed-in-the-wool Kouros lover, definitely.

The biggest difference between Kouros Eau de Sport and the original "urinal cake" fougère is the removal of key elements that can thicken up the way the Kouros is received by the skin. For instance, the bergamot, bitter artemisia, and clary sage remain in the top but the coriander is lopped off. Once you head into the heart of Kouros Eau de Sport, you find the carnation, jasmine indole, and geranium are still present, but the iris and spice is missing, replaced by green galbanum. This switcheroo has the effect of removing the "clean soapy" elements of the original and ironically makes Kouros Eau de Sport a bit funkier, dirtier, and more virile. The all-powerful civet has less "white noise" to compete against even if it too is also toned down for "lightness", causing the opening and transition to the heart play out like bitter/sour symphony of citrus, herbs, and animalics. The fougère base of oakmoss and tonka brings things back to a smoother version of the final dry down found in the original Kouros, with patchouli, olibanum, leather, and a bit of honey making a return. Vetiver and vanilla replace the bits of civet and patchouli toned down but kept in place, which is how this smoothness is achieved. Wear time on Kouros Eau de Sport is appropriately shorter than the all-day longevity of the original, but still way longer than a sport fragrance might be thought to last and longer than a modern fragrance anyhow. Projection is good but not "beast mode" like the original, still again being stronger than most modern designers let alone sport fragrances for men. I'd say Kouros Eau de Sport is a little more tolerable in hot weather than the original due to the more-stifling elements being taken out, but the dry down is still a monster focused on civet, patchouli, and a rich fougère accord that can assault the unwary senses of a passerby, so it's not any more polite to say the least. Wear this to the gym as the sport fragrance it was intended to be and watch everyone give you really awkward stares (or amorous ones depending on the gym), I dare you.

Part of me wonders if I may be looking at this all wrong because Yves Saint Laurent himself was very much a part of making Kouros the homoerotic beast that it is (despite being overwhelmingly adopted by eager straight guys looking to score), so perhaps his concept of making a sport fragrance wasn't to hide the perisperation or help diffuse it with light and lively notes like the eponymous Lacoste (1984), but to accentuate the virility and prowess of the man in exercise by excising the clean elements and smoothing down the animal tones to be more inviting? Who's to say really, since we don't know the perfumer on this and Yves Saint Laurent himself isn't telling because he's no longer with us, but as a standalone fragrance, Kouros Eau de Sport is more like a stripped-down "Kouros Cologne" than a sport flavor. For some people, this was probably very appealing, since if the animal musk and more romantic floral selections of Kouros are what get your juices flowing, this is a better version than the original. However, popular concensus proved the opposite true, and Kouros Eau de Sport was not long for this world, just like its closest rival, Antaeus Sport. This was marketed longer, and eventually replaced by Kouros Fraîcheur (1993) as the "lighter" option of the Kouros range (and another enjoyable but hilarious misfire that reads chypre rather than as fougère), but seems to come up less often from collectors or sellers of vintage perfumes, leading me to believe it was liked and used up more than Antaeus Sport. When Kouros Eau de Sport does miraculously show up for sale, it's either a partial or a lark of a full bottle with a really ugly asking price, so I'd only pounce if the morbidity of your curiosity matches the depths of your pockets. Kouros Eau de Sport crashes and burns as a sport scent even by 80's standards, but as an enjoyable slight revision of the signature Kouros smell, succeeds with aplomb, just not enough keep itself on the market. Thumbs Up.
19th March, 2020
This is an interpretation and a picture of how a sport fragrance used to smell like.

IMO blended perfectly but I can see people saying it smells dated and doesn't fit to our times. Despite this it is rather a compliment getter. Smells best right after a shower or after a sport activity (when body is heated).

On me it's a standard Kouros with herbs, incense, camphor toned up; and honey,civet and all the "oriental" elements toned down. It's also a lot less woody than regular Kouros.

Longevity is great - 9 hours and sometimes more. Projection is above average.

A gem, a true gem.
21st July, 2019
This is an exciting fragrance, but I can imagine it's not for everyone. It's a distinctive animalic. It smells a little cleaner than original Kouros, but mostly does smell like the original; unlike Kouros Fraicheur, which to me smells quite different, and is more in line with my tastes. I could almost give this a neutral - it feels inappropriate for daily wear.
03rd March, 2017
Best Kouros flanker ever! As said before, It's a tamed version, smoother, domesticated and for that reason, easier to love. It's in no way a sport fragrance. All Kouros DNA is right there, just more polite, in smaller quantities, I dare to say, better blended. It's a pittty It was discontinued. 5 out of 5 stars!
07th April, 2015
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A smoother Kouros

Used this quite a bit years ago and had a more recent reminder. Very much a Kouros but smoother and a touch sweeter. A bit less projection. I prefer this flanker to the original.

16th July, 2013
Found a sample online but didn't realize that it was discontinued.

As a user of regular Kouros years ago, I thought I was fond of it, so I sampled Sport.

It is definitely a love it or hate it frag.

I'm probably more on the hate it side, but it's so unique, I can't make up my mind.

It might deserve a spot in the collection since there isn't anything else like it IMO.

Decent close projection, but unless I use a lot, I personally didn't get the longevity I want.
16th October, 2012

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