Perfume Directory

Kenneth Cole Signature (2005)
by Kenneth Cole

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Kenneth Cole Signature information

Year of Launch2005
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 104 votes)

People and companies

HouseKenneth Cole
PerfumerFrank Voelkl
PackagingChad Lavigne
Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Prestige
Parent Company at launchBenckiser > Coty Inc > Lancaster Group

About Kenneth Cole Signature

Kenneth Cole Signature is a masculine fragrance by Kenneth Cole. The scent was launched in 2005 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Frank Voelkl. The bottle was designed by Chad Lavigne

Kenneth Cole Signature fragrance notes

Reviews of Kenneth Cole Signature

Kenneth Cole got his start in the fragrance field with the help of LVMH and his perfume division was for a time, under Givenchy. Coty must have cut Mr. Cole a Hell of a deal when they supplied the fragrance for his then-new lower-cost "Kenneth Cole Reaction" casual-wear line, because he soon let his license to LVMH/Givenchy expire and re-launched the signature Kenneth Cole New York masculine as (you guessed it) Kenneth Cole Signature. Now before everyone gets too twisted, this is not the same fragrance, nor is it even a heavily-modified version of the same fragrance like what Michael Kors did when he too moved away from Givenchy/LVMH to Estée Lauder/Aramis but brought back perfumer Harry Freemont for his 2014 re-launch. Instead, what Kenneth Cole Signature represents is perfumer Frank Voelkl (who composed Reaction for Men the year prior) completely reinterpreting the idea originally laid down by perfumer Steven Demercado in Kenneth Cole New York Men (2002). The original signature masculine here is thus "retconned" of most ties to the first Givenchy-backed composition outside of returning top note and heart note choices, plus is presented in much classier and less futuristic packaging of glass and a magnetic wood cap (don't think too hard there). Kenneth Cole Signature is also likewise a predominantly grapefruit and woods scent, but with a simplified structure that has greater note separation and seemingly less artifice.

Kenneth Cole Signature is not necessarily an improvement over the original Kenneth Cole New York Men, but it certainly feels ever so slightly more mature and versatile than the fruity Y2K wankery of New York Men. The late 90's and early 2000's were an embarrassing time for mainstream masculine perfume overall, as most designers (and subsequently drugstore brands) sought to distance themselves from the flacid "fresh fougères" that had frankly made wearing cologne boring. Some like Michael Kors made orientals or gourmands, but others like Kenneth Cole pushed really loud ozonics in what I refer to as "radioactive grapefruit" fashion. Kenneth Cole Reaction (2004) was a lighter and more relaxed affair to reflect the casual nature of the clothing line it supported, but Kenneth Cole New York Men was this gaudy juice in a plastic hockey puck that felt weightless to hold. Kenneth Cole Signature kept the grapefruit top of it's plastic predecessor but mellowed it slightly with cardamom and pimento, adding the slightly-feminine violet flower to make it interesting. The middle claims an espresso note that I don't really detect, but I do get the saltiness of the returning "marine note", plus the water lily and the iris flower also returning from the original, both increasingly common floral staples in men's scents at the time anyway due to their innoffensive fresh diffusion. The close comparison to the original Kenneth Cole New York Men mostly ends in the base notes. Amber is of course here, but it's much drier and more aromatic with papyrus, guaiac wood, and a "de-hippied" patchouli.

The end result of this reorchestration is a fragrance that's still very bright and with Kenneth Cole's much-loved grapefruit opening, but drier, more gentlemanly, structured, and approachable to the older crowd. It's probably the first ozonic I've encountered that's this buttoned-down since the first such scent, Claiborne for Men (1989), and although Kenneth Cole Signature doesn't quite have that juice's floral delicacy, it does sit closer to something in that train of thought, a la L'Eau de Issey Pour Homme (1994), rather than something sour candy-like as many ozonics had become on the cusp of the 2000's. Sadly, this dialed-down-ozonic train of thought would be derailed for another round of generic aquatics riffing closely to the late 80's and early 90's variety by the mid-2000's, meaning this scent really only brought joy to people who liked Kenneth Cole New York Men and couldn't find it after LVMH/Givenchy's stock ran out (it wanders the gray market still). In fact, that person is who I mainly recommend this scent for: fans of the launch juice that want to wear it more often but can't due to it's scarcity. Kenneth Cole Signature is plenty abundant, plenty inexpensive, and outside of it's drier chypre-like nature, gives much the same "for both young and old" vibe. It won't turn heads for fans of mossy fougères or animalic chypres, but is a good business/casual scent for summer to lovers of this cheerful style. Bonus kudos given for being a rare example of a dry woodsy-base that doesn't come across abrasive in heat.
10th May, 2018 (last edited: 19th June, 2018)
Was fortunate enough to get this at a deep discount from a local fragrance kiosk. KCS is masculine, woody, warm, embraced with a nice dose of amber and patchouli. A feel-good fragrance that's dignified and dependable.
30th December, 2016
A nice ambery fragrance from Kenneth Cole that shows that this designer fragrance house does occasionally produce a solid scent... Even if it is for nothing more than work or casual wear you will fell slightly sophisticated wearing this than say other mainstream generic scents. Decent staying power as well... Great online pricing... Enjoy!
26th July, 2016
On my skin, notes like Tonka Bean and Amber shine hard. But, this opens nicely with what I think smells like hot black tea, and then into this wood, but parallel to the Tonka. And then, a segue into cardamom, and later, what I think is patchouli, and maybe an authentic musk. It ends, way after the party, with this animalistic situation that I don't hate. Excellent sillage, and it keeps the right amount of power throughout the day, nothing obnoxious. Maybe my new "signature" scent, because I think KC got it right with this one.
12th April, 2016
Not offensive, but slightly boring, and slightly girly. Apples and spicy for a few secs if I can recall(has been maybe 9yrs since I owned it). Wouldn't buy again.
15th February, 2016
Of the Kenneth Cole line of fragrances this is my favorite. Not exactly saying that I'm a huge fan of Kenneth Cole fragrances, but this is by far more pleasing to my nose.

It's more mature than Reaction, but doesn't make me smell like an old man. It's woody, fresh, a little sweet with a touch of spice. I love it.

This was my first foray in designer fragrances not too long after it was released. As I've gotten older it actually smells better to me (and others) than when I purchased it.
02nd December, 2014

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Kenneth Cole Signature by Kenneth Cole Aftershave Balm 3.4 oz Unboxed Tube

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Kenneth Cole Signature by Kenneth Cole 3.4 oz EDT Cologne for Men New In Box

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Kenneth Cole Signature Men 3 PC Set 3.4 oz EDT + 3.4 oz Balm + Deo Stk Brand New

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Kenneth Cole Signature by Kenneth Cole EDT Spray 3.4 oz

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Kenneth Cole Signature by Kenneth Cole Body Spray 6 oz

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Kenneth Cole Signature Eau De Toilette 3.4 oz / 100 ml For Men Sealed

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Kenneth Cole Signature for Men 3.4 oz EDT Eau de Toilette Spray New in Box NIB

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Kenneth Cole Signature Cologne 3.3 / 3.4 oz EDT Spray for MEN After Shave Balm

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KENNETH COLE SIGNATURE FOR MEN 3.3/ 3.4 OZ/100 ML EAU DE TOILETTE EDT SPRAY NIB

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KENNETH COLE SIGNATURE MEN 3.3/ 3.4 OZ/100 ML EAU DE TOILETTE EDT SPRAY TESTER

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