Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

Total Reviews: 345
Recently tried this again as I've enjoyed revisiting 80's fragrances with a bit of oomph..give me chanel anteaus any day over this. The opening to be fair is quite nice and soapy but in the dry down it stinks of cat pee. This modern version is pointless really as the reformulation has left this in tatters..shame really because I had a bottle of this as a kid and it was very popular and in no way smelt this weird. I think ysl should pull this one in and admit defeat, the ingredients that made this special just aren't there anymore.
04th September, 2017
Kouros, despite its challenging 'unwashed public restroom' opening, remains to be one of YSL's best-selling masculine fragrances. Just who are these buyers? Female baby boomers buying for their husbands? Customers with blocked sinuses and a perpetual cold?

The answer reveals itself after 5-10 minutes when the funky opening loses its potency and your sense of smell recalibrates. What remains in the air is an attractively clean, lightly spiced scent with subtle floral nuances. Texturally it feels dry but neither scratchy nor powdery, a remarkable balancing act achieved within the aromachemical constraints in this post-IFRA era.

Up close and personal, I traced little of the skank that featured in the beginning and unsurprisingly, zero oak moss. Kouros has clearly been stripped of its backbone, usurped of its crown yet retains enough of its overt charms to ring in the cash registers.

Still very good by current standards, but not as great as the vintage. A solid 7 out of 10.
07th August, 2017
Definitely a male scent.Forget urinal cakes and Poo and all.These comparisons are just height of exaggeration.I bet there is no other male perfume in the world which comes close to the maleness of Kouros.Yes,there are perfumes like Quorum,Drakkar Noir,Ted Lapidus,Azzaro Pour Homme,Antaeus etc but nothing comes close to Kouros.
Opening has lots of spices,middle notes has civet and some flowery notes but they are not feminine at all.The base has musk which resembles Ambergris and it somehow feels soapy but in a good way.
Lasting power is good 8-10 hours with moderate sillage.I guess I have the reformulated version which is a little bit subdued as compared to the older versions.
Kouros is definitely male.Fantastic and different.Brilliant!!!
24th July, 2017
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01st July, 2017
Just the memories alone are worth the 5-star rating. Kouros was my "go to" for nearly a decade in my youth. I'm guessing that no less than five of my friends began wearing Kouros after smelling it on me. I hate to pick up the reformulated version, but I'm gonna have to soon!
07th May, 2017
I don't like the smell, but I love that Kouros has so much character. Being in the fragrance game in the 80's must have been fun with all the heavy, macho scents and new, ground-breaking creations coming out. I'm guessing this was really different then and actually, pretty different now as well.

What I get is public school bar soap mixed with something animalic. Really good performance throughout the 8-10 hours I could smell it and actually mellows out the deeper into the drydown.
02nd March, 2017
Kouros....(vintage) 1981-2009

Unlike most of the fragrances in my wardrobe, I'm ALWAYS in the mood to wear Kouros. This fragrance makes me feel like I'm on top of the world and what better way to start your morning? I find the top notes dirty and invigorating at the same time, such a powerful experience and as it dries down the compliments come rolling in every time. The more time I spend with this fragrance the more I question why I have anything else? I'm truly speechless...

Scent 10/10 I get compliments ALL the time with Kouros, no joke. My wife even likes it!(She's picky) I'm very comfortable wearing this fragrance, It's a part of me. The smell is a pure work of art and unique.

Projection 10/10 Vintage 7/10 Current Formulation

Longevity 10/10 Vintage 8/10 Current Fourmulation

Versitility 10/10 Kouros is an all seasons fragrance believe it or not. Spray lightly! I wear this to church, work, dates with my wife, casual, dressed up....

Reviews for the 5 versions of KOUROS:
I own or have owned all but 1 of the KOUROS formulations and all are different. Here's my take:

1st Era "Charles of the Ritz" (1981-1986): KOUROS in all it's glory. The opening is dirty and whatever notes cause the "bathroom" association (which I love) are amplified in this one. The top notes seem to stay longer than formulations to come. Natural civet was used in this formulation and it makes a difference. The juice is DARK yellow, and thick. The sprayer spays little baby squirts and with 2 baby sprays it's truly a beast and will last ALL DAY. The dry down is very noticeable and pushes out, not a skin scent. If you can score a 100ml bottle for $200 or 50ml for $120 on ebay, buy it. It's worth more than that and it will last forever.

2nd Era, Parfums Corp 1987-1992: All in all, very similar to the previous only SLIGHTLY toned down civet. Nothing to get mad about, its still has tons of civet. Still dark thick yellow juice. Projects and lasts the same as previous.

3rd Era, Sanofi (1993-1998): The scent is like 95% the same but something changed. The opening is very similar but slightly, SLIGHTLY less dirty. Still possesses the "restroom" trademark and this is the last formulation where the oak moss is heavily used. The juice is still thick and dark yellow (you can see the quality) I personally love this formulation a lot just as much as previous 2.

4th Era: Early Gucci(1999-2005)/Late Gucci(2006-2009)
This is the last formulation Yves Saint Laurent will live through, He will die in 2009 and his company sold to L'Oreal, who will ruin his heritage and shame his brand and reputation.
The "restroom" vibe is toned down big time in this formulation most likely due to IFRA cracking down on oak moss. Scent is somewhat watered down but still undeniably KOUROS. The long list of ingredients is implemented in 2005 and the juice is no longer thick and dark yellow. This version is still very potent with strong sillage and longevity despite being watered down, it's still ABOVE average. Still loaded with civet. Still satisfying overall.

In my opinion anything with "silver shoulders, and base plate" is golden. The older the formulation the better but All these formulations smell like Pierre Bourdon's KOUROS. There are some differences but they are all 10/10.

5th & Current Era: L'Oreal
Absolute travesty. They assassinated KING KOUROS.
What you will get out of this is a soapy clove fragrance that relies mainly on clove and patchouli for the dirtiness and utilizes synthetic illusions to bring to mind civet. I fell in love with this version and it was all I knew, but in the back of my mind I knew it must have been so much better. There is an annoying sharpness that I grew to hate. Thank GOD I chose not to settle, and went vintage.
01st March, 2017

I have also read the very informative blog "Raiders of the Lost Scent" to guide me for Fahrenheit and Kouros. In this time I now have acquired 4 vintage Kouros from the early vintage through to the pre gucci era. I have not tried the recent versions. The bottles all smell very similar with the earliest one a bit more shrill to me (thats how I perceive this civet for lack of a better vocabulary).

In my vintage collection there are some scents which I feel are timeless and some seem dated as in the accurate reflection of the time they were produced and represent. Kouros is the latter, it represents the glorious 80's bold and masculine and very loud.

I don't think I could wear this now, at work, at night in public, or even in bed wanting to wear something cozy. For me this is a one spray fragrance, right on the chest while I slip on my 3rd gold chain necklace. I will keeping trying to wear it and enjoy it but it's challenging.

I don't mean it smells badly to me but the projection and sillage and one of a kind scent are truly amazing and polarizing which reflect on the quality of ingredients and the genius behind it.

One of the great reference mens scents of 80's IMHO and a must buy (vintage) for the serious collector.
Put it on the wall and admire it but wear it at your own risk.
18th January, 2017 (last edited: 29th January, 2017)
My father wore this all my childhood, so he had the vintage for sure. I didn't like it then, I don't like it now. The smell is very strong and obnoxious.

I do understand why people like it, I can definitely give credit because it is quality juice, just one that I (and many others) don't like the smell of.

This is the "broccoli" or "olives" of perfumes, those who like it will love it, but more than likely people around you wont.
04th January, 2017
Kouros was not pleasing to me at first. But it took me spritzing it on and really seeing its quality throughout the day to conclude: It is a REALLY special, complex, and pleasant scent from YSL. I can't stop sniffing it, and it lasts forever! It has an animalic quality to it that may turn some off (as it did to me on initial sniff); yet it ends up with a very warm, powdery, and musky character that stands alone. (Even after a couple of days, the scent is not stale and offensive, but resembles Royal Copenhagen - neat!) A distinct, classic fragrance for any serious scent-aficionado to check out!
08th December, 2016 (last edited: 09th December, 2016)
Stardate 20161123:

So this one is a puzzle. Smells fresh out of shower as well as unwashed hobo. I guess that is the beauty of this fragrance.
You will have to go the vintage route with this and preferably vintage after shave as vintage EDT may be too much for today.
Current formulation lacks that dichotomy.

I love this and wear it to office without any issue. The A/S. I don't think EDT would be office friendly.

Get it

23rd November, 2016
I'm trying the original version of Kouros, and it's an interesting fragrance with an exciting, animalic opening. The urinous note is not so different from vintage Boss No. 1, which I enjoy. Some moments in the early development are reminiscent of an overused urinal, with an air freshener trying to offset the smell, but as it develops, it's nicer, and smells like an ambitious animalic floral. Into the base, it's an interesting woody fragrance, with a hint of animalic in the background. Overall, a marginal thumbs up, with my preference for something in this vein being vintage Boss.
20th October, 2016
Although I have tried twice to like this juice, I have been unable to take a shine to it. There is a lot to appreciate here, bold, sensual and animalistic for sure. However, I keep getting a "well used public restroom" vibe that ruins it for me.

It deserves credit for stretching the limits and making an independent statement. It is a very good candidate for a test vial purchase. Its not a "me too" scent for sure. I wish I could have taken to it. It's just not for me.
16th October, 2016
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The king of all fragrances to me!
A real classic that never lets you down once you get it!
A perfect blend of freshness, powerness, masculanity and a little dirtyness at the same time.
Note: get a vintage and at least a pre-2009 bottle but preferred are the early 1981-1986 bottles which had real civet and show you what Kouros was really about! Avoid the all white bottles without the metal shoulders!
Rating: 10/10
14th October, 2016
Somehow I missed this in the 80s, God knows how. Or maybe so many guys were wearing it, it just became part of the background noise. I have an almost-full bottle (modern formulation), which I had originally bought for a friend a couple of years ago as a "nostalgic" present, almost as a joke, as he used to wear it back in the day. Anyway he's more "refined" now, wears Issey Miyake, and gave it back to me. :)
I am so glad. I've been wearing it the last few days.
I love this. It really is unique. This is why I love it : 1) I have this thing about the combination of oakmoss and aldehydes. It drives me crazy, I don't know why, and Kouros has it in buckets. 2) it has the strong animalic note that I know from Chanel Antaeus, which I have grown to love and appreciate over time . It reminds me of the smell of the warm, wet skin of a man straight out of a hot shower. 3) (the weirdest) The combination of oakmoss and civet reminds me of the gorgeous clean, soapy smell of a cat's fur.
It's virile, strong, fearless, bristling and purring. If a male lion chose a perfume, it would be this.
Strength and longevity : King of the jungle.
July 2016
12th July, 2016
Massive aromatic fougere. What more to be said?

Suits old-school masculinity. The civet, the oakmoss, are there in force. I couldn't honestly wear this myself, but it's so uncompromising that I just have to admire it.

I bought a bottle for my dad, who wears anything you buy him. It suits him very well.

If I had a job that necessitated the frequent wearing of a hard hat, I would wear this also.

I wouldn't say that I favour this, though, over similar near-contemporaries such as Aramis, Quorum, or Yatagan. Now that last one really is special.
14th June, 2016
This was a big loser for me. I don't know why anyone would want this on their skin. It smells old and musty... I had this washed off my wrist within 10 mins of being sprayed... tried it on a card thinking that I would see after it dried that it was a nice scent... WRONG still smelled old... kinda a medicinal vibe that I do not like... avoid.
31st May, 2016 (last edited: 01st June, 2016)
At first I thought in all of those reviews wich said it smelled like an old bathroom, etc. My mistake was that i sniffed it from close and just sprayed, and the trick with this fragance is to pour just a few sprays in your body an from far distance, and its a whole different story.

Now I really love it, smells fresh, clean an a little spicy, and it really distingishes from other fragances, and as a bonus, it has an 80s vibe touch.

Totally recommend it, if your personality matches with the scent.
21st March, 2016
Did I get peed on? Oh. No, nope: just Kouros. This is the first fragrance to make me take a shower to rid me of the smell, and it was FIVE hours after application. Also the first time a fragrance caused the front part of my tongue to water (???), I felt like I could TASTE it. Also prompted my first review: Warm, dense, potent pee smell with a hint of sweetness for "balance". I could use this to attract bucks while hunting (I believe it actually DOES have urine in it, right? "Civet"?). I do appreciate it though, if nothing else for its daring attitude and performance but- come on- I get impressed by my own farts that do this same thing and they're cheaper (and possibly less offensive). It's worth a try if nothing else for a good laugh or to wear the night you break up with your girlfriend. I honestly feel those who say they like it are either lying or the type to say they "like pain" and enjoy "eating bugs" just to go against the grain and beat their chest and rebel for whatever reason. Again, I suppose anything can start to smell good after a certain amount of exposure, but if I'm having to talk my nose into it, I'd rather not buy it. At least don't blind buy. YSL's ongoing 30 yr joke on mankind. Buy this for the guy dating your sister.
22nd February, 2016
Since I got into the whole fragrance hoo-hah, I learned from early on not to judge a fragrance by the marketing hype surrounding it - is it masculine or feminine.

The iconic scent of Kouros by the once big house of Yves saint Laurent, just simply does not let me think about this otherwise. It IS the most masculine scent out there. It carries quite a punch and never fails to get noticed. Bergamot, cloves, luscious woods, all underpinned by superbly balanced soapy-clean base make this scent irresistible.

If this had been sold in a clear glass bottle and named after a number or a colour, perhaps it wouldn't get noticed as much, but its the whole package - bottle, packaging, name and scent overall that give this scent a niche feel to it.

My only complaint? I only recently discovered it. One spritz and this stuff lasts past the evening shower. I can still detect it on clothes after they've been washed.

Definitely a 'try before you buy' scent as I don't think it will appeal to everyone, but a magnificent aromatic fougere that's not to be missed if you are a fragrance enthusiast.
27th November, 2015
I don't go with the smell, if you're gonna learn about the details of perfume read the other reviews, but here's some information which you may like to know.

Normally under some circumstances a perfume goes retired, reformulated or flankered. One is when a perfume doesn’t bring expected benefit. If a formula doesn't fit the contemporary taste, it goes under change or another flanker is released with titles as "sport" and so.

Kouros is an exception! There are several flankers for this perfume but instead of Body Kouros, none brought the expected benefit as the forefather brings! This perfume is that solid and inflexible that hardly a nose can emerge a softer version with guarantee for oversale. Impossible!

Kouros is not a perfume designed by greedy wallets of a house, nor a perfume conducted by accident, it's Pierre Bourdon's art.

Kouros is an 80's child and since then it has always met the utmost expectations such as character, power, sillage, charm, sexiness, etc.
It is a concrete fragrance, yet, so calculated in composition. Today even after passing three decades from his life, it is still on top of the house and this shows how genius Mr. Laurent was and what a maestro perfume Mr. Bourdon is.
06th November, 2015
Deliciously sweet and spicy animal filth. I love snuggling down into this, despite being of the lady persuasion. Boyfriend hasn't yet complained about me going to bed smelling like Bigfoot's personal gentlemen's area or a public loo after a cottaging frenzy. Not that I would listen if he did.

Of course, being a woman I've never been anywhere near a urinal cake, so that association is lost on me. Just in case, have not yet had the balls to wear this in my otherwise all-male office.
30th October, 2015 (last edited: 31st December, 2016)
Kouros is still my favorite masculine on the market and, along with Yatagan, the best deal. If you love the smell, it becomes truly addictive, and the clean-dirty dichotomy present in all my favorites--Angel, Amouage Gold, Yatagan--is key to my continued fascination.
After coming to terms with how excellent the "new" Opium actually is, I felt compelled to purchase a fresh bottle of Kouros. I was familiar with a post-2010 version from an ex-boyfriend who had it. It smelled like Kouros, sure, but had an almost bubblegum sweet quality to it and less complexity. I remember the bottle being plastic and cheap-looking.
Maybe I'm crazy, but the new bottle I received from Amazon (dated 2014) seems leagues better than what I smelled last year. The packaging has changed, I assume to coincide with the launch of Kouros Silver. Regardless of the ho-humness of that flanker, I'm glad that they're giving more attention and a new advertising campaign to Kouros. This new bottle is white glass without silver shoulders, and it looks expensive and well designed, not like a cost-cutting measure as the first L'Oreal ones did. The logo has been slightly modernized and "Eau de Toilette" is gone. The box it came in is shiny navy and silver foil, different from the brighter blue ones I've purchased in the past.
Most importantly, it smells excellent and lasts forever! The thin sweetness I detected with the plastic bottle my ex had is gone. It's not as strong as my first bottle, but it's gorgeous and smells exactly as Kouros should. It lasts through an entire work day, fading into a nice clean floral musk at the end. The shocking trademark Kouros sensation of a musky man wearing a soapy floral perfume is there--at times I was even reminded (positively) of Giorgio, like a dirty man had sprayed on Giorgio.
I think YSL took customer complaints seriously and improved the formula for the launch of the flanker. Kouros Silver may have been a blessing in disguise.
02nd October, 2015
Kouros is SO original and it lasts so much longer than the newer fragrances. I also love Kouros Cologne Sport, which, to me, smells like Essenza by Zegna. It is a lovely and masculine fragrance and reminds me of when I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico (where there was a large Kouros billboard right next to the mall)! A+! Kouros and Kouros Cologne Sport will both be in the Top 10 fragrances of all time! I enjoy wearing this especially in the colder months of winter. It's a warm and comforting fragrance.
01st September, 2015
An odd one. It evokes such strong opinions it makes it a high risk venture. As soon as anyone identifies it, you're done for. Yet it has some distinct allure and smells like nothing else, a bygone age. Perhaps wear just a tiny bit in summer, and only if you expect to score in the wee hours of morning, and don't care who knows.
02nd August, 2015
Encouraged by reviews and opinions I tested it.

Pros: Good projection and longevity.

Cons: A simple and straightforward fragrance. It's like an american muscle car - simple and bold but not sophisticated.

My conclusion: Ideal for someone who wants to smell good for a long time - but not more.
03rd July, 2015

A perpetual classic.KOUROS is a scent of confidence, sexiness and absolutely irresistible,manly scent.quite a killer combination that automatically draws ladies to you. Adventurous,Classic, Strong, Intriguring,Provocative,Timeless,Virile,Classy,Versatile, Unforgettable and Purely Sensual.

Aldehydes combine with a shot of artemisia and bergamot while the warmth of patchouli and cinnamon harmonizes with the sensual masculine base due leather,civet and honey for a very sophisticated and superb scent that demands attention and makes you feel sexy just wearing it.

This sexy evening scent is for anyone that desires a sophistication and subtle ecstasy that can only come with a Great fragrance.It is perfect for sensualists men in the Autumn/Winter weather.The fragrance lasts all day only with 2 or 3 sprays.Ladies if you are looking for an irresistible&classic fragrance for that special man in your life,i would highly recommend this one.


Longevity?Lasts and lasts.

09th June, 2015
I have used this much when I was younger and I think it is more suitable for teenage. But I still like the scent : its very fresh and unique.

It has enormous sillage and lasting power. But it is too familiar and commonly used (at least in the 80's) . Nowadays It is like joke , unfortunately.
21st May, 2015
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