Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent

Total Reviews: 335
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
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
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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
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
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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
Kouros is a new definition of freshness, for me, its day and night perfume, absolute after-shower smell and love potion at night.

i absolutely would like to repurchase after this one finish.

04th March, 2015
Wow this stuff is really really bad,gets a lot of good reviews and don't understand one of them....only if you really hate someone this is the perfect gift for sure.
01st March, 2015
No matter how many times I smell Kouros,it always comes off the same way; bandages and antiseptic ointment. A co-workers used to wear this and I never could stomach it for more than a few minutes at best. I got curious one day while out shopping and sampled it just to determine if I truly couldn't find anything decent in the scent. I sprayed my wrists and within five minutes I was scrubbing it off in a restaurant men's room. Bandages is what it smells like.

Not for me at all.
27th February, 2015 (last edited: 29th December, 2015)
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
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
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

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
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
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
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.
19th April, 2014 (last edited: 09th May, 2014)
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.
17th April, 2014
An iconic fragrance and a reference in the scent world, which I used to hate when I was a student (when a lot of foreign students wore it way too loud making it unbearable for most of us).
I tried it again couple of weeks ago and it caught me because on one hand my nose has 'matured' meanwhile along with my increasing collection and on the other hand this reformulated version is (fortunately) more bearable for me, so when I got the chance I bought it happily.
Coriander, sage, bergamot with a touch of honey sweetness is what I get from the start, followed quickly by a mellowing flowery combo of geranium, patchouli and carnation, with the top aromatic-sweetness still in background. In the next 2 hrs the scent matures in its leathery-animalic-musky base, very mature and compelling.
A great 'barbershop' style frag for me which I really like it a lot and even if it's kinda 'weak' now (for other collectors who used to treasure its vintage version's power) it suits me well and so others noses around me. My rank 8/10 - a keeper in my everyday wardrobe.
04th April, 2014