A sharp, bitter, peppery mix of anise, oud and vetiver.
Turin notes the bitter peppery note as angelica. The anise and vetiver are both light to my nose. What totally ruins this scent is the sharp, metallic oud note, making this one of the most unpleasant scents I have ever encountered.
It was difficult finding a mini for this one, but I'm glad I waited. I would have hated to pay real money for this terrible scent. Why perfumers go out of their way to create offensive scents I have never been able to comprehend. Even less do I comprehend the noses which find these pleasant enough to pay big bucks for them.
Ah, well, the mystery of the human nose.
In keeping with Kenzo’s minimalist leanings, KenzoAir is a very simple composition, built mostly on an accord of pencil shavings/woody amber, dry vetiver, and sharp black pepper. It feels like an excerpt from Cartier’s Déclaration, specifically the woody synthetic base notes, shorn of the citrus and leather that bestow living warmth upon them. It smells OK, but it feels incomplete. It’s certainly not exciting.
Don’t let the name fool you, by the way. KenzoAir’s structure might be hollow, but it’s potent, it’s linear, and it lasts forever. If this scent’s austere style and cedar-vetiver flavor appeal to you, I recommend trying Lalique’s Encre Noire as well. It conjures a similar mood but smells more finished.
In the top notes the mixture of licorice and anise develops beautifully on my skin, a very nice idea, with a touch of bergamot-freshness in the background. The drydown brings a lovely vetiver into play, whilst the base is to me the least interesting part with its rather generic wood-amber impression. This scent is openly flouting its synthetic nature, but it is well made and in its simplicity nonetheless quite convincing. Whilst silage and projection are nothing to write home about, the longevity of over six hours is fairly respectable. Good in spring.
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A licorice Jelly bean. With black pepper shaken over it. It works, just not for me.
BOTH THUMBS UP.... WAY UP!!!
How many ways can I say that I love this fragrance!? It's my all-time favorite. The anise, black licorice, the way it smells cold like steel. NOBODY, anywhere has done licorice this well.
However, with that said, it's not perfect. It sits too close to the skin. In a perfect world this would have the projection of Joop!
It doesnt last too long either. So I sought out Kenzo Air Intense. But I find K-A-I to be virtually identical. (Except that K-A-I has a bluish tint to the juice and the original is clear.)
If you like "Cold" scents, Anise/Licorice, or unique scents...try this one. It's been discontinued, but still can be found if you keep your eyes peeled all the time.
Still my favorite scent!
Opens up smelling like sand, dirt, and that smell when ya bite into a licorice jellybean and smell it inside. Fresh, black licorice. The combination eventually develops into a fishy/rusty smell.
The vetiver dry down is nice, but it doesn't make up for the strange elements in this one. Whether I am smelling rust, fish, metal, rubber, sand, dirt, or that smell when you walk into a hair salon. It's just very off-putting.
To me Kenzo Air smells a lot like Eau de Rochas pour Homme: they both share the same myrrh-licquorice-like atmosphere. Very nice!
I tested this woody-aromatic for the first time inside a Sain Petersburg's parfumery a frosty sunny winter morning and i remember to have deeply inhaled, while smelling my wrist barely outdoor, a sort of tangy, balsamic, mentholated smell of vetiver blended with anise (angelica). I agree who with writes that this vetiver accord is energizing and prickly (even because of the usage of pepper). This minimalistic fragrance grounds its foudationon over a synthetic accord of citrus-vetiver-anise-ambergris-spices (close as smell to the Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume's Cetalox) which comes out as a sort of incensey aromatic smell of herbs, roots, humid woods and liquorice. Very airy and woodsy as the smell of wet wood in a wet forest. Sant Petersburg, with its golden domes, was majestic that day while i was observing the glaring iridescence of the ice's gleam and the sparkling drops falling from the wet branches.
13th July, 2011 (last edited: 26th October, 2014)
An underrated gem.
It happened by accident that I layered two fragrances. I was testing Encre Noir to write my final review and instead of spraying it on an unscented smelling strip, I sprayed it on a piece of paper on which I previously tested Etro's Anice.
What a suprise to smell the anisic aspect of vetiver amphasized by the real anise note. Especially in the drydown when the two perfumes blended perfectly together.
Well, I found Kenzo Air Intense / Kenzo Air to have a very similar vibe to the above scenario and despites probably not being as praised as Encre Noir, it still has a great charme. Peppery, anisic, funny. Chemical? Yes, most definitely, but very well blended. Does great in warm weather.
If you're wondering about the differencies between the "intense" version and the original, well, I haven't found a substantial one. The "intense" is exactly like the original version but a little bit stronger, that's it.
11th May, 2011 (last edited: 27th March, 2012)
Like most Kenzo men's frags, this one is a quiet, minimalist creation. The opening of anise moves towards a heart of peppery, vetiver and a lightly sweetened base of amber. There's a great angelica note that tames both the vetiver and anise. Similar to Etro's Vetiver but not as edgy and much smoother. Hard to believe that Roucel had a hand in this one.
The bottle/case is superb, a work of modern art. Will surely stand out in your collection. Worth the price for the bottle alone.
The first thing that struck me about this scent was that it's linear and seems to be more simply constructed than most other scents I've owned. The second thought was that it made a welcome change from the usual fruity, citrusy or aquatic summer fragrances for men. I was especially impressed with the way it smelt cool and refreshing without the need to resort to mint.
Kenzoair has a typically unusual smell (I get mainly a medicinal-liquorice-vetiver-cedar smell) and arty-surreal presentation that I tend to associate with Kenzos - BTW I like the remarkable-looking 'sculptured' bottle. Like Kenzo Pour Homme, this is an interesting, distinctive (it smells a lot like how I think I remember Bogner Deep Forest smelt) and sometimes demanding scent that I think lacks any real sensuality - but could make a good signature fragrance and is great for office/business use. Unlike many others on this site, I've found the scent to be strong & long lasting with good sillage that works particularly well in hot weather.
I bought the 90 ml EDT but was alarmed to notice that the bottle was only about 60% full when I first opened the box leading me to think I had been conned by the retailer. However I noticed from another Internet site that all Kenzoair bottles are made the same size and volume irrespective of the amount of scent they will eventually be filled with. This explains my partially filled bottle which could clearly hold at least 150 mls compared to the 90 mls it actually held when new. This also leads me to ask why wasn't it simply sold like most other scents as 100 mls in the first place instead of as 90 mls...typically wacky Kenzo !
In summary, a really good scent - my favourite of all the male Kenzos and a thumbs-up also for being so different!
28th May, 2010 (last edited: 18th March, 2011)
I have tried quite a number of vetiver-centric scents before I got round to this entry by Kenzo and yet it still comes as a surprise. While KENZOAIR is unquestionably light and airy, the vetiver accord is not a mere footnote but more of a footprint. It's amazing! How can something seemingly so ethereal still smell so substantial?
Saltish and a little tangy, even a touch gritty. The vetiver may be stripped down to its core but it is so well-crafted there have been moments when I thought I'd caught the enchanting sillage of Chanel Sycomore. Fans of subtle fragrances owe it to themselves to try this one out. Certainly one of Kenzo's finest.
I love this perfume. The smell of anise is one of my favourites. Kenzo Air is fresh and woody at the same time, with anise and vetiver together through the dry down. So different and unique that everyone should try it!
25th March, 2010 (last edited: 09th April, 2010)
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This is what pure comfort smells like to me. At first when I blind bought this fragrance I thought to myself Air? What does Air smell like? Well this fragrance didnt blow me away at first spray.
First of all what the hell happened? there was a very faint spicy peppery scent that seemed to disappear as soon as it hit my skin...but then something amazing happened. This fragrance has a mind of it's own, it's like a playful puppy, that hides and pops out on you when you least expect it.
Anyways onto the fragrance... this is definately a peppery, anise fragrance, yet it has that complete comfy, snuggly soft huggableness to it. It's so hard to describe this to me this is Air, for something I didnt think had much projection, this baby just keeps me sniffing all day long, it just wafts from my clothes in little intervals to say "hello! i'm still here".
Great great fragrance, such a pity it is discontinued, this is a simple, "don't bother me I'm having a quiet, peaceful day" kinda fragrance. Definately one for the spring or the summer that you could enjoy on a picnic or at the beach and just letting the light breeze envelope you with this amazing scent.
Very thin transparent fragrance of anise, cedar, vetiver and probably tons of iso e super - although I am not a fragrance chemist. Kenzoair is a pleasant licorice conifer woodsy fragrance that at times is so transparent it disappears from scent altogether. But have faith, KA is still very much at work even though you can't always smell it. The transparency of the fragrance is its interesting quality and also is its downfall. Is it really still there? It is just too subtle at times, but is hard to beat when the weather is hot and humid and most other fragrances will blossom and fume with intensity. Kenzoair is well named for its clear headed ability to offset any stuffy thick environment with fresh wooded air.
This is my impression of Kenzo Air Intense. I get the cumin notes in the opening. The vetiver that comes next is soothing and not too in-your-face (maybe Kenzo perfumes work better on Asian skin). A good fragrance but not neccesarily memorable.
My only peeves are the totally misleading name (maybe KenzoDust would work better?) and the pretty but none-too-functional bottle.
Very promising start that is a combination of vetiver and anise/licorice -- but falls flat on its face a little while later as it settles down to a thin and unsatisfying drydown. When compared to other vetiver-prominent scents like Encre Noire and in unfair comparisons -- to Vetiver Tonka and Malle's VE, Air is just not up to the task.
Well, if you're looking for a transparent vetiver scent that is even more transparent than JCE's works, then this may be the perfect choice. Have to credit it for being somewhat "different" when compared to most run of the mill designer fragrances though.
Nice fresh spicy fragrance in a terrific bottle. Weird scent in a way and another: In times it seems almost undetectable, but then its there again. Lively scent that reacts nicely into body temp changes.
Also, the scent is interesting in way of contradictions; mixture of fresh airy ozonic note and dry woods and warm spices is well made here and even a bit unique.
It has this slightly gluey shade in there somewhere too which I like.
All in all this could almost be seen as avant-garde entirety considering the fact it’s made by this kind of mainstream house. I presume its not selling huge quantities.
worst bottle of all time. anise and licoriceand really nothing else. very strangeang short lived.
Boy do I love this one, the only problem is that everyone I know doesn't. It's kind of a bummer knowing that the people around me are annoyed at how I smell. Oh well, I guess it's one of those hit or misses. The vetiver and anise combination for some reason evoke the smell of the beach, but not a tropical one. I'm talking about a Maine beach in spring while there's still a chill in the air and a fog rolling in. This isn't an, "everyone will kind of like it" smell, it's a "hit a home run or pull a back muscle" smell, so use caution.
And the bottle stinks, but that doesn't really matter.
Now I undestand why is named Air. I tryed in a perfume store in Aruba coz I was very curious about this summer perfume.
Awful experience. I think . This is Air. Believe me, I put it on my skin and after 1 minute I try to smell it and nothing! Only Air. Longevity zero.
Perfect name, by the way.
Anise/licorice right up front, no doubt about it. The vetiver is nice and peppery. I have the EdP and the cumin really is... self-defeating. Just add more pepper to the vetiver. Eh, it's ok but it's abrasive to the note. Look out if you have allergies. This is unique.
Not for everybody I'm sure, but personally this really works on my skin. Fresh, sweet, unobtrusive and clear, this is very well balanced and the bottle looks great. The scent is quite transparent, and airy, but then it stays around for longer than any other fragrance I own, and just kind of 'pops up' very now and again in a really nice way. I don't think I've ever really seen licqourice used in this way before. Total thumbs up.
08th May, 2008 (last edited: 15th March, 2010)
When I first tried this in the department store I really couldn't pick up much of anything, but once you get it home, and away from the competing smells, Kenzoair starts to come out of its shell. There's that definite licorice note at first that evolves into just a really pleasant vetiver, and as light as it is (and as much of a fragrance hoover as my skin is) this scent just kind of keeps hanging around. I can usually still detect it 4 hours after application, which is more than ample for this frag. The bottle I bought was labeled Kenzoair Eau de Toilette Intense, but as far as I can tell this is the one and only version of this scent, though I'm sure I've seen it around without the "Intense".
Someone said previously:
Worst bottle of all time. anise and licorice and really nothing else. very strange and short lived.
I say: BEST bottle of all time, anise and liquorice and not too much else. Magnificently unusual and very long-lived - one of the few to go round the clock (and I have a very bad sense of smell, unfortunately). Linear, but if you like the star, you'll like the end...
My earlier review, tweaked a bit one year on...
Good, descriptive and apt name, and a mini-masterpiece of a square and frosted glass bottle. My favourite Kenzo. My impression was of a simple liquorice combined with fresh hay (the hay as in Jicky). Not sweet. Unlikely to cause offence to allergy sufferers and super-noses. I keep this for very best.
07th November, 2007 (last edited: 09th February, 2010)
Didn't think licorice could be so pleasant. This shares alot in common with Emporio Armani White He, but that frag is far inferior in strength and complexity compared to Air. Air is very light yet it is there. The notes are deliciously sweet yet masculine. It is good for those days you don't want to assault the nose of the people around you but you want to be unique. Don't bother if you don't like licorice.
I've always been a fan of Kenzo's scents for both men and women, but I didn't like Kenzoair when it first came out. I must say it's definitely grown on me. The only two notes I can make out in it are anise and vetiver, but man, they smell fantastic. The anise fades away after a short while (20-30 minutes tops, in my case) and leaves behind a very, very nice aroma of vetiver. Kenzoair's sillage is minimal--barely extending past a few inches--but its longevity is OK. Applied it last night at 5 PM, and I could still detect it at 11 PM.
Anise and vetiver fans will like this one, and the bottle is a minor masterpiece.
Really nice for hot weather....but NO LASTING! After 5 minutes, BYE! No way!
i absolutely cannot sense a thing... :( is there really a scent?
I have tested the Intense version,which is both sweet and airy.But this one is a clone of Gucci Rush for Men with some small modifications.I like it, but it should have been more original.