Dear Smellgood4u. You seem excited, as you should be, regarding your purchase of Kouros. The scent has incredible longevity, era-correct construction, and more character than a starving West Coast voice actor terrorizing a talent agency. I will do well by telling you my take on this much-maligned classic.
Kouros earned a bad reputation for being overly bold and the antithesis of mellow. This reputation had much grease thrown on the fire during the mid 1990's when "shiny, happy" scents began to appear with promises of aquatic notes and fresh florals. Scents like Santos by Cartier, Obsession by Calvin Klein, and Pour Lui by Oscar De La Renta were deemed "demon piss" while demure olfactory happy-faces like Aqua Di Gio, CK-One, and L'eau D'Issey earned praise and accolades (along with gaining sales) for providing an experience much akin to a good day in the laundry room. Splendid. Let's time trip back a little over two decades and join our unsuspecting protagonist, shall we?
Picture the scene: Marshall Field's Orland Square Mall location, first floor, men's fragrance counter. Our friend is perusing the selection of scents when he realizes that the same company who makes a newer scent he really likes has an offering from an earlier time. He looks at the styled white bottle, emblazoned with the word "KOUROS" and decides, "...never tried this. I'll give it a spin." *spritz* As the scent settles on the top of his hand, he notices a sharp presentation, much like a ladies scent. He gives it a minute before resigning to wash the attempt from his hand, and notices the sharpness fold into a floral impression, which then gives way to something resembling candy. What th.....? HONEY? Are you serious?? Strange, but not a sticky smell. Sweet, for sure, but after minutes....evolving. Some thirty minutes later, the young man still has the sample of the scent on his hand, but now the florals and honey have faded to a light shadow, and the scent of wood has taken over. Not a rich, opulent, milled type of wood, but rather something that resembles.....sawdust. Clearly the smell of a seriously abused type of wood. More time passes and the scent has been on for almost an hour. The young man, still quite new to the concept of fragrance and still lacking cultivated patience, discounts the presentation of the unique scent and goes over 15 years before revisiting it again.
The young man we speak of here is me. After this attempt at Kouros, I smirkingly regarded the scent as "Sawdust and Honey", and believe you me, once I came aboard Basenotes some 8 years ago, I was surprised and befuddled at why people referred to it as "The Urinal Cake Scent". I'm sorry, I get no "pee note" from YSL's Kouros. I can see where there may be something PERCEIVED as a "pee note", given then florals, spices and honey may react strangely on one's skin. It was about 8 years ago I revisited Kouros, and guess what. No peepee. No whizzy. No toilette. Sawdust and Honey? You bet, still there, still wearing mullets, Cavaricci slacks, and boat shoes with no socks. What gets me is that I have met people who have had a wonderful, woody scent on their person, almost like a green forest. I ask them which scent it is they are wearing and the respond, "...Oh, this is an older scent...came out many years ago. It's called Kouros by Yves Saint Laurent."
So what does the Great White Hype hold in store for you, smellgood4u? I am not sure, but my wish to you is that YSL's perennial powerhouse finds much harmony on your skin, and even though it may not fulfill your wishes to a tee, I hope the scent works well on you and for you, and that you never have a dull time wearing it. It's hard being someone in a group who is in a middle ground on a scent so polarizing (I do not hate Kouros, but I don't feel the need to really own it. To me, it's OK), but you know what? It's also a lot of fun. I get to stir the pot, and stay emotionally detached as well.
Enjoy, sir! I hope it works out wonderfully for you!