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  1. #1
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    Default Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    So I've come up with a theory. I grew up in Southern California, so this is probably for US history only.

    Back when I was a young'un in the 70s and early 80s, I remember the bracing camphoraceous smell of the urinal pucks in public bathrooms. After all, my face was probably only a couple feet from the little blue rounds. They had a very sharp, strong aromatic character that I always enjoyed, not the least because it so effectively masked the urine and other odors. Bathroom cleaners often had a sharp citrus or coniferous clean smell.

    I remember well my disappointment as public bathrooms began smelling sickly sweet in the mid-1980s. This floral-incense stuff didn't mask the waste smells as well to me; rather they mixed with it, creating a cloying miasma totally at odds with how a men's bathroom should smell (in my opinion at the time).

    Fast forward to 2011. I take the Kouros vial out of the package. I had to sample it because of all the weird reviews. And boom, there it is: a slightly deeper more sophisticated version of the bathroom deodorizers that have been common for 25 years, but NOT before that.

    My theory is that aromachemical manufacturers noticed that Kouros had a definite human waste smell down at the bottom under the flowers and incense and that it sold well. So they decided to steal a strategy from YSL's playbook and use the same approach for their bathroom products, simply adding the sweet notes that would mix with live waste smells naturally in the bathroom to create a cheaper, Kouros-esque effect.

    Do you believe it's possible? Did Kouros singlehandedly ruin my bracing camphoraceous urinal pucks?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    If your from so cal and have been to the beach, would you agree kouros smells like the public beach bathroom mid afternoon on a hot day?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    I think that is a very far-fetched explanation of why the smell of urinal cakes changed after 1985. My guess is that the newer substances are cheaper to make and more effective at deodorising

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Quote Originally Posted by PradaG View Post
    If your from so cal and have been to the beach, would you agree kouros smells like the public beach bathroom mid afternoon on a hot day?
    Yes. Kouros smells like 75% of public bathrooms in SoCal.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Quote Originally Posted by pawful View Post
    I think that is a very far-fetched explanation of why the smell of urinal cakes changed after 1985. My guess is that the newer substances are cheaper to make and more effective at deodorising
    I wouldn't be surprised if they're cheaper, but my contention is that they are WORSE at deodorising than the previous camphor/lemon/pine materials.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    I don't really know how to respond to this thread.....But this I do know for sure.....This is hilarious!!!
    Gary

  7. #7

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    its highly dubious that kouros revolutionized how the bathroom deodorizers smell.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Quote Originally Posted by Slushiex3 View Post
    its highly dubious that kouros revolutionized how the bathroom deodorizers smell.
    Agree.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Last week i visited a high end shopping center here at my city.
    When i entered the bathroom it smells like Kouros. I got shocked, cause here at Brazil all the bathrooms that i entered smells like Pine (a kinda green round soap).
    I think this shopping center has imitated the american style.
    Now i know why the connection between urine (its not urine, but bathroom odorizers) and Kouros for some people

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Bathrooms in Argentina smell like Fahrenheit.

    The point is some aromachemicals are used in some perfumes that are manufactured by companies inventing those chemicals; after some years, these become public, hence their price fall, and because of it, they are vastly used in household products. Take dihidromircenol or calone, very expensive aromachemicals at first (the first one is present in Drakkar Noir, the second one in Cool Water), they are cheap ingredient nowadays; these are vastly used in detergents and cleaners.

    Some blends revolve around one or two molecules. Hence, we might as well identify these in convenience products.

    As to Kouros, I cannot tell you if there is an aromachemical responsible of this.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    My bathroom at work smells like a mojito with a splash of antifreeze.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  12. #12

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    the dirty bathroom smell is nothing new, and to mix this with the freshness of fougere isn't either. in fact, the one that started it all was fougere royale, which smells quite a bit dirtier than kouros.

    i can't really comment on your theory, since i've never came across a bathroom deodorant that smells like kouros. maybe it is an us of a thing, i live in europe.

    they do tend to be nauseating sweet, though, even the citrus/lavender/pine ones (still popular here). if fact, i was buying a pack today, and my options where: lemon (citrus), lavender + rosemary (aromatic, this one i picked) or tea tree + pine (the most camphor of the three).

    and you're right about citrus/camphoraceous/aromatic odors, being great masking agents.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    When I first smelled Guerlain Homme a few months ago, my first impression was "urinal cakes". I was at the time under the impression it was a rather old fragrance and thought, "the urinal deodorizer makers must have copied this". Imagine my disillusionment upon realizing this was a rather recent launch from the grand house of Guerlain....

  14. #14

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Too bad the X Files is no longer around. This would make for a great episode:

    “Scully, I just need to believe in the camphorous urinal puck conspiracy!” LOL.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    they do tend to be nauseating sweet, though, even the citrus/lavender/pine ones (still popular here). if fact, i was buying a pack today, and my options where: lemon (citrus), lavender + rosemary (aromatic, this one i picked) or tea tree + pine (the most camphor of the three).

    and you're right about citrus/camphoraceous/aromatic odors, being great masking agents.
    I knew I'd get some interesting responses to this thread! The old urinal pucks / deodorizers were NOT sweet. They were bracing and dry, which I found really effective.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Oh you people and your urinal puck/cat pee/urine opinions about Kouros just slay me.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    So I've come up with a theory. I grew up in Southern California, so this is probably for US history only.

    Back when I was a young'un in the 70s and early 80s, I remember the bracing camphoraceous smell of the urinal pucks in public bathrooms. After all, my face was probably only a couple feet from the little blue rounds. They had a very sharp, strong aromatic character that I always enjoyed, not the least because it so effectively masked the urine and other odors. Bathroom cleaners often had a sharp citrus or coniferous clean smell.

    I remember well my disappointment as public bathrooms began smelling sickly sweet in the mid-1980s. This floral-incense stuff didn't mask the waste smells as well to me; rather they mixed with it, creating a cloying miasma totally at odds with how a men's bathroom should smell (in my opinion at the time).

    Fast forward to 2011. I take the Kouros vial out of the package. I had to sample it because of all the weird reviews. And boom, there it is: a slightly deeper more sophisticated version of the bathroom deodorizers that have been common for 25 years, but NOT before that.

    My theory is that aromachemical manufacturers noticed that Kouros had a definite human waste smell down at the bottom under the flowers and incense and that it sold well. So they decided to steal a strategy from YSL's playbook and use the same approach for their bathroom products, simply adding the sweet notes that would mix with live waste smells naturally in the bathroom to create a cheaper, Kouros-esque effect.

    Do you believe it's possible? Did Kouros singlehandedly ruin my bracing camphoraceous urinal pucks?


    You may be on the right track. Kouros was created by Givaudan (F/CH) for YSL. We have recently learned (BBC-4 Perfume series) that Givaudan are also major suppliers of functional fragrances. What we don't know is whether or not the same held true for the mid-eighties already. Givaudan or Californian buyers of sanitary (air) cleaners should be able to give the answer. In Europe this would sometimes be public service authorities.

    Our sanitary deodorizers have been camphoraceous or piny in character (until recently) and so we never understood the 'Kouros - connection' some US Basenoters will never cease to mention.
    Last edited by narcus; 21st July 2011 at 12:10 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi Ŕ un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    I may get a small bottle of Kouros to use as a bathroom deodorizer to replace Tabac original which I have been using for that purpose.lol

  19. #19

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    You may be on the right track. Kouros was created by Givaudan (F/CH) for YSL. We have recently learned (BBC-4 Perfume series) that Givaudan are also major suppliers of functional fragrances. What we don't know is whether or not the same held true for the mid-eighties already.
    yes, these same companies (also iff, firmenich, etc) are responsible for perfume, functional perfumes (soaps, cosmetics, detergents; anything scented.. you name it, they make it), and flavors, too. barbecue ham flavored chips? fruity bubble gum? same company that makes your perfume.

    there's just a small number of big companies (5) and then a not so large number of smaller ones. they control it all. they exist for a long time, although many decades ago there where more smaller companies, they have fused now, others have just disappeared.

    these same companies invent, or copy, produce and sell the molecules that they use.
    Last edited by gido; 21st July 2011 at 12:46 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    I knew I'd get some interesting responses to this thread! The old urinal pucks / deodorizers were NOT sweet. They were bracing and dry, which I found really effective.
    same seems to be true for household detergents. dish-washing liquid used to be green and smell like green soap, then we got citrus. but now they have fancy names (usually this + that) but they don't smell like this or that, which are bullshit names anyway (satin + orchid scented, anyone?), and they are horribly sweet and cheap smelling. the largest brand of laundry soap in holland (robijn, it's called snuggle in english speaking countries) had a nice green liquid that actually smelled green, not bad; they reformulated it, and now it's very sweet and awful. the only one that i still like is their white wash detergent.

    those toilet blocks i did get are truly awful, too. surely lavender and rosemary would be very upset at this abuse of their good names, if they could. i'm not going to use this crap. i suppose it's back to burning a strip of papier d'armenie after a dropping of smelly waste.
    Last edited by gido; 21st July 2011 at 01:11 PM.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    I highly doubt that there is any correlation at all. I do not believe that much effort is put in to the decision of fragrance to be used in "urinal cupcakes." The more likely approach for those that produce the “urinal breath mints” is what they believe covers offensive odors best, and congruently, is cheapest to procure. Also, over time, I am sure great strides were made in the "urinal puck" industry that made them more effective and cheaper to produce, but, as collateral damage the scent that you grew to know and love went by the wayside. The other side of the coin is, I think if you were to ask the people behind Kouros they would vehemently deny that it smells even remotely like a public restroom or "urinal patties" and would most likely be somewhat taken aback. I think that the smell of "urinal targets" and Kouros are about as related as Britney Spears and talent.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    yes, these same companies (also iff, firmenich, etc) are responsible for perfume, functional perfumes (soaps, cosmetics, detergents; anything scented.. you name it, they make it), and flavors, too. barbecue ham flavored chips? fruity bubble gum? same company that makes your perfume.

    there's just a small number of big companies (5) and then a not so large number of smaller ones. they control it all. they exist for a long time, although many decades ago there where more smaller companies, they have fused now, others have just disappeared.

    these same companies invent, or copy, produce and sell the molecules that they use.
    Agreed. However, like with many companies, I am sure there are completely different divisions allocated for sole purposes. I doubt that the "urinal frisbee" branch has anything to do with the personal fragrance location.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Quote Originally Posted by slvrbckgorilla View Post
    Agreed. However, like with many companies, I am sure there are completely different divisions allocated for sole purposes. I doubt that the "urinal frisbee" branch has anything to do with the personal fragrance location.
    yes, these are usually not the same perfumers. but i think the research department works for both sides of the fork. and funnily enough, it was pierre bourdon (creator of kouros) who took a molecule from the functional fragrance department (dihydromyrcenol) and ran with it (cool water). it is now one of the most used molecules for citrus notes in fine fragrances.
    Last edited by gido; 21st July 2011 at 01:37 PM.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Kouros and the Evolution of Bathroom Deodorizer

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    yes, these are usually not the same perfumers. but i think the research department works for both sides of the fork. and funnily enough, it was pierre bourdon (creator of kouros) who took a molecule from the functional fragrance department (dihydromyrcenol) and ran with it (cool water). it is now one of the most used molecules for citrus notes in fine fragrances.
    This is precisely the type of argument IN FAVOR of my theory! What, you doubters think industrial fragrance creators -- that all work in the same 5 companies for decades -- aren't aware of fragrance trends, and what their more high-profile colleagues are working on down the hall? That sounds far-fetched to me...

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