So I'm a relatively new frag head but have been coming to basenotes frequently as my main source for reviews and information. You guys are all great! Youtube reviewers Marc (robes) and Dan (mymickers) have really made this hobby a lot of fun for me.
So as I said I just started last summer and am already pushing 40 bottles of cologne. Not too shabby and have decided to try and start collecting bottles of my favorite designer houses. Right now I'm really interested in YSL. My first was La Nuit de L'homme which I really enjoy. I purchased Body Kouros last week and I absolutely love it. I just wish it was a little stronger and had better longevity.
Lately been looking for a real good incense cologne and I heard from numerous sources that kouros by YSL is a great incense cologne and I just got it today. I did a quick test before I went to work today and sprayed it on my arm (I think i may have done a little too much, 2 sprayish) and omg..... wow. Was not expecting that smell at all.
First impression was a really dirty urinal cake smell almost and than as time went along and I would get whiffs of it, it almost reminded me of walking into a barn on a farm or something? Almost like urine but not really? It's hard to explain. I'm not sure if it's just having a bad reaction to my skin or did I spray too much? Could it be the bottle is too new and needs time to age a little cause I've heard that too. A fresh fragrance off the line needs time to blend. Btw I've purchased this from fragrancex.com so I'm not worried about it being a fake....
I was really hoping for more of an incense based frag.
My question is, is there a certain way to wear this? Am I smelling what I should be? and lastly are there any good incense fragrances in the designer game? I live in a small town in Canada and fragrancex has free shipping and no duties so it's a great site to deal with for me. Can you guys recommend a good incense frag that is on fragrancex.com?
Sounds like you may be looking for something like Encre Noire, though I detest it due to its chemical/synthetic aspect.
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Kouros...it's not for everyone, including myself. I too prefer Body Kouros. Dirty English might be on Fragrance X...I can't tell their site is down right now.
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Dirty English is somewhat of a woody/spicy incense from what I remember when I tried it. It's super cheap. I've seen it lower than $20 at some discounters. Also, as you well know now...Kouros and Body Kourous share a name and that's just about it.
Only thing I usually am careful of is how powerful it is cause I don't wanna offend people at work haha but as far as pleasing others. I could care less. I just find it interesting on how others can smell something completely different from the person wearing it sometimes. Maybe this is one of those colognes.
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I've come to a conclusion after thinking about it that I'm probably not going to find an incense fragrance along the lines of commes de garcon in the designer house because it's more of a niche type of smell. It's not something that is going to come across to a mass market like my designer houses usually keep in mind while making new frags.
and yes, wow, kouros and body kouros. Not similar in anyway lol
What you describe sounds like Kouros as other people describe it, and what it smells like to me on filter paper. On my skin the urine (honey) and dirty (probably civet) notes don't come through very strongly, but I do get the urinal-cake smell. I have a '90s version of Kouros and I'm surprised that the current version still gives off such strong urine and dirty notes because those notes are not used as often nowadays. I can't really speak to what your current version of Kouros smells like, because it's been reformulated a couple of times in the last 20 years.
With Kouros I wear only one spray to the chest; it projects and lasts strongly, and it certainly doesn't smell at all like Body Kouros because it comes from an entirely different era: Kouros came out in 1981 while Body Kouros was developed in 2000.
Kouros is like beer...when you first try it, you may not like it at all... some will acquire the taste and will love it...others will not
My Top 10
1. Amouage Homage Attar
2. Serge Lutens - Muscs Koublai Khan
3. YSL M7
4. Serge Lutens - Ambre Sultan
5. Chanel Egoiste
6. 24 Gold by Scentstory
7. Amouage Epic Man
8. Amouage Jubilation XXV
9. Bond No. 9 New York Oud
10. Serge Lutens - Chergui
"A beautiful fragrance to the nose is like good jazz music to the ears, great food to the mouth, and Megan Fox and Jessica Alba to the eyes..."
I do not think of Kouros as being an incense fragrance at all...to me it is a masculine floral chypre. It is super strong, so I would just do one spray on the arm(not too close to the nose). I think it is best worn with suit/tie.
Amouage makes a lot of good incense frags, such as Interlude and Jubiliation XXV.
You might want to try the latest reformulation of Kouros that comes in a clear bottle. It smells nothing like the original, more like a generic spicy aquatic scent.
kouros, at least in this century, is more of a work of art than a utility. Smell it, but please don't wear it.
Never wear Kouros outside your house. You have been warned. This is a dangerous fragrance. It might hurt you.
Kouros is a classic fragrance with some incense, but I would not wear it if I was looking for an incense hit.
Sadly, Kouros was a victim of its own success and cleaning products such as urinal cakes did copy its notes.
As such, many people now have a mental association of Kouros and public toilets, which is a shame for such a remarkable fragrance.
The other problem with Kouros was that it is became so recognisable... which may be fine for you... but some Basenoters prefer a little created a little mystery. This problem diminished as the aquatic generation took over. In fact... perhaps it is now no longer a problem?
Given that you like YSL Body Kouros (a wonderful fragrance), I would suggest you try Azzaro Visit.
It is a spicy wood with a solid hit of incense and a musky base.
Visit is also available at fragrancex.com at a good price.
If you are open to niche fragrances, the suggestions will pour in because there are many excellent incense fragrances in the niche world.
My 2 cents
I've never heard of Kouros described as an incense scent - I certainly can't detect any in it. If you can find it, Gucci Rush is my favourite incensey scent.
For me Kouros is a warm weather scent - and wear a lot of it. It's too fresh for cold weather wear.
I don't know, Kouros certainly isn't an "incense" frag in anyones book.
Neither does it smell like a farmyard, nor is it dangerous (certainly not in it's current formulation), nor does it have anything whatsoever to do with Body Kouros.
You could try one spray under your shirt and see how that goes. I often need a few wearings of a scent to get the measure of it properly.
Otherwise, get something else (but don't blind buy it if you can possibly help it :-)
A difficult task to find an authentic smelling incense cologne at the designer level, some options (available on fragx) are Azzaro Visit, Dior Fahrenheit Absolute, and although I don't see it on the site, the original Tommy Bahama has a nice incense smell. There are much better options if you can stretch your budget a bit. The Comme de Garcons incense line can be had for around $80, and I see Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles on fragx for $120. Also there's l'artisan Timbuktu, Heeley Cardinal, Montale Full Incense, Etro Messe de Midnuit etc, these are more likely to give you the authentic incense smell you're looking for.
I don't get any incense from Kouros. It's probably just about the most polarizing scent in existence, though. After acquiring a vintage bottle, I like it quite a bit, but don't wear it much because of the number of people who don't like it on me. Haven't tried the current version.
Don't have any incense suggestions since those scents are not my cup of tea.
I've used fragrancex a lot and never had a bad experience.
Current Top Five:
1. Creed Green Irish Tweed
2. Tom Ford Neroli Portofino
3. Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte
4. Bond No. 9 New Haarlem
5. Creed Original Vetiver
Kouros is one of the strangest scent ever produced: someone smells it, and think it's a masterpiece, a sight of the heaven!
Other people smell it, and think at ....urine.
(BTW after 25 years I still can't understand how someone smell urine in it )
Your comment makes me wonder how it smelled for those first few years in the 80s, before its character hadn't been co-opted by the functional fragrance guys down the hall from Pierre.
I definitely get the urine thing, and would say it's from the honey predominately, amplified by sage, musk and civet. I get an incense effect for sure, but I find it predominantly an animalic floral. The sweetness played against the animalics is one of the big reasons I find Kouros horrifying. Nevertheless, a friend is sending me a sample and I will try it on skin, just because I love animalics and can't get that memory out of my mind. Not looking forward, but it will be good research.
Let's be fair to Kouros. It's not just about urine. There is also some barnyard/cow pie notes in there too.
Bijan for Men
Van Cleef and Arpels pour homme
Lolita Lempicka au Masculin (older version)
Bleu de Chanel edp
Armani Code Profumo
CK One Shock
Nautica Voyage (metal cap version)
Kenzo pour homme
I do get incense out of Kouros. But it's certainly not the main player. It's very complex.
It's spicy, slightly floral, smokey, sweet, slightly animalic, it has a ton of musk and a touch of civet.
It's amazing that such a clash of notes can blend together smoothly in the drydown.
The biggest issue most people have with Kouros is the opening.
I own a 50ml of Kouros and I don't want to be without it.
I don't wear it monthly but there are times that I crave to wear it.
I love my "compliment getters" like HM and Fierce, but I need my "Kouros" moment from time to time.
I need that moment when something is on my mind or when I'm unhappy about something or need to reflect on certain things.
It's brutal. Super masculine. Uncompromising. Kouros doesn't care. It gives me a rush.
I mostly wear it when I'm at home. I have worn it a couple of times while shopping.
I remember 1 old guy literally staring at me in the bus. Not in disgust though.
It was like he was hypnotized. I have never seen that look on anyone's face.
They might not expect such a fragrance on a guy who is in his twenties, lol.
If you don't give Kouros a test on your skin, you should be banned from this forum.
Oh BTW, my mother says it smells soapy.
I never asked her if it smells soapy, as in urinal cakes.
Because I don't care.
I usually wear 2-3 sprays of Kouros, and Body Kouros is the incense based frag not the other way around. If you want another good designer incense frag, check out Fahrenheit Absolute. One of my favorites.
Others have challenged me in the past and given me good reasons relating to chemicals with long names, BUT,
to my nose, urinal cakes do not remotely smell anything like urine.
Yes, the two by definition are very often found together.
But they don't smell remotely alike, one is trying to mask the smell of the other. The OP started off saying Kouros smelled like urinal cakes (I agree, as I was the first to make that observation here years ago), and mentions something almost like urine with a question mark.
But within the discussion, people start talking about Kouros smelling like urine - the exact opposite of urinal cakes.