Kouros is my naughty and raunchy fellow. This review is not suitable for younger readers because of its sexually explicit content. On my way to the hotel room after a grueling working day, I'm followed by a hearty dinner to close the deal. So tired, I undress before I even set foot in the room, the versts scattered on the floor. I throw myself in the shower to shake off all the accumulated stress, leaving me for a long time under the hot jet, but without soaping, I want to smell my clean skin on me. Still dripping, I spray Kouros all over the place, the first and penetrating smell of it pervades the room and clouds my mind, and I throw myself on the bed, my body completely naked and wet in contact with the pristine white sheets. And I fall into a sensual dream, thousands of sweaty and sculpted bodies intertwine with mine, stolen kisses, musky pubes, forbidden sex. I wake up in the morning drenched in sweat, my bed completely unmade, and realize it was just a pleasant guilty nightmare. When I leave the room, I imagine the face the maid will make as she enters, still smelling what she will think is sex, an interminable hug, a real orgy, sweat and body fluids pleasantly mixed in the air and the crumpled sheets. But this is only the fruit of my imagination, one of the many that Kouros releases in me every time I perceive that nasty smell in the air. You know what? The dirty feel is a fantastic quality in perfume when done correctly. It shows the duality of human nature, animal on one side and divine on the other—physicality with the soul.
Warning: Kouros is not for everyone. It is a perfume that divides opinions; you either hate it or love it. However, it can also create mixed feelings towards the same individual. A part of us may find it obnoxious and repulsive, while it may fascinate and attract the other interest, eager to smell it again and again. Kouros offers a no-nonsense, patently masculine, and testosterone-fuelled experience. Despite being admired by those with a trained nose, its deceptively white bottle reveals the pungent odor will often generate comparisons with places with lingering odors of what the body exudes. The closest thing I can associate with the scent of Kouros is the odor of the jockstrap's crotch soaked in groin sweat after an intense rugby match. However, to others, such a natural aroma gives the fragrance a distinct, courageous, even sexy profile, the animalic accord made more interesting by leather and amber. I think the impression Bourdon was looking for was an image of a young man's locker room after a rugby match, let's say, the air smelling of steam, soap, sweaty skin, and dirt and muddy apparel.
Kouros by YSL is exceptionally one of the finest men's fragrances ever produced among the men's perfumes you can buy. I was in college when it was released, still too young to wear it. Yet a few years later, some slightly fresh, airy, toned, and summery flankers were released, more wearable and suitable for me. And now, I've grown enough to wear it.
Kouros presents a gorgeous opening. Bitter tarragon, unripe bergamot, soapy leather, sweet honey, and bold musks add a bit of rough "sweat" to the soap accord. With a touch of shimmering aldehydes, it enhances the otherwise only too rich blend: soft, herbaceous sage and sour coriander complete the crime scene. The opening is sweet, woody bergamot with an incense quality that isn't church-like but that you can feel when you have a berry blend in your hands. It promises an expensive, classy, and very high quality, almost niche smell. It is also where the sillage slaps you in the face; it's not for skinny, snobby kids tight in jeans. The natural smell hovering through the workshop of grease and sweat-stained mechanic lying under a car, stuff for real curmudgeons. It's not for the trendy crowd that gets lost in undisturbed, delicate aquatic colonies.
The heart notes manifest after more than an hour or two, and this is where jasmine, clove, and bergamot blend into something out of this world. A gentleman's carnation along with geranium leaves and a pinch of cinnamon is what I get next. The iris's dustiness turns the heart into a dirty powder, away from CD Homme's powdery lipstick, with an abundance of indole jasmine that stands out with a more earthy vetiver. The scent is so opulent, stale, greasy that you might even think it's gone wrong. Yet no, this is the power of adulthood that oozes drop by drop from the heart of Kouros, the smell of ancient statuary bodies, legendary Greek palaces, and museums drenched in mysterious ointments. Nothing can prepare you for this beautiful, hypnotic, and magical scent. The quality of the soap becomes more pronounced the longer the fragrance remains on the skin. It supports the new almost marine composition, layered with soapy notes between the top and the bottom.
The initial morbid scent morphs into a sweaty gym man, perhaps a sweaty gym man who showered using a generic musky soap that didn't clean him thoroughly. My intrigue is turning into something else. It's almost exciting and exaggerated masculinity that hits my nostrils and goes down to the hottest parts.
The base notes develop and echo over the next six to eight hours, and the masculinity of this comes out and stays there, projecting success, style, and class to the end. The musky base note, combined with bergamot and cloves, blends in a truly masterful way. The sweetness of mellifluous patchouli is perceptible, as well as a damp green oakmoss effect. But unlike many other soapy fragrances, it doesn't go dry and dull afterward. Over time, the sweet and musky notes amplify and become part of your skin. The olibanum lingers, always in the background, and so does the leather.
The projection is legendary on this one, as is the reformulated batch I have. You will get noticed and smell yourself and love every piece of it. You will smell it on your wrist and neck for most of the day and on your coat, jacket and clothes for days if not weeks. It exudes the aura of intelligence, class, strength, and masculinity. Every fragrance collector should have at least one copy, truly a masterpiece. The formulation available in stores today is still Kouros, recognizable. Still, it looks modernized, even cleaner, and better suited to today's metrosexual male standards, which results in more woods, more vanilla talc, and less musk. Its authoritarian character makes me think of a cologne to wear in late autumn, all winter and early spring, for evening social events and discos. The sweetness of honey comes out of my body chemistry on hot, humid spring days. It's masculine for a man with a very hairy chest. Still, on my hairless skin, it's a beautiful soapy scent with the animalic note of civet, leather, and oakmoss shining in perfect harmony together, and I love it! On me, with enough sweat, this becomes a sweet, soapy, musky, animalic fragrance that lasts all day and all night. It is a clean, fresh, sweet, and musky scent that transforms into a sexy and attractive aphrodisiac. Kouros is one of the few perfumes with that "sweaty" look that I like. I don't care what your sexual orientation or preferences are here. If you like the smell of a man in his natural hygienic state, you would no doubt love this fragrance as it cleans and adds to it without completely covering it.
This review bases upon a 100ml (3.4 fl. oz) bottle I have owned since 2018.