Kouros, YSL

I suppose the idea of the scent was to evoke the energy of a sun tanned Greek Adonis, sweaty and virile, as if Pierre Bourdon was given the dirty underwear of a conquest from a stay in Mykonos as a brief.

Created in 1981 the scent defies all current trends for men’s fragrance. The move towards “clean” smelling scents, as if men needed to puritanically oppress their body odors, has created legions of fragrance that smell like bad shampoo. On the contrary, Kouros smells quite “dirty” and is mistakenly attributed to contain civet (the fecal smelling perfume ingredient procured from the glands of a cat). Perfume critic Chandler Burr declared that the scent should only be worn by the French, in France. I tested the smell with a French friend, upon taking a whiff she exclaimed “Ewww! It smells like sex, not in a good way”.

The scent has been called a work of genius by critic Luca Turin, and indeed, once disposed of any contemporary bias, the scent is a masterpiece. Its sensuality and depth are heightened in the clouds of Issey Miyake and Acqua Di Gio. What a prudish nose detects as a lack of “cleanliness” is perhaps the catalyst for insatiable carnal delights. Get it now as there are rumors the scent will soon be discontinued.


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