I’m a big fan of Kenzo Flower – a modern classic with a clean, cozy character, reminiscent of fine talcum and fluffy powder puffs. When its flanker Flower Eau de Vie was launched in early 2019, however, my impression of it was… bad. I got sharp neroli, vitamin C tablets, abrasive musk, and an overall vibe of sterile hospital corridors and powdered clinical gloves. Not the most charming of images.
I’d received a few samples¹, though, and despite mostly ignoring them, as months went by, whenever I sniffed this scent, it striked me as nicer than I’d remember. So, yesterday, I decided to give Flower Eau de Vie another “proper” chance, and sprayed a full wear from a sample…
I still find the opening harsh. The neroli is indeed a bit agressive, and, along with the faint alcohol and clearly “chemical” notes, does create a not-so-flattering “cleaning product” impression… so I can stand by my original reaction, here. But then, a couple of minutes later… things start to get better!
The neroli gives way to a softer, rounder orange blossom – very soapy at first (in a nice way), then gradually smoother; softly sweet, and slightly reminicent of bubblegum. A mild take on ginger and Flower‘s signature unedible-cozy vanilla come along, bringing spicy and creamy facets to the scent. There’s rose in here, too, but it’s subtle compared to the original. Tonka adds to the vanillic-sweet powdery theme (perhaps a tad too dry…?), side-by-side with fluffy laundry-style musk, and a hint of benzoin creates a nod to Flower‘s resinous quality – without really getting there, as Eau de Vie strikes me as less deep than its pillar.
Sillage and lasting power seem ok to me, maybe slightly on the long-lasting & good projecting side.
Flower Eau de Vie is an Eau de Parfum Legére (I guess between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette?). It was composed by perfumers Alberto Morillas, Marie Salamagne and Fabrice Pellegrin.
Like the original Flower, Eau de Vie is not natural-smelling. It won’t transport you to a garden, but “artificial” and “bad” aren’t necessarily synonyms! After a less-than-stellar opening, Eau de Vie mellows into a clean, creamy, fresh, slightly sweet powdery scent. Not a masterpiece, I’d say, but a pleasant fragrance I’m glad to rediscover and appreciate more.
So, do I recommend Flower Eau de Vie? If you’re looking for a life-like, translucent floral-citrus… no. If, however, you like the original Flower, and the idea of an orange blossom (rather than violet) take on the powdery-sweet theme… yes! And if you enjoy soapy orange blossom scents in the lines of Prada Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger and Chloé Love Story (slight brashness and all), then, also yes! You might really like this one!
While I still prefer the original Flower, Eau de Vie has surely grown on me, from a firm dislike to a like. Not on top of the wishlist, but nice. Pretty, innofensive and clean orange blossom + ginger & vanilla… I might compare it side-by-side with my sample of similarly-themed Valentino Voce Viva soon!
Kenzo Pour Homme Fragrance Review: An Authentic Men’s Sea-Breeze Marine Cologne
Although introduced in 1991, Kenzo Pour Homme is a lesser-known yet modern aquatic fragrance for men. Despite having been overshadowed by peers such as Davidoff Cool Water, it nonetheless offers a comparable yet unique experience.
In this review, you will discover Kenzo Pour Homme and learn about its notes and how it’s wearable. The evaluation will explore its seasonality, strength, presentation as well as its value for money.
- Brand: Ralph Lauren
- Fragrance: Pour Homme
- Concentration: Eau de Toilette
- Introduction: 1991
- Olfactive Fragrance Family: Aquatic Aromatic
- Related Fragrance: Davidoff Cool Water
- Price On Amazon: From $40 [Buy Now]
- Price On FragranceX: From $27 [Buy Now]
Christian Mathieu was the nose behind Kenzo Pour Homme, which underwent a number of reformulations since its original release in 1991. Nevertheless, Kenzo’s concoction is one of the few surviving aquatic fragrances for men from the early 1990s.
Although the aforementioned Davidoff Cool Water predated its release by 3 years, Kenzo’s iteration of aquatics is an altogether different experience. However, it’s difficult not to compare these two fragrances that are alike in both theme and era.
Kenzo Pour Homme’s Composition
Unlike Cool Water, Kenzo Pour Homme is a woody rather than fougère-based aquatic fragrance. This means that although they share marine and aromatic themes, Kenzo doesn’t feature a fougère structure but accents wood notes instead.
Nevertheless, their similarities in notes end there as even their shared themes are executed entirely differently. Davidoff Cool Water achieves aquatic notes through fatty and soapy Calone aldehydes that denote cleanliness. Alternatively, Kenzo Pour Homme seeks depth and complexity through combined notes that work together to form a marine accord.
- Seaweed / Sel Marin
Kenzo Pour Homme opens with a rich accord of seaweed and sea salt (sel marin) that deeply interact over a complex bed. Rosemary adds an element of aromatic freshness, which accompanies bittersweet bergamot. Discernable mahogany notes evoke leather and tobacco with a sweet finish.
The mahogany lingers alongside the sea breeze notes as the heart emerges in the dry-down. Minor floral notes of geranium and jasmine are barely perceptible but add sweet tones to the fragrance. Meanwhile, sage provides an aromatic backdrop to a spicy clove finish. The heart is surprisingly complex with a few notes weaving a varied patchwork of evergreen vegetation.
- Oak Moss
- Cedar Wood
Much like the heart, the base follows in complexity. Overt notes of cedar wood provide a sharp contrast to its accompanying notes with fresh and oily wood tones. Otherwise, the base consists of a tableau of moist, fresh and earthy oak moss. On a similar theme, ambergris and patchouli shortly follow with a long, sweet finish.
Aside from earthy sweet notes, the ambergris provides a raw animal musk with deep ocean notes with hints of tobacco. Furthermore, this adds an elaborate and complex finish, which is coherent with the fragrance’s opening head of salty seaweed.
The Life-Cycle Of Kenzo Pour Homme
Kenzo is a sensual yet consistant marine adventure throughout the dry-down. Its multi-faceted head is a brief glimpse of calm blue ocean waters, swaying seaweed and floating driftwood. The dry down seamlessly transitions to its evergreen heart. This perpetuates and even deepens the marine theme whilst altogether creating something new.
Although the heart is brief, it leaves a strong imprint that eases the transition into a heady wood-themed base. Musky ambergris notes provide a long-lasting depth to the cedar and oak moss whilst the patchouli briefly lingers.
Unlike other aquatic fragrance such as Cool Water mentioned above, Kenzo Pour Homme has endless depth. Davidoff’s aquatic iteration only scratches the surface with a coastal frolic. Meanwhile, Kenzo blows it out of the water by deep-sea diving to discover the lost city of Atlantis.
Wake & Strength
Kenzo Pour Homme isn’t overly powerful but its full accord doesn’t lack any strength either. Sillage and projection are average but can easily become overpowering through careless over-application.
Similarly, it’s worth remembering that less is more with Kenzo Pour Homme. Layering it on will lose the nuanced complexities and the notes’ details. However, using it sparingly will allow the minor notes to better reveal themselves against their stronger peers.
On the other hand, the fragrance endures comfortably throughout the day requiring only one reapplication during the mid-afternoon. If you want to ensure its presence, it’s better to reapplying little but regularly.
Reactions To Kenzo Pour Homme
Kenzo Homme Bottle On A Bed Of Aromatic MintFeedback towards Kenzo Pour Homme was overall positive but surprisingly mixed at times. Although most enjoyed the rich notes and complex palate, some people found it to be too synthetic to their taste.
For instance, some testers could identify plastic or rubber notes, which they found unappealing. None were picked up during this review. However, it appears that some batches or perhaps previous formulations contained this.
Nevertheless, bear in mind that most fragrances are synthetic these days. Furthermore, Kenzo Pour Homme’s theme is particularly abstract and in order to achieve this, essences have to be extracted artificially. High praise should be awarded to Kenzo for providing the experience without an overly synthetic result.
When Should You Wear Kenzo Pour Homme?
Despite being a 1990s fragrance, Kenzo Pour Homme is effortlessly modern compared to recent releases such as Paco Rabanne XS. Unlike its peers that favoured fatty-smelling aldehydes, it went for a refined combination aromatics and woods.
Therefore, this is a fragrance that is youthful and suits men from their early 20s. Similarly, this is a generally casual fragrance. Indeed, it features a refined build and can be worn for more formal occasions. This makes it suitable for most workplaces and can indeed be paired with a suit and tie. Nevertheless, it shines best when worn in more laid-back environments. Overall, it’s quite a versatile fragrance.
Kenzo Pour Homme is a great all-day option that feels appropriate during the day, the evening and at night. This is a fragrance that feels at home during a Saturday shopping spree as well as a night out about town.
Likewise, its seasonality render it an almost all-year fragrance. Although it’s effectiveness wanes during the autumn, the oak moss and patchouli notes make it certainly wearable. Furthermore, aromatic spices such as clove make it a plausable option for winter. Meanwhile, the overall marine theme renders it ideal for warmer months during spring and summer.
Finally, its masculinity is discernable yet curbed rendering it into something that is virile but not overpowering.
Presentation and Value For Money
Kenzo Homme Bottle On An Oak StumpKenzo returned to its original bottle from 1991 after a brief stint in with 2012 with a plain version. The plain 2012 bottle lacked any details, which made the product look bland. The original bottle used today features a carved abstract bamboo shape in the glass, which adds flair and is easy to grip.
Likewise, the bottle’s curved shape is very ergonomic and the in-built atomizer head feels sturdy. The atomizer itself gives a wide and vaporous spray, which is cloudy and light. You’ll need to get in close for precise application but it does give a satisfyingly refreshing dispersal.
The only irksome aspect of the bottle is that the blue smoked glass effect is achieved by a coating of plastic film. This easily scratches off and you’ll see in the photos of this review the result of a few months of wear and tear.
On a related note, the packaging is very 1990s but with a modern flair. Blue bamboo branches are contrasted with a white band where the brand and product name scroll down in a minimalist fashion. It’s eye-catching, youthful and would make a great gift.
Finally, the value for money sits above budget fragrances finds itself overall somewhere in the middle of the road. As an affordable fragrance, this provides some decent value and refinement for its price. As a premium fragrance, it’s slightly less attractive but not off-putting.
Despite an RRP of $60, Amazon sells 100ml (3.2 Oz) of Kenzo Homme EDT for $40 and you can even find it cheaper on FragranceX!
Kenzo Pour Homme offers one of the most authentic marine experiences in a fragrance. Vivid head notes paint a tableau of blue ocean waves glistening under the hot sun. However, the dry-down takes you to dark blue depths and swaying corals on the seabed below whilst the sun’s rays descend cutting out the silhouette of an old wooden boat from above.
There’s a refined virile presence in Kenzo Pour Homme that’s found wanting in other aquatics. For a casual fragrance, this provides a complex and diverse palate.
If you enjoyed this review, don’t forget to check our video, which you can watch below!