Kenzo Amour, aka kenzoamour, is this year's fragrance release from the house of Kenzo. Amour was created by perfumers Daphne Bugey and Olivier Cresp and features notes of cherry blossom, rice steam, white tea, frangipani, heliotrope, thanaka wood, incense, vanilla and musk. It was...
...inspired by a couple's voyage through India, Japan and Vietnam.
"The basic idea was a voyage of love, of emotion, and a bird as a symbol of love," explained Patrick Guedj, Parfums Kenzo's creative director and head of marketing, referring to a multicolored turtledove featured on the fragrance's packaging and in advertising. (via Women's Wear Daily, 5/15/2006)
Amour starts with a sweet, highly stylised floral accord. After that, the floral notes rapidly fade into the backdrop, and the whole thing settles into a fluffy, cloud-like concoction of vanilla and musky woods. As advertised, there is a suggestion of milky rice (rice "steam" is perfectly accurate), and the whole is finished with a light dusting of powder. It is sweet, but not cloying, and manages to vaguely recall rice pudding — I have seen several comparisons to Tan Guidicelli's Annam, although that fragrance has more obvious Asian influences — without being at all foody.
As Victoria of Bois de Jasmin has noted, there is nothing in the least exotic about it despite the references to far-away lands. Amour is, if anything, an extraordinarily tame fragrance: there is nothing to ruffle the surface other than a persistent undertone of dark wood and a dash of incense. But as with rice pudding, it is the blandness itself that is compelling; it just smells nice, and there is something rather calming about it. I prefer last year's Kenzo Flower Oriental, but Amour is a pleasant, very-wearable fragrance, and certainly worth trying.
The bottles are by designer Karim Rashid, who also created the Kenzo Ryoko packaging and the bottle for Kenzo Summer. They are the sort of wonderful bottles that fairly scream "buy me". The orange bottle is 100 ml; the white is 50 ml, and the fuschia is 30 ml.
Kenzo Amour is an Eau de Parfum, and the lasting power is extraordinary; I can still smell it after 12 hours. A body lotion is slated to be released later this year; then a lighter version of the fragrance, geared towards the Asian market, is expected to debut in 2007.
Amour is currently exclusive to Nordstrom. Last week, my local Nordstrom was making samples on demand from an urn. Have I mentioned how much I love Nordstrom? I will never understand why other department stores won't follow suit and give samples freely. It helps sells perfume, doesn't it?
I didn't really have a “comfort” scent and couldn't see the point of one before, but when a bottle of this was given to me I found I liked it anyway. It *is* soothing, a lovely subliminal milky vanilla. I don't smell cooking rice, one of my favorite and most familiar smells, but I don't mind.
Meh. I think I'll stick with KenzoAir.
T, I wouldn't have thought Kenzo Amour was “you”, whatever that means. But I do think everyone needs a comfort scent. And now you've got one.
My idea of a comfort scent is something tea-ish, or incense-y. But you've made this sound very attractive.
I love Nordstrom's samples! I try to buy from them whenever I can.
Nordstrom rocks, that is all. I adore incense but somehow don't classify it as “comfort”, even though it is calming. Don't know why. At any rate, Amour, like Insolence, is better than I expected, and far better on skin than on a scent strip. Do try it.
Yawn in a botle, this one Very nice, but so dull. I absolutely adore the bottles though and despite what I just said about yawn and stuff, might still get one eventually.
M, the thanaka wood, or whatever that dark stuff is (it isn't like I know the smell of thanaka wood) saves it from being boring to me, although I admit the first 30 minutes is less interesting to me than what comes after. But you're right that it is also a perfect example of packaging that can push you over the edge if you're dithering…in fact, now I'm wondering if I'd already own Insolence if it came in a way cool bottle.
I just like the way it sounds, thanaka!
Yep! And here is an interesting article on Thanaka:
Sounds like the evil genius from a James Bond movie…”so this is the nerve centre of your organisation, Dr. Thanaka?”…
LOL — so perfectly true!
I have Kenzo Ki Rice Steam, which starts out smelling a little like rice steam for about 30 seconds, then settles into an extremely light musk. I wonder if they're using the same “rice steam” note(s) in this one…
Rice pudding is certainly comforting, but I'm having trouble reconciling the scent of rice with the dreaded heliotrope.
Then again, heliotrope is a sort of pudding note, isn't it? Hmmm.
K, what exactly is the rice steam, a fragrance? or something like a body product? I hadn't heard of it and it sounds interesting.
L, the rice itself, as a note, is very light. The Amour still reminds me of rice pudding, more because it has that bland kind of comforting presence, if you know what I mean. But the wood is lovely!
Oh gosh, how I love Nordies, too. I wish every fragrance was sold at there. The whole foundation of the business is geared toward superlative customer service. And, did I mention how much I love Nordies? :):)
I was not impressed by this fragrance…Next!
I didn't think it was me either, but it turns out to be the perfect thing to wear to bed.
The bottle is so reminiscent of those for Feminite du Bois, don't you think?
LOL…we'll move on
What a delight in contradiction this is. The name and the bottle makes me think of that red anatomy-book muscle armour that Gary Oldman wore as Vlad the Impaler. But the scent is rice pudding? How can rice pudding in any way be mistaken for any kind of armour? And this gets me going on the mass psychology marketing angle: The world is a more dangerous place. We want to be more protected when outside, thus the “armour”. When inside, we want to retreat into the soft cocoon of comfort food where Mom brought us rice pudding and comics and a warm puppy.
This is where everybody pounces on me and takes away my Psyche Today magazine.
I tried this last week and thought it was very nice. My Nordstrom's must suck because the SA was not volunteering to give out samples, only trying to sell stuff. Boo!
LOL — but your point is excellent. I see this same dichotomy (well, sort of — not with the packaging so much as the advertising) in Dior's Hypnotic Poison, which is advertised to an adventuress but smells like a cozy night at home.
M, I should clarify — my Nordstrom rarely *offers* samples…it is just that a) carded samples are often out o n the counter and b) they will cheerfully make a sample of anything that they have a tester of, if you ask, and they do have a few of these urn-thingies to facilitate that. Volunteering to give out samples might actually make me suspicious, LOL…
R — it's one of their “sensual beneficial waters,” which basically means a very light perfume, though it's listed under “skin care” because it's moisturizing.
Thanks, I'm going to have to look for it! I love body spray-type fragrances.
I received a free sample yesterday from Nordstrom and think initially it resembles Nordstrom's Max Mara fragrance. After awhile however, it settles into its own and takes on a strong cherry blossom scent. Nice, but not for me.
It has been some time since I tried Max Mara…should try it again.
Kenzo Amour reminds me so much of Laura Tonatto's Plaisir. However, unlike Plaisir, Amour does indeed open with a heavy floral accord and the own is very sweet and comforting. I can smell the rice as well — which reminds me of Mochi wrapped ice cream balls. Both are a little too sweet for my tastes, and I love gourmand fusion florals.
I like the Amour much better than the Plaisir, but can see the comparison. The Plaisir is just much heavier on me, and too much patchouli.
I worked for Kenzo for the last year and helped launch this fragrance at Nordstrom. Never have I seen such contrasting comments for customers. Some people considered it strong and could pick up several different notes in it and others couldn't smell it at all! No matter how much I sprayed on them or on a blotter card, their noses just couldn't pick up any scent at all. That's probably why some of you here describe it as basically being boring. Not everyone can smell all of the notes in Amour. I worked in the industry for quite a while and have never seen anything quite like the reactions from this fragrance. It is a pretty unique fragrance for those who can pick up the notes.
Bvlgari Omnia gets much the same reaction, and sometimes Narciso Rodriguez' scent too.
Hi, longtime lurker here!
I tried Kenzo Amour last night after wandering Sephora trying to sniff Gaultier's new Fleurs du Male and was quite surprised to find the drydown very similar to Armani Code on me, tho perhaps with less over-honeyed murk. It is very comforting, and several times over the evening I found myself with my wrist against my nose. My other wrist was DK Gold, which I found quite pretty, but not my thing–I tend to find lilies ride the edge of sweet/rotting to my nose.
Thanks for such a well-informed interesting blog–I've been quite enjoying it (and being able to procrastinate on my thesis!).
Always glad to help others procrastinate — it is my own specialty as well
I find the Amour to be much more of a comfort scent than Armani Code — and wouldn't have thought them similar, but now will have to try them together. What did you think of Fleur du Male, or did you even find it? I had thought it was still exclusive to Bloomies.
I didn't find the Fleur du Male, but there is (unfortunately) a Bloomies across the street from my work, so will have to go there and sniff it out.
I'm wishing I had put the Armani code on the other wrist–I found it attractive when it first came out but not compelling enough to buy or even seek out a sample. The similarity only occurred to me deep into the drydown, as I kept getting caught off-guard thinking “now what smells familiar about that?”
I just ordered the Kenzoamour from a discouter–my first FB purchase in a really long time. The discount helped a lot–I have a gift certificate to Aedes and have been dithering over what to do with it, but $30 for the kenzo seemed less intimidating to deal with than the upmarket juice that Aedes sells.
Oh, if you get lost at Aedes, you can give the GC to me, LOL…
And hope you will enjoy the Kenzo Amour. That is a great bottle.
God, the bottle is so beautiful it ALMOST wouldn't matter what was in it (the tester I tried at sephora was a milky smooth ceramic blob, very modern, very sleek. Oh why can't all perfumes have such nifty bottles?) Anyway, as anti-sweet stuff as I am, still I found myself liking it. I guess it's the “rice steam” thing which is just such a lovely idea in itself, and the delicate rice-puddingishness it added to the very very soft vanilla milk scent kind of got to me. I'd love to wear this when I'm sick in bed with a cold or something. Comforting and so soft and yummy. Not at all sticky or loud. Very nice.
It is very comforting, and the bottle is perfect. I guess it does matter to me what's in it, because the Amour Indian Holi bottle is even better & yet I did not like the juice at all.
I have tried every new thing Kenzo has come up with, but nothing–I repeat, nothing–beats the original “Flower” fragrance of poppies. That stuff just transports me into another world.
It doesn't work for me, but glad you love it
So I've FINALLY tried this on my skin today. It has a good bit more depth on the skin than on paper. The first 20-30 minutes scared me, as it was this weird sweet floral smelling thing, but now that that has calmed, I really love it. I will certainly be buying a bottle when I can, and hopefully trying Holi and Le Parfum soon.
Glad you love it! Do try the other 2, they're different.
my mum loves Amour, I got her it for Christmas
in Tenerife I found Jungle Elephant so sprayed it, on the other arm I tested Shalimar edt, I think they smell similar and I don’t like either of them.
and coming home from Tenerife, at the airport I came across 05:40pm in madgascar, I didn’t have chance to spray it on skin as my mum was shifting me through the duty free but I smelled the bottle and was blown away. this is THE perfect summer scent it actually smells of humidity and what I’d guess as exotic flowers.
but Jungle Elephant and Madagascar aren’t available in the UK as far as I know :/
I use this as my comfort scent when I come home from work or before going to sleep. I keep it for home use only.
Amour is a nice comfort scent. As the other poster above said, the thanaka wood (whatever that is.. it’s a cool word) gives it a woody muskiness that saves it from being too sweet. Heliotrope is usually unbearably Play-Doh-ish on me, and while I do get that a little bit here, it’s done in such a way that it actually works (maybe the milky/rice thing).