Kenzo Flower : Fragrance Review

55555
Poppy

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Kenzo Flower is an example of a well-crafted and unique fragrance, which is neither a hard-to-find niche nor a revered classic from the turn of the 20th century. Created by perfumer Alberto Morillas and launched in 2000, it still remains as one of top selling fragrance in Europe, along with marvels like Chanel No 5, Dior J’Adore, Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, Thierry Mugler Angel and CK One. Flower is a beautiful example displaying that an impressive sillage and tremendous lasting power do not have to conflict with a nuanced and delicate overall impression. In fact, throughout its development, Flower retains a soaring, radiant quality, which is quite unexpected in a floral oriental blend.

If I were to put Flower in a fragrance family, it would follow the line of Guerlain’s majestic L’Heure Bleue. They both possess similar structures of anisic spice, floral and balsamic notes. The delicious softness of Flower is very much reminiscent of the same makeup powder effect that gives a dramatic effect in fragrances like Guerlain Insolence, Jean-Paul Gaultier Classique and Lancome Tresor, other great floral orientals. However, while JPG Classique and Tresor suggest a vintage glamour of swan down puffs and shimmery talc, Flower is free from any sentimentality. It is quite remarkable if one considers the fact that the composition is rich in rose and violet, both of which have an old-fashioned reputation. It is unmistakably powdery, which tends to be a big detraction for the contemporary consumer. Yet, when considered as a whole, Flower is a thoroughly modern composition.

Overall, it is a study in contrasts. There is an interplay between the vintage references and the abstract modernity. It skirts the line between power and delicacy. Even Flower’s innocent softness has Morillas’ characteristic sensual, addictive quality. There are moments when I forget that I am wearing any perfume, being simply conscious of the beautiful aura Flower creates. Perhaps, that alone is the best quality possible in a scent.

Kenzo Flower includes notes of “Wild Hawthorne, Bulgarian Rose, Parma Violet, Cassia, Hedione, Cyclosal, Opoponax, White Musk, Vanilla.” It is available from Sephora, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Saks5thAvenue and other major retailers.

Image: Inside of a Poppy Flower, 7art-screensavers.

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23 Comments

  • violetnoir: V, I finally fell in love with L’Heure Bleue parfum, and absolutely swoon over Insolence EdP. JPG classique is good, but for some reason I never liked Flower.

    Maybe I need to try it again?

    Hugs! April 27, 2009 at 2:09pm Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: R, it is drier and sharper than any of the classical floral orientals, but I find it very alluring. A tiny bit goes a long way!
    Few fragrances can rival L’Heure Bleue parfum! April 27, 2009 at 2:16pm Reply

  • Lavanya: “There are moments when I forget that I am wearing any perfume, being simply conscious of the beautiful aura Flower creates. Perhaps, that alone is the best quality possible in a scent.”

    I need to try this scent (if not for anything else) just for the sake of these two sentences..:) April 27, 2009 at 2:46pm Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Lavanya, I find that by nature I am prone to over-analyzing things, and when I encounter something that does not make me want to do this, it is a sign of a special fragrance. Flower does have a very nice sillage, strong, but not overpowering (if that makes any sense.) April 27, 2009 at 3:12pm Reply

  • Tania: Do you have a sample of Caron’s Royal Bain de Champagne (not the current Bain de Caron, the old version) around? I think you would find the side-by-side comparison very interesting. ;) April 27, 2009 at 4:36pm Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: T, yes, definitely. It is very much in the same family, as Royal Bain de Champagne was a lighter, brighter take on the velvet and gold floral oriental theme. April 27, 2009 at 5:03pm Reply

  • sweetlife: Since you and your gorgeous descriptions are at least partially responsible for my descent into The Land of Vintage it is lovely to see you giving something so available the same treatment. I’ll have to spritz this again the next time I see it. I have a bit of Flower Oriental and enjoy it, but never gave the original much time. April 27, 2009 at 8:12pm Reply

  • Niktaris Dimitris: Is there Kenzo Flower in Chypre perfume? April 28, 2009 at 1:33am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Alyssa, I like Flower Oriental a lot, and in some ways, it suits me better than the original, but I find the original to be such an interesting and faceted composition that I thought that I would talk about it first. I love the incense note in Flower Oriental. April 28, 2009 at 8:35am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Niktaris, I don’t think so. April 28, 2009 at 8:36am Reply

  • Mimi: I think this is a terrific abstract floral – the name is perfect as it is a play between the generic (the idea of a floral perfume) and the specific (roses, violets). It has a kind of ‘drenched’ quality that makes me think of flowers after rain, and saves it from being sweet. I adore it, it is so unabashedly feminine and pretty. April 28, 2009 at 9:10am Reply

  • columbine: i recently sniffed Flower, while looking for a perfume to give to a teenager. i thought it smelled cheap…i used to wear some Kenzo clothes some 15 years ago but since Kenzo himself retired, the brand has not retained its real elegance. it’s a shame. you sense the powder in it and while i don’t smell it, i don’t like powdery perfumes. i don’t consider myself contemporary in taste but powder perfumes do remind me of old ladies appartements :- ) April 28, 2009 at 10:30am Reply

  • ScentScelf: Ah, V…so wonderful to have you posting again regularly…a pleasure for my senses…a bit of a pain for my lemming impulse…

    I will maintain balance by seeking a sample sniff. April 28, 2009 at 3:37pm Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Mimi, I like your description very much. I agree, the wet, fresh note makes the entire composition shimmer. April 29, 2009 at 11:02am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Columbine, I agree you about about Kenzo clothes. They do not appeal to me much these days, whereas the Kenzo originals had so much character and elegance.
    As for powdery notes, they can be difficult to love for some people. I do not mind them though, perhaps because I do not have any specific associations with them. April 29, 2009 at 11:04am Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: ScentScelf, that really made me smile. At least, Flower is easy to find. :) April 29, 2009 at 11:04am Reply

  • Sveta: Nice to see your review of FlowerbyKenzo! It used to be my signature perfume. It is so warm, pretty and sophisticated, like a comfortable cashmere jacket. April 30, 2009 at 4:48pm Reply

  • Bois de Jasmin: Sveta, it is just a nice description! May 1, 2009 at 12:20am Reply

  • Elisa: Flower is my every day perfume, every day since 2001!!!!! I love love love love it, smells like something is huging you, something warm sensual, love it. Thisndays i am in the hunt of somethingntonreplace it, just because i am so use to it that somtimes i can’t semll it on me. But i looking and haven’t find something that i like, l’heure bleu is not avelable in mexico, were i leave at lest. Any sugestions??? December 5, 2011 at 11:01pm Reply

  • Matt: Thanks for the review.

    The Kenzo Flower Perfume stands out as a nice perfume ladies should get.

    The Poppy has a lot of meaning for ladies and Canadian soliders. August 16, 2012 at 11:26pm Reply

  • maja: I guess I am discovering Kenzo Flower 14 yrs later. :) It is really pretty and feminine and I have been wearing it for the past couple of days with so much pleasure. And now I think Flower was the marvellous scent that a girl riding the same bus home with me was wearing all the time. I’ve found it! February 7, 2014 at 8:00am Reply

    • Victoria: Isn’t it amazing to make the connection after all of these years! Enjoy it, Maja. :) February 9, 2014 at 11:21am Reply

  • maja: I will, thank you. :) February 9, 2014 at 2:36pm Reply

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