Kenzo Amour : Perfume Review



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

Based on the concept of travel through Asia, the newest release from Kenzo, KenzoAmour, seems far too delicate and fragile to take one on a whirlwind ride. Instead, the comforting sensation it conjures makes me lose the desire to embark on a long journey. The fragrance was created by Daphné Bugey (Le Labo Bergamote 22, Rose 31, Neroli 36), who chose the notes and Olivier Cresp (Paco Rabanne Black XS), who formulated the perfume. While the resulting composition is not strikingly original, it has enough character to maintain interest. …

The incense and pepper tinged vanilla dominates the fragrance, harmoniously intertwining with the sheer floral notes. The transparency allows a glimpse of the base through the top notes, although the warm accent of heliotrope lends a matte effect to the arrangement. The sweet powdery accord displays a link between Kenzo Amour and Flower by Kenzo, a masterful creation by perfumer Alberto Morillas that serves as a great example of his talent in exploring harmonies among perfume notes.

Kenzo Amour succumbs neither to blandness nor to overt sweetness, and when one expects the vanilla to fall into the predictable embrace of musk, the woody notes offer an interesting twist. I admit that my affection for Kenzo Amour was not immediate, but as I have been wearing it over the past week, I have found the subtlety of its delicately rendered accords allied with a suggestion of sensual warmth to be quite appealing. Though it has not taken me on the Orient Express, in speaking softly, Kenzo Amour has charmed me with its caressing touch. Being along the lines of Donna Karan Cashmere Mist and People of the Labyrinth Luctor et Emergo, it is a good example of a warm, comforting scent.

KenzoAmour features top notes of cherry blossom, rice and white tea; heart notes of frangipani and heliotrope, and base notes of thanaka wood, vanilla and musk. It is going to be introduced worldwide in September; in the US, the distribution will initially be limited to Nordstrom. The samples are already available from the store.

Photo: Offering to Buddha. Wat-Prathat-Doi-Suthep, Buddhist temple near Chiang Mai – Thailand.



  • Laura: So intriguing!!!There are times when that gentle sort of comfort and sensuality are just what the doctor ordered, aren’t there? I look forward to trying this, V. August 2, 2006 at 5:39am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, I was impressed with how wonderfully it lasted and developed. I would put some on in the evening and wake up to the scent of incense and woods still clinging to my skin. August 2, 2006 at 11:19am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ina, I have been behind my blog reading lately. Off to check it out. I must say that the top notes are my least favourite part, but the drydown was quite lovely. If one loves soft woods and vanilla, it is going to be a winner. August 2, 2006 at 11:21am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, yes, that is exactly it. It is a lounge arond the house vanilla. Perhaps, the outfit of choice is a kimono style robe, rather than terry cloth, but the effect of comfort is the same. Plus, I cannot agree more on its bottle! August 2, 2006 at 11:24am Reply

  • violetnoir: I love frangipani and the cherry blossoms with the heliotrope sound delightful. I will have to test this one.

    Hugs! August 2, 2006 at 11:50am Reply

  • Elle: Such a beautiful review! I definitely must try this one now. I’m already predisposed to like this just because I so crave that stunning bottle. August 2, 2006 at 11:53am Reply

  • chaya ruchama: How different your perception is from Ina’s…

    That’s fascinating- I will try to sample some, but there are no Nordstrom’s in Boston.

    Sephora tends to carry the Kenzos- Do you think they might stock it there?

    Thank you, as always, for putting your olfactory to work for our benefit… August 2, 2006 at 12:04pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I think that it is one of the those easy to wear fragrances that have enough sillage nevertheless. I got plenty of compliments wearing it, which surprised me, because I thought that it might be too subtle. August 2, 2006 at 1:48pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, I am absolutely in love with those bottles. I would love all three to display next to each other. August 2, 2006 at 1:48pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Chaya, my pleasure! I am sure that Sephora will stock it soon. It is a very lovely fragrance, and it is another successful release from Kenzo. August 2, 2006 at 1:49pm Reply

  • Ina: Hi, V.! I just reviewed it yesterday. Sadly, my impression wasn’t as favorable as yours. The very top notes are the best but they’re gone too soon. August 2, 2006 at 10:35am Reply

  • Tania: This seems like a “comfort scent” I could like. I like the idea of vanilla not being sexed up (Shalimar, Organza) but instead left to pad around in its terrycloth robe at home, in fuzzy bunny slippers, eating rice pudding and talking to a friend on the phone. Plus, the bottle is gorgeous! I want it just to display on my dresser. August 2, 2006 at 10:56am Reply

  • VeronicaV: Ladies, this perfume has been available on for several days now. Just look under “What’s New”.

    V, how does this one compare to the Kenzo Incense? August 2, 2006 at 9:32pm Reply

  • Veronica: —Please make that Kenzo Flower Oriental. And thank you.

    V August 2, 2006 at 9:35pm Reply

  • k-amber: Sound very nice scent. Maybe I have to wait for a little more.(at Tokyo) I can’t wait 🙂

    Victoria, take care of yourself.(I hear it is a quite hot there)

    Kaori August 3, 2006 at 8:23am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Veronica, thank you for the heads up. The last time I was at Nordstroms they were pre-ordering, but it looks like it is already available. August 3, 2006 at 2:31pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Veronica, Kenzo Flower Oriental is quite different. It is richer, with a stronger powdery note. Amour is wispy and delicate, yet with a beautiful sillage. It is quite long lasting for such a subtle perfume. August 3, 2006 at 2:32pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kaori, yes, it is unbelievably hot here. The last time we have experienced such heat was in 1933 (according to the news reports). I cannot wait for this heat wave to be over. August 3, 2006 at 2:33pm Reply

  • Tommasina: I just *happened* to be in Nordstrom’s an hour or so ago and tried this. The top is very baby-powdery on me; after about 20 minutes of its almost suffocating me (but politely and delicately) in a cloud of pale-pink talcum, it settled down and has become remarkably similar to a number of other fragrances – though perhaps with less depth. It may be my odd skin chemistry but it reminds me of aspects of Dior Addict, Hypnotic Poison, Boucheron Trouble, and YSL Cinéma. Does anybody else get any of that? August 5, 2006 at 12:55pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tommasina, I cannot say that the drydown was particularly reminiscent of those fragrances, but yes, I agree about the powdery heart. It reminded me of Flower. It is not a dramatic fragrance, but a very pretty and subtle woodsy vanilla. August 8, 2006 at 2:00pm Reply

  • koneko: V, this is such a pretty fragrance and your review is wonderful. We saw the tester was out at our Nordstrom, and it already has a waiting list for when it releases! =) August 13, 2006 at 9:27am Reply

  • Jacqui Gilgryst: I have just tried a sample of Kenzo Amour, I would say that it smells exactly like Wild Musk by Coty. Saying that I still thought it was gorgeous! August 14, 2006 at 6:43am Reply

  • Dusan: Dearest V, I know you reviewed KA two months ago, but I recently tried it out of sheer curiosity and guess what — I love it! You are so right about it being a delicate, wistful and comforting scent, with a wonderful interplay of sweet and woody accords. My only problem is, of course – will I be able to pull it off on my male skin? I’d love to smell it on my GF, but what if she doesn’t like it 😀 ? I’ll probably end up buying the 30ml bottle and spray myself in the privacy of my home.
    P.S. Because I’d been intrigued about Marc Jacobs for Men, and since you included it into your top 10+1 list of men’s fragrances, I have ordered a bottle unsniffed, trusting your impeccable taste. 😉 It should arrive any day now!
    Hugs October 3, 2006 at 9:45pm Reply

  • Claudette Blankenberg: On Saturday past – 30.09.2006 – because there were no samples, I purchased the 100ml Kenzo Amour for R760.00 ( Edgars Claremont did not have the 50ml). I need to know whether the testers used in the shop are exactly the same as the ones we buy. I am so disappointed, my friends say the can’t even smell the perfume on me. Today I sprayed on a whole lot….still no comments. Why is this so?? When I used the tester…the fragrance was divine. October 4, 2006 at 4:34am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, I am glad that you enjoyed it. I too noticed a waiting list when I was first trying the fragrance. October 5, 2006 at 9:21pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Jacqui, you make me want to revisit that Coty fragrance. I have not tried it in ages. October 5, 2006 at 9:43pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dusan, I think that Amour might work really well on a man. It is not overly floral, and nothing about it suggests anything particularly girly. You might be able to pull it off really well.

    I hope that you will enjoy Marc Jacobs for Men. It is a wonderful fragrance, and I will never be without a bottle. October 5, 2006 at 9:47pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Claudette, I am not sure. Maybe, you are not spraying enough. I doubt that it would be different from what you tested at the store. I am sorry to hear this. October 5, 2006 at 9:49pm Reply

  • ~vanilla girl~: Older article but new to my senses…just received a sample in the mail today and i must say it is very lovely…the base note is so soft and powdery,tempted to order the beautiful bottle! now which bottle shall i get? *lol* March 6, 2007 at 2:41pm Reply

  • Marianne: I bought this on impulse having smelt it on a woman in a queue at Nice airport – and I still love its, sweet, powdery and comforting smell. October 6, 2013 at 10:08am Reply

  • Michaela: Ah, how much I love this one! Amour is my ultimate perfume, the one I would take on a deserted island. It smells like my childhood memories, it’s my perfect vanilla. When I spray it on I see rainbows and blue skies and flowers and there is no time, no neec to rush, no grief. The truth is I would give up my entire collection for Amour and I’d never miss those piles of bottles. Now that I have stopped wishing and buying new perfumes (somehow I stopped about a month ago to be interested in acquirring anything new and my wallet is very happy) Amour is making me happy. :))) It feels cozy and happy. May 27, 2014 at 4:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: It is all those things to me too. A comfort wrap of a perfume. 🙂 May 28, 2014 at 8:09am Reply

  • Julie: Hello perfume friends,
    I have never tried anything from Kenzo. I decided to treat myself to Amour. I haven’t been able to get out shopping too much lately. New England snow and arctic chills have me thinking about a comfort scent (sounds nice Victoria) and, a pretty bottle too!I found it to be a very reasonable price.:) Online, discounted & with free shipping. Of course, I added another item. Escale Aux Marquises by Dior…thinking of having a summer fling before spring arrives here! A great weekend to all. I can’t wait to try these out.:) March 7, 2015 at 8:46am Reply

  • marcy goldman: I’m really interested in this perfume since I love vanilla and am intrigued by the rice notes. However many reviewers have also referred to its plastic doll scent or playdoh smell – Has anyone experienced that with this fragrance? December 27, 2020 at 11:42am Reply

  • Marianne: Full Disclosure: I absolutely love the scent of Play-doh, which you can actually buy in perfume form from Demeter Fragrance Library.

    Kenzo Amour truly does remind me of that smell. However, Play-Doh has a weird, salty, cracker-like note that is not present in K. A. Without the savoury aspect, K. A. smells much more clearly of sweetness and almond.

    It is neither strong nor very radiant. I really like it.

    My friends acknowledge the similarity to Play-Doh, but never spontaneously. If I mentioned it, they recognized it. If I didn’t, they just said it was sweet or nice.

    If you dislike Play-Doh, then you may dislike this. June 19, 2021 at 10:59am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for your detailed comment. I also like the smell Play-Doh! June 20, 2021 at 6:53am Reply

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