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Monday, August 25, 2008

Perfume Review: Kenzo Power

Kenzo describe Power, their new fragrance for men, as "surprising", and it certainly caught me off guard. Given the name and the fact that the scent is hoped to become as powerful a seller as the feminine Flower, I expected something ...more archetypally masculine and more broadly appealing, I suppose (something that an average male buyer would immediately recognize as manly). Which shows how little imagination I have compared to the creative team at Kenzo, how little thought I gave to the overall esthetics of the brand and how much I underestimated the latter's willingness to risk. With Power, Kenzo taps into the trend in masculine fragrances, which views macho as not mucho, which believes that "charismatic" is not synonymoys with "agressive", and that understated power is as real and attractive as the more obvious kind. Fleur du Male, Fahrenheit 32, Gucci Pour Homme II, the trio of Dior colognes and above all Dior Homme are the examples of such "understated masculines".

Like Dior Homme, Kenzo Power was created by Olivier Polge, and like former, it is "a flower for men". In Dior's case, the flower was iris; for Kenzo, Polge conjures up an imaginary blossom. Given the fresh and sweetly-piquant top notes (candied citrus zest spiced by cardamom and coriander) and the softly-balsamic, a tiny bit powdery base, in my imagination I see that flower as a cross between lotus and iris, with the aroma that is simultaneously clean and sensual. In reality, the "abstract floral heart" of Power is supposed to be a blend of rose, jasmine and freesia, and I would say that of the three, jasmine seems to me to be the most apparent. Something in the mix of coriander, cedarwood and labdanum produces a subtly smoky effect...the smell of a cigarette lit somewhere in the far distance...this might be the perfume's only nod to the stereotypically masculine. Overall, the scent is beautifully androgynous. Its softness makes it entirely wearable for a woman; and I hope that the "new sensitive male" that made Dior Homme a hit will make Kenzo Power a bestseller too. A company that thinks outside of the hairy-chested box of masculine perfumery deserves to be rewarded.

Kenzo Power retails for $55.00-$75.00.

Image source, Kenzo USA.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Бежать, искать, покупать? )

9:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Не беги. Мне кажется, это не "твой" аромат. :-)

9:55 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Хмм-мм. Что ли я для него недостаточно новый и чувствительный? )

9:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

:-D Тебе идут более "тёмные" ароматы, а этот "светлый". Прими это как комплимент. :-)

9:58 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ну ОК. Поверю тебе на слово. )

9:59 PM EDT  
Blogger Aimée L'Ondée said...

oooooh, yummy, come to mama! I am now convinced I need this. where did you sniff it?

10:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Aimée L'Ondée
I believe it is already at Bloomingdale's

10:15 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I'm going to have to give this a whirl..

11:35 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Polge doing another floral for men? This will be interesting. Dior Homme with its mix of powdery iris, cardamom, cocoa and leather was a metrosexual smash.

12:09 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Do try it and tell us what you think :-)

6:46 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think this will be that kind of smash too.

6:47 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Sounds nice. I don't think I could sell Mr. Lily, but I think Billy D (resident masculine iris fan) should give it a try. . .

7:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review, this sounds quite nice. Polge, eh? Will have to do dept store drive by soon to give it a sniff.

8:22 AM EDT  
Blogger March said...

Oh, I wish I'd looked for that yesterday! I've decided after trying Peace several times that it just doesn't last long enough to be worth it. This one sounds interesting. Is it as *strong* as Fleur du Male?

8:25 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Cigarette note? OK, that's enough to make me become blind to the mention of freesia, a note I've come to absolutely abhor. Cardamom, iris and jasmine also help in this process of mentally erasing that f word. Must try this!
Oh, and is it wrong of me to be so focused on that man's eyelashes in the ad? I would so love to have eyelashes long enough that I didn't constantly have to be obsessing over mascaras.

8:59 AM EDT  
Blogger judith said...

Thanks for the review of Kenzo Power. I wear and enjoy Fleur du Male, so I will give Power a try. The bottle reminds me of the Montales-self protection from the light. :-)

10:02 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My boyfriend (who has yet to find a scent he enjoys wearing, by the way), was reading the post over my shoulder and asked "Hmm, have you smelled this yet?" I think you may have hooked a new reader, Marina!

I love iris, but like Elle I hope I don't smell the freesia.

12:39 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Sounds way better than I expected -- looking forward to trying it!

3:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Divina said...

Oh Marina! I didn't know about this and not only does your description sound great, you also put it right next to some of my favorite non-niche masculine scents! (i thought I was the only one who loved Gucci II by the way, so glad to be wrong! :) )

Love the bottle too. Seems to go almost against the non-macho appeal of the juice you are describing. Very nice.

5:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I can't see the fan of Veticuir in it either :-)

7:51 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't know if you will like it for yourself, but you might like it in general

7:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't find it strong...but neither do I find du Male strong :-)

7:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Freesia was non-existent on me. I am not a fan of it either.

7:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

The bottle is very nice, pleasant to the touch

7:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I really don't think you will smell fressia. Thank you for the new reader -)

7:57 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think you might like it.

7:58 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I like both Gucci II and Gucci Pour Homme II. But I love Gucci Pour Homme the mostest.

7:59 PM EDT  
Blogger Divina said...

Yeah, I meant the pour homme II as well, the light blue juice!

7:17 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had the privilege of wearing this for the last two weeks and get nothing but compliments. It's a soft and caressing veil, with a slight smokey bite, and the dankness of wet rose. The drydown is superbly rich and full.

It's hard not to reach for it at any time of day (or even just before hitting the sack).

And yes, it's light and polite, not at all in your face like Fleur du Mâle or Fahrenheit 32.

1:33 PM EDT  
Blogger TrippleJN said...

I like this concept. It reminds me of my husband.

5:01 PM EDT  

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