It’s hard to say whether Kenzo deliberately plays into the vagueness of the concept of an oriental fragrance, or whether Amour’s marketing is more of an elegant snide, but the blurring of geographical and cultural borders seems obvious.
In keeping with its country of origin, Kenzo presents its Kenzo Amour perfume in an opaque melamine bottle whose shape distantly captures the style of Japanese crockery. The content, however, leans oriental in a different sense of the word--the one describing a well-loved perfume genre of amber-based compositions, often built with notes of resins, woods, and spices.
Wearers tend to describe this perfume using words like “cozy”, “plush”, “cashmere-like” and “comforting”. That’s certainly the main impression here--Amour Eau de Parfum wraps you up in a fluffy blanket of scent and gently forces you to slow down, confront things at your own pace and be comfortable exactly where you are (or peacefully daydream about travelling to distant places). This is something of a signature trait in Kenzo fragrances. They’re sultry, yet calming, smelling of exciting travels, but also making you feel happy about the present moment. If you don’t believe us, try this gorgeous set of Kenzo miniatures which includes Kenzo Amour as well as Kenzo Jungle L’Élephant, L’Eau par Kenzo, Flower by Kenzo, and Kenzo Parfum D’Été.
Even the opening of Kenzo Amour is warm, with a special, creamy quality to it. This fragrance completely denies any necessity of a fresh citrus note, serving up instead some white tea with rice and accentuating their beauty by using an undercurrent of musk. This is one of those fragrances that smell decidedly vanillic to the point where you almost don’t notice that the vanilla is actually surrounded by a small crowd of other ingredients, each of them playing an important role in the overall effect. The result definitely smells kind of edible, even though the floral notes keep it from becoming a straight-up gourmand scent.
There are of course dozens of creamy vanillas on the perfume market and Kenzo Amour definitely holds its own among them, but you might find yourself having a bit of a déja-vu when sampling it. That’s because, to an untrained nose, it smells extremely close to Dior Hypnotic Poison, an especially seductive variation on the classic Poison from the 80s. A closer comparison and a finer assessment of both fragrances will make it clear that Amour is not in fact a copy of Hypnotic Poison, they just dance around the same themes and evoke a similar kind of mood. While the Dior leans slightly more daring and provocative, Kenzo stays more low-key, not bringing as much attention to its presence and sticking to an airier kind of beauty. It’s actually quite fun to observe the different ways in which these two perfumes develop on your skin.
This also tells you a lot about which one of them you should choose. The similarities are definitely enough to be sure that whoever likes Hypnotic Poison, will probably appreciate Kenzo Amour as well. If you were thinking about purchasing the Dior, but its high price made you a bit hesitant, Kenzo is certainly a more affordable alternative with a very comparable sort of personal charm. if, on the other hand, money isn’t really an important factor for you (provided that you don’t have to cough up your entire monthly income), Amour will be the perfect choice for anyone who likes a fragrance as a timeless accessory.
Treat yourself to this lovely Kenzo Amour gift set of a 100ml bottle of the Eau de Parfum and a handy 50ml tube of body lotion to layer this amazing scent and make it last even longer. Just like other Kenzo orientals, it will transport you to foreign lands and make your day instantly brighter.