I stopped by the perfume counter to sniff Kenzo World, mostly because I wanted to see the bottle. In person it is a squat little duckling, particularly parked next to the elegant swans of Flower and Amour. But hey– it’s what’s inside that matters, right?
Kenzo World was conceived by artistic directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon and composed by Francis Kurkdjian; notes feature peony, jasmine, ambroxan. Here’s a blurb from the website, talking about how Lim and Leon “breathe their vision of fashion into their first fragrance. A world in their image: bold, spontaneous, surprising, fun, colorful… A world that celebrates freedom of expression, diversity and creativity. A playful and dynamic fragrance…true to the KENZO spirit.”
If you describe your favorite perfume genre as “fresh-floral modern” – and if you’re reading this, you almost certainly don’t – well, this one’s for you. It’s generically fresh and vaguely floral; it’s a bit sour-smelling, like dryer sheets dipped in sweat. The drydown is a tenacious ten hours of woody-musk of the nose-prickling variety, the kind that makes me think of magnified photos of pollen spores – all those tiny, irritating spikes.
Then I spotted the lanky, ruby-colored bottle of Flower by Kenzo L’Elixir, which I sniffed cautiously. It seemed more promising, so I spritzed away. I’m not really a fan of original Flower – too powdery – but I love KenzoAmour’s gentle comfort and am never without a bottle. L’Elixir is definitely closer to Amour in spirit than to original Flower. I think it came out last winter? The notes listed right there on the bottle are raspberry, orange blossom, Bulgarian rose, praline, vanilla. That sounds…. like a sugary nightmare. On my skin however it’s not gourmand, not even particularly sweet, and the drydown is just lovely. If it were an article of clothing, it would be a cashmere scarf in a deep shade of wine. To me it’s somewhere between Amour’s milky-woody comfort and Barbara Bui’s amber embrace. I’m not running out to buy a bottle, but if it fell into my lap I’d wear it happily.