Kenzo Jungle

Hey Posse! Did you know Kenzo Jungle turns 25 this year?
Sorry it’s late. I thought something was ready and organised for today and then Musette wrote asking if I’m OK. No post. SHIT! So here I am with the newest arrival. This is my fourth bottle, um maybe fifth, of Kenzo Jungle. Sounds like I love it. Well…… I buy it, wear it a few times, decide it’s just not for me and then sell it. THEN I keep reading how much everyone loves it and then find myself second guessing my judgement. Then I see it for a really good price while shopping for something else and bingo, it’s in my cart and I’ve bought it again. Well, it’s arrived.

OK, first things. The cap looks excellent in pictures but in life is kinda shit. Every time I buy it also I forget how enormous and annoying the 100ml bottles is to spritz. My hand is quite large, with a 9 note piano stretch, yet I find the bottle overly large and unmaneouvehable. It must be a nightmare for anyone with smaller hands.

Kenzo Jungle

Kenzo Jungle

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Cardamom, Mandarin orange, Gardenia, Heliotrope, Clove, Mango, Patchouli, Vanilla, Ylang-ylang, Liquorice

The opening is fabulously OTT and gushes up at me. A strong, plastic coated melange of very ripe fruit, clove, vanilla, bland and patchouli. How did such a hard core fragrance ever get released in the mid 1990s? It seems like a 1980s powerhouse blockbuster got reimagined. The next question is how this stinking great weirdo of a scent is still in mass production

The heart is hardly a calmer or less intense adventure either. Kenzo Jungle remains awesomely sized with only the loose of some fruitiness and the addition of a thick and ropey white floral that seems to gel with the ylang and add texture.

The liquorice is there, not there, there and gone again. I get these tantalising hints of its appearance and expect it to take centre stage but it never really gets a proper run.

Do I like it? This is the problem. Maybe?!? No. Yes. It’s awesome and I should adore it but somehow I just don’t. Isn’t that strange?

If you want to smell ferocious and fearless,. need a suit a fragrant armour or just need a wall between you and the world then a few sprays of this should do it. Very strong, excellent longevity, unisex. I’s summarise it as a spiced vanilla with ALL the bells and whistles.

Have you done the Kenzo Jungle thing?
Portia xx

March reviewed Kenzo King Kong a while ago too.


  • Patty says:

    Tigre is much better behaved, though discontinued and stupidly expensive because of that discontinued thing. I’m with you on the Jungle, it is just huge. I always think I should love it, but I put it on and think, no, no, no, that is just not me and scrub. But I still LIKE it. 🙂

  • Cinnamon says:

    I sort of want to try this. If I’m recalling correctly, a friend said cumin. But I don’t see it in the notes list. In any case I’m with you on keeping this bottle — even if you lose interest and get twitchy about it for a while. Just sounds like it was meant to be …

  • Pam says:

    I have a bottle of Kenzo Elephant and am in the Love Camp. But I have to be in the right mood to wear it. You’ve reminded me to get it out and wear it since it has been awhile. And don’t forget, there are TWO Kenzo Jungles. The other is Tiger, and it is quite different. And I love it too.
    As a pianist, I envy those hands, Portia.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Pam,
      Yeah, hasn’t Tiger gone the way of the dodo though? I’ve not seen it for years.
      HA! So did my childhood piano teacher. My laziness and indifference used to drive her crazy.
      Portia x

  • Brigitte says:

    I adore the elephant. Cardamom custard. Thanks to a dear friend I have a vintage full bottle.

  • March says:

    HAHAHAHA Jungle is A LOT. I kinda loved it while thinking I wouldn’t wear it, and I like some big frags! And yes, the bottle while cool looking is also A LOT.

  • grizzlesnort says:

    My pianist talks about needing Rachmaninoff hands to play certain pieces. I’ll think of you.

  • Shiva-woman says:

    I adore Kenzo Jungle, but it’s been reformulated and your description confirms that. Kenzo Jungle is a hot tropical mess of spices and sweets with a predominant cardamom and ginger heft. I use my bottle sparingly because I do not want to run out of its gorgeousness. If you are a spice lover this is for you. Too, in a world of $250.00 scents, and going up, this one (is/was?) A “cheapie.” If one is a Chanel No. 5 type, I suspect this will not sit as well. Regarding the bottle, I have very small hands (children’s mitts) and I have to say I love the bottle and find it’s perfect–so maybe that’s a plus for some of us, but I also like the bottle for its ornamentation. I’m so tired of “elegantly” squat, square and minimalist designs (though this is squarish). The juice is more important, yes, but the packaging is part of the pleasure of the ritual. I recommend trolling Ebay and looking up older bottles because the juice holds well over time.

    • Portia says:

      Thanks Shiva-woman.
      GINGER!! Yes, there is a lot of ginger. I knew something else was swimming around in there but couldn’t put my finger on it. GINGER! Of course.
      Portia xx

    • Musette says:

      You know I am the epitome of Chanel No 5, so this sounds like My Worst Nightmare. Alas. Because y’all actually make it sound like Something To Love.



      • Portia says:

        This morning the remnants are absolutely divine Musette.
        I’m doing a 360 degree turn and saying it might be love.

      • rosarita says:

        Ms A, I adore Chanel No 5 but I am a fan of Jungle too. I have a 20 ml decant that has lasted for years because I don’t wear it often, only in the winter because it makes it’s way through all the layers of fleece. To me it smells like an OTT rice pudding with lots of cardamom.

  • Anna Egeria says:

    I love it and am so glad it’s available!!!!

    • Portia says:

      YAY! I’m glad we have some fans coming forward today, even though my review is not one of unalloyed adoration.
      I’m glad it’s still available too.
      Portia xx

  • Dina C. says:

    I know Jungle by reputation alone, and many seem to agree that this scent is weird and borderline unbearable. Then I’ll come across an ardent defender of the stuff that just loves it. Based on the notes, I’m guessing I wouldn’t be in the “loves Jungle” camp. But I do love cardamom, so hmm. Thanks for your take Portia!

    • Portia says:

      Hey DinaC,
      You know, if cardamom is your thing and you think cardamom clove custard sounds delicious then it could very well suit you.
      Tonight’s ride has been the most enjoyable I’ve ever had with it.
      I wonder if the process of writing about it has given me an insight and appreciation heretofore withheld?
      Portia xx

  • Tiara says:

    I wish I could pick out notes like you! Can’t say I’ve ever loved any of the Kenzo scents and this one doesn’t sound up my alley, but you’ve given me a great idea for my sister-in-law’s upcoming birthday. She loves BIG perfumes.

  • Cassieflower says:

    I love the elephant! Brigitte called it when she said cardamom custard. Spot on. It’s a powerhouse and a bottle will last years. I really don’t know how anyone could work their way through 100ml? It’s one of those weird frags that I always want in my collection. I’ve had my bottle for years already.

  • MMKinPA says:

    I’m not usually a fan of overly “big” perfumes but Jungle is in my top ten of all time. I adore it, although it’s definitely not appropriate for all occasions! I do tend to love spicy things. Must be one of those “love or hate” perfumes. My arch nemesis is Angel – and most people love that one, so go figure. (It actually makes me nauseous it smells so horrible on me.) I agree on the cap – it’s totally annoying and unbalanced.

    • Portia says:

      Hey MMKinPA,
      SEE! This is what I mean. People whose noses I respect and trust ADORE Kenzo Jungle. I’m wearing a few good hits of it tonight and am enjoying the ride but there is something amiss. It’s a bummer that I can’t properly explain the problem.
      Glad we agree on the lid.
      Portia xx

    • Shiva-woman says:

      I love Kenzo, and I literally get nauseous smelling Angel. Angel has a physical effect so profoundly and absolutely repugnant. It’s not patch in general because I love patch. It’s the uber RED/PURPLE totally synthetic color/smell attacking me when I’m near the stuff. Thankfully most have moved on from it. I’ll take the laundry fresheners with citrusy musks over that stuff any day. But Kenzo, oh yeah…
      However, I like the spice bazaar–SL Arabie, Coco (not the mademoiselle, but just Coco Chanel), old vintage Shalimar and all the newbie Indie/Niche spices, woods and incense. Cardamom is a fav of mine.

      • Musette says:

        Angel is a hot mess – it can nearly bring up my lunch! I was once seated next to a woman who was liberally doused in Angel – and I had to figure out how to gracefully extricate myself (we were at a conference) so as not to just faint dead away.


      • Kathleen says:

        I also get nauseous smelling Angel, one of the few perfumes I can’t stand. A woman at my gym used to wear a hefty dose and I had to move to the other side of the building.
        Elephant isn’t my favorite perfume; however, I appreciate it for its uniqueness.

    • Cassieflower says:

      Snap on Angel. Ick.

  • VerbenaLuvvr says:

    I’m in the same boat as you. I want to love this, should love this, but I just can’t. Maybe it’s all just too much at once.