Kouros Fraîcheur 
Yves Saint Laurent (1993)

Average Rating:  28 User Reviews

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Kouros Fraîcheur by Yves Saint Laurent

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About Kouros Fraîcheur by Yves Saint Laurent

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Yves Saint Laurent
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A lighter version of the original Kouros. The bottle is the same, but is opaque instead of the original white glass. Ideal for fans of Kouros, who want an alternative.

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Reviews of Kouros Fraîcheur by Yves Saint Laurent

There are 28 reviews of Kouros Fraîcheur by Yves Saint Laurent.


If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and fixing Kouros is like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa, anything you do will just make it worse.
The original Kouros was so finely balanced, adding citrus and ginger to the mix is bound to throw it off kilter. The lemon-fresh pineapple is sharp and acid, and the hot ginger sketches a gourmand that’s totally out of place. They hide the male body from the scene and what you get instead of the dirty - clean conflict is preserved ginger in a scoured white-tile bathroom, sterile and meaningless.
As time goes on, it gets more like the old stinker but served up in a family-friendly way.
To make Kouros presentable (the perfume equivalent of shampooing a skunk) they took a magisterial masculine and turned it into gingerbread man.


The easiest and most succinct way to describe Kouros Fraîcheur (1993) is as a chypre interpretation of the original Yves Saint Laurent Kouros (1981), which is a strikingly sharp barbershop fougère with a huge slug of animalic musk that makes it the hero or supervillain in the collection of every man who wears it. It's hard to peg who really worked on this flanker to the infamous "inner thighs" powerhouse that set the stage for a decade of virile and animalic men's perfume, but their concept of making the primary Kouros accord fresher was to jump genres from the usually rich-smelling fougère to the typically sharp-smelling chypre. Did it work? Well, it sort of did in the strictest of academic ways, but we're also talking about 1993 here, which was fast approaching the zenith of the "fresh fougère" craze based around then-novel uses of shiny aromachemicals like helonial, calone, and dihydromyrcenol, so concepts of "freshness" according to emerging tastes were something a little different than what's found here. Kouros Fraîcheur is not aquatic, not uplifted by metallic aldehydes, and not sparkling with clean hediones or geraniol like many "freshies" hitting shelves in those days. Remember, Chanel Platinum Égoïste (1993), Paco Rabanne XS pour Homme (1993), and Calvin Klein Escape for Men (1993) all landed on the counter right next to Kouros Fraîcheur, which might as well have been an out-going late-model station wagon in a lot of modern SUVs by comparison. Naturally, if we allow ourselves to forget context for a minute, Kouros Fraîcheur is a wonderful fragrance, giving avid fans of the original a crisper and more-casual take on the DNA that suits better in warmer weather. In essence, Kouros Fraîcheur is the fragrance Kouros Eau de Sport (1986) only halfway committed to be, but arrived too late by 1993 to be effective.

The opening of Kouros Fraîcheur is very familiar to Kouros fans, and has the same blast of bergamot, bitter artemisia, and clary sage in the first few moments. The spice is absent here and the civet is not as horny and ready to lift its tail all over you like it is in the original, but it is still nonetheless there and ready to pounce. A bit of neroli enters the heart to brighten up the composition somewhat, but the soapy iris teamed with geranium, and jasmine indole from the heart of the original remain to add a familiar juxtaposition of clean and dirty, with the tartness of pineapple replacing the clove or cinnamon. The base is where the biggest difference is made, since the oakmoss stands naked with the civet, vetiver, and patchouli. A little smidge of amber replaces the missing fougère accord with the absence of both tonka and honey, making Kouros Fraîcheur much less rounded or sweet, if you ever considered Kouros at all sweet. The smell of Kouros Fraîcheur is consequently translucent like the bottle, in contrast to the thick opacity of the original's smell to match its white glass. As a "Kouros chypre", this does remarkably well on skin, with long-lasting but kinder sillage of 10 hours of blunt masculinity, and the kind of dry civet execution not seen since Monsieur Lanvin (1964), just not dialed up to the same extremes. I'd use this in spring or summer in place of the original Kouros for when I wanted this vibe without risk of humidity making me come across too rank, but to call this a "fresh" scent still requires some suspense of disbelief because this is still an animalic citrus chypre at the end of the day. People who generally like Kouros but find it just a tad unwearable for general use in fougère configuration might be able to slide into this one more comfortably too, but only by a narrow margin.

As you may have already guessed, this was a huge market failure because of amazingly bad timing, but the cruel truth of the matter is the original Kouros only still sells as a cult classic anyway because no fragrance containing this much of a challenging animalic note will ever be a success in the mainstream again unless something changes, which is why successive flankers have further and further distanced themselves from the core of the original. I'm not saying Yves Saint Laurent made a mistake releasing this, just that they made a mistake calling it "Fraîcheur" and sending it out against fresh fougères and aquatics when really what they were making was a "Kouros L'Eau" or "Chypre de Kouros", which would have arguably been better names that may have helped keep this on the market. In discontinuation, Kouros Fraîcheur has become more expensive than what it is worth for the casual explorer of the style or era, but the hardcore Kouros fan or lovers of civet do owe themselves a sniff of this even if just from a sample decant. Had Yves Saint Laurent released this in the stead of Eau de Sport, history might be telling us a different story even if IFRA restrictions haven't been kind to chypres, meaning Kouros Fraîcheur would likely still be discontinued but just possibly on the market far longer than it was, giving fans more stock to make discovering it easier. As a concept piece I absolutely adore Kouros Fraîcheur, but as a practical flanker, it leans a little too hard on the source material for most, but also hits a certain "sweet spot" that the original misses by stretching the same idea onto a different olfactive structure. Thumbs up.


I love the og Kouros dearly but find it as 'almost' unwearable. It's a wearable composition in tiny amounts but let's face it... there's so much civet in that perfume that the sillage trails literally smell like hot steamy dookie. I live very close to my folks house and had applied a few sprays of a first formula Charles of the Ritz Kouros, ran over to their house about 15 minutes later for a moment, hugged my Mom hello while their dogs were sitting at her feet and the first words out of her mouth after hugging me were, 'I think one of the dogs farted and has to go out to poop'. I almost died, true story. Ever since then I'm extremely weary about wearing Kouros. In fact, I almost never wear it more for that comment Mom had made, but it's still my favorite perfume ever regardless.

Now this Fraicheur version is awesome and completely removes the strong faecal aspect of Kouros although there is a healthy dose of civet in this as well that drys down to a mild powderiness, no poop odor. This is a great perfume but there's some things about this that I do not like. Not smell wise but the way that Fraicheur behaves. This perfume smells incredible. It's a soapy vetiver with a patchouli and amber backdrop and the far dry down is to die for but, this perfume behaves strangely.

First off, Fraicheur is one of those perfumes that's translucent and quite the deceiver. This is a super strong perfume with monstrous sillage that just 'begs' for you to spray and spray and spray but you cannot smell this on you, at all. Last summer I had applied 3 or 4 healthy sprays to the chest area which I thought wasn't even close, went out to run my errands and had received the comment from a perfect stranger after chatting with them of 'smell you later'. I died and cried a little, didn't wear Fraicheur for a long while after that one so, this perfume has huge sillage and projection. It's a thin and wispy composition, very difficult to explain but it's a total deceiver.

Fraicheur smells like a really dry and soapy version of the original formula but thinned out, removed, a hologram almost. It's not thick, penetrating and obnoxious like the original. Seriously I cannot explain this one bit. I really love this Fraicheur equally as the original but this perfume is near impossible to guage in it's application so be aware.


Beautiful opening, a much less animalic version of Kouros, and a completely different opening with delicious, masculine citrus, and quite different overall for a flanker, comfortably wearable and good for the office with a shaving cream or barber shop feel.


This brilliant Kouros flanker was released during the Sanofi and Gucci era with the Sanofi Fraicheur version being remarkably stronger than the one from the Gucci era.
This is, as said already, like the original (vintage) but with the civet and musks toned down significantly and pineapple and soapyness added to make it less offensive and perfectly wearable during warmer weather without losing the Kouros dna! This is also perfect to be layers with a good spray of the original to amp it up if needed. It still lasts 8+ hrs and performs really well. A msterpiece, just like the original! Rating: 9.5/10


Excellent. I' ve never been along years a huge fan of the classic Ysl Kouros (despite the undeniable genius behind) but I have now to admit that this ostensibly fresher version (yes neither "sporty" nor ozonic) is far more wearable, decidedly more subtle/classy (somewhat exotic) and finally more connected with my personal taste. I'm not saying the differences are huge, just the brand has modulated the "combination of balancements" in order to issue an equally fresh but finally less musky, less angular (less visceral despite still "by civet" oriented) and all at once more discreet and multifaceted recipe (elegant, still persistent, lighter, "less wildly oriented", a touch more hesperidic, finally superbly balmy-soapy). The civet's presence (as previously outlined) is toned down, a wondeful exotic grapefruit is perfectly appointed, patchouli more classic-earthy and the soapy-resinous dry down is superbly elegant (ambergris veined, "fluidy woody", balmy, restrained). Totally endorsed.

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