Though I've always been fascinated by Japanese minimalism, I've never really warmed to any Kenzo perfume releases. Whilst I've admired their clean packaging and organic-shaped flacons, none of their juices actually appealed to me. Until, that is, the launch of Kenzo Power, their new fragrance for men. A few days ago, I was fortunate enough to be passing through a retail store as this fragrance was being unpacked and placed on shelves. Like an enthusiastic bower-bird, my eye caught sight of the beautiful mirrored flacon sitting across the room, and I swooped in to sample.
The 125ml bottle felt cold and heavy in my hand... quite industrial when measured against bottles from previous Kenzo perfume releases - however, its smooth, high-shine tapering curves echoed biological lines found in nature. Design-wise, it was an interesting paradox.
The scent itself, opens with a blast of citrusy bergamot, but with the sharp tartness shaved off... a pinch of cardamon does well in diminishing the tangy opening accords, before a beautiful luminous floral heart shifts to the fore. I liken these lustrous accords to those found in Thierry Mugler's Alien... a radiant jasmine tippy-toes over sweet freesia and dusty rose to render this a rather remarkable (and wearable) floral for men. There is no surprise that Olivier Polge (the nose behind Dior Homme) is also the nose behind Power, as the perfume transitions again and a powdery orris-like note emerges... it seems Polge has borrowed from the success of this appealing accord in Homme. There are also fleeting moments where there is an interesting 'synthetic' feel to the fragrance, but that is not to say it is an undesirable quality. In fact, it can be likened to the pleasant rubberyness found in Bvlgari Black, or Malle's Musc Ravageur.
The heart notes eventually taper off into a warm woody ambery base of cedar and labadnum, which remain on the skin for a number of hours. I find the overall composition very appealing, and really rather removed from other mainstream men's perfume releases. Whilst Power can be likened in style to a number of other launches, it is quite unique, and marks a bold new direction for Kenzo. It is a sophisticated floral for men that should not be shied away from.
Below, video taken from youtube of the Kenzo Power media launch in Japan.