Thursday, 25 June 2009

Kenzo Jungle L'Elephant

I usually don't shy away from wearing scents marketed to women, and am pleased if I can inspire men in particular, to try something they might not have ever contemplated. Kenzo's Jungle L'Elephant is one such scent that I feel masterfully bridges the gender divide.

Years before his perfume triumphs such as  Thierry Mugler's Alien and Frederic Malle's Vetiver Extraordinaire, in 1996 French nose Dominique Ropion lent his expertise in creating this avante garde spicy floral for the house of Kenzo. The eau de parfum itself represents a striking balance between nature and man... the unrelenting natural wilderness pitted against the ever-encroaching urban environment. There is a bold contrast between the territories, which is cleverly translated into perfume. L'Elephant is rich with exotic fruits, bewitching florals and dark, familiar spices, but presented in such a way that is almost an abstract "hyper-realistic" approach, much like something you might encounter in one of Mugler's far-flung spacescapes. The advertising video spot (below) embraces this idea in a surreal dream-like fashion.

I am a big fan of L'Elephant. Much like the beast itself, this perfume is bold, robust and commanding. The opening accords I liken to those opulent notes present in Tom Ford's Black Orchid... thick, rich and imposing. A blend of mango, heliotrope and ylang-ylang I find totally enchanting here, and the spices are rich and dark; somehow cumin, cardamom and clove lend a dramatic sense of depth and scale to the mix. A lavish combination of vanilla, liquorice, patchouli and amber imbues the perfume with a delicious gourmand appeal. This intense and dramatic composition creates a perfume that can be enjoyed by many, but, this untamed animal is not one for the faint-hearted. It is extremely tenacious and has titanic sillage. 
Applied sparingly, this innovative scent is sure to turn heads.

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