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quarta-feira, 9 de dezembro de 2015

Kenzo Totem: Blue, Orange, Yellow

I did not have a reason to write about Kenzo perfumes for a long time. And that’s sad, really. Especially if you remember what mass insanity Kenzo fragrances caused in Russia and many other countries some time ago. The most desirable ones even received nicknames like “the Blue masculine Kenzo” (Kenzo Homme, 1991) and “the white Kenzo” (L`Eau par Kenzo, 1996). Girls still remember and love “the Kenzo with the flower” and “the Kenzo with the elephant”. And then what happened? Can you come up with something from Kenzo that moved you lately? Nothing, until I came upon a new series of Kenzo fragrances, called Totem.
Kenzo Totem has a packaging that really stands out on the shelves; the strange shape of the black bottle is a true attention grabber. I immediately went over to find out what the name of this shape would be. The bottle was designed by the Japanese design studio Nendo, and they did a great job. It’s an excellent, brand-new bottle, which can’t be compared to or mixed up with anyhing! However, the packaging feels like it slightly devalues ​​the fragrances themselves by dragging the attention away from what the product is really about.
So what’s inside the bottles? Three simple beauties. Trying the Totem Kenzo fragrances I somehow was reminded of the Lacoste polo shirts – which are also not very expensive, bright, energetic and clear. Why so? Maybe because I see both brands as the first step to Haute Couture and Haute Sport? A certain mass couture, the entry point to the podium? Or is it the toy-like, not so serious design of the bottles?
I liked Totem Blue immediately. I decided that the blue color looked manly, and they chose this color for a reason. Totem Blue is a sweet and fresh, fruity fougere fragrance, and the main role is played by a fruit salad of orange, apple and pineapple slices, sprinkled with coriander seeds. The masculine character is supported by the famous fougere base notes (sweet and pleasant musks with coumarin) which along with some citrus and fruity notes smells like a fresh shower gel. An athletic sailor, naked to the waist, who brought you a bowl of fruit salad and wants to seduce you.

The first fragrance that came to mind in connection with Totem Blue was the fresh pineapple start of the sweet and smooth Jean Patou pour homme, the reformulated one from 2013. The second allusion was one of the Playboy colognes, the sporty but sexy-sweet Playboy VIP Platinum Edition. The third allusion was my favorite woody musky Eutopie №9 (specifically its sweet musky part). A sprinkle of cardamom plus the contrast of green apple and caramel brings an unusual smell. Totem Blue's uniqueness almost disappears after about an hour, leaving a certain "Playboy ease", some sportiness and voluptuousness.
Takasago perfumers Antoine Lie and Jean Jacques created much more original fragrances in the past – but in this case their talents were assigned to make a contemporary fougere fragrance that is sweet, but still very musky and masculine.
Top notes: Pineapple, Citrus notes and Orange;
Heart notes: Cardamom and Green apple;
Base notes: White cedar, Caramel and Coumarin
The next one of the series, Totem Orange, proved to be very good also. A very juicy natural orange note in the beginning shows that the orange name was not chosen just for the active color (maybe I’m colorblind, but the letters on the bottle are red, for me). Then the cheerful oranges give way to a transparent accord of green young fig leaves and milky fig – nice and friendly, the fresh smell of summer. And gradually, step by step, note for note, the fragrance drifts from freshness to sweetness. Not thick molasses syrup, but a light flower nectar with jasmine flowers and oozing ripeness of fruits.
A girl named Summer, singing a song from a children’s cartoon, performed in a modern multi-gender way – have you noticed that sweet gourmand accents in woody-musky drydowns now are a fashionable trend in masculine and feminine fragrances alike? Givaudan perfumers Nathalie Gracia-Cetto and Olivier Pescheux created a wonderfully positive fragrance, adding some zest (and some bitter oranges) to a pretty popular topic: a fig tree garden. But I would change the color of the Totem, from orange-red to light green – it stays green even in the drydown, due to vetiver.
Top notes: Bitter orange and Citruses;
Heart notes: Lemon flower, Fig tree and Peach;
Base notes: Vetiver, White cedar, White musk and Cocoa
The yellow lettered fragrance starts with citrus notes also, but instead of the harsh intense lemon or yuzu, the perfumer chose softer and more feminine shades. It has a nice citrus character, like a pomelo or a sweetie, maybe because of the rose water, which rises in the perfume heart. Rose water is infused in green tea leaves, with powdery ionone notes, and a light fruit syrup. It's an adorable and innocent, girlish rose cologne for every day: good for a date, good for going to class. We can not say that the fragrance is totally unique, but it does the trick right. Givaudan perfumer Christophe Raynaud knows how to make bestsellers – too bad that many innocent pretty girls won't even dare to pick up the mysterious black bottle and try the juice.
Top notes: Pink grapefruit and Citruses;
Heart notes: Tea, Peach, Rose and Hedione;
Base notes: Woody notes, Leather and White musk.
The Kenzo Totem collection started with three pleasant and positive fragrances that don’t play any snobbery and rarity games. They promise a good mood and lightness, as well as good quality for little money – and they keep that promise. There’s neither the villain-colored oud, nor the soldier ammunition leather, and definitely no hippie patchouli in Totem Kenzo – there are only bright and well-known smells that can be worn every day. Just as you can listen to light jazz on a Jazz radio channel every day, these fragrances should be applied on your way home, tuning in to a pleasant idle evening. Or they could be taken as an olfactory addition to Zoloft. Frankly, I do not believe that Kenzo’s Totem collection will be a hit. But you know what? I look forward to the next positive Totem fragrances

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