SUMMER PAR KENZO/ KENZO (2005)
Kenzo is a fashion house I can’t help but enjoy: an (expensive) refuge from reality combining a precise, childlike Japanese aesthetic with a vivid ethnic spectrum: a world of colour. I sometimes go to their shop in Aoyama, Tokyo, just for a quick Kenzo fix. Eye-catching, lush is the way I would describe the brand.
There is also something quite artificial about Kenzo: it’s ‘le monde est beau’ mantra, its smooth, plastic, futuristic packaging – but somehow it all works. The perfumes in the range are good: little concepts of scent and visuals very neatly packaged.
Like the magnificent Kenzo Pour Homme (probably my favourite summer fragrance of all time), Kenzo Summer is deliciously evocative of the season, and on first spray brought back to me a myriad of photographic mental images of childhood family holidays flashing by in quick succession: the unfamiliar yet comforting scent of a rented chalet’s bedclothes next to sunkissed skin: my father asleep on a beach towel in the evening sun; flickering white and yellow light behind closed eyes. I don’t know how the perfumer achieved this, but it is very clever. While the scent contains the odd jarring synthetic, soapy note, overall this can be forgiven, as from the start the scent is so cheering; the loveliest, yellowest mimosa cut through with a breeze of green grass; then a subtle, skin-caressing scent of almond milk and suncream, softening gradually to a delicious note of airy, sun-filled afternoons. Beachy, sunny, and essential for true mimosa lovers.