I'm intrigued by fragrances with unusual notes-although the recent trend of labeling notes with fantastical names to gussy them up, such as frozen peach kernels and drenched green pear, does not sit well with me. I mean, it's not evocative at all-how am I supposed to know what a frozen peach kernel even is, much less what it smells like? But Kenzo Amour has long intrigued me, because it claims rice steam as a note. And that, I can get into. I imagine it smelling creamy, grainy, and light-just like real rice steam smells.
And now, I'm finally testing Amour and I kinda get the rice steam. To be honest, I think they added some heliotrope and are trying to pull one over on us by claiming there's this exotic rice steam in there too. Heliotrope tends to add a certain powdery, vanilla-y, but also funky extra something. But what I smell most is vanilla. Sweet, cloying, powdery vanilla. It takes over the scent in an unpleasant way. It combines with the cherry blossoms to become sickly. And it makes me want to scrub it off.
I like gourmand scents but jeez…this one makes my teeth curdle just sniffing it.
If you'd like to experience this for yourself (and are one of the few perfumistas on the planet that hasn't already smelled Amour), you can find it at any Sephora.

As you read above, I am not a huge fan of Kenzo's Amour. There are a ton of Amour flankers out there and I haven't tried most of them. However, this summer I received a sample of Kenzo's Amour Eau de Toilette Florale and was astounded by how lovely it is. I promptly went out and bought a small bottle of it. The notes are Neroli, Grapefruit-Blackcurrant, Cardamom, Frangipani Blossom, Rosebud, Gardenia, White Musk, Cedar Wood. Frankly, I don't see any resemblance to the original Amour at all. What Amour Florale evokes for me are magnolia blossoms. Big, pillowy, soft white petals tinged with a Southern sweetness. I think the combination of gardenia and rose produces this effect and it's so wonderfully blended and smooth that I can't really pick them out individually. It's absolutely splendid. The scent is fairly linear, so it's not going to surprise you mid-day with something funky. This makes is great for work. As it dries down, the softness fades a bit and you get some cedar and a small splash of citrus. I highly encourage any gardenia or white floral lovers to get out and sample this. It's so nice and not too expensive-the 1.3 oz bottle is $55.
You can get it at Sephora.

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