Kenzo’s Madly Kenzo! (2011)

© Victor Wong
© Victor Wong

Someone on the net once made this comment: “Kenzo no longer makes bold and daring perfumes like they used to be.” I think the bold Kenzo perfumes she was talking about were anything released before Kenzo Flowers. There’s some truth to it, particularly after smelling Kenzo Amour (2006) and Madly (2011), the boldness of their new offerings can’t compare to the scent bombs like Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant (1996) and Ca Sent Beau (1988). At the same time, I wouldn’t blame them for light scent is the current trend (though it’s slowly coming to an end, in my opinion).

I had smelled Kenzo Madly at Sephora, and quickly dismissed it. It’s light and sweet, not unique enough, I thought. Also, Luca Turin reviewed Kenzo Madly Oud Collection and gave it a two stars review, so I thought Kenzo Madly, the predecessor, also sucked.

Well, recently I found Madly in a discounted bin and bought it, for I couldn’t resist its truly beautiful and sculptural bottle. At home, I decided to spend some good time to smell it properly. My initial impression didn’t change much – it smelled like super deluxe detergent to me; it’s fresh, comforting, floral, inoffensive and nonintrusive. (Pink pepper, rose, orange flower, light musk.) I went back to web-surfing, suddenly something hit me. What’s this sweet incense smell? Oh lord, this is the incense perfume I have been looking for forever! A light, sweet incense! How delightful! As much as I like Comme de Garcons’ Incense series, they never hit the mark. I want an incense perfume that’s either very joyful and non-smoky, or very deep, dark and sinister. Madly succeeds in the former category for just $30. Upon further research, I found out that Madly was designed by Aurelien Guichard (Chinatown, Narciso, Fracas reformulation), who is very busy and popular nowadays, pumping out perfumes for big and small perfume houses.

I shouldn’t dismiss a perfume just because of the top notes, but there are so many perfumes out there, it’s easier said than done. May be I should also check out Madly Oud…


Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit or for more info!

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