Kenzo’s Parfum d’Été (1992)

Kenzo's Parfum d'Ete (1992) © Victor Wong
Kenzo’s Parfum d’Ete (1992) © Victor Wong

Kenzo’s Parfum d’Été (Scent of Summer) comes in a leaf-shaped bottle that I think looked so tacky in the 90s is now finely-aged, uber-tacky, and its big bottle cap made out of 500 pounds of non-recyclable plastic is so ridiculously big and awkwardly shaped that it could be used as a lifeboat when the flood hits my city. I simply love it and have to have it.

There are a lot of 50 mL Parfum d’Été bottles on eBay but not many 100 mL bottles that also come with the original box and a good price (yes, I am that fussy). In fact, my local perfume shop still has one left (with no box) and I was so close to buying it because the scent was actually very good (umm… to be discussed), but I resisted the temptation. (By the way, there is a “newer” version of Parfum d’Été that comes in a more sensible and modern bottle design, but the scent is much more diluted. It’s also discontinued but still widely available.)

Eventually an unopened, brand new 1992 Parfum d’Été appeared on eBay and no one wanted it and I got it for a good price. The package arrived, I unwrapped it, took it out of the box carefully by grabbing the gigantic perfume cap and the bottle just fell off my hand and hit the floor. My heart was screaming in such a high-pitch voice that my neighbour’s evil pure white Pomeranian started barking. I suddenly had flashbacks of reading people’s posts saying how much they had missed their bottles because they all slipped off their hands and fell to the ground, shattered. Now I think about it, Parfum d’Été has the world’s worst ergonomically designed perfume bottle.

Now on to the perfume itself… I put it in an interrogation room for a week and everyday I asked the same question, “Are you a perfume or a shampoo scent!?” I analyzed its DNA sample in my head and the result was not conclusive. As a vintage scent, I could detect notes that I have never smelled in shampoos (hints of oakmoss, musks, sandalwood, rose and amber), but it also has a bunch of rather synthetic floral notes that are now commonly used in shampoos (green aldehyde, freesia, peony, etc). But really, no one cares, when I wear it it brings me happiness and feelings of cleanliness and freshness. It can also be interpreted as an extension of my hair hygiene.