Friday, 9 September 2011

Review: Kokorico from Jean-Paul Gaultier (2011)

There’s at least one person in the world who thinks Kokorico is a work of genius. A couple of weeks ago, when I picked up the scent’s tester at a branch of Sephora in northern France, a fellow shopper rushed up to me, undid the top buttons of her blouse and invited my nose to get friendly with her cleavage. (All in a day’s work for an intrepid perfume critic.) “Smell it on me,” she said. “it’s magnificent. An incredible creation.” I thanked her for her generosity and proceeded to obey her instructions.

I’ve now had a chance to spray the juice on my own chest several times, and whilst I can’t say I share the lady’s ecstasy, I do consider it one of this year's more impressive mainstream releases, particularly as far as masculines are concerned. What’s especially fascinating is the tension it displays between the safer, more predictable aesthetic of the brand’s money-maker, Le Male, and the savagely underrated Fleur Du Male. Kokorico attempts to straddle both worlds: on the one hand, it’s an appetising woody gourmand (taking the minty top of Guerlain Homme, the tonka/cocoa heart of B*Men and the deep vanilla base of Tocade) but on the other, it doesn’t quite have the guts to eschew a yawn-inducing dose of Iso E Super and dihydromyrcenol (aka Generic Man Smell). The result is never unattractive – its polished warmth will doubtless work well as autumn tightens its grip – but it will probably disappoint those hoping for a more outré composition.

Mind you, even the most demanding of wearers will ignore many of the scent’s shortcomings each time they catch sight of the bottle. At first glance, it appears to be little more than a profile of Monsieur Gaultier’s face. But view it side-on and you notice that it also depicts the familiar male torso from the Male bottles. It’s a quirky, wonderful little bit of design which suggests that, somewhere in its development process, this had been envisaged as a much more striking perfume. The name, the flacon and the ad campaign point at a wearer who sees himself as something of a preening cockerel. The scent is much more straight-laced, but it does have the potential to serve as a stepping stone towards more unconventional fragrance choices... so if its mission is to out a few closet cockerels, then I'm happy to give it a thumbs up.

[Review based on a sample of eau de toilette obtained in 2011; fragrance tested on skin.]


Please don't forget that you have until Tuesday night (UK time) to win a sample of Miriam, Andy Tauer's first composition for the Tableau De Parfums line. And below you'll find a short YouTube clip depicting the creation of the Kokorico bottle.

Have a great weekend,



  1. I am looking forward to polish release. :):) I want belive it will be before Christmas.

  2. Great review!

    This is possibly the most anticipated release of the year so I'm glad that you have given it a mostly positive review.

  3. Is the world turning topsy turvy?! First a CK One flanker--a CK One FLANKER!!!--gets a thumbs-up and now this?!

  4. Marcin, czesc, nice to see you on these pages.

    From what I've read, it looks as though Kokorico (Kukuryku?) will take some time to reach certain parts of the world, which is a shame, but I'm sure you'll get to smell it before too long.

  5. Candyperfumebiy, thanks very much indeed. Most anticipated? Do you think so? Well, I wouldn't buy it for myself, but it's much better than a lot of the new stuff out there.

  6. Anon, I absolutely would not give the new CK One feminine flanker a thumbs up; I think it's a very bad joke (I haven't properly tried the masculine yet).

    As for JPG, the house's perfume track record is actually pretty respectable, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that this new creation isn't a disaster.

  7. Wonderful review, but my husband and teenage sons are envious of you....

  8. Marla, thank you... and tell them that being a perfume critic opens up all sorts of unexpected avenues in life...

  9. Excellent review.
    Madame Persolaise obviously a woman in a million and not phased by this sort of thing.

  10. Anon, thanks very much, and yes, Madame P is very special indeed.

  11. RE: CK One flanker thumbs-up, I was referring to the ones already given by Octavian and Brian Pera. I hope you'll be able to weigh in too, soon! Have always looked forward to reading what you think :)

  12. Anon, thanks very much, that's very sweet of you. I hadn't realised Brian had given it a thumbs up.

    I've been giving it some attention over the last few days... but will I review it? I'm not sure yet. It's not something I'd rush out to buy.

  13. I got it today for my husband, and it´s really marvellous..!


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