KENZO Kenzo World Perfume Review

Kenzo World perfume

Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume

When Kenzo launched Kenzo World last year it generated quite the buzz…before it was even launched. Spike Jonze had directed a rather unusual commercial¹ featuring a gyrating Margaret Qualley, a Jamaican dancehall deejay and a hovering giant eye …all of this to sell us a perfume in a weird eye bottle. I knew with so much production there was no way I’d be pleased with this perfume. It was eluding to weirdness and even though KENZO has made some “wearable weird” things in the past, I didn’t expect much from this 2016 release. And then it launched I heard nothing of it…so I didn’t go out of my way to try it. I was at a Duty Free store with some time to spare, I tried KENZO World and decided to try the eye. I was shocked by it. It was weird but I don’t know if it was willing weird or if it was an accident. After a few more wears, I still don’t know.

Kenzo World opens with a weird mint sprigs meets watermelon boba tea. It’s really odd. It’s like a milky very synthetic melon. It’s that sort of melon that is like Japanese candies or the sort of bubblegum flavors that make anyone with taste buds older aged over 13 years old want to gag. This is followed by the sort of “pink floral bouquet” that’s in many designer fruity-florals. It’s pretty but it’s clean and almost ventures into the realm of functional fragrances (but hey, Glade has some pretty darn good fragrances these days!).  Generic “red berry syrup” decides to escort the white floral bouquet done the aisle so that Kenzo World can unite with its rather dull dry-down. The dry-down is as stated – ambroxan. So, it’s basically like a faint modern amber like Juliette Has a Gun Not a Perfume.

This is one of those perfumes that I can imagine wearing very sour and unpleasant on some people. It’s also one that I think when it works, it must really work. For me, I’m confused by how the neon fruits have some sort of milky quality. I’m put off by it but it’s also the reason I keep wearing it. For some reason I’m drawn to this (or maybe I’m just trying to figure it all out). My verdict as of today is that it unintentionally weird but it’s still weird because it tried to be so normal. It’s like how those game shows that have an eligible person selecting a spouse from a pool of 25 strangers while cameras follow them day and night. It’s essentially a very normal  “traditional” thing (marriage) being corrupted and scripted for our viewing pleasure. I see World like this. Like it was fruity-floral taken to the most extreme level and you’re either going to find it entertaining or repulsive. Or maybe you’ll find it a little bit of both.

Gemma Ward

Notes listed include peony, jasmine and ambroxan. Launched in 2016. PERFUMER – Francis Kurkdjian

Give Kenzo World a try if you like fruity-florals. Or perfumes like Carven Le Parfum, YOSH U4EAHH!, Bath & Body Works Cucumber Melon, Paris Hilton (original), Gwen Stefani L (discontinued) and/or Mugler Innocent Summer Flash (also discontinued).

I find that projection is above average with longevity average (to below average). I get about 5-6 hours of wear from it. Also, I like the bottle. It’s an eye with cap on and with the cap off. It’s always watching you.

KENZO World comes in a few sizes with the 1.7 oz retailing for $87 at Sephora. 

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONWatermelon boba tea fruity-floral. It’s weird. No lie, I was repulsed by it initially but it has grown on me. I don’t seem myself buying a bottle or anything like that, but if I ever decide I want to smell like milky-fruity-totally synthetic Japanese candies, I’ll remember that Kenzo makes something just like that.

¹Here’s the commercial. 

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*Sample obtained by me. Product pic from Sephora. Gemma Ward pic from I-D magazine. Post contains an affiliate link. Thanks!

2 thoughts on “KENZO Kenzo World Perfume Review

  1. Thank you for the link, Victoria! I loved reading your review of this ❤️ 

    “It’s still weird because it tried to be so normal” is 100% how I feel about Kenzo World, too. It could have been a really amazing, super weird perfume… but it feels like they chickened out at the last minute and decided to go with “accessibly weird” instead. It’s in that space of either being too weird or not weird enough, you know?
    Rae // theNotice recently posted..The Lipstick Bandits | MAC 3D Silver Glitter + starry lip look

    1. Yes. Or they knew they could sell bottles on the quirky ad and really cool bottle. It could have went much, much weirder but they ultimately played it very safe…and that’s the weirdness in it. It almost feels like an algorithm of “pleasing” perfume.

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