Michael Kors Michael EDP Perfume Review

Michael Kors

Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume

Can you believe that the original Michael Kors Michael is 15 years old now? I remember when this perfume launched and was its height of popularity. Michael Kors was on Project Runway, he was one of the first designers we got to knew via reality TV. He wasn’t just a designer but some guy from Long Island with a sense of humor. We heard stories of his Jewish mother, his love of tanning and his personal career experiences. The perfume matched his accessories line and fit with his “story” and brand. When I first smelled it, I was first taken back. It was so much tuberose. It reminded me of an homage to Coty Sand & Sable, another huge white floral originally launched in 1981. And this inspiration makes some sense based on Kors’ age and well, general love of really big accessories¹. Over the past 15 years, I have smelled this perfume on other people, coworkers or a stranger at a crosswalk². It’s a tuberose that reminds me of a few things but it’s distinctively Michael.

Michael opens as a synthetic, almost too-perfect floral. It’s a heady yet cool freesia and tuberose. There’s a tangy, fuzzy peach accompanying the huge tuberose. The heart is a dense, luscious white floral of tuberose with lily and something sort of acrid. It dries down to a shower-fresh incense (if there ever were such a thing) and warm woods with remnants of a creamy tuberose.

Perfume confession time – I only bought a bottle of this because the person I was with said he liked it³. I have never done anything like this before. It was like the first time I “sold out”. At the time, circa early 2000s, I couldn’t stand wearing tuberose perfumes. Out of this weird “well, maybe I should try to please him” (my punk feminist self never really did that before) and as a personal challenge to myself to wear perfumes I wasn’t comfortable with, I bought Michael. I never completely felt comfortable wearing it. I still don’t. Over the years tuberose perfumes have grown on me. However, I only really like wearing Malle Carnal Flower and Hiram Green Moon Bloom when I’m in the mood for tuberose.But, oddly, when I wear Michael I feel like I’m trying too hard. And I don’t like that. I know that some of this is me, my unusual reasons for wearing this to begin with, but it’s also the perfume. It tries really hard to be really perfect and pretty. I may think it tries hard but the reality is that the final product really is pretty. So, Michael, it’s not you. It’s me.

Anne Baxter

Notes listed include freesia, incense, osmanthus, tamarind, tuberose, iris, peony, orris root, arum lily, musk, cashmere woods and vetiver. Launched in 2000. PERFUMER – Laurent Le Guernec

Give Michael a try if you like tuberose or white florals. Or if you like perfumes like Kim Kardashian, Annick Goutal Tubereuse, Diptyque Do Son, By Kilian Beyond Love, Maison Martin Margiela Flower Market, Coty Sand & Sable, Kat Burki Tubereuse and/or Tocca Florence.

Projection is above average. I find longevity average. I have read on online perfume forums complaining about the longevity. I don’t understand because this stuff lasts 12+ hours on my skin…in the summer. And that’s too long for someone like me.

Michael comes in two sizes (1.7 and 3.4 oz) with prices ranging from $88 to $108 at Nordstrom. And sometimes it can be found at discounters like

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONA dense peachy tuberose with modern woods. I’ve said a lot but I really do like this perfume. It’s not my personal favorite tuberose but it’s good. And I have to admit, sometimes I like to smell like I’m trying too hard.

AND a big congratulations to this designer perfume for hanging around for 15 years! That’s an accomplishment. See, pretty will always be in fashion…

¹Can a person where an accessory that’s bigger than any big tuberose perfume?

²And I’ve always liked to smell it on other people. It does have nice sillage.

³And in a few weeks, I’ll be celebrating an 11th year wedding anniversary. And it wasn’t this perfume that made that happen.

Want more reviews? Try…

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*Bottle purchased by me. Product pic from Macys. Anne Baxter pic from Post contains affiliate links. Thanks!


7 thoughts on “Michael Kors Michael EDP Perfume Review

  1. I really loved this when I first bought it, ca. 2009, a mini on ebay. However, since then it’s come to smell very synthetic to me… there’s this, I dunno, weird effect of “blockiness” where I can sense the sharp edges of the synthetic tuberose. It’s not unpleasant, but it does lack a kind of softness I typically get in more natural tubey fragrances like Carnal Flower, Beyond Love, or even Fracas (which is about as much orange blossom as it is tuberose, on me).

    But I admit to being a little bit spoiled for choice when it comes to tuberose scents – I love them and I’ve got several in my wardrobe. Michael Kors is prettier at a distance, I think.

    1. I completely get what you are talking about since I get that from it too. It’s very hard to describe in a review, but yes, “blocky” is the best visual for it. Almost like it’s a Lego. Yes, it all fits together but it’s all going to have angles.

      I don’t dislike and I think there is a place for a synthetic tuberose. Saying that, I compare it more to Sand & Sable than I would Fracas (which I think is more “round”). Now don’t get me started on Sand & Sable – that one explains the “white floral” issues that I had for years.

      I have this one. As my tastes “matured”, I added Carnal Flower and Moon Bloom. I’d say I’m spoiled now too. But, this was a good intro to tuberose, I guess. It was different than most of the fruitichoulis and pink peppers things that were launched when it was launched. There was this and Marc Jacobs and they stood out.

  2. I was given a bottle of this over 8 years ago as a birthday or xmas present but then I got pregnant and the smell of it disgusted me, so I gave the bottle away to my sister. To this day I still feel strangely repulsed by it, it’s so “in your face” and I don’t even know what I mean by that because I do generally appreciate heady fumes.

    1. Ugh, that’ll ruin it for you! Nausea + perfume = Ick forever.

      I love the online perfume community and hearing different opinions, etc. But, I’m surprised to read on so many forums that people refer to this as a “soft” fragrance. Because to me, it’s anything but that. It’s rather BAM and hangs around. Shows how different skin and perceptions play into perfume.

  3. You’re right – this is one scent that you have to have some distance from to enjoy it. On two separate occasions I’ve had to ask women what they were wearing that smelled so beautiful, graceful and airy and each said that it was Michael Kors. But after sampling several times, I have to conclude that I don’t really like smelling it on myself.

    Oddly enough, another scent that happened with was (don’t judge!) Red by Giorgio of Beverly Hills. In the 90’s I loved smelling this on other people and thought that it was maybe my chemistry that just didn’t work with it. Now that I’ve become more familiar with perfume behavior I realize that it’s the distance that made the difference.
    Or maybe it was that their almost-visible aura of Red smooshed up against my own lethal cloud of Opium and caused some type of strange chemical reaction that smelled quite divine!

    1. I’d much rather smell this one someone else than me. The few times I’ve ever asked a woman what they were wearing, it was Michael, so there’s something to it.

      Haha, not judging! But, laughing at the thought of Opium and Red mixing and creating some sort of epic perfume nebula.
      I haven’t sniffed Red since the early 90’s. I had an aunt that wore the heck out of it. I *still* remember what it tastes like but not what it smells like, lol.

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