Just a few days ago, one of my readers brought to my attention and recommended The Fragrance Shop, an online seller of knockoff perfume oils. What's especially cool about this company is the fact that they also make knockoffs of discontinued fragrances. If there's a knockoff you want that isn't on their list, they'll make it for you, for a reasonable fee. It sounds like a perfume fan's dream come true.
I couldn't resist trying out some of their products, so I ordered samples of their perfume oil versions of Kouros and Quorum. As a courtesy, they threw in a sample of their version of YSL Pour Homme, with a little note card saying, "Based on your order, we thought you might like this as well." It was a nice gesture that I really appreciated. They also guessed my tastes correctly, since I love YSL Pour Homme.
I've now had a chance to wear all three of these, and here's my take on them:
Kouros being one of my favorite fragrances, I'm sure to love anything that smells like it. This is a very good knockoff of Kouros: it smells a lot like the real thing, and more importantly, it captures the overall feel of Kouros. However, there are differences between the two. First, TFS' version has no citrus top notes. Instead, you get a slamming fecal blast in the opening, with civet, musk and artemisia creating an accord that, believe it or not, smells even dirtier than real Kouros. This is awesome. Once the middle stage appears, the similarity to the real Kouros is very close. The drydowns are also similar, though TFS' version has a light sweetness in the drydown that the original Kouros does not have, and I love it.
Though it smells great, I'm not impressed with its strength. I actually find the original eau de toilette to be a little stronger than this perfume oil on my skin, in terms of projection. Though it has brutal power for the first half hour, after that TFS' version tones down significantly and projects moderately. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, but I prefer the way real Kouros projects. Longevity is about equal, with both clocking in at around 12 or 13 hours.
Would I buy a bottle of TFS' Kouros? Probably not. The reason is personal, because I own three bottles real Kouros already, and it's still easily available. Even though I love its smell, TFS' Kouros doesn't have enough going for it to make me want to stop wearing Kouros and start wearing theirs. However, if YSL ever discontinues Kouros, I will definitely be knocking on TFS' door and stocking up on their Kouros oil. I give it a thumbs up vote.
I'll keep it short - this is horrendous. It's inferior to Quorum in every way: scent, complexity, strength and quality of materials. It doesn't even smell like Quorum. There's no pine, no green notes, no oakmoss that I can smell, nothing. It smells like cigarette smoke. It has no depth, and it smells thin, flat and cheap. Longevity and sillage are also weak. Even if TFS didn't market this as a Quorum knockoff, I still wouldn't like it. This gets a big thumbs down.
YSL-Type For Men (YSL Pour Homme knockoff)
The pro: it smells good. The con: it doesn't smell like YSL Pour Homme. This smells a lot more like Chanel Pour Monsieur - powdery, green, and very classic French. Granted, I've always thought Chanel Pour Monsieur and YSL Pour Homme were cut from the same cloth, so TFS succeeded in capturing that really old school feel I love. Like both fragrances, TFS' oil is not a power monster, but projects moderately for a long time.
The only thing I don't like about this is that it doesn't smell so good when you sniff it up close against your skin. I smell a creamy sandalwood note in here that might smell great on its own, but smells completely out of place in a fragrance like this. Fortunately I can't detect it from the scent it projects off my skin while wearing it.
I like this fragrance, but I'm not sure I'd buy it. The jury is still out, so I think I need to wear this one a few more times before I decide whether it's a worthy purchase for me.
I can't say yet that I'd buy a full bottle of oil from TFS, but I'm definitely going to purchase some more samples. With knockoffs of stuff like Balenciaga Pour Homme and Fendi Uomo, The Fragrance Shop is a company I simply can't ignore.