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Kenzo Jungle l'Elephant
Suzanne’s Perfume Journal
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A Conversation on Arabie

A Package from Christos: Greek Sandals & Oud Cuir d'Arabie

A Package from Ines

A Package from Lavanya

A More Affordable Olfactionary

A Week of Wearing What I Like

Amouage Dia (pour femme)

Amouage Dia (pour homme)

Amouage Epic Woman

Amouage Gold

Amouage Interlude Man

Amouage Jubilation 25 

Amouage Lyric Woman

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Amouage Opus I

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Amouage Opus V

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Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche

Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant

Annick Goutal Heure Exquise

Annick Goutal Petite Cherie

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April Aromatics Calling All Angels

April Aromatics Bohemian Spice

April Aromatics Jasmina 

April Aromatics Nectar of Love

April Aromatics Rose L'Orange

Aroma M Geisha Green

Aroma M Geisha Rouge

Arquiste Anima Dulcis

Arquiste Boutonniere no. 7

At the Moment (Chanel 22 & Marshall Crenshaw)

At the Moment (Contemplating Change & Habit Rouge)

At the Moment (Marron Chic & Paris)

At the Moment (More Midsummer Delights/Epic/Geisha Noire)

At the Moment (Saki & Lubin Idole edt)

At the Moment (Secret de Suzanne /D'Orsay L'Intrigante)

At the Moment (Spring Pretties/Un Air de Samsara)

At the Moment (Summery Things...Love Coconut)

At the Moment (Vera Wang & Fireman's Fair novel)

Ava Luxe Café Noir

Beatnik Emptiness Incense

Best of 2009

Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Silver Factory

Bond No. 9 Brooklyn

Bond No. 9 Little Italy

Bond No. 9 New Haarlem

Bottega Veneta eau de parfum

Breath of God

Byredo Green

By Kilian Amber Oud

By Kilian Forbidden Games and In the City of Sin

Calyx by Prescriptives

Canturi by Stefano Canturi

Capote, Truman & Evening in Paris

Carner Barcelona D600

Caron Aimez-Moi

Caron French Cancan

Caron Parfum Sacre

Caron Tabac Blond

Caron Tubereuse

Caron Yatagan

Cartier II L'Heure Convoitee

Cartier IV L'Heure Fougueuse

Chanel 31 Rue Cambon

Chanel Bel Respiro

Chanel Chance

Chanel Coco

Chanel Coromandel

Chanel Cuir de Russie

Chanel Egoiste

Chanel No. 5 (vintage)

Chanel No. 22

Chantecaille Petales

Chantilly Dusting Powder

Clive Christian C for Women

Comme des Garcons Daphne

Comme des Garcons LUXE Champaca

Comme des Garcons Series 7 Sweet Nomad Tea

Costes by Costes

Coty Ambre Antique

Coty Chypre

Coty Paris

Creature by Kerosene

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Creed Fleurs de Bulgarie

Creed Virgin Island Water

DSH Perfumes Bancha Extreme

DSH Perfumes Quinacridone Violet 

DSH Perfumes Vert pour Madame

Deneuve

Devilscent Project

Dior Diorissimo (vintage)

Donna Karan Black Cashmere

EnVoyage Vents Ardents

EnVoyage Zelda

Estee Lauder Private Collection

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

Etat Libre d'Orange Rien, Rossy de Palma & Noel au Balcon

Faberge Woodhue Cologne

Favorite Fall Fragrances

Fendi Uomo

Fragrances for Sweden

Frapin 1697 Absolu Parfum

Frederic Malle Angeliques Sous La Pluie

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Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

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Frederic Malle Iris Poudre

Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Therese

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Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady

Frederic Malle Une Fleur de Cassie

Frederic Malle Une Rose

Geoffrey Beene Grey Flannel

Ghosts of Perfumes Past, Present & Future

Gone Fishin'

Gucci Eau de Parfum

Gucci L'Arte di Gucci

Gucci Pour Homme

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Lys Soleia

Guerlain Aroma Allegoria Exaltant

Guerlain Attrape Coeur

Guerlain Chamade

Guerlain Jicky

Guerlain Mayotte

Guerlain Parure

Guerlain Samsara Parfum

Guerlain Un Air de Samsara

Guerlain Vega

Guerlain Vetiver (vintage)

Guy Laroche J'ai Ose (vintage)

Happy Solstice

Hermes 24, Faubourg

Hermes Caleche (vintage)

Hermes Eau des Merveilles

Hermes Hiris

Hermes Iris Ukiyoe

Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Histoires de Parfums 1740

Histoires de Parfums 1828

Histoires de Parfums Blanc Violette

Histoires de Parfums Vert Pivoine

Hometown Portrait, State College, PA

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY

House of Matriarch Carmine

How I Store Decants

Il Profumo Cannabis

In Memory (w/mention of Lanvin Arpege)

Jacomo #02

Jacomo #09 (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Jean Desprez Bal a Versailles

Jean Patou Joy

Jean Patou 1000

Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense

Jo Malone Sweet Milk Cologne 

Juliet by Juliet Stewart

Kai Eau de Parfum

Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant

Kenzo Summer

Lancome Magie Noire (vintage) 

Lanvin Via Lanvin (vintage) 

L'Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

L'Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage d’Enfer

L'Artisan Parfumeur Seville a l'Aube

L’Artisan Parfumeur Tea for Two

La Via del Profumo Balsamo Della Mecca

La Via del Profumo Hindu Kush

La Via del Profumo Milano Caffe

La Via del Profumo Oud Caravan Project

La Via del Profumo Sharif

La Via del Profumo Tawaf

Le Labo Gaiac 10

Le Labo Iris 39

Le Labo Patchouli 24

Le Labo Poivre 23

Little Lists

Lorenzo Villoresi Yerbamate

M. Micallef Vanille Orient

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir

Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) eau de parfum

Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Eau des Iles

Message In A Bottle 

Michael Storer Winter Star

Miller Harris L'Air de Rien

Miscellany

Missoni (original) by Missoni

Molinard Habanita

Mona Di Orio Nuit Noire

Mona Di Orio Oud

Mona Di Orio Vanille

Montale Black Aoud

Montale Boise Vanille

Montale Intense Tiare

Montale Patchouli Leaves

Montale Red Aoud

More Roses (rose cookie recipe)

My Heart Has Skipped a Beat (summer smells)

My Perfumes Have Theme Songs

Nasomatto China White

Neila Vermeire Creations Bombay Bling

Nina Ricci L'Air du Temps

Nez a Nez Ambre a Sade

Northern Exposure "A Dash of Chanel No. 5"

Odin 04 Petrana (Link to my review in Sniffapalooza Magazine)

Olivier Durbano Black Tourmaline

Omar Sharif Pour Femme

Oriscent Pure Oud Oils

Ormonde Jayne Frangipani

Ormonde Jayne Ormonde Woman

Oscar de la Renta Oscar for Men

O Tannenbaum Joint Blog Project

Parfum d'Empire Azemour

Parfum d'Empire Cuir Ottoman

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Parfum d'Empire 3 Fleurs

Parfumerie Generale Bois de Copaiba

Parfumerie Generale Indochine

Parfumerie Generale Un Crime Exotique

Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu

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Parfums Karl Lagerfeld Sun Moon Stars

Parfums MDCI Chypre Palatin

Parfums Retro Grand Cuir

Paris, je t'aime

Pascal Morabito Or Black 

Perfume Quotes - The English Patient

Prada Infusion d'Iris Absolue

Pretty Perfume Bottles 

Prince Matchabelli Aviance Cologne (vintage) 

Profumum Roma Acqua Viva

Profumum Roma D'Ambrosia

Puredistance I

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Puredistance BLACK

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Ramon Monegal Cherry Musk

Recipe for Socca

Regina Harris Amber Vanilla Perfume Oil

Regina Harris Frankincense-Myrrh-Rose Maroc Perfume Oil

Robert Piguet Fracas

Robert Piguet Visa

Rochas Mystere 

Rome Vacation Photos

San Francisco Holiday

Sarah Horowitz Parfums' Joy Comes From Within & Beauty Comes From Within

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Scents of the Mediterranean

Scentuous Reading: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Serge Lutens Arabie

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SoOud Ouris Parfum Nectar

S-Perfume 100% Love {More}

Stone Harbor, NJ Vacaton pix (non-perfume related)

Strange Invisible Perfumes Lyric Rain

Sweden Is For Lovers

T is for Taxes

Tauer Perfumes: Incense Extrême, Incense Rosé, Lonestar Memories, & Reverie au Jardin

Tauer Perfumes Vetiver Dance

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Diary of a Nose, Book Review

The Different Company Jasmin de Nuit

The Intimacy of Scent

Thoughts of a Perfume Collector

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Tokyo Milk Ex Libris

Unlocking an Unknown: Webber Parfum 6T

Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery Bed of Roses

Venimus Vidimus Vicimus, or How 3 Perfume Bloggers and a Husband Took Rome

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What I’m Lovin’ Now

Xerjoff Mamluk

YOSH Perfumes Ginger Ciao

Yves Saint Laurent Nu

JUNGLE LOVE, IT’S DRIVING ME MAD


It’s making me crazy, crazy!


I have spent the past week trying to get a bead on Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant, a beautifully weird scent that, if I had blindly sniffed it and not known its name, I might have mistaken for a Serge Lutens creation.  It certainly has a Lutens vibe to it: boldly quirky, rather gourmandy (like a number of SL scents), though not in a cloying way; the kind of scent in which you feel the perfumer truly was trying to capture an olfactory portrait (snapshot might be a better word) of a place or an idea, rather than trying to come up with a sweet-smelling elixir for the body.  I think it’s this last point that makes this Kenzo scent so intriguing to me: I really do sense that it was created by someone who had a strong, central image in mind—and the talent to reach for that image—resulting in a fragrance that is unusual and distinctive.  I love perfumes that set me to thinking, and this one certainly does.


I first learned of this scent from a review that March of Perfume Posse wrote last summer, and was reminded and moved to buy it after reading a recent
review by The Non-Blonde.  I had no fears of buying a bottle unsniffed because both reviews revealed this to be the kind of scent I really like.  Without them, I probably wouldn’t have given this a shot at all, however.  While I’ve heard that this fragrance is quite popular in sexy Brazil and can be found in the stores there, it isn’t widely known here in the U.S., where it exists mainly on perfume discounter sites.  And, with a name like Jungle l’Elephant, one isn’t sure what to expect: a deep green scent, perhaps, like jungle foliage?  Or some funky, wildly dirty, animalic number, as the elephant in the name might suggest?  Neither description applies to this fragrance, leaving one to wonder how the name and the exotic, but not terribly perfume-like, image it brings to mind relates to the actual scent.


According to the encyclopedic site, Osmoz.com, Kenzo Jungle was the name of the first Kenzo fashion boutique in Paris.  In 1996, the year Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant was created, their advertising for the fragrance depicted “a mixing of cultures with a cyber-woman in an end-of-the-world setting”—the cyber-woman being perhaps the sole survivor in that scenario.  Ah, okay.  Yes.  This is enlightening because, having extensively tested the fragrance for a week (I wanted to gather my own impressions before doing any research), and having found it to be an essentially gourmandy scent, I now have a context that makes sense of my impressions and how they might fit within this jungle concept.


In the global society we live in today, virtually all of us have experienced a “mixing of cultures”—and nowhere is it more evident than in the things we taste.  In fashionable eateries, we now enjoy a fusion of world cuisines, thanks largely to the profusion of ethnic restaurants (as well as cafés, espresso bars, and tea houses) that have cropped up in places we never imagined they’d exist: in the most white-bread rural towns in America, you can usually find good Chinese take-out; and at the eastern terminus of the Silk Road in the ancient Chinese city of Xi’an, cappuccino can be taken at the local Starbucks. I tend to look at this merging of cultures as a beautiful new beginning, but I can see how it also involves a certain amount of painful endings, too—a disappearance of places and peoples we once thought of as being romantically remote and strange.  I’m not entirely sure if Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant is about the old jungle that is disappearing, or about the new one we are creating, but my guess is that it is about the latter.  Kenzo Takada, the now-retired founder of the Kenzo line, built his fashion house around a joie de vivre fashion aesthetic that embraces the multicultural.


Anyway, onto the fragrance: it opens with notes of mandarin, cardamom, cumin, and clove, and while I barely detect the mandarin, I do get lots of tangy cardamom, dirty cumin, and warm clove, which I really love.  Very shortly, these notes are joined by ylang-ylang, licorice, mango and heliotrope, and the fragrance starts to remind me of the kind of desserts you find in tropical places: rice pudding from India, lightly sweetened, laced with cardamom and a dusting of pistachios.  It is not a gooey sweetness at all: it is gently sweet, fragrant and nutty in the way that Basmati rice is nutty, but with a combination of earthy and tangy spices thrown in.  I can’t really detect the mango, and I definitely wouldn’t call this a fruity scent, but every now and then I think I smell green banana in it, as if the bittersweet-almond aspect of the heliotrope—or a green mango note, perhaps?—combines with the other sweet notes to suggest that smell.  The effect is peek-a-boo: I smell the green banana and then I don’t.


Base notes of patchouli, vanilla, amber, and cashmeran allow the sweetness to linger while providing an earthy grounding and wonderful tenacity.  This is perfect for someone like me, for whom lasting power is an issue.  With a few exceptions, my skin tends to turn down the volume on scents that others consider strong or bold, and that is the case here.  Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant might be a vavoom-y scent for some women, but not for me.  It is a smooth, spicy confection on my skin—a reminder of my own brief time in the jungle, the rainforest of Belize.  It is the remembrance of fried plantains and rice-and-beans served outside a native woman’s hut, where chickens ran around at our feet, and a warm-from-the-oven cake that a young girl brought to our room one night to sell to the American couple.  No matter that we’d already eaten and it was nine o’clock at night.  Who can resist a spice cake drizzled with sweetened condensed milk, still hot in its tin loaf-pan?


Kenzo Jungle l’Elephant is a very affordable indulgence.  At ImaginationPerfumery.com, a 1-oz. spray bottle of the eau de parfum can be had for $27.99.


Posted by Suzanne Keller, 2/5/2008.


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