Look at this advertisement. Isn't it amazing? The slogan translates more or less into "No emotion has ever been felt so deeply" (the American version read "Never has a fragrance provoked such emotion"). I don't know about you, but these words would have sent me sniffing right away*, and I would have expected something a lot more dramatic than Kéora, a mostly forgotten perfume by Jean Couturier, a label most famous for Coriandre, a bold rose chypre from the 1970s.
So, who remembers Kéora, a 1983 perfume that has probably been reformulated a few times before it disappeared even from the back shelves of mall kiosks? Little reliable information can be found about this Jean Couturier perfume, except for its launch year, the advertisement above, and Michael Edwards' classification of Kéora as a rich oriental and confirmation that it has been officially discontinued.
What we're left with is our nose, the last dredges from an old bottle and a nostalgic feeling. Kéora is kind of an oriental perfume, but not in the obvious sweet vanillic way. It's delightfully spicy (nutmeg? allspice?) and quite bold from its very opening. I get something quite aromatic and herbal in the top notes, which combined with a bright floral powdery heart my nose tends to interpret as lavender, though I'm familiar with this effect and know that this is a phantom note, something that I read as lavender even when none is around. The nose is a funny creature.
I'm won over by the combination of a powder bomb and unlit incense. It's sweetish, quite assertive (we're talking about an 80s perfume, after all), and despite the warm colors of the image above and the orange box, the color I associate with Kéora is a dark murky purple. As the scent mellows down I can feel the romantic aspect of those whiffs that linger on my clothes. It's reminiscent of Parisian nights and long meaningful conversations by candlelight. And like other memories from the 80s, it can be felt quite deeply.
*The more I look at the guy I'm reminded of an old boyfriend. Except for the unnatural lack of thigh hair. Or back hair. So maybe not.