Fragrance Review: Kai


The Hawaiian-inspired Kai Fragrance has been around for nearly 10 years. Considering its longevity, the line is relatively concise: nine different products, all scented with the original fragrance. No variations, no spin-offs — just pure Kai.

What makes this scent so unusual is that it is an unabashed, unapologetic floral. The notes are almost entirely gardenia, mixed with some other sweet, yet vague, florals to round it out and keep it from being a one-trick pony. Unlike many floral-sweet scents these days, it doesn't pretend to have anything musky or woodsy about it, not even hidden deep within the base notes. Because Kai is so strongly based on one note, it usually incites a strong love-it-or-hate-it response in people.

I have worn the Kai Perfume Oil ($45) before, but I found myself getting a little queasy from the overwhelming sweetness of it by mid-day. Because it just smells so pretty, I find myself giving it another shot about every few months, but I can never really get into it. On the other hand, I know people who are absolutely obsessed with all things Kai. If you love a pure, tropical floral, I would definitely recommend giving Kai a sniff. They make a lovely Body Glow ($28), a shimmery dry oil spray that is less intensely scented than the perfume.

For those of you who have smelled Kai, which side of the fence are you on?


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