Gaultier, Kokorico and the French Male Psyche

If the new men’s cologne Kokorico didn’t bear the imprint of Jean Paul Gaultier, we might have taken its name the way a French ear would, as the humorous onomatopoeia of a cockcrow. The rooster is, after all, a symbol of Gallic pride. But the word’s alliteration suggests the feisty designer had something more, well, cocky in mind. Or maybe we’re too naughty. Never mind.

In customary Gaultier fashion, the fragrance examines the complex, conflicting forces that make up masculinity. The juice is a spicy, unequivocally virile explosion of fig leaf, cocoa bean, patchouli, cedar and vetiver. But Gaultier can’t withhold campiness for long, unleashing it here in the black, lacquered bottle sculpted in the shape of a male profile, with Kokorico printed in Moulin Rouge style. The TV spot, directed by Jean Baptiste Mondino, stars Spanish model Jon Kortajarena in a feathered tuxedo dancing the flamenco and ends with a voiceover by Victoria Abril, a Pedro Almodovar favorite.

The launch party, held during Paris couture week, was attended by a bevy of male models, including Andrej Pejic in a sequined dress and feather fan, and brawny Rob Evans. It’s been a while since we’ve seen so much oh la la in the staid world of men’s fragrance—and it feels good. Unfortunately, while Kokorico hits French stores this fall, it won’t reach American shores before 2013. But hey, why wait so long ? Just make a trip to Paris. Maybe you’ll get to know why French men identify with flamboyant roosters.

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