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Knize Ten – Calling all MEN! May 19, 2010

Image - James Dean in leather jacket - fanpop.com

How many men’s fragrances from the 1920’s are still around today, and still smell good? Not many. They don’t make man-scents like this anymore – no marketing exec would have the guts!

Knize Ten is a leather fragrance, THE reference leather – and should definitely not be worn by boys, or boy-toys. It may not be suitable for some grown-up males either, but on the right MAN..... Ooohh - watch out!!

 

Knize Ten was created in 1924 for Knize, a Viennese tailor and clothing company, by Francois Coty and Vincent Roubert, two masters of modern perfumery. Knize used images of polo players in its advertising, and “ten” is the highest handicap in polo, hence the odd name. (Hmmm - I think I’ve seen similar images with a modern brand called... Polo??)

The original notes listed are: lemon, bergamot, orange, petitgrain, rosemary,  geranium, rose, cedar, orris, carnation, cinnamon, orange blossom, sandalwood, leather, musk, moss, patchouli, ambergris, castoreum and vanilla! OK, that’s a long list – but how does it smell?

The top notes start out in high gear – a blast of citrus, rose and spice, almost fruity with a hint of camphor? rubber? car oil? , the same undertone that I love so much in Bulgari Black.  And then, gearing down, the heart notes takes a hard right into leather country - at first deep, dirty and deliciously animalic, then whip-crackingingly sharp and bitter, and finally cruising into smooth, and very classy.

 

And when the fragrance settles down into cruising speed, when the amber and other basenotes kick in, Knize Ten becomes this stupendously wonderful leather scent, smoky, warm and aromatic like the worn leather seats in an old Austin-Healey 3000 roadster.

If Knize Ten were a man it would be Sean Connery as James Bond – tough, cool, uber-masculine.
If Knize Ten  were a single-malt Scotch it would be Laphroaig – smoky, powerful, slightly sweet
If Knize Ten  were a woman it would be Marlene Dietrich – classy, smart, slightly kinky.
If Knize Ten were a book it would be War and Peace – long, complex, a classic

But it’s a perfume, and it's a masterpiece.

Knize Ten’s aroma stays on the skin for hours and hours -  it has incredible staying power! I discovered that it was James Dean's favourite scent.  Maybe it had something to do with his sex appeal?

 

Knize Ten is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.
 

Knize pleaze

I bought a wack of samples a few weeks ago and this one is just outstanding. You're absolutely tight about the Bulgari Black similarity - so beautiful in such an unexpected way.

I'm not sure what the note is that they have in common, but it is rubbery/powdery/tar almost, with a bit of rose swirling around as well.

Thank you for bringing this into my life!

Where can I buy this?

Re: Knize pleaze

Knize Ten is exceptional, I agree. I think the note that is common to Bulgari Black is benzoin, an oil-based ingredient which smells like tar.
 
You can buy this fragrance at Pharmacie Swann, 6 Rue de Castiglione, on the Right Bank in Paris, which is where I bought it. Entering that shop is like entering a time-warp. I felt as if I'd stepped back into the early 1900's - nothing seems to have changed except the lighting! They appeared to have the full line of Knize products, and we think it's now the only shop in Paris which carries it. Give them a call - maybe they'll ship to Toronto!

That's great - I have added

That's great - I have added Pharmacie Swann to my list of places to haunt the next time I'm in Paris. Thanks!