martedì 19 maggio 2015

GUEST REVIEW: "Knize Ten", by Alfarom.

Alfarom (AKA Francesco Alfa Romero) is a fragrance aficionado known for his reviews and articles on both Basenotes and Fragrantica and for running his fragrance-related blog Neroprofumo ( He doesn't believe in objectivity applied to fragrance and strongly thinks fragrance criticism is all about personal tastes and penchants. Usually drawn towards dark and avant-garde compositions, he's also a big fan of classic French / Italian perfumery and pre-80s vintage from all over the world.
Here at "Raiders of the Lost Scent", we are very pleased to have such an authority as a "Guest Reviewer". 
So, give him the floor immediately....

I don't believe in *signature* fragrances but if I would, Knize Ten would be the closest thing to it for me.
A love or hate, totally iconic scent and possibly one of the best masculine fragrances ever produced. Knize Ten makes a great example of the concept "expensive doesn't always mean good" as it is very reasonably priced and at the same time better than almost any other more expensive leather-themed composition available on the market.

An archetypal perfume and one of the very few pre-WWII leather compositions who carefully avoided disastrous reformulation*. Made by François Coty and Vincent Roubert, Knize Ten is a pillar of the early 900 perfumery and something we all should preserve from oblivion. Something that deservedly gained its place in the olympus of leathers together with other icons such as Tabac Blond, Chanel's Cuir De Russie and Bandit.

The opening is literally shocking (to me in a good way, but can be challenging to someone) with a severe and breathtaking explosion of leather. It's something so powerful to burn you nose hair. If you like it, fine, if you don't, just hang in there for a while as Knize Ten will surely reward you by slowly turning into an incredibly comfortable and wearable scent.

A magnifically rounded amber smooths the ever dominant animalic leather adjusting the initial severity and harshness with some warmness. Floral patterns (ylang-ylang and jasmine) together with some spices and woods reinforce the general classic vein while the infamous gasoline-like leather note merges with the rest to give birth to a rich blend that feels assertive and relaxed at the same time. Absolutely distinctive.

Knize Ten became the benchmark of masculine leather fragrances and after eighty years it's still one of the most successful and most copied compositions ever. An all time favorite and a great example that perfection is ageless.
Like it or not, there's only one like it.


Unfortunately, Knize Ten has been recently reformulated…and not for the best. It's still head and shoulders above the average quality available amongst standard niche offerings but it feels overall sharper and thinner. I don't know when this exactly happened but it was sometime between 2013 and 2014.

Year 2014 "Knize Ten"

(please note: I don't know authors of these pictures: 
so I'll be pleased to add your name or remove the pic).

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