Knize Sec by Knize (1987)

Nose: Francois Coty and Vincent Roubert

Oh well this is nice. Really nice, and surprisingly ahead of its time. It was released in the mid-Eighties but has really nothing of that era’s clichés: this is a really modern, substantial but thin orange-woody-balsamic fragrance with leather, incense and amazingly well-put barbershop echoes. Fresh, tart, aromatic, floral and gentle, really uplifting and easy-going but showing a compelling and quite unique sort of sweet, kind of “young” refinement with some more mature dark shades and a discreet feminine touch (many women’s “ideal man” in a bottle, I guess...). I get the connection to Knize Ten, and I totally love the way they elaborated it; they managed to keep the same “waxy”, slightly soapy accord of leather and musk, adding an aromatic touch of herbs (I think I get some pine-infused tobacco as in Veejaga’s Haschisch Man – a scent which by the way, will come as a reference also on the very drydown) and barbershop notes (sage and lavender, distantly echoing Azzaro pour Homme) and that whole genius head accord of orange notes – notes which range from the sweet, juicy, citrusy pulp of orange, to dandier floral-soapy orange blossoms, to musky-herbal accents of petitgrain. They all elevate Knize Ten’s gloomy and monolithic dryness to a bracing, pastel, dusty, colorful citrus-powdery mood with a herbal vein. Sheer and sophisticated to say the least. And then there’s incense, providing an astonishingly modern feel of bright, ambery woody smoke (nothing thick or cloudy, just a classy fog of sweet smooth incense with a subtle, transparent mystical vibe as in many incense fragrances from today). The evolution, then, is equally well engineered; less and less fresher, progressively drier and darker but unexpectedly more floral too, still bright and gentle as hours pass. At some points you may feel as if you’ve just layered Knize Ten on vintage Eau de Givenchy for women and some contemporary minimalistic niche stuff with orange and incense (I’m sure there is some out there). A luminous, clever dandy gem and a fantastic exploration of Knize Ten’s nuances which could have been released last year for how modern it smells. Complex, interesting and extremely pleasant to wear. Recommended!


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