Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Varon Dandy Part 2: The Fougère Cousin of Knize Ten

Source of original images: https://perfumecharm.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/knize-ten-by-knize-perfume-review/ and parfumo.de

The Knize Ten
Shared notes
Varon Dandy
Lemon, Orange, Rosemary
Bergamot, Petitgrain
Lavender, Anise, Clary Sage
Rose, Iris, Cinnamon
Geranium, Cedar, Carnation, Sandalwood
Castoreum, Vanilla
Oakmoss, Amber, Musk

At last we return to Varón Dandy, whose history I discussed back in August. As I suggested then, I find it to be a relative of Knize Ten - they may be from different streets, Chypre Boulevard and Fougère Avenue, but the neighbourhood is the same: 1920s men's fragrance and they share a surprising number of notes that give them both a similar old-time feel of powdery-spicy florality. 

As you can see from the table above, Varón is an old-school barbershop fougère: a citrus-lavender top with green clary sage, very powdery from the get go, a heavily coumarinic heart ornamented with some florals and woods, that has a primarily powdery soapy-carnation feel to it and a sweet-mossy-musky base. It doesn't last too long and generally comes across like an old-fashioned hotel soap (the reason of course being, that these were frequently fragranced with a standard fougère formula). It makes me want to wear a top hat and truly feels like from a different era, one that still lingers on in some increasingly obscure old-boy grooming products (like the Spanish Floid Aftershave) but has all but disappeared from the fashionable perfume world (although it is still echoed in a scent such as Burberry Brit for Men). Clearly it's hanging on in the Spanish and Spanish-speaking nicks of the wood though, just as Tabac Original is north of the Alps.

The leathery chypre Knize Ten is darker and heavier from the outset with its motor oil-floral combo, but the cousins share the dense clovey-woody powderiness of the heart, with a more textured florality in the Viennese scent and the serious sweetness of cinnamon, where Varòn's fern-floral is almost giddy and somewhat flat by direct comparison. The castoreum and leather notes create ever more depth where the Spaniard treads more lightly with sweet musk and amber, with just a smattering of moss, though the combination  does in fact create a suede-like effect. Varón Dandy has been described as a woody, leathery, animalic and oriental fragrance , so perhaps, in previous iterations, it was even closer to Knize than it is in its current state - oh to have a vintage bottle of Parera-made juice, which I suspect might have pulled more punch and contained more facets. As it is, the Spaniard is a paler, slightly anemic cousin to the Austrian Dandy, one whose tails have perhaps been a bit tattered from an awfully long history in the mass market, a fate of so many old timers that Knize Ten has yet miraculously avoided.Still - I like its old world aura and it would probably be considered less obnoxious by many a mainstream nose than Knize Ten. I imagine the infamous L'Air de Panache in Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest Hotel as being pretty close to Varón Dandy, even if Mark Buxton decided to render it as a Chypre.              

Source: http://www.vogue.com/866538/lair-de-panache-what-wes-andersons-fragrance-smells-like/

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