Blend 30 fragrance notes

  • Head

    • Lavender, Clary Sage, Neroli, Bergamot, Lemon, Rosemary
  • Heart

    • Geranium, Sandal, Carnation, Cedarwood
  • Base

    • Oakmoss, Hay, Musk, Amber, Labdanum, Tonka

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Latest Reviews of Blend 30

Super smooth, deep and woody-spicy with a luxe natural feel and a smoky leathery & tobacco undertone. Rich and ambery, dry floral, herbal / aromatic, and mossy. Blend 30 is for alpha males who are typically uber assertive, courageous and powerful.

First, a green, aromatic opening; it is fleeting. Then the floral, spicy mid of pure soapiness. It is my favorite phase of Blend 30, it is not too floral nor too spicy; perfectly balanced. The final transition is this floral mid, tinged with leather and tobacco and finely accented with some earthiness from a bit of amber and oakmoss.

In fact, brimming with all the prerequisite masculine notes of oakmoss, leather, tobacco that give it some power and swagger while being refined and elegant with some lovely cedar. If one of those paid shills on YouTube smelled it, they'd faint. It smells like the kind of thing that would give an ambroxan molecule a nightmare.

28th March 2023
A treasure among my treasures, Blend 30 is so precious as to be reserved for when the mood or occasion permits. This small quantity is not to be squandered. Legendary in much the same way as Balmain Ebene, Gres Monsieur, or Rochas Maccasar, this is one of the men's fragrances of the time that reached outside of the hairy chested gold-chain wearing braggadocio of its time to remind the discerning consumer of refinement. It was a bellwether for the two decades to come, featuring notes as surprising as sour cherry and hay, along with a significant dose of ambergris (is it real or is it Memorex?) interplaying with a generous (and I mean generous) dollop of oakmoss.

If the opening were interpreted as a sound, it would be that of a flugelhorn: deep, mellow, somewhat dark, but not melancholy, more hopeful, a content grin rather than an ebullient smile. The oakmoss and hay are evident from first application, with a chorus of aromatics led by cherry and lavender. It all begins to coalesce into what could be best described as one of the finest tobacco notes I ever experienced in perfumery. It really is near perfection. I could swear that flouve absolute had been used in the composition. I am fortunate to have some of this rare substance in my possession. The fragrance expert Steffen writes of Flouve Oil, including that it is “From the dried upper part of the grass, Flouve Odorante, harvested during or after the inflorescence, an essential oil can be produced by steam distillation under certain circumstances. Originally produced by only one company in Grasse, little is known of the details of production for this oil. It is conceivable, however, that an ordinary steam distillation is insufficient to produce an oil of appearance and composition like the Flouve Oil. One peculiarity of the oil is its abnormally high specific gravity. But whatever the physico-chemical properties are, this oil can offer quite unique effects in perfumes and flavors.”

I really am convinced that Dunhill was using flouve absolute and also a sizable amount of ambergris tincture, as the base has that je ne sais quoi that results in this lingering, almost haunting base. This is from an age before the scratchy, screechy persistent fixative aromachems of today that give little nuance or true character to scores of fragrance bases. We really experience with Blend 30 it being among the last of those compositions where certain materials can be used with little restriction and budgets are not so heavily compromised for the bottom line. This, combined with a suave leather, voluminous musks, and all that oakmoss, make the base a true dream.

In summary, I know this is so difficult to obtain today, and it is really a shame that more enthusiasts of fragrances cannot experience it, but if you can even obtain the after shave, which from what I heard is in itself awe-inspiring, I suggest that you get your hands on it.
9th March 2022

If you have spent any considerable amount of time in the part of the US that runs south of the Mason-Dixon and east of the Appalachian mountains you are surely aware of the prominence that the two sodas Cheerwine and Cherry Lemon Sun Drop hold in popular culture around those parts. And it is from under the shadow of these two institutions that I have found myself contextualizing Dunhill Blend 30.

Having spent most of my time on earth about 40 minutes south of Kannapolis, NC, home of Dale Earnhardt, my immediate reaction to the top notes of this fragrance is to reference the soda that Dale was endorsed by for most of his career.

That is by no means to dismiss this masterpiece as a sugary pop knock off. Rather to demonstrate how varied and wide a spectrum of context there is that can be brought to the analysis of a fragrance such as this.

I purchased a bottle of edt on the grey mkt and was mistakenly sent the aftershave. My lack of patience got the better of me(and I was due for a shave). What I found to be truly remarkable about Blend 30, and honestly what I expected to find, was the way that the fragrance evolved beyond and developed on top of its initial impression, and the way in which even the aftershave concentration persisted throughout several hours, even if not projecting particularly strongly.

The initial projection is quickly bolstered by a series of soft and hearty herbal aromatics and eventually settles into a caress of gentle woods that are cocooned by a salty, rich amber gris.

The most remarkable aspect of this fragrance, particularly considering the presumed age of the bottle, is how the top notes persist through the heart and into the deep dry down, creating a beautiful balanced symphonic composition.

Long live Dale Earnhardt.
29th November 2021
Finally I can delight my skin with this giant of our glorious disappeared perfumery (due to the unparalleled generousness of my great buddy, Basenoter master of vintage gems, the Doctor Monsieur Montana, fine taste, abysmal olfactory knowledge, class and unmistakable european expertise). This review is for a premium vintage formula, namely something austere, heavy, assertive and complex with its "pre - IFRA standards" dose of oakmoss, ambergris and labdanum. A perfume which casts a whole epoch. Blend 30 is a pillar of the awe-inspiring olfactory classicism, a fantastically austere leather-chypré (with aromatic fougère elements - lavender, clary sage, etc) with its leather/labdanum/tobacco-perfect spicy harmony. One of the closest things to Valentino Vendetta Pour Homme (spicier) and Halston Z-14 (few years earlier in its issue) and probably the real Valentino Vendetta PH/Hermès Bel Ami's precursor and inspirer. Massive precious fornitures, luxurious wooden interiors, old books, expensive oriental tapestries, wet-bars, golden frames-pictures, leather-sofà, the finest scotch whisky, aromatic tobacco in the air and succulents plants are there in my mind in order to evoke the aroma of the golden times of my shiny childhood with my departed classy all around esteemed dad and his refined perfectly tailored friends. At that time the interiors of several houses were completely different than nowadays, exuding opulence and exhibiting precious raw materials (on fornitures and utilities) as symbol of opulence and social recognition (things which, despite I'm conceptually far from, I tend to prefer over the donkey exhibitionist daily vulgarity and kitsch uncultured ostentation). Here we have an amazing sort of more complex and manly/aromatic Hermès Bel Ami with several powerhouse aromatic nuances (Puig Quorum, Valentino Vendetta Pour Homme, Jaguar for men, Versace L'homme - wait the deep dry down for it - Patou Pour Homme, Dior Jules, Balenciaga Ho Hang just to quote several), rooty greenness (earthy/tobacco nuanced a la RL Polo) and a "seasoned" smokey-leathery-woody decadent "gentlemen's club" vibe a la Hdp 1740 Marquis de Sade (possibly Blend 30 has stood as source of inspiration for the inception of several more contemporary leather-chypré a la Hdp 1740, Gucci Guilty Absolute, Puredistance M, Santa Maria Novella Nostalgia or Clive Christian C for men). The nose behind this Dunhill's masterpiece is the olfactory wizard Ron Winnegrad (Lagerfeld classic, Bogart Furyo, Leonard PH), a genius (likewise Bernard Chant, another favorite of mine) of classic assertive/manly/classy perfumery and alchemies. The leather-vibe is finally extreme on my skin and rarely I've experienced such a perfect vintage leather's rendition (the great Aramis jumps obviously on mind as well for such a veritable leather's interpretation, a stout, finely processed boots-leather type of leather with furry nuances). Sour cherry (as combined with leather, palisander and ambergris) provides a luxurious super silky final leather-twist quite manly (moss/ambergris) but finally soothed by tonka bean, musks and perhaps hints of balsams. Woods, tobacco, hesperides, labdanum, dusty spices (peppery and mild as cloves), woodsy resins, hints of olibanum, aromatics, smoke and leather are immediately evident on the top. A real "tripudio" of high quality raw materials. This initial wonderfully retrò stage is compelling, quite austere (almost liturgical), aromatic (lavender, clary sage, rosemary), smoky, peppery, dusty, earthy and woodsy. It seems to detect castoreum as well, a damp sort of forest substrate, something smoked/rooty and a lot of indescribable luxurious objects, ambiences (full of woods and leather) and leatherwears (on this sphere I associate Blend 30 a lot to the spicier vintage Fendi Uomo, another luxurious leatherwears- conjuring perfume totem). There is a dominant not listed leather-tobacco dry accord as a backbone of the mossy olfactory fatigue. Aramis and Pascal Morabito vintage Or Black jump significantly on mind but most of all Quorum apparently (ideally) waves under my nose with its dominant leather-tobacco-amber-moss/connection with moss and hints of honeyed chyprè powder (which are in Blend 30 just adumbrated and stronger in vintage Quorum). I don't catch the cumin-fat initial dissonance (Aramis, Quorum) but mostly a rugged leather-tobacco/accord, peppery spices, liturgical resins (probably a sort of green/smoky olibanum like-smelling pine's resins more than olibanum itself), aromatics and smoky woods. In particular this combination of labdanum, coniferous resins, rosemary and leather produces a sort of smoky frankincense simil vibe (with a mountain like mossy-aromatic "ambience") under my profane nose. Neroli enhances the aromatic twist providing a touch of "color" in the mist while rosemary pairs galbanum (possibly hints of it), labdanum, pine resins and oakmoss in the creation of a woodsy/coniferous mountain-aura. Dry leafy floral elements (mostly bitter/leafy carnation under my vulgar nose) jump up from the core and keep on their moderate influence (dry and earthy) for a couple of hours before leather, oakmoss and woods keep hampering the single elements-perception by enveloping all the notes with a more linear dark/leathery Aramis/Bel Ami-like brown connective matle (powerfully leathery, rich on tobacco but still slightly floral, green, spicy and mossy in perception). Dry down (definitely mossy and tobacco-nuanced) is a bright reminiscence of vintage Polo (but also Quorum jumps significantly on mind), Hermès Bel Ami, Valentino Vendetta PH and the Pascal Morabito Or Black's old formula (less musky-green and darker than the following excellent 2014 muskier rendition) while the Aramis-fantasm is still there with its stout leather/sandalwood basis. This amazing final stage is the olfactory equivalent of a luxurious old leather-boutique in Rome or Paris. While vintage Or Black is finally focused on a sort of dark petroleous rubbery leather's stamp Blend 30 is more "seasoned", vintage in vibe, woodsy (woody/mossy) and tobacco-nuanced. Wearing this juice has been an emotional jump back in to a glorious disappeared past for me, a past with all the wellness of the opulent italian 80's, the sweetness of my disappeared affections and the childlike enthusiasm for the world/life's daily emotional discovery. This is exotic, ideally exotic as my sweetest memories, the book of brilliant things. A wonderful gem which I definitely recommend to retrieve up anywhere possible to all the lovers of such a cultured disappeared "furry" genre.

30th June 2021
Perhaps I may revise my take on this one downwards in the future, but I scarcely have room to revise it upwards. My initial reaction to Dunhill Blend 30 might best be described as euphoric.

It's not a heavy or skanky fragrance. It's delicate, refreshing, and acutely herbal, with a spiced cinnamon undertone. Nominally a tobacco scent, I get more of an "herbal tea" impression (I love herbal tea, so, in my book, that's a good impression).

Impeccably made and, from my sampling of vintage masculines, unique. It's a shame it has become so rare!
11th April 2020
Perfumer Ron Winnegrad is the nose behind Dunhill's long-gone Blend 30 (1978), and his unique talents shine through the composition. Winnegrad is a teacher for most of his time, with a far smaller number of compositions under his belt compared to other perfumes of similar age, and that's because he chooses to pass his craft along rather than utilize it solely himself. Ron has synesthesia, which makes his perfumes that much more interesting because smells ultimately relate to colors for him, which he in turn relates to places or experiences. Such a condition he bends to his will when perfuming, and it earned him recognition early on with Love's Baby Soft (1974), which in turn led him to land commissions for both this and Lagerfeld Cologne/Classic (1978). With Blend 30, he sought to capture the melancholy of the British countryside in autumn, with overcast skies and dank, dense forestry. I'd say he succeeded with that task, and Blend 30 stands tall as both a precursor to Patou Pour Homme (1980) and Pascal Morabito Or Black (1982), but also a template for the legendary Gucci Nobile (1988). Odd that most of these perfumes have also "snuffed it" like Blend 30 has, due to a combination of shifting styles, ingredient unavailability, and IFRA regulations. It would simply be too expensive for the middle-tier designer perfume operation Dunhill runs to reformulate this properly to bear any resemblance to its original form, and as a result Blend 30 has become quite the "unicorn" in the eyes of vintage enthusiasts. Whether or not you feel the scent is worth the veneration really depends on your experiences with it and your tastes overall, but it is a true scarcity due to how long it has been discontinued, so there's no getting around the price unless you're extremely lucky. Blend 30 is somewhere between a leather chypre and an aromatic fougère, relying on oakmoss, tobacco, spice, labdanum, and a tannery leather note to get the point across, sitting somewhere in a nexus of styles. Taken on its own Blend 30 is a master example of 70's green perfumery, but in light of other releases of the day like Ralph Lauren Polo (1978), Azzaro Pour Homme (1978), Caron Yatagan (1976), or Halston Z-14 (1976), it's easy to see how this might have been overlooked much like Ted Lapidus pour Homme (1978) also was.

The opening of Dunhill Blend 30 is a huge blast of galbanum, pine needles, anise, clary sage, and a peppery lavender, softened only a tad by lemon and neroli. Make no mistake, this is not a sweet fragrance, but it has a rounded smoothness thanks to the balancing of sweet elements that keep it from being too bracing on the nose like Acqua di Selva (1949) or Pino Silvestri (1955). The heart of geranium, carnation, sandalwood, and clove is all but impossible in the modern world of IFRA regulations, as geraniol and eugenol are limited and sandalwood of this lucidity is cost-forbidden due to the over-harvesting of Mysore. I'm not saying this smell niche, just "impossible" in the modern world without some really clever aromachemical tinkering, although they managed to bring Pascal Morabito Or Black back from the dead in 2014 and it smells very close to vintage, so anything's possible with enough time and cash. The base here is where things get a bit hard to place and very blended. The isobutyl quinoline leather note familiar to fans of vintage Hermès Bel Ami (1986) is here, but it is blended in with tonka, oakmoss, and musk to make a near-fougère dry down that compares mostly to the aforementioned Pascal Morabito. The very present oakmoss and sandalwood call forth parallels to the future Patou pour Homme, while all the green aromatic goodness strikes a close accord to the final skin feel of Gucci Nobile once you get past Nobile's initial soapy blast. Tobacco is the wild card here that separates Blend 30 from all the 80's masculines it seems to presage, and since Dunhill was still very much in a "leather and tobacco" mode because those were their primary products sold until they got into perfume, it's almost a given that they would appear here. This is no powerhouse, and much like Dior Jules (1980), is considered somewhat on the reserved side for the period. Sillage is not monstrous, and indeed wear time is shorter than you might suspect for an older "men's cologne" perfume, but Blend 30 does sublimely glow off skin for a good 7 hours before becoming a faint whisper. This feels like a fall-through-spring kind of wear to me, and being such a period-specific example of perfumery, might be too "dated" to the trend-conscious to find suitable context, but you can pull it off in cold weather casual situations without much disturbance if you really wanted.

Dunhill Blend 30 is a good collector's piece for the affluent vintage collector that would rather drop hundreds on survivor bottles of Chaps Ralph Lauren (1979) than on bottles of anything Roja Dove or Areej le Dore puts out, and also represents a bit of a glimpse into the progression from the soapy green masculines of Paco Rabanne pour Homme (1973) at the early end of the decade, to the leathery, musky, jockstrap-in-a-bottle of the early 1980's. Blend 30 falls just shy of being truly animalic because it has everything but castoreum or civet to give it that push from assertive into outright aggressive, so it comes right up to the line of being surly without ever actually losing poise and crossing it, showing Ron Winnegrad was capable of giving Dunhill their feeling of classic British restraint in spite of the heady cocktail itself. I can't really recommend one fragrance that comes closest to what Blend 30 shows off, but if you pick up a bottle of Or Black and layered it with Avon Leather (1966), you'd get really close and not put yourself out too much money. If soaring prices don't feel beyond your means, and dwindling sales listings do not seem daunting to you, this may be worth the hunt, as it represents something you otherwise won't be able to get outside of other similar discontinued gems that also carry stiff premiums. Simply put, this is a well-crafted and very lively aromatic representing an extinct style with extinct ingredients, and real museum-grade stuff that falls just short of being beautiful due to the fact that it isn't terribly unique in the greater scheme of what was goin' round in the time it was being made. Blend 30 is a vivaciously green and aromatic scent capable of painting a picture in your mind thanks to its unique perfumer, and for that I can respect the fervor of its die-hard fans. I may not be in the market to sacrifice my firstborn to finding a bottle, but among vintage "unicorns", Dunhill Blend 30 stands mightily tall. Thumbs up.
9th December 2019
Dark green old school fragrance, although its green-herbal aspect is eclipsed by a thick "leathery-tobaccoey-oakmossy" accord. At the same time It gives stregth to the scent, It implies in a too much dated smoky-powdery smell. The resulting combination is a bitter herbal green smell surrounded by a smoky-powdery cloud. If you like green old school fragrances, there are better options like Francesco Smalto, Tsar, Polo, Bogart signature etc.
5th December 2018
Blend 30 doesn't quite work for me, and this neutral is more likely to lean thumbs down than thumbs up. It does smell like Patou Pour Homme in the opening, which is the best part, but then it smells like a poor version of Patou Pour Homme, and then not at all like it, and instead smells greenish, in a way I never liked, and that smells forced and artificial. Coinciding with this off-putting green note, it smells like a cinnamon roll, which is a combination that doesn't work for me; like a tainted cinnamon roll.
15th May 2018
Talk about melancholy and infinite sadness... it will hurt my very essence when my stash runs dry. Until then, I'll enjoy what I've got.

Think vintage Azzaro pH and supplant the anise with a subtle fruity/tobac element. If you like those, find some Charles Jourdan un Homme too.

Still wishin' someone will damn those damn regulatory torpedoes and start making them like this one again. Aromatic fougere nonpareil!
14th December 2017
Tobacco, leather, oakmoss.

Blend 30 is driven by a tobacco-moss accord that has a leathery aspect. There are aromatics, but they are blended densely to contribute to this tobacco note. There are florals, but only to lend balance - rather than dandification. The fragrance is dry, and has a bitter green aspect from the oakmoss. There is a hint of soft, smoky woods in the later phases.

Blend 30 stands out for its quality, excellent composition, and how the tobacco accord is carefully integrated with the oakmoss to create a gritty but grounded accord with a wonderful retro feel. The other aspect is that any citrus, floral, or herbal direction is almost missing, as it stays close to its structure and avoids any distraction. This, in a sense, is quite focussed.

Most importantly, Blend 30 is an absolute pleasure to wear and stands out even among a fine selection of vintage fragrances for its unique character. Projection is moderate but persistent, and duration is good at around six to seven hours based on 4-5 sprays. Very old world and gentlemanly - I can imagine this being an ideal fragrance after a late night shave followed by a drink of Scotch.

This is clearly as good as anything Dunhill has ever put out, and its discontinuation is a source of lament.

4th May 2017
Stardate 20170411:

A good aromatic fougere of yesteryears.
Has an added smokiness to it.
More similar to Captain than Tuscany.
Well blended and great, therefore discontinued.

11th April 2017
I can't help but like Blend 30. It is right up my alley of vintage fragrances and I like it a lot. However, one occasionally finds references to this long-discontinued fragrance as some type of holy grail -- and that I do not quite understand. Blend 30 actually somewhat reminds me of classier, better blended version of vintage Captain Molyneux, which is certainly well regarded but doesn't cause such hyperventilation. While my bottle of Blend 30 is in a pristine original box and otherwise appears to be in perfect condition, I find its staying power and projection to be a little below par, perhaps showing its age.
12th May 2015