Knize Ten fragrance notes

  • Head

    • Bergamot, Lemon, Orange, Petitgrain, Rosemary
  • Heart

    • Geranium, Cedarwood, Rose, Orris, Carnation, Cinnamon, Sandalwood
  • Base

    • Leather, Musk, Moss, Amber, Castoreum and Vanilla

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Knize Ten

I first siniffed Knize Ten more than 10 years ago when I received a small sample vile from a friend of mine. I remembered it as pretty raw, animalic with a "garage oils" like appeal to it. I owned this sample for a VERY long time (for more than 5 years) and suddenly all the water evaporated from the sample - all was left was the "perfume oil" - I probably could have taken a hint of high condensed ethanol, rinse the vile thorougly and use what is left - I didn't do that and I regret.

Nevertheless few months ago I ordered a full 50 ml (1.7 fl. oz) bottle from an auction. I can't really tell what year exactly it was produced but it smells way different from what I rememebered. The scent itself consists of two parts: flowers and leather. It seems to be much sweeter, a bit more complex and definitely more unisex than Knize Ten I got to know years ago. It's not necessarily a bad thing but my first impression was: dissapointment and let down. Despite this I tested, tested and tested further.

Longevity is 9-10 hours, sillage is good. I rather think it is an option for fall and winter, rather formal occasions than casual. I like to wear it when I'm wearing a suit, however fits to the leather jacket and a t-shirt as well.

I have to admit I appreciate Knize Ten for what it is, overall. The batches vary, but that's okay for me. Generally it's rather an unisex leaning towards masculine. However, fits well for women who like leather accords in perfumes and for men who like florals mixed into their leathers.

Few weeks ago I bought Dior's Cuir cannage and I'd say for some it might be a modern hommage to Knize Ten "from good, old days".
27th August 2022
Knize Ten has this rewarding dustiness and understated animalic character that exudes class and history. I know that I am experiencing heritage when I spray this on, and can see how such a fragrance has garnered much acclaim. It embodies the characteristics of a leather frag while pulling the punches and allowing the florals to breathe and blossom. The castoreum, while more than evident, does not suffocate the rose, carnation, and orange blossom, lending a dynamism that is often blurred in similar heavy hitter leathers. It is resonant, but does not scream; it has sillage, but does not have a fumigating effect.

The dry down reveals for more of its animalics and quinolines, but remains aromatic and round. There also seems to be, while not listed as a note, a shade of violet in the heart that is a lovely accompaniment that counterbalances the tarry and jagged qualities of the leather accord.

Knize Ten is a beguiling piece of history and a real pleasure to wear.
8th March 2022

Caron's Tabac Blond is one of my all-time favorite fragrances, so of course I love Knize Ten, which is not a smell-alike so much as a second cousin with similar bone structure.

Both were created around the same time (TB in 1919, KT in 1925), and both have the same devil-may-care, androgynous Jazz Age vibe that mixed traditionally masculine (leather, smoke, musk, woods) and feminine (flowers, specifically, carnation) elements in a way that initially must have been unusual and even a little shocking.

Although I haven't smelled Tabac Blond's recent incarnation (in that gorgeous new bottle!) my extrait from 10 or 12 years ago (bought from Lucky Scent when they were still selling most Carons), smells pretty darn good—but in an outsized, cos play kind of way. It's why I don't wear it out in public very often.

Knize Ten has that retro vibe, too. There's definitely leather and smoke and gasoline in there, along with carnation, a flower that can read as either aw-shucks old-fashioned or funereally suffocating. It's tamed a bit in Knize Ten, whose dry down is more minerally than TB, more your dad after the shower and less Clara Bow on a bender.

I haven't completed the full test drive yet. I have no idea how it performs in the heat or during a night out. While I imagine it might be a bit suffocating in the former, I can see it as being exactly right for the latter.
3rd November 2021
Knize Ten is a varied yet harmoniously balanced composition of the urbane grace of its time, yet thankfully fitting for modernity. Not only is it a powdery, racy, diesel fume wrapped in a floral bouquet that is guilelessly dashing; it is an original leather signature unlike any other. Here the base is a triple sided beauty that is piquantly inviting, aromatically sweet and decoratively animalic; reining in predominately citrus wafts into a dusty, fruity, floral bed, before sharing an understated, mossy, beaver sac that beautifully levels and refines the composition with vigour. This iconic leather fragrance, essentially a niche, continues to hold up after a century for the very reason that it is effortlessly blended, with each brilliant nuance measuring up so evenly. Given the number in this genre that are proportionately imbalanced, that end up like rustic haberdasheries, tannery polish, or smoked bits, Knize Ten's vibrancy, grandeur and grace is truly unmatched. May this Coty/Roubert concoction of bottled elegance grace us for another 100 years or more. Certainly, anyone who enjoys the 20th century classic and collective perfumery should embrace this grand-daddy with panache and flair...Hats off!
9th February 2021
Soft leather and strawberry bouquet, Knize Ten could have been made for the Flapper, those rebellious 'garçonnes' who had short hair, smoked and drove fast cars, making this Gentleman's Toilet Water seem a bit ambiguous.
Nothing wrong with that - except the smoking...
9th December 2020
Cuir baby powder

Opens with some tan leather, mechanics rag note, flowers, and powder. Gets powderier as it dries. Kind of butch to me, but my wife said it smelled like her grandmother. Lol. It smelled moreand more like talc the further it went. Nice roundness and density. I like the fragrance, but its juat not quite all together a winner for me. Im going neutral.
15th September 2020
The reason this gets a neutral rather than a thumbs down is that it is in-offensive, in fact it smells clean but not really something I particularly like.
This is a cross between barbershop and an astringent soapy vibe.
In fact it is a more potent masculine version of Amouage Myths Man which comes across as distressingly metrosexual considering you get both men and womens' versions!

Fragrance: 6.5/10
Projection: 7.5/10
Longevity: 7.5/10
23rd December 2019
Despite all the notes, here's what I get. A dirty, oily, leather.. think Fahrenheit. With an animallic quality about it, but still very wearable. It stays quite linear and just fades down like that. Until around 3 hour mark, I get a ton of lavender. Quite unexpected, but that's what it is for me. The final base then bring in notes of vanilla and amber, and pretty much stays this way for many hours to come.

I really do like this fragrance, and this is coming from someone who usually doesn't gravitate toward leather scents. I love Fahrenheit, it is my signature fragrance, and this reminds me of it. Though they are nothing alike, they share the same leather note. It's dirty, oily, animallic kind of leather. Nicole Miller Men has this same leather note i speak of as well.
24th April 2019
Not sure why anyone would wear this? It's dirty and not in a good way. Like an ashtray combined with a leather taxi seat combined with unwashed trousers. I heard it once described as like the inside of a New York taxi at the end of a long shift which is 100% right on the money. Not for me.
26th January 2019
Knize Ten is truly a delicious scent – I get Russian leather and tobacco. In fact, this is the bottled essence of what I imagine the Romanov Grand Dukes of the late 19th to early 20th century smelling like. Queen Marie of Romania remembered the Romanov Grand Dukes as imposing, "like tall trees," who smelled "deliciously of Russian leather, cigarettes and the best sort of scent.” This quote sums up Knize Ten for me.
22nd January 2019
I won't give a negative review because I just received my first bottle and am trying to get a feel for it. So many reviews here, so many expectations. I was expecting the rubber, the leather the diesel. Instead, I get flowers. Lots and lots of floral and almost sickly sweet with a bit of leather underneath. The leather comes out more after 5 or 10 minutes but then quickly goes to powder. It's late November and the weather is chilly and wet here in Madrid so it seems to be the right climate for sporting this fragrance but it just doesn't seem to kick in correctly.

My lady wears Cuir de Russie from time to time and that scent actually comes off as much more masculine than this. It may be more appropriate for her than me!


So I've been wearing this now for a few days. And it is growing on me. And sticking to me! It lasts a long long time. I really like the leather and tobacco. Is it perfect? No. But it is an important fragrance historically and that in of itself is reason enough for me to at least try it.

20th November 2018
Knize Ten (1924) is the stuff of legend, but don't let all the history and hubbub fool you: this is no roaring 20's dandy dalliance. Joseph Knize was a tailor living in Vienna that was a supplier to the royal and imperial courts of the day, and if you read the Lucky Scent blurb, it goes on and on about how great the architect of his shop was (Adolf Loos), who also designed the bottle, and it can be read elsewhere that the perfume itself is considered one of the first accurate leathers, but let's dispose of all that just for a moment. The real scoop on Knize Ten was that it fell into the same powdery "sport" type of fragrances made for men since the mid 1800's by apothecaries, and was more of a bracing toiletry made in one of the few ways perfumers knew how to make something not smell "perfumey" so a guy who wasn't a dandy would wear it. Caswell-Massey made Jockey Club (1840) for this purpose, and the Ed Pinaud company adapted the French "Fougère-type" into something more mossy and powdery for barbershops in 1920 with it's "Clubman" line, so it only made sense to continue this way but with a unique leather twist that tied in with Knize's leather outfitting work. Vincent Roubert and his friend/colleague Francois Coty (yes, -that- Francois Coty) double-teamed to compose Knize Ten for Joseph Knize, released under his own label. Francois already had his own perfume empire gestating as we all know, and he would take Vincent with him to compose Coty perfumes until Roubert eventually landed with Jacques Fath a few years later. Meanwhile, Knize as a tailoring outfit would hum along, outliving Joseph himself, and they would quietly keep Knize Ten alive as their predominant men's toilet water (one of only few purpose-built for men at it's time of release) until the present day. That's it. This stuff is essentially niche before the term was used as it is today in the perfume industry, and the stuff has been kept alive by word of mouth for generations. Knize has dabbled in other scents over the years, but none of them have stayed on the market long. Now, with all that out of the way, what makes Knize Ten so special? Well, it's not the first leather scent for sure, but Knize Ten was the first to make a splash with guys because it was the first to be directly marketed to them.

Knize Ten is a powdery piquant leather scent on one hand, and a petrol leather on the other. The powdery aspect would almost be copied ad-hoc and intensified with extra oakmoss some years later by MEM with their Russian Leather, later re-dubbed English Leather for it's post-war relaunch in 1949. The petrol vibe found in Knize Ten would carry on to the leather elite which followed, with everything from Cabochard (1959) and Aramis (1965), to Bel Ami (1986) and Moschino Pour Homme (1990) owing it's existence to Knize Ten in that regard. Does this make it better than any of them? Well no, not really. Knize Ten is just the framework from which most modern leather scents build on, even if it does what it does exceedingly well. Bergamot, lemon, orange, petitgrain, and rosemary fire off the opening salvo, creating a plume reminiscent of early tobacco scents to me, being bitter, leafy, citric, and a touch sweet. The middle is considerably more crowded with geranium, cedar, rose, orris root, carnation, cinnamon, and sandalwood, with the last two being the most evident alongside the geranium. By this point, the expected petrol leather emerges between the spice and florals, but also the powdery talcum-like qualities surface, providing the genesis of the aforementioned leather tropes, even if Chanel Cuir de Russie (1924) from the same year could also technically take some credit as well. The base leather note is assisted by a bit of musk, oakmoss, and vanilla, with animalics like ambergris and castoreum giving Knize Ten that manly oomph which lets you know this is a scent from the 1920's. There's no real talc or tobacco note, but I swear they both emerge in later stages, as does a ghost jasmine note, not indolic like a perfume, but light, as if catching the scent in the breeze as that Seals & Crofts pop tune I won't utter here. If there is any dandy touch at all, it's that ghost jasmine, but it's not enough to sway this way from the Polo-playing crowd it was meant for, since the "Ten" in Knize Ten refers to the game anyway. Wearing Knize Ten is like watching an old silent film, as you can see the root of all your favorite creations in the years to come from it's stilted frames and jarring moments captured for posterity, but nothing about Knize Ten exists on the same level of refinement as anything it inspired, even deep vintages of drugstore heroes like English Leather. That's not to say Knize Ten isn't quality, as it is extraordinary in performance, it just has the same limitations in distinction compared to it's more diverse progeny that something like Fougère Royale (1882) has when being compared to every subsequent fougère made in it's wake.

So much more has been done within the leather category since Knize Ten came out that there is far more interesting subjects to peruse, and the biggest draw to new buyers is discovering the "origin of the species" as it were. Knize Ten is definitely full-bottle worthy for folks looking to stock up on historic scents, and fits nicely alongside others in it's pioneering class like Jicky de Guerlain (1887), Eucris by Geo F Trumper (1912), Penhaligon's Blenheim Bouquet (1902), Le Dandy by d'Orsay (1925), Caron Pour Un Homme (1934), Dunhill for Men (1934), and the like. However, for folks who have already thoroughly explored the leather genre, Knize Ten might smell more like homework than a practical wearable fragrance in the 21st century, so I'd leave it to sampling before splurging since the niche price tag comes along with the niche availability. I like Knize Ten, I really do, but I don't feel I love it's powdery floral leather appraoch enough to fully invest in a large bottle of it just yet, but if one finds its way into my collection by the time you read this, you can assume I got a really good deal. Something like this is best worn at formal gatherings due to how stiff, dry, and emotionless it is. Knize Ten won't feel right in modern polite company anywhere but at a wedding, old-school gala/ball, or fundraising event the likes that the richies of the Golden Age had right before the stock market crash sent them into the same bread lines as everyone else during the following Great Depression. One good facet about Knize Ten is it's from an older era where class was understated, so you feel important without feeling pretentious like you would in something more modern and opulent meant for today's equivalent of the same market segment towards which Knize Ten was originally pitched long ago. In conclusion, Knize Ten is a masculine powdery petrol-fueled leather that's often called the daddy of them all (even if there are older leathers), but neither is as masculine, nor powerful as it's followers lead you to believe. After all, guys still wore top hats and used canes when this hit the streets, so how raunchy and virile could you really expect it to be?
17th August 2018