Darvant's Review of Blend 30 by Dunhill

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 the premium vintage formula (assertedly more austere, heavy, assertive and complex than the more recent one) with its "pre - IFRA standards" dose of oakmoss, galbanum and labdanum. A perfume which casts a whole epoch. Blend 30 is a pillar of 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. The closest thing 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 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, Patou Pour Homme, Dior Jules, Balenciaga Ho Hang 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 experieced 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 hints of balsams. Woods, tobacco, hesperides, galbanum, 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 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 with 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). 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 galbanum, 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, pine resins and oakmoss in the creation of a woodsy/coniferous mountain-aura. Dry leafy floral elements (mostly bitter 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 separate the elements-perception by enveloping all the notes with a dark/leathery Aramis/Bel Ami-like brown connective matle (powerfully leathery, rich on tobacco but still slightly floral, green, spicy and mossy). 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. While vintage Or Black is finally focused on a sort of dark petroleous rubbery leather 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 a glorious past for me, a past with all the wellness of the italian 80's, the sweetness of my disappeared affections and the childlike enthusiasm for the world/life's daily discovery. A wonderful gem which I definitely recommend to retrieve anywhere possible to all the lovers of such a cultured disappeared "furry" genre.

  1. Darvant

    Basenotes Plus From London/Italy
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