Knize Two, 1978

(image OkayAfrica)

Perfumer unknown

Attire has been the greatest prop in the theater of gender. Men dress in one manner; women, another. Current standards tend to emphasize a hyper-gendered presentation through dress and grooming. Women in the self-confinement of higher heels than ever. Men packaged in increasingly conservative, less adorned trousers-shirt-jacket combinations. And it’s all so coded. Every detail is meant to convey a particular, trivial meaning.

Knize Two comes from an era that favored individuality over clonish-ness and group-style.  (Christ, I miss the 70s.) It is also produced by a bespoke fashion firm that has its roots in an era and an esthetic that, while it catered to a masculine tradition, emphasized beauty.

Knize Two doesn’t simply happen to be fetching, it plays up the exact features that we define as pretty. It is a sharp floral with an expressive wake. Is noticeable and it speaks of intention. It doesn’t call attention to itself dandy-style like a fougère, which shouts to the world, “I engage vigorously in hygiene!”  Knize Two says, “I stopped, considered and took a moment to put on a lovely perfume.”

At last, an exception to the rule that a masculine floral is doomed to failure.

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