Nostalgia - Wiener Blut Klubwasser
As PST’s resident Viennese I am predestined to write about an exclusive perfume by Viennese niche perfume line Wiener Blut called Klubwasser.
Klubwasser is German for Club Water, it is a classic fougére in the manner of 19th century perfumes that were worn on handkerchiefs, so called “Taschentuchparfums” or the french translation that should be more familiar – Eaux de Toilette.
Wiener Blut is a small company founded by Alexander Lauber, who made it his goal to bring back several scents based on popular bouquets of 19th century Vienna, he researched extensively and experimented with an Austrian perfumer Yogesh Kumar. The first fragrance of the line (it is to be expanded soon), Klubwasser, was introduced in 2009.
Wiener Blut, which means Viennese Blood, is purportedly full of zest, full of power, full of courage, if I am allowed to cite, and butcher in translation, the text of a waltz by the same name by Johann Strauss.
The company obviously sets big stock in history and the accurate rendering of historical fragrances, an approach I find charming and interesting.
And Klubwasser is an interesting scent. The Eau de Parfum has a strong sillage and lasts for hours on me. I have tested it on skin as well as in the traditional way, as it was (or at least historically was) intended – on a cotton handkerchief. On fabric, Klubwasser lasts a week.
I much prefer Klubwasser on fabric or a paper blotter than on my skin, where the harsher aspects are more prominent, whereas on fabric it smells softer and smoother, rounder and the floral notes are allowed to shine.
Due to the style popular then, as well as technical reasons (perfumery techniques were rather different in the 19th century), Klubwasser is a dense, well-blended mix, where no particular note stands out, nor is there a lot of development. It is very interesting to smell such a scent, because there are not many reference points to compare it too, if you are not a perfume historian or have regular access to the Osmotheque in Versailles, I suppose.
Klubwasser smells rather masculine at first, probably due to Indian cumin and lavender, as well as the intense green of galbanum and a little peppery spiciness. It is bolstered by an abstract floral bouquet, which rests on a rich, mossy base. Thanks to IFRA regulations it is a rare occasion one smells real oakmoss these days, and I don’t know how it is done here, but Klubwasser smells very much like the real thing. The drydown is herbal, hay-like, aromatic – gorgeous. I fell in love then.
Klubwasser is a classic fougére fragrance that feels very traditional and almost nostalgic. It evokes images of the Wiener Kongress, the Kaiser, the times of grand Soirées and Balls at the Hofburg and Sunday afternoon strolls through the Prater.
I rather enjoyed the almost arcane routine of carrying my Grandmother’s beautiful, monogrammed handkerchief in my bag and regularly taking it out to sniff. Klubwasser made me smell my lovely handkerchief compulsively and I have to admit, I have a new obsession.
Although certainly genderless, I personally would prefer smelling Klubwasser on a man (and believe me, I am working hard on getting my dear husband, the great perfume adventurer, to try it.)
Klubwasser is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum at very few, select stores, Colette in Paris, Campomarzio in Rome, Breathe in Berlin as well as in Vienna.
Interestingly though, not in a perfume store, but at Lobmeyr’s, the famous crystal glass maker. (They have fabulous customer service by the way. A warm Thank you to the lovely lady who went out of her way to help me getting a sample of Klubwasser).
The reason for this venue is that there is a limited crystal glass flacon designed by Lobmeyr filled with Klubwasser.
I am looking forward to the new perfumes Wiener Blut will launch soon. Watch this space!