Musc, Musc And More Musk
Review by Tom
Serge Lutens Clair de Musc
Unlike Colombina (according to the review linked above), I am rather a musk fan. I love it when it pops it's dirty little head in some of the most unexpected places: the slightly animal bits that sneak out of Rahat Loukoum enliven the proceedings for me quite a bit, and Habit Rouge would not do it for me as much if not for the bit of "rode hard and put away wet" under all that gentlemanly citrus. Having said that, I am afraid that Clair de Musc simply does not work on me. It's a beautiful fragrance, and were I female, I would delight in it: it's powdery opening is delicate but pervasive, a cloak that manages to be both sheer but at the same time surprisingly strong in it's sillage. On me, the iris rings especially strong, jasmine takes a backseat to it and the orange blossom and bergamot are left somewhere in the trunk. The musk is marvelous, not quite a white musk, but not the in-your-(ahem)-face of MKK. It's truly lovely, and I leave it to you ladies to do it justice.
Musc Bleu by Il Profumo
Another floral musk, but one that oddly worked better on me. Luckyscent insists that it's floral, but I get very little flowers out of it: I get a crystalline brightness that becomes woody and mossy, but never heavy. Again, I don't think that there is white musk in this one, but the musk that is in there is never too "dirty" that it would upset the delicate balance between the foresty mossy wood and the very light florals (they list neroli and black geranium, I'm afraid that I'm not good enough of a nose to make them out distinctly- I get what I like to think of as "green" flowers, lighter in scent than white ones, all shoots and stamens and delicate white petals). This is a nice everyday scent, or a walk on the wild side for the truly self effacing. I know that can be construed as damning with faint praise, and for that I am sorry. For me, it's nice and if it shows up in a Christmas stocking, I'd be happy, but I won't be pulling out the checkbook, either.
Patchouli Antique by Les Néréides
I know, you're thinking "Whoa, big fellah, why are you reviewing this one, when LuckyScent carries all of the Les Néréides scents, three of which have Musc in the name?"
'cause I feel like it.
Well, more like because while I liked the musks in their line, the only one that really worked on me was Musc de Java, and that one is A) not available at this time (backordered as of August) and B) fairly fleeting. A mini review (how you all work me, as Lucia would say): a blast of berries that you've picked yourself in the sun down on the farm: berries, cut hay, skin and sun. Nice but not lasting.
So anyway.. Patchouli Antique reminds me a bit of Borneo 1834. The patchouli has the same dryness, the vanilla lends a creaminess and the musk an earthy accord that do very well on me. If I did not own Borneo 1834, I would certainly pick up a bottle of this one: it's simple, but very, very good as some simple things are, like a shortbread made with farm-fresh eggs, wonderful French butter and the best flour you can find. The three notes in PA are blended so well and are so nice in and of themselves that the concoction as a whole transcends. Definitely worth a try for those of you who are looking for a nice musky patchouli or a more easily found substitute for Borneo 1834
Clair de Musc is an export in the Lutens line, available at Aedes, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, and Bergdorfs for $92. Musc Bleu, and the Les Néréides are available at luckyscent.com, priced at $80 and $60 respectively