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Thursday, September 21, 2006

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, priced at $80 and $60 respectively


Blogger marchlion said...

I was just yakking with somebody about CdM... no added skank value at all, and derided on the fragrance boards as not worth the $. But, boy, it smells good. A great layering fragrance, adds that gorgeous SL polish.

Hey, where's your review of CB Musk? Too early in the a.m.? ;-)

7:41 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

I'm not a huge musk fan either, but I do adore MKK and CB's musk. This may be why I don't like Clair de Musc. It's just far too demure. I don't think I even came out of the womb that sweet and virginal.
Musc Bleu (not floral on me either) and Musc de Java were both pleasant on me, but, blessedly, "pleasant" never causes my cc to levitate out of my purse. However, Patchouli Antique did cause that to happen. *Love* that scent. You're right - the notes are beautifully blended.

7:47 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Just remembered when I saw March's comment that she had said the other day that CdM is fantastic for layering. MUST try doing this w/ some of my multiple samples (Aedes never fails to send them). This may well redeem CdM for me.

7:50 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Elle -- It was YOU!!!! Couldn't remember if it was you or Judith... (blogjacking)read Ina today, she did something stanky. I know Tom liked the CB, dirty boy, wonder why it isn't here?

8:32 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I always thought MKK and Clair de Musc were two polar opposites. But now I think that CB Musk is the embodiment of all that's dark and dirty and CdM is the epitomy of angelic light. :-)
Thank you for the great reviews!

8:40 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Yep, wondering about the missing CB myself. Tom? Was it just too indecent for a sometimes G rated blog? Sigh. I actually contemplated wearing it to work today layered w/ Wild Pansy or Tea/Rose. Well, only co-worker is my boss who appears to be fairly anosmic (except he inexplicably hates Weil Antilope).

9:11 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You impatient girls! Tom writes his reviews in advance (because he is wonderful and talented)and they are scheduled in advance, and I believe this one was written well before either of us even knew about CB Musk. I will share with you some inside knowledge though...a review of Musk is written and scheduled. I will re-schedule it for next week, since there such demand for it. Tom, what do you say? :-)

9:19 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Columbina- that's fine with me!

Whoda thunk there'd be a demand!?!?!

10:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Alrighty then, the review of Cb Musk and 3 other CBs will be on next Thursday, 09/28. :-)

10:48 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Elle, March-

I only found out about CB musk in the past couple weeks, and this review was written earlier.

I will tell you one thing- I have layered it with Yatagan, and even lived to tell the tale...

10:51 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Oh, yeah!!! It is excellent with Yatagan! And KJ, and Lonestar Memories, it is yum with anything smoky. Layered with DK Labdanum and Wenge (or Jasmin) or Le Labo Vetiver all work. I tried Musc Rav but the CB ate it. :-( It's nice with 10CC.

Tom and M -- sorry -- yep, bring it on!

I still haven't tried it with MKK. Heh. Elle, Antilope?! That's funny. Of all the things...

12:23 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great reviews, and from a fellow Luciaphile! When's the next installment? Can't wait to read what is next.
Au Reservoir!

2:40 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Glad to hear from another Luciaphile!

Next week will be 4 I Hate Perfumes creations.

3:08 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

As soon as I get off work I'm putting the CB Musk on one wrist w/ Yatagan and on the other w/ KJ. Yumm!!!! I also want to try it layered w/ CB's Russian leather. Happy sigh...
And M and Tom - thanks for listening to your impatient readers (patience is so not my strong suit) and reviewing this next week. :-)

4:03 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Thank you for your impressions, oh butch One...

CdM is ok, but it don't ring my chimes [oh, the heresy!]...

If I want polish ,I add a smidge of MR instead...

Looking forward to more,greedy sod that I am !

4:45 PM EDT  

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