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terça-feira, 22 de março de 2016

Best in Show: Musk Fragrances (2016)

by: Jodi Battershell, Ida Meister, Stefanie Jahn, Elena Vosnaki,Miguel Matos, John Biebel

Though you might not realize, practically any fragrance on the market contains some musk molecule or other for tenacity and solid structure. Imagine when these extended release bombs take center stage as "musk fragrances".
And it takes all sorts. There are the prim, pretty, "clean" white musks and then there are the "growl, you're such a beast!" types, the Odettes and the Odiles, and everyone should have a favorite in both categories we should wager. Here are the top picks of our editors.

Perfect Veil by Sarah Horowitz

...a soft and cozy embrace, recalling freshly-showered skin...
Perfect Veil was my reintroduction to the pleasures of musk scents. The inexpensive 80s-style musks of my youth had gradually been displaced by loud chypres, loud orientals and loud fruity-florals as I moved through adulthood. When I finally discovered this one a good 10+ years after its launch, it was like rediscovering a treasured old cashmere scarf long buried in the back of my closet. I welcomed its soft and cozy embrace that recalls freshly-showered skin and the naturally sweet scent of a baby, with a pleasant woody warmth beneath it all. It works well as a base layer for other scents, but it's beautiful and interesting enough to stand on its own. After Perfect Veil I flirted with musks at all price points, but this one remains a treasured favorite. Probably due to my affinity for drugstore and head shop musk oils, I prefer all my musks in oil formula, including Perfect Veil, though the citrus notes have more "lift" in the alcohol-based version.
Honorable mentions: Dame Perfumery Scottsdale New Musk OilJovan White MuskAlyssa Ashley MuskMONOM OscuroBarbara Bui Le Parfum, any street/head shop Egyptian Musk oil

Musc Nomade by Annick Goutal

...the comfortable scent of warm skin glowing with the tiniest bit of fresh sweat...
Musc Nomade is the fourth fragrance in the Les Orientalistes collection and in my opinion a masterpiece by Camille Goutal & Isabelle Doyen as they bottled up the essence of smelling human in this perfume. I think of it as "Nude Musc" a skin scent par excellence, a tightrope between squeaky clean and dirty, ultimately leading to the comfortable scent of warm skin glowing with the tiniest bit of fresh sweat. If you're anosmic to Musc, try Musc Nomade, as it combines several types of musk with a tinge of slightly bitter greens, a touch of woods, rose, smoke, and sweet almond like note between bitter heliotrope and tonka. In the best case a perfume doesn't just smell good, but stirs something inside of you, an emotion, or a memory. In case of Musc Nomade it is a memory of a starry night in a green plain, sweet silence, a dying fire and the warm body of the person sleeping next to you.


KAMA by Ava Luxe

...a love spell, or simply the filthiest musk on the planet...
If it's a love spell you want, or simply the filthiest musk on the planet - then Ava Luxe Kama is for you; for $45.00 you can indulge yourself with a 15 ml. bottle of this beauty [in eau de parfum] which is, to quote its creator: “so animalic I can't wear it myself...”. Kama is a profoundly disturbing, furry cocktail of musks, ambergris, civet [kissed fanatically by labdanum and snuggled into a very dark amber] with that beloved Bulgarian rose absolute nestled among them all, just to sweeten the pot.
Many, many other folks have tried in vain to create a funky musky musk, but this one trumps them all, including Serge Lutens original Muscs Koublaï Khan and Kiehl's. Its longevity and tenacity are remarkable: it lingers long after you've forgotten you've applied it, nuzzling you affectionately in superbly skanky comfort.
Why pay more, I entreat?

Muscs Koublai Khan by Serge Lutens and the intimate warmth of a well-used bed...
The notoriety of some fragrances precedes empirical perception. With inspiration coming from "Valuable furs [...] spread for the Emperor of China to tread on, muddy boots and all", one does expect a savage creation. And implications on its intense "humanity" (experienced as "oh the humanity" by those correlating it with, say, a used jockstrap or a camel driver's sweaty armpit) are not amiss.
Choke-full of intense civet, pungent cumin, "dirty" scalp and shearling coat costus root added to vegetal musk (ambrette) plus a whiff of leathery castoreum for good measure, to evoke the muddy boots of the Mongolian ruler, Muscs Koublaï Khänuses the chief weapons of fear and surprise, the way China's favorite barbarian must have conquered these vast lands. Milky sweet paws retract their claws when the fragrance touches the skin and the intimate warmth of a well-used bed rises with human temperature to envelop you in the scent of a purring kitten. As the philosopher Wittgenstein said "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." Just try this out for yourself!
Honorable mentionsMusc Nomade (Annick Goutal), Muschio Oro (Santa Maria Novella), Narciso For Her eau de toilette (Narciso Rodriguez), Coty Wild Musk, Le Labo Musc 25 Los Angeles


Musk Al Ghazal

...the most animalic of all the musk perfumes I have ever smelled...
Musk is a tricky note for me. I am anosmic to some of them, like Tonalid for example. Others, I find too sweet or reminiscent of butch 70's perfumes. Other times I simply find them cheap smelling. White musk is a big no-no for me. One musk that I keep as reference (but never use) is this oil from Al Rehab. It is the most animalic of all the musk perfumes I have ever smelled and the most fecal too. It is really dirty and it appeals to me in a way no other musk does. You can use it alone but it is better blended with another scent so you can add a touch of depth and sensuality, even sex. Add it to florals, for example, layering it with alcohol or other oil perfumes. It is dirt cheap and one of a kind with a touch of sweetness to balance the stink. Really interesting to smell and maybe blush a bit.
As the philosopher Wittgenstein said "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." Just try this out for yourself!

Jovan's Musk of the true musk treasures...
One of the true musk treasures in perfumery is Jovan’s Musk. This perfume, which has a women’s and men’s version, was groundbreaking for its original release in 1972 - a sensual, man-made musk that still maintained a floral lightness and sparkle, coupled with white flowers and citrus. It was full-bodied and rich, having gourmand aspects of honey and vanilla that breathe through it’s sweet bouquet. It was carefully crafted of a number of different musk oils that could be perceived by different noses, since musk can often remain undetected by certain smellers. Its modern version, though likely changed from its original formulation, is as stunning in its creamy, smooth edged, pale wonder.
Jovan Musk was well marketed in stores throughout the US, and soon became a go-to scent for many women in the freewheeling 1970’s, along with its male counterpart, a slightly more peppery and darker version of the original women’s musk. Together they were considered animalic and sexy fragrances, and to this day, Jovan Musk is on that interesting edge of smoothly pleasant and slightly unkempt.
It’s maintained popularity throughout the years as a drugstore classic fragrance, and remains one of the greatest scent bargains to this day. Jovan Musk is hard to duplicate as a white floral and citrus-based musk of delightful simplicity and a clean, sweet dry down. Many musks of far greater expense and complexity can’t compete with its impressive longevity and beauty.

Do you see one of your favs in the list?

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