Mystery of Musk, The Reviews (Part 1) Cravings & Graines de Paradis

So, to get ready for the reviews of twelve different perfumes constructed with some aspect of musk in them I decided to assemble a sort of “musky reference materials library”. I pulled out two different small bottles of real musk tincture, one bottle of musk grains, my entire collection of Japanese musk scented incenses( around 25 different ones)(problem with musk, why would you think that?), a good bottle of single malt scotch and some Hakusui Aloeowood/Musk fired BBQ ribs …just kidding about the ribs, although I do have the Hakusui smoldering next to me :). The samples started to come in and I started spraying them onto paper strips or my wrists. People around here got very used to me putting my wrist near their nose and asking the magic question “So, what does this one do for you?” There were a lot of really big  musky floral’s, very classic in style, some had incredible longevity and silage, some seemingly faint, a couple or three that seemed totally different from the others and in general a complete treat of an aromatic ride. I was amazed at how creative and spontaneous the perfumers were. Most perfumers that I have talked to, not to mention incense makers, do not create a finished product in a matter of a couple of weeks( Shoyeido is famous for spending ten years on the Kyara blend Sho-kako). This may, of course, be completely different in a large perfume house where production is all.  That does not even include the maturation time involved. In fact there are a couple in here that I believe will be much smoother in time. All in all the results here were pretty amazing to me. Many of them stayed within a list of “botanical musk notes” that the Perfumers Guild sent with the perfume brief, then again some just went for broke and used some pretty outrageous materials.

Some of these really remind me of incenses, and if possible I will try and note this.

Since it seems that we are giving away a bottle of Cravings from Ambrosia at “Perfumes By Nature” it seemed reasonable to put this one at the start. The name pretty much says it all, most especially if you have need’s, chocolate, for one, not the normal stuff but the really hard core and high end kind, This is very potent with good sillage and is long lasting. It is also very sexy in unexpected ways.  The cocoa is there from the get go and in one way or another continues through out, yet there are so many other notes the weave their way around, through and over it. Somewhere after an hour or so the Aloeswood/Oud notes really come through. In the incense world I would compare it to ShunKohdo’s  Houshou(cocoa plus aloeswood) mixed in with Nefertum Kyphi from Mermade Magickal(deep, mysterious, musky and sacred). A very heady mix with the idea of musk pretty firmly attached throughout. Would you wear this to dinner, maybe not.  But, if you were interested in being dessert….

When the sample ofGraines de Paradis” from Sharini Parfums Naturels came I just stared at the materials list for almost ten minutes in amazement. You can see the list at the link above.  Nicholas obviously goes to great lengths to source special ingredients that meet his demanding standards. This one also has great sillage and can last quite awhile. In that time it holds a stunning floral note but after some time the Oud and musk notes do come much more into play. In the very first few seconds there is a wonderful citrus and ginger note the really got my attention, after this all the floral’s come out and there are a lot of them. It is interesting to me that those all get to shine at some point, very nicely done. This one I got to take up into the mountains with me, huge difference in scent at 6000 feet up.  Much woodier, still floral, but more wood notes.

If you are interested in a chance to win a bottle of Cravings from Perfumes By Nature, leave a comment in THIS posting and sometime around next Friday I will do a drawing and post the result over the weekend.

Be sure to drop in to the other blogs listed below and see all the different observations from the reviewers and for a real time update of postings for these blogs check out Anya’ Garden. — Ross
I Smell Therefore I Am – Abigail Levin
Perfume Shrine – Elena Vosnaki
The Non Blonde – Gaia Fishler
Indie Perfumes – Lucy Raubertas
Bitter Grace Notes – Maria Browning
CaFleureBon – Michelyn Camen
Olfactarama – Pat Borow
First Nerve – Avery Gilbert
Olfactory Rescue Service – Ross Urrere
Grain de Musc – Denyse Beaulieu



  1. glennjf said,

    July 18, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Jeepers Ross…

    I simply don’t know how I’m ever going to be able to afford even a smidgen of the incenses I already have written on my wish list but hey, that’s not stopping me now from adding Shunkohdo Houshou and Nefertum Kyphi Incense from Mermade Magickal to it. If you say they’re what you reckon Ambrosia’s “Cravings” brings to mind they should be on my list.

    I’ll add that have a tiny sample here of “Kyphi” a perfume oil, produced after a six month long creative process of Sophia (African Aromatics), she’s another of the Natural Perfumers. It’s just amazing to experience. Sophia wrote me “Kyphi I may add, is made entirely using the ancient Egyptian methods, using mostly raw materials rather than oils; hence the gourmand spiciness in the beginning. It took me six months to make.”
    I feel very honoured to have been sent it. Once Sophia gets her own website up and running I really do hope she will have it for sale there. I’ve already had a local woman who spent some years living in Africa run her nose over Sophia’s Kyphi, she was jumping for joy from the very first whiff.

    Ambrosia also wrote me that she’ll send a me sample of her “Cravings” so hopefully quite soon now, I’ll be able to experience it personally. I think she’s must be almost completely snowed under with correspondence and scent samples and assorted requests right about now, since it was just at the beginning of the M.O.M. Competition that we were in contact.

    • glennjf said,

      August 19, 2010 at 9:02 pm


      The following comment Iposted here previously. I’m reposting it here as it appropriates as the proper follow on to my previous comment…

      “My craving is over or, is it just beginning?

      Your sample arrived today. What could I say that hasn’t already been said and by people far better placed to express such opinion.

      It’s delicious and when it settles in it’s luxurious. The aftermath is sweet heaven, oh, and by the way, this is a “bloke” writing this, incase anyone didn’t already know.

      Thank you Ambrosia.”


  2. Lisa BTB said,

    July 10, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Craving is delicious and Graines de Paradis is captivating.

    • glennjf said,

      July 10, 2010 at 8:06 pm

      Like how you’ve photographed the samples Lisa, easy read reviews too 🙂

  3. Beth said,

    July 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Okay, I’m in.

  4. Nguyen Minh Tu said,

    July 8, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    It seems that I will love Craving. I love chocolate and I love musk, hmmm… Please count me in the draw for that bottle. Thanks.

  5. Anatole said,

    July 8, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Ok I surrender to chocolate and musk! Please include me in the draw if it’s still time. BTW it feels good on your blog.

  6. karin said,

    July 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Just read Grain de Musc’s review, hopped over to the Perfume by Nature website to see how to order a sample, didn’t see Craving on the website, found their blog, then found out about this giveaway! How’s that for roundabout? Would love to try this! Thanks for the offer!

  7. em said,

    July 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Please enter me in the draw. Craving sounds so sensual and deep. After reading the reviews I can’t wait to try it. Cravings for sure! (Also made me crave chocolate…)

  8. July 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    […] July 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm (Uncategorized) There is still time to get into the drawing for “Cravings”. Leave a comment here. […]

  9. Francesca said,

    July 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again about Craving-
    The review I read it made me think not of the destination, but the journey to be had with this fragrance.It made me want to reach for those extravagant shoes…and more…For whom you wear it wouldn’t necessarily be a starting point but the irresistible need to share it would overwhelm any intentions of keeping it to yourself. Maybe it has the power to awaken memories of long ago or simply just yesterday? I suspect, in fact I know there is always a place for Craving and my hand is eagerly up!

  10. Steve said,

    July 7, 2010 at 6:20 am

    Fun read, Ross! Won’t compete for the bottle of Cravings, but definitely throw my hat in for the aloeswood & musk fired BBQ ribs 😀

    • clairsight said,

      July 9, 2010 at 12:15 am

      Steve it could be a whole new business venture. Think of it “Aloewood BBQ Flavor Chips”. Could probably sell the first bag to CITES!

      • Steve said,

        July 9, 2010 at 11:51 am

        LOL – sell the first bag to CITES… 😀

        • glennjf said,

          July 10, 2010 at 6:12 am

          Mmmm…. those chips are making me hungry! I’m craving them for sure 😉

  11. Isa said,

    July 7, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Please, enter me in the draw! And thank you very much in advance!

    My mouth was watering while I was reading the notes of this perfume.

    Congratulations to all the blogs involved in the Mystery of Musks Project.

  12. Yuko F. said,

    July 6, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I can’t even imagine what chocolate, woods and musk would be like! Would love to give it a try!

  13. Monica said,

    July 6, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    Why would I want to win a FULL BOTTLE of “craving”??? Because I’m greedy? (hehehe)

  14. Gina said,

    July 6, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Please include me in the drawing, and thanks for your great reviews.

  15. Julie said,

    July 6, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Please include me as well 🙂 Thanks for the review of perfumes as well as incense.

  16. womo531 said,

    July 5, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    chocolate, aoud, and musk.. what’s not to love? “Craving” is right!

  17. Sharon said,

    July 5, 2010 at 11:57 am

    Please include me in the drawing! The description of this perfume sounds yummy.

  18. July 5, 2010 at 9:51 am

    It hadn’t crossed my mind to compare how these scents, heavy in their musk components, would perform at high altitude, but now that you’re saying it…interesting observation!

    That Grains de Paradis is so animalistic and lasting…I mean, wow!

    • clairsight said,

      July 5, 2010 at 9:30 pm

      hello Elena: First time i noticed this with perfumes, usually I go up with incense. I have found that it can be a whole new scent when lit in the mountains. The Baieido Vietnamese or Cambodian Aloeswood sticks, which are very pure and designed to present the woods to their best advantage, all of a sudden have a whole new pallet, plus I get to discover entirely new aspects of them. Great fun. I hope to go up again later this Summer and plan on taking a bunch of these perfumes along to see/smell how they change. -Ross

  19. kjanicki said,

    July 5, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Please include me! Chocolate, woods and musks sounds divine. I love the idea of a non-sweet but sensual chocolate.

  20. Dionne said,

    July 5, 2010 at 8:23 am

    I’ve been reading the reviews of Craving with great interest – Ambrosia’s blog has been fascinating as well. It’s tempting to buy this one unsniffed, but I’m stifling the “I want! I WANT!” voices for a few more days and crossing my fingers….

  21. Masha said,

    July 5, 2010 at 12:33 am

    Oh, yes, include me in the drawing! I’m glad ORS was included in this project, since there are so many parallels with incense and profume (they came from the same roots).

  22. glennjf said,

    July 4, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    Since I’m already in the business of actively craving after Ambrosia’s CravingsI see no reason not to crave a little bit more and put my hand up here in the hope of securing Ambrosias give away bottle of her special Mystery of Musk creation, especially as it’s a unisex scent and apparently the only one in the competition.

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