Mystery of Musk Pt 4: Verdigris, Musk eau Natural, Temple of Musk (Ross)

Unfortunatly it took awhile for me to get the time necessary to write these up, sometimes life seems to get much too complicated.

Verdigris from BellyFlowers: A somewhat anise like  top note as well as an all to brief hint of cedar, that quickly fades away into a lavender and clary sage blend that is a lot stronger on my skin then the blotter. The name pretty much says it all, green, fresh and upbeat.  To me the musk aspect is very faint and may act more as a fixative then as an attention getter. In this composition this works well and I think it helps to keep the fresh/green aspect more towards the fore front. Nicly done and the scent seems to hang in there for quite awhile

Musk eau Natural from Dawn Spencer Hurwitz: Stunningly nice spices at the start that persist down into at least the heart, there is a beautiful resins accord that mixes well with the spices and in the background we have beeswax giving it all a nicely rounded shape, although I think there might be labdanum in here also. Actually there could be quite a lot of other ingredients as this one has many levels going on at the same time, like a large orchestra where all the many parts make up the beautiful finished piece. I must admit that this type of scent really appeals to me and it also reminds me of many different aspects in the incenses that I tend to use most, spices mixed in with Aloeswoods. Depending on how much was applied one could wear this for a casual time or for the “special” night. It doesn’t hurt that Dawn went for the 30% perfume concentration, I am finding that this can be very important in a lot of natural compositions. Musk eau Natural  is elegant, sophisticated and a touch of wicked. What more could one want?

Temple of Musk from Strange Invisible Perfumes: The citrus notes at the top are very interesting to me, there is no one type of citrus that I can peg, but I found myself very infatuated by them ( why yes, I do walk around a lot with my forearm jammed up to my nose, why?) The myrtle listed in the notes as well as the Black Current seem to dance in and out of the heart notes for another interesting pairing. This perfume seems to have very sharply defined timing. What I do not get is where the musk aspect went. I just could not seemingly find it, which my just be my take on musk.

Sadly the sample from Alfredo Dupetit did not survive its run in with our Postal service, the envelope it can in looked like it had gone Mano e Mano with a fork lift and lost big.

Cravings drawing winner!

The winner of the bottle of Cravings from  Perfumes By Nature” is Dionne. Please send me email with your full name and address and I will pass this one to Ambrosia at Perfumes By Nature. You can find my email in our “About” page, last line on my Bio

The drawing was preformed by a three year old friend of mine who decided this one looked the most interesting. I am still trying to understand how this worked for her.

More reviews coming tomorrow -Ross

Mystery of Musk, The Reviews Pt. 2: Musk Nouveau and Sensual Embrace

There is still time to get into the drawing for “Cravings”. Leave a comment here.

Musk Nouveau from Providence Perfume Co, to me, nails the idea of a musky, deep and intense perfume. I am a big fan of Aged Patchouli and Aloeswoods/Oud’s and this one uses both to good effect.  The light note of coffee supplies an almost caffeine driven high to the low notes and the restrained use of Champaca and Jasmine( which could get overblown very easily) are done with skill, as well as an very inspired touch. This also has a Sherry top note with Pepper. The Sherry is a nice opener for mids and base notes, To my nose the Pepper gets a little lost. This mixture has some staying power as well as some decent sillage (not overbearing but if it’s on ones wrist you get to experience hints of it as you go about your day), and it seemed to last for around five hours on me. As it is going through its dry down it really reminds me of some of the better incenses from companies like Kyukyodo(woods & florals), Tennendo (resins and spices) and Shunkohdo ( serious musk). This one really works for me, plus it goes through many changes, which is always a selling point for me. In incense I would call this a long learning curve, something to be devoutly studied for  understanding.

Sensual Embrace from JoAnne Bassett has a very classic scent to me. The top notes come in with a light citrus burst that fades into a mellow floral( a lot of different florals, to be sure). Down in the dry out stage there is a sort of Sandalwood/Ambery base that holds the whole creation together. I do notice that this perfume actually starts to have a stronger scent about five to ten minutes after applying it. I wanted the middle notes to last longer, which was annoying as I found them very nice. The Amber and Sandalwood finish also blend into a musky  note.

Kewdra from Anya’s Garden is a true exotic, born of a dream somewhere between ancient India and A Thousand and One Night’s. It is potent, sexy, demanding, and sexy. It has great sillage (which to me means around 2-3 feet ) The combination of exotic floral notes mixed with a very out front musk are a stunning combination. Really, this one is an instant trip to far away places, where anything, mostly involving sex, could happen. : )

Perhaps not for the timid or faint of heart, although a spray of this might invest one with courage or at least passion(really not all that different). Great stuff. For an incense that is along these lines one could look at the Pure-Incense line or, perhaps, Mother’s India Fragrances Champa Blends.

Be sure to check out the other blogs involved in this, it’s quite fun to read the different impressions.

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

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