Saturday, July 28, 2007


The "best" scents on today's market are those whose components link successfully to the scent components of our bodies. Often this comes at a price upwards of $75 an ounce. Most drugstore and department-store fragrances are either dim echoes of a louder past or chemical scent-bombs; but, of late, I have found that musks can strike a happy medium. Their power comes not from their strength but from their resemblance to our own body's perfume. That said, each musk varies from the next, in most cases falling into the category of vegetal (often straying into the floral) or animalic. Few would argue that the latter position is easily filled by the Serge Lutens/Christopher Sheldrake revelation Muscs Kublaï Khan (1998), a scent which runs the gamut from savage and feline frisky (civet) to clear-eyed and (post-coital) human. Even consummate civet scents like Jicky and Amouage Gold for Men––marvels, no doubt––fail to live up to it. As for vegetal musks, Chanel No. 18, with its base notes of ambrette seed, Santa Maria Novella's Muschio, which takes it old-world medicinal cue from the roots of the Sumbul plant, and Kiehl's Since 1851 Musk Original Musk Blend No. 1, wickedly Sixties in its love-beads-and-grass sort of way, are all personal favorites.


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