Sunday, March 3, 2013

Animal (Perfume Review: Muscs Kublai Kahn, Serge Lutens)

Sometimes, when I can't decide what scent to wear, I play a game. I close my eyes, and go to a section, and I pick one blindfolded, and for better or worse, I wear it. I did that this morning, pointing at my Serge Lutens collection. Beforehand, I thought to myself, I hope I don't pick Musc Koublain Kahn, thinking it is going to be nice and warm outside. So of course, as fate would have it, it was the one I got. 

I have never worn MKK on a nice day.  I usually pick a cold winter day to wear it. For me, it is the epitome of a "warm scent." There's musk, and there's MKK musk - every musk in here is highlighted, and its purpoted notes list is enough to scare the bejesus out of anyone - civet, cumin, castoreum. A friend of mine who is a perfume expert describes it as such: "You know when you have b.o. and you try to cover it by wearing perfume? That's how this smells like."

Fair enough. MKK starts out with an amber opening, but it quickly fades to the musk: and yes, there's that civet, there's the hint of cumin. And it smells skanky. Today as I wore it, it didn't waste time blooming. But bloom I like, as it bloomed like only a perfume can - the smell became fuller, more rounded, it enveloped. I don't know how it projected to others (I ran two errands and got in contact with humans) and I will not lie if I say that it didn't make me a little bit self-conscious. But I appreciated it more for what it is - a musk smell. Everyone keeps on saying that there are roses in here, but I don't get it: I would point to the beautiful Le Labo Rose 31 as the definitive rose/musk combo. I smell ambergris here, and vanilla, and a slight rotten fruit (peach? pear?) When you get to the drydown, you get a soft sweet floral. Imagine you wear a strong Oriental perfume early in a summer day and you get just a whiff of it after you have done everything under the sun. That sweet musky emission at the end of the day, just before you take a shower. Just for that alone, Christopher Sheldrake (who did this for Uncle Serge) deserves a lifetime achievement award.

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