Musks are funny shape shifting notes in perfume. They don’t smell the same to everyone, and one person’s “Ew that musk is so strong it makes me ill” is another person’s “Musk? What musk? I don’t smell any musk”. There are the 70s musks, that I personally love. Maybe it is the nostalgia for an innocent time with great music & clothes I remember? Whatever it is these are the musks I love.

 

I wore Jovan Musk For Women in middle and high school and loved it. I still wear it, and I swear it is a dead ringer for J&J Baby Shampoo. How lovely and innocent is that scent? Clean and simple and so easy to wear. I also wore the sexually charged Jovan Andron too but that was a pheromone perfume. It was very musky, very sexy and I loved it and wish I could find it again.

I wore Coty Wild Musk, in the perfume oil and the eau de toilette. It’s a soft slightly spicy musk scent, and I still own it. It is a warm sexy skin scent yet “Wild” is a bit of a misnomer. If this ad doesn’t make you want to try it, then I don’t know what will…

I love to wear my musks to bed or on their own when I don’t want more than the softest veil of scent. They project very little and one has to get very close to smell them. I call them cuddly scents and all can be had for under $20 a bottle. What’s not to love? I will add that if someone is close enough to smell them, they always love them.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful Kiehl’s Musk. It is a littlemore pricey than the drugstore musks, but if you want a simple elegant musk with a little more oomph this is the one. I find it slightly more animalic (only slightly) than my squeaky clean musks, but Kiehl’s Musk has an honoured place in my collection and gets a lot of wear. I have the eau de toilette but will try the oil next, as I have heard such good things about that version, softer and yet longer lasting than the edt.

I’ve tried many musks, looking for the perfect musk scent. I don’t like musk “heavy” scents that use musk to amplify a perfume and make the existing scent more tenacious. I actually hate them, and those are the ones that make me ill. Bath and Body Works is a notorious offender with these, and I would imagine they use them to amp up their perfumes that are full of cheap thin ingredients that would smell like nothing without a chemical blast to make them LOUD. But again, this is personal, and I liken this scent phenomena to what I can smell vs what someone can smell. As you smell a billion perfumes, you learn to pick out certain notes over time. It’s kind of like wine, you can start out with loud sweet wine but as you learn to pick out certain flavours, you crave more complex delicate flavours. Perfume is the same. Once you learn a note, you cannot un-learn it, or un smell it, even though a year before it might have been invisible to you. So essentially it’s a rabbit hole and once you start sniffing things obsessively like me, you are done for.

There are basically, in perfumes, two kinds of musk scents. I won’t get into the chemistry because synthetic musks, vs natural musks and all the science-y stuff is long winded and complex and in reality there are a tons of musks, not just two. If you would like to read more, try this fantastic post on Bois de Jasmine. But for my purposes I will say there are two kinds: clean, floral & slightly sweet and animalic, oily and dirty. Egyptian musks are bright and sparkly clean, perhaps used in soaps for years which is why they seem so clean. You might also call them white musks. J Lo Glow is famously pretty much a direct copy of J Lo’s favourite musk oil, China Rain, a very soapy green floral musk which likely has a base of Egyptian musk. I actually love it and find it soft and pretty.

 

I first heard about Abdul Kareem Egyptian Musk oil on the fantastic Make Up Alley fragrance board. The people there are a wealth of knowledge and when I was looking for a clean simple musk, this one was recommended. A little research dug up something kind of neat. AK Egyptian Musk was the perfume of the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. I can see this actually, her simple elegant style would suit this simple elegant scent perfectly. Add to this that her favourite designer, Narciso Rodriguez, who also designed her gorgeous wedding dress, used her and her perfume as a muse for his NR For Her perfume. Sadly, whatever musk he used is almost invisible to my nose. I cannot smell it no matter how hard I try, but many love this perfume. I can smell it a little more in NR Essence, but its almost a bit too much in that for me.

 

So after trying many musk oils, AK is the one I kept coming back to and is now my absolute fave. I adore Abdul Kareem Egyptian Musk, and at $15 for a 15 ml bottle is a great deal for any perfume. I dab it on my pulse points and the nape of my neck and the delicate scent wafts for hours. I have been known to layer it under simpler perfumes to add a soft clean floral note but my favourite way to wear it is alone. If you like musks, you must have this one in your collection. It’s the soft preppy perfume for someone who doesn’t want to smell perfumey. Perfect! I feel like I’m on my way to the beach in Hyannis Port  already…

Oh, hai John John…

 

There is only one official seller of this musk online, Charlotte Vale, and anyone else that claims to be selling Abdul Kareem New York musk is selling something else. Don’t waste your money. The seller is a lovely person who is quite professional. She sells from her site and at her ebay shop.

Do you enjoy musk scents? What are your faves?

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