Clair de Musc is much warmer and friendlier than yesterday’s sombre La Fille de Berlin, but then Musk is often a friendly sort of warmer-upper. Despite this being a product of Uncle Serge and his gang, I’m afraid I have something rather facile to say about it. My first and unshakable thought on smelling this was “Impulse Hint of Musk”. I tried to shake it off, really I did, but even in the basenotes I was still thinking the same thing.
To try and get a handle on Clair de Musc, I wore Body Shop White Musk on the other arm and compared the two. I needed to find out what makes Clair de Musc different. What’s Clair got that other musks haven’t? Let’s face it, if you’re going to spend in the region of £80 on a bottle of perfume, you need to know why it’s worth forking out.
On first spray, it was , as I said, Impulse Hint of Musk. Nothing wrong with that, it’s the best Impulse there is (is that damning with faint praise?). However there were also yellow flowers or honey in Clair de Musc. Interestingly, my interpretation did not match the notes listed on Fragrantica at all. For instance, where Fragrantica had bergamot, iris and lily of the valley listed as notes, I had honey, honeysuckle and yellow flowers. There is a whisper of iris, almost as if she opened the wrong door, glanced in and left again, leaving a Will O’ the Wisp waft. The Body Shop White Musk smelled sharp compared to this, which gives you an indication of Clair’s feathery softness.
Clair de Musc is warm, kind and pleasant. I don’t feel that it brings anything dramatically different to the Musk Party. In fact, I only really got interested when I layered it over Cabochard. Then I really perked up and began to take notice. However, I often layer my trusty (and cheap) bottle of Jovan White Musk over other items in my scent wardrobe to similar effect.
Clair de Musc has low sillage, (often a blessing), and average lasting power on me, say two hours. I would probably not wear it alone, and it’s pricey as a layering scent: a bit like spending more on your petticoat than you would on a pair of good shoes.
Cheaper Musks do the job. This is good, but is it worth £85? You may disagree. Samples are the way forward, my friends. The Jury’s out.