Musc Ravageur: Maurice Roucel for Editions Frederic Malle 2000

musc   Musc Ravageur was created by prolific nose Maurice Roucel in 2000 and I think it’s safe to say that it has enjoyed cult success among perfumistas. Today and yesterday I have been wearing a roll on sample (thank you Lisa Wordbird) and here’s what I think:

Top notes: Lavender, mandarin and bergamot:  you would think this would make for a cologne-y opening number   à la Jo Malone Lime, Basil  & Mandarin, but it doesn’t.  In fact, it is warm and soft like blankets. I often find lavender quite a cold scent but I barely detect it here.

Middle notes:  Cinnamon and clove:  the faintest hint of cinnamon and no cloves.

Base notes: Sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla, Guaiac wood, amber, cedar and of course, musk:  It’s the base note that seems to last longest with me.  In fact, the whole thing merges seamlessly  into one long base note right from the get go.

When reviewing Miller Harris L’Air de Rien, Lisa Wordbird, who is a die hard fan of it, says it reminded her of flannelette sheets- you know those warm brushed cotton affairs that fall somewhere between fluffy and towel-y?  Well that’s what Musc Raveguer makes me think of.  There is a slept-in staleness about it that is not unpleasant.  There are flowers peeking out (is that the lavender emerging finally?) and the musk has a muffled sharpness like skin after soap.

Sillage is close to skin.  You could spray this liberally and only those who hug you would probably comment on your incredible smell. It’s the smell of someone up close, or the smell of someone who has got out of bed after retiring following a scented bath the night before.  It is the smell of intimacy and closeness. It doesn’t smell of sex the way Worth Courtesan does, and although it has some faint, vague similarities to L’Air de Rien, Musc Ravageur stands alone as the comforting, intimate smell of longing and romance.

You can imagine a misty eyed lover sniffing his girlfriend’s coat and saying “ahh, it smells of HER”.  And that, my dear friends, is Musc Ravageur.

Have you experienced Musc Ravageur? What did you think?  Do let me know.   I always love to hear from you.

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6 thoughts on “Musc Ravageur: Maurice Roucel for Editions Frederic Malle 2000”

  1. I love MR. It goes straight to base for me too – no messing around with lavender or cinnamon etc – just warm sandalwood, amber and creamy vanilla with a hint of musk that’s not dirty at all. I understand the reference to flannelette sheets – its a very cozy fragrance that I don’t think would annoy anyone (except those who are convinced that the very mention of perfume sends them into an allergic fit).

    1. Hi Sally and lovely of you to drop by. Yes I find this is a warm musk and couldn’t find any chilly lavender in it at all. It’s like warm milk isn’t it with that touch of nutmeg so faint you’re not sure its there.

      And no, it wouldn’t annoy any but the most uptight. I think it’s one of those perfumes you could deny wearing i.e “but this is how I always smell, I’m not wearing any perfume!”

  2. It’s gorgeous stuff, I agree. And unisex! I get some spicy, slightly medicinal top notes personally, but I like them. I tried it on a gent of my acquaintance and it smelled very good on him. (He did volunteer.) On him it had that ‘snuggle into his neck’ quality – very cozy and soothing. I guess it’s universally cuddly and comforting – not what you expect from a ‘Ravageur’!

    1. Oh yes, very good on a chap I should imagine. It has that kind of lived in smell that’s much nicer in real life than it sounds on paper!

  3. It does in fact have an exceptional dupe in the relative cheapie by L’Erbolario – Meharees. There are Basenotes threads on the resemblance if you are curious. I have a bottle now and find Meharees slightly more sanitised but still plenty filthy enough for me. Pleasant staleness is a good analogy!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Vanessa. It means all the more because I know that you know what you’re talking about over on BonkersAboutPerfume

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