Tag Archives: Musk perfume

A Fragrance Evolution: Katy Perry’s Indi eau de parfum

katy perry indi bottle

Reviewing Katy Perry Indi was a case of “forget what you think you know.”  I think of Katy Perry as the gorgeous and talented Teen Queen who sings catchy pop like no-one else. Her fragrances are cute and funny and have a wry grandeur, all done with a wink of irony.  So when I heard she had a new one coming out, I thought, I’ll pass thanks. It’s probably like her other stuff: on trend but not my bag.

katy perry indi peopleBoy, was I wrong. For a minute, there I’d forgotten that she’d shaved her head and done a studio album. Change of image, much? You bet. Indi is outstanding.

From Killer Queen to Meow and Katy Perry’s Mad Potion, Katy Perry’s fragrance range has taken a U Turn. Gone are the flashy,playful bottles with oodles of bling. In comes the simple black and white pillar bottle for Indi.  It celebrates individuality, which in these troubled times, is a much-needed hand of compassion and acceptance, and I’m all for it.

Katy Perry collage

 

So what does it smell like? Well it doesn’t smell like your run of the mill celebrity High Street scent, that’s for sure.

Top notes: Plum, tea, bergamot.

Middle notes: cyclamen, lily of the valley, cedar

Base notes: tonka, amber, musk, musk, musk etc

The combination of plum and tea gave me  a milky, sultana, figgy vibe, and although this alleges to have cyclamen and lily of the valley in, I could only detect a generic musky “pink” flower- could well be cyclamen.  It’s not a note I know well. katy perry ini fragrantica  The base is where the musk comes in:  musk, musk, musk. Musk is a bit like vanilla in that it covers a vast spectrum within its category, and this is certainly the case here.

It’s not dirty musk, nor leathery musk, nor sexy inner thigh musk, but an ever-changing musk, at least on my skin. On me this  musk smells clean, then chalky, then figgy, then patchouli-like, then earthy, then slightly mossy, then floral.  It lasts hours and hours.  It’s a beautiful chameleon of a scent and smells like it costs about four times the price.

Indi is of course, without gender. Nowhere will you find “For Men” or “For Women” and hurrah for that. My motto is, and always will be, if it smells good, wear it. Labels don’t matter.

Indi celebrates individuality and I salute this superb fragrance.

Katy Perry from KatyPerry.com
Katy Perry from KatyPerry.com

Stockists

You can buy Indi from Superdrug– which seems to have the monopoly on it at the moment.  Pop along and test it- I am sure you won’t be sorry. Prices start at £28 for 50ml. I bought mine and opinions are my own.

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Avon Silky Soft Musk: New For 2016

silky soft musk

I was given a sample of Avon’s latest launch today: Avon Silky Soft Musk.  The original Avon Soft Musk is a classic everyday musk that gets on with its job and is excellent value for money.  I was expecting good things from Silky Soft Musk.

soft muskHowever, sadly this one won’t be for me, I’m afraid. As you know, everything on my blog is subjective. These are only my opinions. In fact there are several runaway, solid bestsellers that I can’t stand, but which will do very well without my endorsement. I could say the same thing about Silky Soft Musk.

There are only three notes: Musk, Lily and Vanilla. All are present and answered their names at registration. However, then the Vanilla completely takes over, dominates the other two, doesn’t give the others any air time and manages to have the last word. The Vanilla is thick and strong, and I half expected to find patchouli in the notes somewhere, such was its throaty rasp. Vanilla covers a vast spectrum: it can be boozy and liqueur like, it can add toasty warmth ( see Shalimar for evidence) or it can add a waxy hint of vanilla candles.  For me, Silky Soft Musk falls into the latter category.

Having said that, at least two of my friends devour this and it smells glorious on them, so go in with an open mind.

However, I still love Avon Soft Musk. The recent change in packaging makes me think more flankers are ahead. I hope so.

Stockists

You can buy Avon Soft Musk and Avon Silky Soft Musk from AvonshopUK or from your Avon lady.

 

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Floris White Rose: Perfection

white rose

I have in my possession a small sample of Floris White Rose, and if I can possibly engineer it, I will soon have a full size bottle. Not only is this a dream-come-true sort of fragrance for me, but it has the loveliest whimsical background. Created way back in the early 1800s ( I can’t find the exact year), this was worn by Florence Nightingale, and rumoured to have been presented to Lady Emma Hamilton by Admiral Nelson. Now that’s what I call an impressive backstory.

Rumoured fan: Lady Emma Hamilton
Rumoured fan: Lady Emma Hamilton

Despite its fascinating heritage, this smells surprisingly modern. Roses have been done in every possible permutation within the fragrance industry. I’m certainly not saying this is a bad thing- quite the opposite-but a good rose scent has to be clever enough to stand apart from the competition, and this one does. White Rose had me all a-quiver.

White Rose has many layers. It opens with a burst of roses, which are never allowed to dominate. The carnations vie for attention straight away and this becomes a great double act. The carnations are, in turn, softened up by gentle violets and subtle clean musks. You can find sobering iris in there, as well as warm amber, but it’s those violets that kept calling my name. The carnations add  a grown up spikiness to it. The musk softens the base and the amber warms it all up.  Round this off with a delicate powdery finish and you have an uplifting musky floral that knocked my socks off. Every note works in chorus with the others, seguing from one to the other until it finds a stunning harmony. It’s clean, pretty, feminine and brought out shameless greed in me. I’m on a mission to own a big size one.

Longevity is excellent at around eight hours.

floris shop telegraph

Stockists

You can buy Floris White Rose from Floris, John Lewis or Amazon UK.

Photo credits

Top photo: Fragrantica. Photo of Lady Emma Hamilton by talesofcuriosity.com. Photo of Floris by The Telegraph.

 

The Body Shop Black Musk

black musk

 

Today I tried Black Musk in my local Body Shop. I’ve always been a fan of The Body Shop White Musk and consider it a staple in my fragrance wardrobe. There have been several brave flankers, but I still rate the original as the best. After trying Black Musk today, nothing changed that view.

Black Musk opens with a tang of fruit: the red berry like pink pepper was super strength and combined as it was with pear and vanilla, I was not impressed. In fact this reminded me a little of Clinique Aromatics in Black ( overall consensus: meh). Black Musk did improve however, and as it morphed into something reasonable I noticed some pleasant sandalwood and vetiver.

The base notes were recognizably a relative of White Musk, and if it had just been wrapped in the vetiver and sandalwood, I would have liked it. But no. There had to be chocolate and vanilla lobbed in at the end. It’s not so bad now it’s really settled. The confectionery has settled to a pleasant background sweetness, tamed by an infinitesimal touch of sober heliotrope. It has a masculine finish in fact, which means little to me as I think that if you like it, ignore the label and slap it on, regardless of gender.

Overall, I’ve yet to find a Body Shop fragrance as classic as White Musk, although I do rate Italian Summer Fig, Atlas Mountain Rose, Fijian Water Lotus and Honeymania. I don’t seem to be able to write any Body Shop review without mourning the Body Shop of the 80s and 90s. Oh Perfume Bar, how I long for you!

Stockists

You can buys Black Musk online or try it in store. I have noticed that they do lots more special offers online so you might like to try in the shop then buy from the website.

The Body Shop Red Musk: Red, White and New

redmusk

 

The Body Shop White Musk is such a well loved classic that they wouldn’t dare to discontinue it.  Popular since the 1980s, it remains a steady seller and even those who don’t wear it have some nostalgia for it.  I know this because whenever I wore it to meetings in my previous job I would often hear “that reminds me of my first girlfriend/ the student house I shared/my wife when we first met”. Personally, I am never without my little bottle of Body Shop White Musk oil, which lasts me about a year. (But then I am promiscuous when it comes to other scents)

Good old White Musk
Good old White Musk

The Body Shop has already launched two flankers, both of which I have reviewed on this blog: White Musk Libertine and White Musk Smoky Rose. Sadly neither blew me away, but the new launch for 2014 is Red Musk, and they could be onto something here.

Red Musk opens with vodka and spice and beds down into a very tobacco-y haze that reminded one Fragrantica user of Serge Lutens Chergui.  A compliment indeed.  In fact, although lacking in the hay notes of Chergui, there is a touch of  Serge Lutens Louve in the dried scent of cherry tobacco as the drydown kicks in.  Several hours later, this is White Musk with a hint of spiced fruit cake, but a sugar free cake, solid with dense dark spice and none of the sickly cakiness I get so tired of in scent.

This has a masculine tang about it which makes it a perfect unisex fragrance, and is rounded off nicely with a tobacco-y musk Final Act.  All round, it’s not bad at all and I’m pleased to see this veer away from the sweet and further towards the rich.  Longevity is good at around six hours so far on skin and its been making my coat sleeves smell delicious.

Stockists:  Body Shop Red Musk is available online or in store. Readers in the USA can also get it online or instore via The Body Shop USA and in Canada there’s The Body Shop Canada.

Narciso Rodriguez Musc For Her: Up Close And Personal

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Every good fragrance wardrobe should have a musk. You can wear it alone or layer it, but it is a true staple, like a winter coat.

Today I am reviewing Narciso Rodriguez Musc For Her and I am sampling it in the form of the oil or “Her oil Perfume” as it says on the box. The oil seems hard to get hold of, so you might like to try the EDP, which may have more lasting power.  In my experience, oils last longer, but not in this case it would seem.  Or maybe its my hungry skin.

According to Fragrantica, this claims to have all sorts of notes in  it: Vetiver, Orange Blossom, Osmanthus, Amber, Woods and Vanilla.  When I first applied it it smelled like stale air for just a minute and then it smelled like new shoes still in the box (for some people that would be  enough of a great smell if only they could bottle it!). Within five minutes this had settled down into a clean musk with a hint of Orange Blossom, and maybe the faintest whisper of Amber, but it would frankly be ambitious to try and pin down any of the other notes as this scent is sadly very fleeting on me.  The notes I could smell were like a blur, they have gone almost before you can name them.

This is very close to skin, but nonetheless lovely.  It is sexy, intimate and would only be experienced by those who hug or kiss you.  You’d never fill a room with this even if you smashed the whole bottle on the floor.

Yes, this is a lovely musk and no it doesn’t last long. If it lasts longer on you than it did on me (less than an hour, with my nose right up against my wrist) then I would say buy it.  It could be the staple your fragrance wardrobe needs.

 

 

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Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rose: Less Than I Hoped For

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I tried The Body Shop White Musk Smoky Rosetoday on my travels and was so attracted to the idea of the name that I asked the staff to open  a new tester, since the existing one was empty: a sure sign of the interest surrounding it.

When I first sprayed it, and when it was still wet, I could smell nothing at all.  When it dried, I could smell a faint hint of Musk, and , would you believe it? Caramel. If there are Roses I can’t smell them.  If they is a smokiness, it manifests itself as the smokiness you get from burnt sugar, or the bottom of a crème caramel.

Image This is pretty popular and has a good fanbase, but I think that’s because vanilla based gourmands seems to soar in popularity around Wintertime.  I love the idea of Smoky Rose, and I’ve always been a fan of TBS White Musk, so you would think this would be a winner. A smoked rose sounds so delicious in winter, but it wasn’t to be.  Sillage is very faint: close to skin straight away.  Longevity is so far two  hours, but faint.

I would love to get the Tobacco Flower, Roses, Frankincense  and Blackcurrant that I was promised, but for some reason this smells like heavily diluted White Musk with a Caramac bar rubbed over the top.

A great idea, poorly executed. Worth a try though, it might smell different on you. Incidentally, The Body Shop online works out much cheaper than buying instore. Sniff instore, buy online.

Alyssa Ashley Musk: A Pocket Money Perfume

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 Alyssa Ashley Musk  has been around since cavemen, or so it feels.  Cavemen knew a thing or two about the attraction of scent. Musk is so classic it’s almost a cliché, and Alyssa Ashley Musk is no exception.

This is a delightful and rather simple musk.  It’s warm on the skin, and has a clean innocence: there’s nothing dirty or civety to see here; this is no Worth Courtesan (that stuff is filthy!).

I may be trying to compensate for reviewing a £300 bottle of perfume earlier today (Marc Jacobs Ivy £299 a bottle). Maybe that’s why I am singing the praises of this happy drugstore classic that remains eminently affordable and, I am reliably informed, pretty much the same as it ever was. Many a happy hippie smelled of this during the 70s, and I’m all for a bit of nostalgia.

AshleyModels

So what makes this different from other musks?  Well it’s less honeysuckle than Jovan White Musk, which is honey-sweet.  It’s a little similar to The Body Shop White Musk, but smells thinner. It’s not as floral or high pitched as Avon Soft Musk, and it smells a million times better than Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan, which smells of  old roll up cigarettes in a dirty ashtray. (See my review . Phew!).

Alyssa Ashley Musk is currently available for only £8.99 for a 100ml Eau parfumee cologen spray on Allbeauty.com (formerly Cheap Smells, and one of my favourite scent sites). There is always room in my bag for a drugstore classic.

What’s your favourite drugstore classic? Or Cheapie from the Chemist (if you’re in the UK)?

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Serge Lutens Clair de Musc: Petticoats and Good Shoes

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 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.

Sephora

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.

 

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