Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan

Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan gives March a happy ending?

I took a break yesterday from my monastic routine of only one (!) fragrance per day, a bit of insanity I will explain next week. It ended up being a horrid day perfume-wise, involving a trip to Ulta with #1 Daughter and some extremely poor fragrance choices.

I tried on Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion because the woman I’d grilled in the elevator last month said she was wearing “Elizabeth Taylor’s Poison — the purple one.” So she had to be talking about Passion, right? I also tried Cinnabar (the newest version), Kouros, Ralph Lauren … whatsit, and Lancome’s Magie Noire.

How was all that? God, if I could have peeled my own skin off like a snake and left it behind, I would have. When did Cinnabar start smelling like vomit? And the Passion — you have no idea. Magie Noire smelled just averagely sour, which was a relief. You know things are rough when your tweener daughter thinks the original Youth Dew is the best thing she’s smelling.


serge Lutens muscs koublai khan

Lamis Dachwali – Humanity

So we did some more hot, irritable errands and wasted precious time on stupid back-to-school-stuff, and when I got home all headache-y and cross there were three new packages waiting for me. I ripped them all open and the choice was clear — Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan.

Because why not? If your fragrance day is already shot completely to hell, why not go ahead and see if you can make a migraine out of it? Because — get ready for my Dark Secret — I had never smelled Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan. Yep. I’m a Skank Poseur. I just use “MKK” as verbal shorthand for “it must be the worst, skankiest smell out there, because look how much I hated Borneo, which some folks actually wear.” Given my feelings for Borneo, I figured smelling MKK was redundant.

Anyway, where was I? Trying to trigger a migraine with Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan. But I didn’t, and I am here to shout it from the rooftops — Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan is musk, salt, armpit and leather, in that order. And it is beautiful. It took me a minute to sort out why I was enthralled: it smells like the Big Cheese when he works up a sweat. You can decide for yourself whether or not that makes me a lucky woman.

Of course, I had to stick it under the nose of #1 Daughter, who was understandably reluctant to smell me at that point. She said, “It’s kind of pretty, it tickles my nose. It smells like incense. It’s way better than anything else you put on.” Huh. She’s not a girl who likes it sweet, but still. I was a little shocked. I wonder if it reminds her of her father, or whether this is the start of a very jaded taste in fragrance.

  • gingele says:

    March – Well, you do have a point (I suppose they must have been some fine-smelling balls).

  • March says:

    Dusan — haven’t smelled the Sun, Moon yet. I’m adhering to a strict religious schedule of one frag a day for one week (okay, except for this particular little screw-up at Ulta.)

    I’ll explain next week — basically I’m trying to give each frag a fighting chance! I’m used to wearing may 6 or 8 things, so it’s killing me.

  • March says:

    Gingele — really?!?!? I don’t read the reviews too often. Okay, in some ways I can see it’s like an anti-perfume. (Wonder what they say about Malle’s Musc Ravageur? Or Terre d’Hermes?)

    Once I got over holding my breath waiting for the Grim Reaper to show up, I could appreciate its loveliness. I wouldn’t want to over-apply, but it was lighter and cleaner than I expected. Eventually it was just a delicious skin scent.

    BTW do you think they meant balls as a negative?:d

  • March says:

    Minette — weren’t you surprised? I was surprised. Dang, I was sooooo surprised. It’s just lovely.

  • Dusan says:

    The DEA =)) Marchie, you make my day shinier, no wonder Mr. Cheese chuckles so much!
    Black Cashmere is a beautiful smoky incense, I ought to give it another try to convince myself I need a bottle. Soon, Moon etc. Is quite nice, though a bit loud for my taste, if memory serves me right (?)
    But dumping Borneo in the garbage! Mon Dieu, c’est sacrilège, ça! You should be locked in a room with Tubereuse Criminelle and Vozhd being pumped into the air simultaneously :>
    Oh yeah — as soon as I get ahold of empty vials, you and Patty will get your care packages :^o No, honestly!
    Now I must get my hands on MKK cos it seems it’s the only way to get my DG to

  • gingele says:

    Oh JOY!!! My dear Beast is vindicated! My skanky darling!

    MKK is as close as I will ever get to a Holy Grail. It is an understatement to say that I find myself in the minority on this one. Read the reviews – or better yet – type in “MKK” in the search box on MUA and find what the majority think of this wonderful, animalic and – dare I say – perfect skanky musk. Some of the more descriptive terms that come to mind include: sweaty cab driver; apehouse; camel (the animal entire or the butt in particular); horse; sweaty horse rider; and the most recent addition to this list, balls.

    Ah well, more for me. Although I must say that from time to time the vocal majority does give me pause. I mean, what if they are right, and I’m wrong? Slight concern that I may be out strutting my MKK sillage and leaving behind a wake of crinkled noses (perhaps worse).

    Now I will remember the solidarity I find here in the embrace of fellow MKK fans – vive la skank!!

  • minette says:

    I, too, was a skank poseur, until last week, when I finally received some MKK. I love it!

    To me, MKK is like a rich, smooth liqueur. It swirls around in the bottle, revealing different facets of itself – all gorgeous. On skin, it is soft and yet deeply sexy. Would love to find a man who smells like this… so yes, you are one lucky woman to have a Big Cheese you can snuggle.

    MKK is one of those scents I never want to be without.

  • March says:

    Nah, P, I think you might like it!\:d/

    It’s not anywhere near as gamey as Le Labo Vetiver. It’s closer to Musc Rav, and you like that, right? It’s only heinous for maybe the first two minutes.

  • Patty says:

    I just KNEW you would wind up adoring this one. Which means I will be ready to rip my nose off. 🙂

  • March says:

    Vi — she’s probably the only one of her friends who wore L’Artisan and Serge Lutens to 6th grade. (Clair de Musc. There ARE limits.):)

  • March says:

    Ina — I think I must have tried at least the EDP at some point, which I did like a lot. And the parfum is probably lovely. But the EDT, like many EDTs of great scents, was just awful — bitter, weak, thin and sour.

  • March says:

    Marina — neener neener neeener! It does remind me a bit of Malle MR in the oil… do you think?

  • March says:

    Tigs — I do think it was Passion. I’m familiar with Poison, having (eeek!) worked through a bottle back in The Day. Passion is probably the right frag, but on her it was mostly incense. On me, okay, there was incense in the base, but melded with something too awful to contemplate.

    OMG — not the Marocain Overspray!?!?!@-) Wow, that would take out a city block. I wear it, but only applied VEEERY LIGHTLY.

    I deserved my punishment for trying those frags.

  • March says:

    Chaya — I know, I know, what was I thinking?:-” Nothing, clearly. I deserved my punishment.

    I have been trying to select a fragrance for the Cheese, but now that I realize how great he smells on his own, perhaps not. We should bottle our husbands, yes? My husband’s bottle would emit a loud chuckle when you took the top off.

  • March says:

    Elle — Borneo… I can’t even fathom where that goes wrong to me. On my very short list of Instant Scrubbers, which includes Boucheron Trouble and Floris Cefiro. There’s probably something else but I’ve blocked it from memory. One of those Le Labos was pretty awful … oh, yeah, and Marina’s beloved Josephine!

    That MKK I will have to get a decent decant of. Who knew? Everyone else, I guess.

  • March says:

    Dusan — I cute-as-a-button bottle of DK Black Cashmere to replace my empty decant, just in time for fall. And Lagerfeld Sun, Moon, Stars — b/c Sariah said that’s what Rumeur smells like, and how can I be a good scent slut and not smell it?

    Borneo. Ugh. Let me whisper this to you — lean in close — it’s the only decant I ever threw in the trash. Double-bagged. Didn’t want the DEA to bust in, thinking I was running a meth lab.

    Putting MKK on the Cheese is redundant, silly! He already smells like that! The Brit Dude I liked, but not as much as L’Instant PH.

  • March says:

    Sariah — yeah, Youth Dude and Obsession, and then, I dunno — I probably would have spontaneously combusted.8-x

    Wow, I didn’t know RL MADE a Hooker!!! The only one I like, for nostalgiac reasons, is the original in the red bottle. Smells like junior high school.

  • violetnoir says:

    You know what they say, March: Like mother like daughter. 😡


  • Ina says:

    March, welcome to the MKK club! :d As for Magie Noire, surely you know it also comes in parfum which is absolutely divine?

  • Marina says:

    I have one word for you, Toldja!!

    (toldja it was great, ha!)

  • Tigs says:

    Could it be possible that the elevator woman just associates the original Poison with Elizabeth Taylor? Some people do, and it is of course in a purple bottle, and maybe her skin chemistry played the trick (well, I’m sure it did no matter what she was wearing!) Cinnabar + Korous + Ralph Lauren anything = shudder. I hope my daughter turns out to have a sniffer like yours. I had a bad perfume day yesterday too – waaay oversprayed L’air du desert marocain (sp?) forgetting it was so strong and I had a lovely cloud of it that stunned passersby at fifty paces.

  • chayaruchama says:

    Dearest SoulSister and

    WHAT were you thinking?

    No wonder you wanted to shed your skin like a snake…

    Why not fumble through the hospital hazardous waste, while you’re at it? At least, it’s educational, silly!

    BTW, love that daughter- she’s a pistol.
    Not unlike Mama.

    Bigchheez smells like my DH- how pleasant!
    What good taste we have, WHEN IN OUR RIGHT MIND…

    Love you,Miaowlettina-

  • Elle says:

    #1 daughter obviously has brilliant taste and a great future as a perfumista. MKK is wonderful to the extreme. But, umm…I think Borneo is as well. 🙂 I love Magie Noire too, but it’s one of the very few scents DH actually takes note of and loathes. I continue to wear it, but I’ll wear it on one wrist w/ something powerful like MKK on the other – the poor man’s nose is easily confused and then simply doesn’t register the MN.

  • Dusan says:

    Oh, and — when are you going to test-drive MKK on the Big Cheese ;))
    Happy wearing!

  • Dusan says:

    What was in other two packages? 😉
    Here’s another one who hasn’t tried MKK, but the weird me loves Borneo (loves Patty). I also quite like Magie Noire. Did you get a chance to try Brit Dude?

  • sariah says:

    yah for MKK! I myself consider it really wearable, though quite nasty for a few minutes. Passion, Cinnebar, and Magie Noir together sounds like heavy oriental perfume hell – why didn’t you spray on some Obsession and Youth Dew while you were at it? Then you would have had to burn your clothes.

    I tried on RL’s Style while shopping with the husband a while back, and he said it smelled like Hooker. I asked him to explain and he said it just smelled like a really cheap perfume a hooker would wear – no more RL for me!