Of all the perfume accords, in all the world, musk perfume was the one, in general terms, I couldn’t warm to. Ironically, considering how fleshy and real musks often are. Though I don’t exactly wear scents that are diaphanous little creatures, swept away by a gentle sigh, though I like me some full-bodied juice, musks… somehow…
They always struck me as too thick. I’m something of a flibbertygibbet and I like scents that change or peel away their layers or somehow seem a little see-through. Musk perfumes always struck me like a de Kooning painting – too much, too fleshy, too unclean. And by unclean, I don’t mean dirty, I mean lacking clarity of form, of edge, of shape, of proportion. That was musks. To me anyway. I sound like such a prig!
But slowly I’ve been won over to some, and only the dirtiest of the crew. First it was Miller Harris L’air de Rien, Miller Harris’ homage to Birkin, the late 60s, the swamp juice of bohemian dives. It’s scalpy, fleshy, but never thick. And CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention seemed so frolicsomely saucy, like a Rubenesque woman who’s letting you peek at more than you should. I couldn’t help but love its celebration of the gusset.
Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan took me longer. Where other people got sweaty male crotch or warm pelt or orgiastic fornication, I got raspy hairspray and everlasting density. It was a perfume that put pounds on me when I wore it, and I waddled, a corpulent hairdresser, overdoing the Elnett.
But something has changed recently. And now, on cold days, it is the furs and comfort blanket – the charm others find. I even get a teensy hit of the barnyard loveliness that has the clean-minded squealing sperm’n’spank’n’schwettyballs’n’crack’n’creviceclunge’n’gunk.
Call me Mr 360, if that didn’t actually mean I was back where I started. I’d rather be an obtuse angle than a full circle.
Are there any accords, scent families or notes you’ve turned round on? You never know, I might end up loving sparkling aldehydes… (though currently Baghari is more likely to make me run for cover than a Simply Red track… And I hate Simply Red.)