You musk remember this

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.)

  • dissed says:

    LOL! Except for that one word — SCALPY? GAH. Blarg. Shoot me now.

  • nozknoz says:

    “But slowly I’ve been won over to some, and only the dirtiest of the crew” – I knew immediately it was Lee, who can always be counted on to get to the round, rosy bottom of a perfume conundrum!

    Musk is tricky, due to anosmia and hyperosmia, I guess. I would so love Guerlain Vetiver pour Elle if it had a fraction of the musk, and I wish I could get Timbuktu only a whisper of the cumin-celery note. MKK smells mostly clean to me, so I think I’m just anosmic most of it. In general, I like musk better when it is filling out a perfume idea rather than attempting to take center stage.

    The perfume I have totally turned around on is Shalimar – that central accord that makes it Shalimar used to repell me, and suddenly I love it!

  • March says:

    Musk on its own I had kind of mixed feelings about … does that say sperm? Where was I? But recently I’ve fallen hard for some light, “clean” musks, skin scents, that were the sort of thing I’d have sneered at two years ago .

  • Winifreida says:

    To finish off, I think my biggest turnaround would have to be fruit. Also quite funny really, as in a parcel from Luckyscent I had said ‘nothing fruity’ in the free samples box, which they didn’t see and sent me a Hilde Soliani (forget the spelling attempt) Fraaaagoooola Salaaata … well it was a STRAWBERRY based thing and absolutely gorgeous. Daughter + friends have done 1/3 of the (bottle) already!
    I have now decided its just that cats pee blackcurrant thing that I thought was ‘fruit’ that I dislike. I’m finding the melon, banana, Lyric, Fleur Nocturne, Therese, and yes even the dreaded Mousson just wonderful in the stonking hot humid summer!

  • mi-cuit says:

    MKK and Clair de Musc are interchangeable on me for some strange, frustrating reason. 🙁 No animal warmth, no barnyard, no orgies, not even a little dirt. All I get is a nice floral squeaky clean musk. The worse part is that I had a friend going to Paris and I had her pick up a belljar for me unsniffed. :-w

    • Lee says:

      How funny (peculiar), and what an expensive discovery! Some folks, somewhere, will get the pleasure – or the fear – when you wear MKK though…

  • Dante's Bra says:

    Musk is still a little stomach-turning to me, and ditto on the slutty junior high girl association, but I’m taking notes here from y’all to expand my vocabulary! (after spitting coffee all over my computer because everyone’s really funny today)

    Can we count Dans Tes Bras as part of the fleshy, almost nauseating phylum? I just got my sample and it’s so weird: a sci fi violet critter that i might find in my boot in the morning. I love it. I’m scared of it. It just turned spicy.

    • Kate says:

      Excellent screen name! Dans tes Bras is a favorite now after several attempts to ‘get’ the mushroom, damp violet concoction. A work of art, in my opinion.

      Thanks Lee for putting terms ‘schwetty balls’ on the Posse page! It always makes me laugh.

    • Lee says:

      Indeed – excellent name. Dans tes bras IS nauseating to me. I just can’t stomach it…#-o

  • tmp00 says:

    One that I can’t do still?

    Big. White. Flowers.

    Love to smell it on others but on me it feels like the perfume equivalent of a red feather boa. Fun to look at but wouldn’t wear out of the house. :d

  • dleep says:

    I have never tried any of the musks you mention but I would love to get my hands on some samples after reading all of these comments. I have done turn arounds on tuberose and amber both of which used to make my stomach turn. Now I love them both and sometimes I can’t get enough of Fracas. Great post!

  • mariekel says:

    Now, musk is a real puzzler for me. I love, love, love indolic everything where flowers are concerned. But musk makes me want to excoriate my skin was industrial cleaning solvents to get it off. I really wanted to be one of that select group that find L’air de Rien fabulously earthy but it only brought up unpleasant memories of nannying small children way back when.

    I have turned around on aldehydes, which i initially thought made all perfumes smell like No 5 (and which I still don’t care for). In fact, this winter has been dominated by those fizzy little divas. Lately, however, I have been flummoxed by a certain combination of notes that automatically makes me feel queasy, even in some pretty fantastic scents. Wish I could figure out what they key is but it is never the same culprits. Though I do suspect Bergamot of being the ringleader, which is a real shame, because it is a note I have hitherto liked a lot.

    Still working on big white florals, though gardenia still usually defeats me.

    Thank you, Lee, for the use of “flibbertigibbet.” Haven’t seen that in print since a certain cherished Iris Murdoch novel. 🙂

  • Disteza says:

    L’Air de Rien, CB Musk Reinvention, MKK–have you been peeking at my collection? Being the skank-eater that I am, I wear these fairly frequently, with little of the barnyard or BO funk that have overwhelmed others. Of course, when you’re sitting at work thinking that MKK smells ‘pretty’, you realize that perhaps there are greater things that you have mised out on. :((
    Ah but dahling, my inner voice responds, there’ll always be cumin–the one note that I am positively guaranteed to play up. For me, El Attarine and its ilk are the true skank-fest. It took me a long time to figure out the wearing of such a potent note, but I’ve come around to it along with the heady floral, which used to not even interest me.

  • Lynne1962 says:

    Flibbertygibbet?? Is that an UK industry term 🙂 Funny!!
    Boy,,I’ve done at least a 180 since I’ve joined this perfumed-crazed world! Musc oil was popular in high school,,but when I found out it was the sweat glands of deer,,I was turned off. Now,,bring it on!! Patch was another turnover. I always equated it with “head shop”. Now,,Patch Antique, Le Labo Patch, patch with amber, patch with vanilla,,you name it!! Bring it on. I think your sense of scents is not as acute when we (I) age,,and we need more amped up vibes. Anyway,,love your take on things, Lee!!

    • Lee says:

      It’s like copacetic – a word with its etymology lost in time…

      Glad you’re going for the heavy hitters!

    • Winifreida says:

      (%) Aaah head shop…Bring. It. On! Yes, I am a patchouli gal and have worn a little mixed in with almond oil with a soupy concoction of all the other natural oils you find in the Health shop) for as long as I can remember. (Sor-ry!)
      What I now find I don’t like is the funny synthetic-y one they put in everything…

  • Shelley says:

    Musk I?

    In my world, you say “musk” and I smellof the Wanton Woman of Junior High, she who my mother looked askance at. Jovan. In a big, billowing cloud, with too much makeup. So, while I think I like it, to this day it makes me wonder if I’m making other people feel like Debbie did my mother. Agh…I mean, like Debbie made my mother feel. (Oh, dear.)

    Say “funk,” and showers disappear from the planet, everybody dances all night, and they end up at the bus stop the next morning without changing their underwear, but strangely wearing it on their head. Or outside their shirt. MKK, I’m hearing you. That’s right…it’s so loud I hear it.

    Obviously, I haven’t done the 180 on this element of perfumery. Yet. (Maybe I’ll come around?) Whenever folks start rhapsodizing, I feel like a girl who isn’t wearing *quite* the right clothes for the clubbing crowd. You know, maybe a delicate floral necklace, not worn ironically…

    OTOH, aldehydes. I’ve gone 180 for some. While I still can’t handle No. 5, I do enjoy Iris Poudre, Arpege (vintage and current), the occasional Madame Rochas. Baghari is still doing a kind of number with me; some days, I love it; others, it’s like a terrified cat got stuck in my nose.

    You know, maybe I shouldn’t be sharing my thoughts in public… /:) :[email protected] …but I do so enjoy your company. :d

    • Lee says:

      Oh, so MKK eats your head? Worse even than delectable Debbie?

      You’re perfect in whatever outfit you choose to wear!

    • mals86 says:

      Terrified cat?? =))

    • janh says:

      The consequences of “funk” sound like so much fin!

    • Winifreida says:

      :)):)) something about musk and our misspent youth!! I’m sure it was the musk in Ambush and Desert Flower, not to mention the Spiritual Sky, that got a lot of us old hippies back in the day! When in 2009 I fell upon MKK, Keils, MRav (which I F/B’d, and daughter snagged some to go to the pub with last nite) thinking IT would be there, I could not find it! Too masculine, gorgeous, should not be allowed on men as too dangerous…I still find myself thinking mmm-MMM wish there was a man around here who smelled like that! whenever I put MKK on (finished my last big sample to write this), unfortunately Mr Turins’ dismissal of MRav as ‘hippie’ was enough to get me to FB it with only one small sniff…

  • Lee says:

    I don’t like Gimlets either. I’m so lowbrow.

    It’s a delbreaker for lots of folks – and was for me for a while. But the highest of high note aldehydes are my four horsemen cometh warning smells.

  • Musette says:

    Musk is a deal-breaker for me, alas. Remember the Drama of Drama Nuui, with that stupid musk drydown, killing all that lasery-neon green goodness? Beige was very pretty to me – until that musk thing. If that ever changes, everybody RUN! The Apocalypse is nigh!

    You and aldehydes! I orta tie you up and spray you with some Brilliante (yeah, my new SHUT UP, already! scent;) – the Gimlety goodness just might change your mind.

    xoxoxo>-)

  • Lee says:

    I LOVE cedar.

    But like you, gimme a mix over something straight up.

    • Olfacta says:

      I wish I did! I had hamsters as a kid and loved the smell of the bedding, which was mostly cedar. But the ones in perfumery — maybe they’re synthetic, I don’t know — just knock everything else out of the way on my skin. Odd, because I also like the smell of essential oil of cedar. Hmmm.

  • Nava says:

    I am always more likely to do a spit-take when someone says something to me face-to-face, but the tea-spray all over the screen is a rare occurrence for me. Today is an exception: You got me good with “corpulent haidresser overdoing the Elnett”. For that, you get one of these: ^:)^ And, you’re lucky I have a big bottle of computer screen cleaner!

    Here’s a couple for you to try, if the opportunity presents itself: Bruno Acampora Musk Oil – a fabulous dirty/clean musk, and Etat Libre D’Orange Secretions Magnifique. That one puts schwetty balls to shame.

    Thanks again, dear Lee, I needed that. 😡

    • Lee says:

      Thanks! I hope I haven’t made you too much work.

      Not tried the musk oil, but certainly gave the skatolic SM a go when it first came out. Sluiced zinc morgue table more than boyhoney (yikes! – who came up with that?)to my nose.

  • Olfacta says:

    Cedar. It magnifies on my skin for some reason, and as much as I’ve tried, I can’t stop not loving it. Aquatic/ozone. And that weird “pineapple” note — allyl (something) glycolate — I can smell it at 50 paces. It’s in “Envy” and was a primary note in “Georgio” — hey! maybe that’s it!

    I’ve turned around a little on musks, just not the candle-wax cheap-o ones, although I appear to be anosmic to some synthetic musks. I liked L’air de Rien enough to go through a sample, but I think it’s much more complicated than a simple musk. Same with MKK. Like rose, I guess, I prefer it in mixes.

  • Erin T says:

    Great post, Lee. Glad to come here and find a post by you today, too – put on Arabie this morning and thought of you immediately.

    I guess I’ve come around to the fleshier, more dramatic white florals the way you’ve come ’round to musks. Musks, in the meantime, have always been a fave of mine. Love the Theo Fennell Abyss mentions. If you like the Miller Harris, have you tried Humiecki & Graef Geste? I reallly like that one and it has much of the sleepy body warmth of MKK and L’air de rien.

  • sherobin says:

    I also have a bit of musk anosmia. I kind of smell it…I think…but I just don’t really get it. One less perfume family to have to obsess over… 😉

    The one family I’m unexpectedly turning around on is aldehydes. Not sure whether I should really be happy about that or not. For one thing, I don’t get compliments on aldehydic perfumes, and I still don’t think they’re really quite me. But I am enjoying them, and I never thought that would happen.
    The other family I’m starting to appreciate is the chypres. I didn’t hate them, but it took me a while to really sink into that complexity, and start to understand the composition, rather than just individual notes that I liked. It was L’arte di Gucci that helped me appreciate oakmoss, for itself, and as a structural element in the chypre. Now I see how my first perfume love, Shiseido Zen (black), fit into that genre.

    • Lee says:

      Chypres are otherworldly perfumes I think. They take you through a glass darkly, and you either learn to love the ride or can’t quite fathom their unique reflection of the world you knew. Seems like you’re happy on the other side of the mirror.

  • Aimee L'Ondee says:

    Thanks for talking about musk, Lee! It’s one of my favorites, and it was MKK that brought me 180 degrees on that style of perfumery. Love it, and love animalic stuff in general. Usually vintage stuff with civet will always make me happy. Sadly, l’air de rien is all poo on me, and the CB Musk is all unwashed wino.

  • Abyss says:

    Has anyone tried Theo Fennell Scent? I actually recoiled at its full on musky Billy-goatyness the first time I smelled it. I was expecting something with far more manners so that skanky thing was a big surprise.

    I can’t think of any specific notes that I drastically changed my mind about except that I used to like realistic roses and now I find those mostly dull and I used to think that I didn’t like chypres and now I love a whole bunch of them.

    • chayaruchama says:

      Abyss, Louise was sweet enough to send me hers-
      Which I shared w/ another devotee !
      I confess to a perverse attraction.

      Theo Fennell is in a class of its own-
      C. Laudamiel’s signature is all over it [ making it as edgy as all hell- !]/;)

      GOOD morning , Leeski !
      MWAH !

    • Cheryl says:

      I have a small sample of Scent. Oooohhhh. There’s musk in there? I had no idea~so maybe I’m not able to smell that component. Scent is thick, muddy, and hard to categorize. I don’t know what to think of it!

    • Lee says:

      This struck me as a wonkily pretty scent… But I only sniffed it fleetingly.

  • chayaruchama says:

    I’m w/ Denyse and Fiordi…
    BIG FEH.
    And the ‘woody’ aromachemicals I’ve had ‘up to here’-
    I can no longer stomach them, they simply turn me off.

    For a great musk which no one has mentioned : Ava -Luxe Kama.
    Seriously, this is magnificent stuff, stuff of dreams.
    Silky, fleshly, subtle yet tenacious.
    It’s my go-to, especially for those who love L’Air de Rien [ and I’m clearly one ! ]
    Without a biiiig price tag [ no affiliation, btw 😉 ]

    :d

    • maidenbliss says:

      I’m wearing CB Musk Reinvented at the moment, which wouldn’t be my favorite musk. I get terp/garage funk …thanks for the Ava Luxe Kama mention, chayaruchama. Haven’t heard of this one. As for you, Lee, there’s no writing that can compare with yours! You pull off butt crack, sweaty balls so elegantly. I’d love to do a 180 on anything tuberose, just so I can understand what all the fuss is about, but it’s not happened yet.

      • maidenbliss says:

        Must. Have. Kama. Going to scout around now and find me some. I just splashed Prelude to Love on my hand after Melissa’s comment on Beyond Love. Any comparison comments on these two?

        • Melissa says:

          Very different. Beyond Love is a great big tuberose scent. Tuberose and more tuberose imo. Oh, and if you don’t like tuberose, you won’t like it. Prelude is a citrusy floral iris scent that didn’t really imprint itself in my memory. It’s pretty. I don’t usually do pretty.

          • maidenbliss says:

            Nor do I, actually. It’s the first time I tried my sample-I then tried Love but it reminds me of circus, candy floss, sticky and cloying. I’d like to find me a musk of my own. Kama, I’m coming.

  • Melissa says:

    My 180 note is tuberose. I detested it when I first tried it, but maybe I can blame it on Fracas. Probably not the right introduction. A few years and a sniff or two of Carnal Flower, Tubereuse Criminelle and Beyond Love later changed my mind. There are many, many tuberose scents that I don’t like, but I’m always in search of a good one.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    I am on my second bottle of l’Air de Rien – love it, but don’t find it at all “dirty.” Then again, my idea of “proper” perfume is anything loaded with animalic notes (all the early Guerlains, of course, and especially Mitsouko).

    Like Denyse, I run screaming (and gagging) from any suggestion of the dreaded calone, which includes ozonic and melon (ugh) notes.

    I’m afraid I can’t really say that I’ve been “converted” to anything; sad, isn’t it, but my brain is already full of things I adore!

  • Wordbird says:

    Funny, isn’t it, L’Air de Rien is the perfume I have yearned for and was saving up for a full bottle of until my darling husband bought me one for Xmas. I adore it. Somehow it is just perfect in this sheepskin coat weather, wafting muckily up from my cleavage and making me very happy as I do boring housewifely things.

    MKK though I don’t get, like a lot of musks. It’s Musk Imran Khan to me – very polite and well-mannered without a hint of camel-driver’s jock strap. I shall obviously have to try it again.

    As for doing a 180 on things you previously disliked, that has happened to me in spades in recent months after an incident with Miss Balmain. I loathed all forms of oakmoss and simply reading it in a list of notes would put me off trying a perfume. I kept forcing myself to retry classics like Mitsouko and invariably ended up trying to find somewhere to scrub it off.

    And then I wore Miss Balmain on bare skin for a whole day as part of the chypre sniff n speak on Basenotes and once I got past my initial gag reflex at the bitterness, what do you know? Warm, saucy, snuggly yumminess. Of course, this has thrown me for a loop now, as suddenly I crave oakmoss, oakmoss and all my previously loved gourmands seem gauche and puddingy.

    • Lee says:

      Your oakmoss addiction came a little late, in IFRA terms anyway. The cads.

      Hey, I love that Musk Imran Khan. It’s fuzzy quiet on me now. Maybe we smell the same thing. Before, I was having cotton wool stuffed to capacity into my mouth… and up my nose.

  • Louise says:

    I can “do” only few musks…mostly because of the rather common anosmia, but also for the sweetness that CC mentions. And the few clean musks I can detect…well, just:-& They seem to be the base that I pull out of the less $$$ department store fragrances. Oh, I’m the prig, here, it seems.

    I do find enough nasty in CB’s concoction, and in some deep, dark Arabian musks-one is a Red Bombay goo. MKK has none of the good bits for me at all. Musc Ravageur is lovely (hey, thanks!), but the musk is so well cocooned and blended with the spice that I’m not sure it’s musk I’m smelling after. And the nitromusks in some of my vintage lovelies…>:d< I've converted to aldehydes (and hey-you liked the Baghari extrait on me...before you knew what it was...or were maybe just being polite!) Same with green florals, some white flowers, rose, oud...but I will not, cannot, never will put an aquatic on my hide.

    • Melissa says:

      I wore MKK two days ago and after 30 minutes of nice animalic warmth, it went rather sweet. Wasn’t quite how I remembered it. 😮

    • Lee says:

      That Barfhari on you didn’t have any of the ultraviolet hissy sharps I got when March made me sniff it in Fortnum and Mason… It seemed a different, altogether gentler beast. But off your skin it’s all needles, and acute triangles digging into unwanted places.

      You – a prig? Bwahahahaha >:d<

  • Lee, the moment I read the word “flibbertygibbet” I knew it was you, without even scrolling down to the byline or remember it was Friday.
    I love de Kooning and the mess of it; I come and go about musks, not for the dirty aspect but for the sweetness of them, which sometimes strikes me as a bit sickly, so that I can’t always wear L’Air de Rien and MKK though I’ve gone through two full bottles of the latter.

    I’ve done a turnaround on aldehydes — though actually, I wore Rive Gauche and First as a teenager — through the lesser aldehydic Chanels, Cuir de Russie and Bois des Iles. It’s still not my favorite family though.
    Other than that, even notes I’m not wild about in large doses (amber, patchouli, even jasmine soliflores) I can appreciate in compositions.

    The two things I can’t get past (apart from Calone) are ozonic notes, though I can appreciate, say, the flint accord they create with incense in Un Matin d’Orage, and what I call “the spiky woods”, Karanal and its brethren, ubiquitous in masculine fragrances and to which I am hyperosmic. This makes, for instance, Jubilation XXV (for men) unwearable to me, and there’s a tricky moment in Jubilation 25 (for women) too… Those materials feel like someone’s driving a cactus up my nose.

    • Lee says:

      Call me the sweet eater – I turn most things arid.

      As for the ‘spiky woods’ – it is too overdone. I don’t get the pencil nibs up my nostrils, but I am a little tired of that too familiar orchestration.

      Flibbertygibbet = me, does it? 😡

  • Pimpinett says:

    That combination of lavender and something sweet that’s in Le Male and hundreds of other fragrances – is it lavender and orange blossom? – that almost kills me. I am really not fond of orange blossom notes in general, either, can’t do that at all.

    I haven’t tried any of these dirty musks. Must do something about that, I tend to like animalic.

    • Lee says:

      My, perhaps I’m negative today. I love orange blossom water in desserts, but that combination of high pitch and sweetness is not my favourite either.

  • Robin R. says:

    Lee, I’ve turned around on a lot of things in my time. I can “do” aldehydes. Ditto MKK and various other fecal accords. Musks are a non-issue because I can’t smell the damn things. Civet and I are buddies from a long way back, and I’m a serious leather lover unless it’s too staggeringly birch-tar-loaded.

    But there’s one note or group of notes that I know I will never, ever like, and I don’t even know what it is/they are. It’s that weird Desenex foot powder note I get every once in awhile. Sometimes certain sandalwoods seem to be the culprit, and other times I think it might be orris root and aldehydes in tandem. The most dangerous offender: Frederic Malle Iris Poudre. I think I’d rather dust myself with Desenex, actually. At least it’s cheaper. :-s

    • Melissa says:

      Oh that’s too funny! I love Iris Poudre and I doubt that I love Desenex. Never tried it in fact. Time for a sniff test. Desenex on one, um, arm and IP on the other. :d

    • Lee says:

      Not knowing what desenex is, I can only imagine. Though I’m not powder’s bosom buddy. Nor do I powder my bosoms.

      • Musette says:

        Desenex is a foot powder of great camphory goodness and Desitin is a baby bottom salve (or any chapped area, I suppose – I once got a face rash from mashing with an unshaved feller and Desitin was the only think that kept me from ripping my mouth area right off my face. It was yucky – but it worked!

        I am wearing Iris Poudre on my right wrist (and yes, it does have that Desenex accord) and Iris 39 on my left. LeLabo irritates me with their pretension (though I love Ione, the LeLabo SA @ Barneys) but I gotta say: if anybody could turn me around on iris it would be Le Labo. Not only can I smell it, which is a wonder….it’s pwetty!

        xoxo >-)

        • Lee says:

          I’ve had more face rash in my time than I should’ve done – but given as good as I’ve got too!:”>

          Thanks for the explanation.

  • Jared says:

    Two of my absolute favorites- MKK and L’Air de Rien! You’ve reminded me that I really need to try the CB Musk. It should probably be sitting in my little musky corner with the L’Air, MKK, and Kiehl’s. And I suppose Dzing!, which I’m wearing now.

    The notes awaiting turnaround: Leather. Still very tricky. Also, citrus. I’m learning that anything citrus is just no good to this patchouli-musky-animalic-vetiver guy. Although, I think if anyone can do it, it’s the Chanel Cologne. Further testing shall prove…

  • carter says:

    l’air de rein and MKK…mmm, mmm, mmmmmmmm! =p~ For me it was the other way around; l’air won me over after about the third try (Francesca sent a generous sample to me with a “hazardous materials” warning on the package 8-&#120;) whereas MKK had me at first sniff. I have both of them on my bedside table and I am probably going to have to go FB on both, but at least Monsieur Lutens in his infinite wisdom has made MKK easier to get these days.