Now that it’s autumn, the days are getting shorter and the temps have (briefly) flirted with something resembling chilly here in SoCal (we even had rain over the weekend!) I find myself wanting to grab some more wintery scents. Some of my all time faves come from Serge Lutens, or as some of us think if him, Uncle Serge.
Lutens is oft noted for his stewed fruit and spice scents, but I think my favorites of his are his musks: MKK and CdM.
Clair de Musc could almost be a soft intro to the world of Lutens: there’s nothing off-putting anywhere in it. No notes of gasoline or camphor or cilantro-stuffed prunes (okay I made that one up) in there. It’s just an opening of aldehydes and muted white flowers with thoroughgoing soft, but not soapy, white musk. It’s a very sly scent with a sillage that seems to stay about three feet behind you. Originally I dismissed it but then smelled it on an SA at Barneys- that little puff of musk as she was walking away was so wonderful I had to ask what it was and I purchased a bottle on the spot. I’ve been buying ever since.
MKK is a different animal completely. Now, my skin tends to neuter musk- even civet becomes a curled up kitten barely ever showing it’s claws. Many people find it far too barnyard for their tastes and that’s fine. I know it can be a challenging scent and if musk doesn’t work for you this will be garlic to your vampire. It’s roses (quite beautiful ones) that are brought by a fur-clad man who rode miles on his steed to deliver them, his heavy leather boots clomping across the tile to present them before he..
Well, you get the idea. It sort of goes post-coital on me and I find it supremely comforting. It was also one that I had to jump through major hoops to get a bell jar of (twice!) when it was a Paris exclusive. Now that it’s more readily available I find it no less gorgeous and on days when I need a little comfort, a little armor against life, this is one I reach for.
I also have to give a shout out to Kiehl’s Original Musk. It’s very inexpensive and very good, without completely veering into 70’s chest-hair-and-polyester territory, just flirting with it. It is eminently wearable, comes in body wash, soap, and other products and is a great staple for your wardrobe that is practically sold on streetcorners.
MKK is $375 for 100ML and CdM is $!50 for 50ML at the Lutens website. Original Musk is $44 for 50ML at Kiehl’s. All of my bottles were purchased by me. Images from Pexels.