Okay, readers – I have sent out samples of CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention, and here is some feedback:
“Gloriously mucky. You smutty little minx. It’s enough to make a man hetero…” — Leopoldo
“I found it to be much scarier than anything I’ve tried recently. I don’t layer, but I think this would be difficult to wear very often without camouflaging it a tad with something less grotty. On me, it smells like that moment when you wake up in rumpled sheets after a particularly debauched night clubbing: smokey hair, potently feral breath, dried sourish sweat in cracks you don’t want to think about. It is by no means bad – I felt almost nostalgic for a moment, since those days are a distant memory for me now – but it does stir some troubling thoughts of where natural musks come from and what they are used for. Thanks for sending it, I think.” – Tigs
“I would say that it smelled like buttcrack, with a musky ‘after sex’ smell. I guess that’s the best way to describe it, March. But, I definitely think you should do a review on it. To be honest, I’m not woman enough to wear it, even layer it, but I am holding on to it to sniff and lightly tamp on my skin from time to time.” — Violetnoir
“At first it smells like my husband which is good. It feels familiar, sexy, and comforting. But then the perfume evolves into something much more disquieting like a prowling presence in the dark. I just know there is danger and this feeling is not accompanied by the thrill of seduction. The scent does not seem to respect conventional olfactory and social boundaries and it makes me think of a marginal world, that of unclean homeless men and…rapists. Someone a little mad has spotted me on the street and is following me. The situation is dangerous because this person although sick is very intelligent. I let the perfume develop on my skin but it was borderline unbearable. It is a truly powerful scent but not necessarily wearable for me. It would be appropriate. I think, to use it in a movie theater to illustrate scenes of lurking (sexual) danger. I also imagine that Christopher Brosius would be the perfect nose to issue another (more readily available) collection of scents based on Perfume, The History of a Murderer.” — The Scented Salamander
And this snippet, from a review on Colombina´s blog: “…the smell of the kinds of sexual doings that will shock even the most liberated individuals…”
Join me, please, in the Gospel of CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention – Christopher Brosius’ ne plus ultra of Skank. How skank is it? Even Colombina the Terrible, she who loves many terrible smells (along with yours truly) pronounced it “impossible to wear on its own.”
I emailed Christopher Brosius, its creator, about this recently, and he parsed my original question into sections, which he answered. So today´s post is a pseudo-interview regarding CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention.
March: Hi, Christopher — it has been more than a month since Patty and I came and played with you at your shop — we’ve been talking up various CB fragrances on our blog. I’m behind a one-woman drive to get everyone on earth to try CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention…
CB: good luck with that – i knew it was going to be a love it or hate it / you get it or you don’t scent and it certainly is so far. i’ll be very curious to see what happens when it goes onto my new website later this week. in the meantime i’ve used it as a base note in one of my new perfumes (a blend of white floral absolutes inc 5 jasmines, tuberose, & jonquil) which i’m really pleased with.
March: …which is why I’m writing you. When we visited, I was so overcome with joy I didn’t take any notes on the many interesting things we talked about. I would like to do a post on our blog on CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention, because I’m still fascinated by it. My muddled recollection is that you were trying to create a smell that was all things human, the idea of what musk conjures up, but not using any actual musk components… okay, how garbled is that?
CB: actually you’re right – i set out to reinvent what i’d always imagined real musk to smell like from descriptions i’d read in certain novels. i find mine to be a very animalic smell but others have their own opinions
March: What does Musk Reinvention represent to you? More specifically, do you find it/mean it to be a “dirty” scent in a sexual way? Or something else entirely? For what it’s worth, I find it profoundly moving, and I am still trying to sort out why. There is something primal about it to me — some sort of first-smell-memory.
CB: i like that description a LOT – and i see what you mean – CBMUSK is a very primal smell but then i’ve always been fascinated by ancient smells – like incense which i love. and i seem to have a talent for tapping into the collective olfactory unconscious much of which genetically may well be about “first smell memory”.
I’m actually working on a collection of “archetypes’ at the moment – these are all scents that influence all perfume either singly or in combination – many of these are very ancient indeed… the sensual smell of skin is definitely among them.
March: I find it sensual, rather than sexual (I seem to be in the minority) and very, very comforting. I keep layering it with different things — in addition to Jasmine (your recommendation) it layers beautifully with strong leather and/or smoke scents…
CB: i’ve found that many people in america are put off or scared by overtly “sexy” perfumes. and lord knows as a nation we have plenty of sexuality issues of all kinds – frankly the english seem free spirits by comparison… i think of musk as sensual as well but then i think it’s a fine line between sensual and sexy and the two should ideally go together.
March: Anyway, my thanks again for one of the most pleasurable of afternoons.
CB: my pleasure – i enjoyed it!
How do I feel about this scent? Well, I love it. I have to keep my 15ml bottle in its little hazmat drum or the smell perverts my closet, but I have been wearing it pretty regularly. It´s wonderful layered with jasmine. Scents with intense leather (like Lonestar Memories) or smoke (Kolnisch Juchten) are great combos with Musk´s naughty sweetness. One or two careful drops on my skin last until the following day. CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention is available on the CB I Hate Perfumes website (which, FYI, was down for renovation when I added this link), I believe it´s $75 for 15ml. Go on. I dare you.