Cheap & Cheerful: Coty Wild Musk

Last week I was muttering about musks and commenter rosarita mentioned Coty Wild Musk. I’ve never smelled it but I am a sucker for A) musk and 2) the phrase “practically free online” so I was off to the races.

Coty Wild Musk (CWM from now on) was created in 1972, just in the middle of what must have been a very musky era in perfumes. It was the tail-end of the hippies and the beginning of the disco years. The Godfather, The Poseidon Adventure and What’s Up Doc? were the top three at the box office, but a little movie called Deep Throat was number seven and the far more mainstream but for it’s day shocking Cabaret would rack up a few Oscar wins and position number 6.

I don’t know if Coty, which was founded in 1908 was ever considered the top echelon of fragrance houses. While today the company is responsible for scents from Tiffany, Gucci, and Burberry it also owns Cover Girl, Sally Hansen Nails, and James Bond fragrances. I think in 1972 it was not exactly Guerlain, but it wasn’t (fill in name here) either. There are still people who talk about Coty Chypre (which I have never smelled) so the brand does still have some cachet. The Coty website doesn’t even acknowledge CWM’s existence, soooo…

So how is Coty Wild Musk? It’s very nice. It starts off on me with an odd metallic zing! that, were it amped up to 11, could pass for a Sheldrake/Lutens creation. But it’s not, so it just comes across as a little odd. Luckily this passes over quickly and it becomes an ambery, vanillaed skin musk. Not as clean as some but nothing that’s going to cause people to wonder if you’d stepped in something or are moonlighting at the stockyards. Just a nice, slightly, shall we say “human” kind of musk. Sort of a third of the way from Clair de Musk to Kiehl’s, more on he airy, clean side. I like it. And at this price point (less than $15 at Amazon) what’s not to like?

Anyone else want to chime in on their faves?

For MizChris- you turned me on to Memento Mori. a review is coming. 

Edit: All your comments got me to looking at Surrender to Chance: there’s a whole world of forgotten Coty! I ordered samples of Emeraude, Wild Musk, l’Aimant and Chypre. I ordered a bottle of present day Emeraude from Amazon ($14) and have l’Aimant already. So there will be a Coty fest coming soon..

Coty Wild Musk is indeed “practically free” online- I purchased my bottle from Amazon. Photos are from Pexels and my iPhone

  • Musette says:

    Early (original) Coty is chock-full of absolutely STUNNING perfumes, Tom. Chypre? O.M.G.

    CWM?? (insert ‘dunno’ emoji)

    btw – there’s a great book on Francois Coty (and the emergence/evolution of the House) – he comes across as Not a Nice Guy (surprise!!) – but all that aside, the original Coty perfumes (L’Origan/L’Aimant/Chypre/etc) remain at the top of my Beloveds list.


  • March says:

    Isn’t it great that you can buy a cheap musk and it’s still wearable? I know I had a bottle of this at some point but I don’t think it made the move. Portia’s reminded me I really want to dig out my Worth Courtesan and see if I can smell it …

    • Tom says:

      It is nice finding cheap ones that still do the job. Sometime I like to just wear them for me- sit on the sofa reading and reeking of something fab that I may not wear out of the house. Kind fo the olfactory equivalent of jammies with feet.

      • Musette says:

        What a perfect comparison, Tom!
        I do that with Lyric extrait. It’s too distracting to wear outside the house, so I put on some silk jammies (sans feet) , make a cup of tea (or a glass of wine) and marinate in that gorgeousness!


  • Portia says:

    Never smelled Wild Musk before tom but it sounds really wearable and lovely.
    Having just gone through the collection trying to repack it into the new cupboards I found so much musk fragrance, mainly Malle MR, but there are a few others including the Jovan, Keihl’s, Worth Courtesan, some extra powdery musks like Love’s Baby Soft, a few of the Oriza L. Legrand fragrances and more but they don’t spring to mind.
    Portia x

    • Tom says:

      but the $64,000.00 question (old American game show) is: does all that repacking and revisiting mean that you’ll pump the brakes on buying new stuff? and if so for how long..

      • Portia says:

        Kind of. Not because of the packing etc but we have just bought a piece of land and then I split a tooth meaning I’m about to get three implants including two sinus lifts.
        So, there will be a lull while I replenish resources.
        There may even be a bit of a clearout because I’ve found some incredible unicorns that just aren’t getting worn.
        Portia x

  • rosarita says:

    Thanks for featuring Wild Musk! Somewhere between Clair de Musc and Kiehls is the perfect description.
    There’s also a Coty Wild Woods which I bought years ago after March reviewed it on the “old” Posse. She called it an all-purpose woods to layer with and that’s true, it’s largely cedar and helps ground something lighter. I need to find my bottle.

  • cinnamon says:

    I think I might have bought this decades ago. I do recall buying headshop musks and patchoulis for $5 or $10 a go and wreaking in my mid teenage years. I’d love to smell Chypre.

  • Dina C. says:

    I haven’t worn the Coty Wil Musk, but used to own and love their Emeraude. It’s a green oriental. The vintage stuff smells way more expensive than “drugstore.”

  • alityke says:

    Now I’m going to hunt this out. I love a cheap & cheerful.

    Reading stuff on the history of modern perfumes, it seems Coty was a big deal. After all, their Chypre & Emeraude inspired Guerlain to create Mitsouko & Shalimar which were improvements on the original and Coty Chypre gave the group of citrus/moss fragrances their category name.

    Off to hunt out what perfumes can still be bought under the Coty name. I may be gone some time

    • Tom says:

      I know l’Aimant is out there b/c I got some. Quite good stuff. I may need to hunt down some emeraude. Wonder if StC has vintage? Hmmm..

  • Kathleen says:

    Regarding Coty, I am a fan of vintage L’Aimant and Emeraude. I’ve never tried Coty Wild Musk. I really enjoy Jeffrey Dame’s musk.I’ve also worn Jovan white musk for women in the past as a soft bedtime fragrance, another good price point.

    • Tom says:

      I have non vintage l’Aimant and it’s lovely. Emeralds I’ve never smelled, even though I believe it’s been around for a very long time.