Sunday, June 6, 2010
Ah, that warm, snuggly, vaguely funky aura of animal that is the grounding of almost every great perfume--yes, I'm talking about musk, or maybe I should write "musk," since in perfumery we only encounter a rarefied fantasy of the genuine article. I think we're all at least somewhat familiar with the history and hazards of synthetic musks, and way too familiar with the cheap ones that that are used in all things scented, from pricey mainstream fragrances to dish detergent. The Natural Perfumers Guild aims to take us away from all that by sponsoring a community event devoted to exploring the world of musky aromatics. A slew of bloggers and perfume writers, including me, will be reviewing and (here's the best part) giving away musk fragrances from some of the most interesting natural perfumers at work today. Go to Anya's Garden and Perfume Shrine for all the details.
The event is due to begin in July. Meanwhile, help me think about musks by telling me about the ones you like. If I had to pick a favorite myself, it would probably be Cuir Mauresque. CM may call itself a leather scent, but to me it is primarily a lovable musk. As for the cheap stuff, the best musk oil I know is the Fragrance Shop's 24K Egyptian Musk--a very refined, ladylike musk, as its name implies. It's just about the only simple musk oil I ever wear by itself.
Woman with a Cat, Lilla Cabot Perry (1848-1933)