When people think “musk” their thoughts tend to gravitate toward the animalistic musks like civet then they wrinkle their noses thinking about intrepid perfumers chasing down civet cats in the jungles of the world. Very few fragrances still use naturally derived musks. Most of them are synthetics these days and hardly smell anything near animalistic.
In Bottle: Bright, pure and clean. White Musk smells like lightly perfumed water. It’s airy, translucent and fleeting like the molecules of some fabulous fragrance is carried by the wind to you. With that having been said White Musk, due to its nature, is extremely light and fleeting. Even in the vial, after a couple of sniffs, it becomes hard to detect.
Applied: Very, very, very light. I would have to bathe in this stuff to get anywhere close to the average strength that other fragrances enjoy. White Musk is a blank (in a good way), refreshing, powdery scent. Sort of reminiscent of baby powder but a great deal prettier with hints of sweet florals in it. Think luxury powder in a gilded silver case. It’s also soapy and very clean. I don’t feel like this fragrance is meant to be an entity of its own. Rather it’s a natural scent enhancer and the fragrance is just so happy, light, perky and soft.
Extra: Montale is a French niche perfume house headed by Pierre Montale. The house focuses on agar wood (oud) fragrances. They also have a line of regular perfume from which White Musk is a part of.
Design: Montale’s fragrances come in a metal bottle with a signature look. I have yet to actually hold one in my hand but the design itself is iconic for Montale fragrances and it looks attractive enough. At least it’s a step beyond the standard rectangle glass bottle affair that most niche houses would swear by.
Fragrance Family: Fresh
Notes: White musk, violet, ylang-ylang, geranium.
Probably one of the more common misconceptions about perfumes is the discussion on musk. A lot of people associate the word “musk” with dirty, sweaty, or stinky smells. Musk is often used as a scent fixative in many perfumes. These days there are thousands of synthetic musks in use that don’t smell at all sweaty, stinky or animalistic. Synthetic musks are great examples. With their usually clean, almost invisible sheerness, that makes them great fixatives for fresher, cleaner, modern fragrances.
Reviewed in This Post: White Musk, 2010, Eau de Parfum.