Muscs Koublai Khan is one of those fragrances perfume lovers dare each other to smell because the scent is so animalic and strong that everyone ought to try it at least once.
In Bottle: So I didn’t get much animalic at first but there is something in my initial whiff of this that told me I was in for a ride. There’s something dense in the bottled scent, a bit weird but otherwise the top is green and brown–hard to describe in terms of words but Muscs Koublai Khan smells like this mishmash of complex, dirty ideas.
Applied: Upon application that complex mishmash of ideas comes to a full realization and I’m hit right in the nose with a big civet, business-end first. Now, I’m one of those people who have to get used to the idea of a perfume before I can fully appreciate it and I don’t fully appreciate Jicky for how she smells yet. But she had a temperance with lavender–Muscs Koublai Khan is straight up dirty civet with a fecal smell that I’m having a troubling time getting over. There’s a slight powderiness to this that’s trying to clean it up a little but it’s a bit meek by comparison. It’s funny too, as there’s a layer of flowers behind the poo that my nose is trying to smell instead. Now, Muscs Koublai Khan is not the kind of fragrance you pick up and enjoy the first time for a lot of people. I didn’t expect myself to like this, but I do find it absolutely hilarious as it confuses my nose and keeps me coming back. Each time hoping it’ll transform into something else if I let it age a bit more. I can’t quite comment on anything else but Muscs Koublai Khan smelling dirty, very animalic, with a funny venting of florals like it’s trying to apologize. This is warm, it’s complex, sensual even. But it isn’t for me and I’m not sure I’m going to go out of my way to understand it much more. I already appreciate it for its concept, I think me and Muscs Koublai Khan can leave it at that.
Extra: Muscs Koublai Khan is like perfume that spent a day rolling about at the zoo then bathed itself a bit in flowered water. It’s a strange but alluring mix, very masculine a little off-putting and takes a while to get used to and love but when you do, this stuff really takes off. It just didn’t take off for me.
Design: Bottled like other Serge Lutens fragrances, Muscs Koublai Khan is presented in an unpressuming thin rectangular glass bottle with a tall cap. Minimalist approach appeases me.
Fragrance Family: Dirty
Notes: Vegetal musk, costus root, labdanum, rockrose, grey amber, vanilla, patchouli, ambrette seed, moroccan rose.
Obviously a fragrance for acquired tastes and I haven’t yet acquired such taste. Maybe in a few years, Muscs Koublai Khan, when I’m a little older.
Reviewed in This Post: Muscs Koublai Khan, 2010, Eau de Parfum.