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Musk for Men (1983)
by Avon


Musk for Men information

Year of Launch1983
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 13 votes)

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About Musk for Men

Musk for Men is a masculine fragrance by Avon. The scent was launched in 1983

Reviews of Musk for Men

I didn't typically climb back further than the early 2000's for Avon, because I found the company had a general lack of interest in making wearable scents for men between the mid 80's until the 2000's when they went all-in on the idea of a men's division for the first time since the 60's. That doesn't mean there aren't some nice hits among all the misses littering the male side of the 80's Avon catalog, and this proves it for sure, but it's just dangerously boring and tedious roads to travel in order to find it. I guess that makes me glad I stumbled across this by accident.

Just like Oland and Tai Winds from the early 70's, Avon had a few successes outside Black Suede (which is still made) in the early 80's, and Avon Musk for Men is one of them. Like most male fragrance tropes Avon chooses to jump on, the musk trope was already starting to become passe by the early 80's, as these potent, dark, rich, powdery juices with their heavy animalic bases were the epitome of overbearing "cologne men" in the 70's when these things raged. The aromatic fougeres also making their rounds at this time were actually lighter alternatives, and even they seem heavy by modern standards, but that's where the late-comer Avon Musk for Men breaks the mold. In a nutshell, this is a musk composed like an aromatic fougere, and might be confused for one if not for the rigid musk component in the base of it.

One has to realize that Avon released this a decade after Jovan Musk made waves alongside Coty Musk (which chased it around a year later as a softer alternative), so while Avon is always a bit late to the party with popular masculine tropes, they were really, really, really late with this one. Furthermore, it was Avon to boot, so folks couldn't just get it at the drugstore like the other two; Avon Musk for Men had to be peddled by the wife, mom, sister aunt, or whomever was the resident Avon Lady of the family, making it infinitely less convenient to order in an age before point-and-click shopping. The name of this gets around in circles of guys who ended up being gifted lots of Avon in their time, but few others mention it.

It's quite a shame too, because Avon actually took the good parts from the other two mainstream musks it riffs and removed what didn't work so much, simplifying and blending in that beautifully frugal-yet-elegant way Avon does (when they're on their A-game) to make something effective and pleasurably wearable. Avon's take on the "go-getter" cologne doesn't quite scream "I wanna take you home tonight" like it's predecessors, but it does project the same warm and inviting aura as them, just without the prescient bite of virility. It has something of a slight piney afterglow, and wears close to the skin like most Avon products from this period unless doused on clothing that won't absorb it like the body. It's a far more woodsy, herbal, and "brown" kind of smell than most stiffly powder-infused musks, and holds up a ton better to a bit of heat without going rank.

All told, it's sort of the ultimate conclusion for this trope, before the white musks, light musks, blue musks, green musks, and "insert declawing note here" musks started showing up in an attempt to make a musk less musky (which seems pointless). It's been revived several times over the years, but like most Avon products that don't sell hand over foot, it's been long discontinued, but with enough vintage stock from multiple production runs to make it easy to find, and relatively affordable. Try to get the 1983 original release with brown cap as I find it better blended and more subtle than the later aromachemical remix that is black cap version.

As with any old-style musk, do not wear this in high heat or to a business engagement, for even as the most civilized of standard musks, it's still outrageously masculine and burly compared to modern fragrances, like most aromatic stuff from this time.
27th August, 2017 (last edited: 31st October, 2017)
By far my favorite musk fragrance. Simple and perfect. Better than all the niche musks I've tried (I'm looking at you TF and Montale). A beautiful creamy sweet and slightly woody musk. I have the original Monsieur Houbigant Musk, and I love it, but I even prefer Avon to that. Sometimes perfection can be simple and inexpensive, though not often enough. This is the exception. Get the vintage, it's worth the trouble, and people are letting it go at ridiculously cheap prices if you look hard enough.
20th December, 2011
Rossi46 Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I absolutely love this musk. I haven't tried Kiehl's but I do prefer Avon to the very excellent Jovan musk. to me it's altogether warmer and I like the slightly piney accords that have been pointed out in other reviews.

As you can pick up Avon musk for such ridiculously low prices (as with a lot of excellent Avon products), I think it's an absolute steal!
01st March, 2011
This review is for the original version. The current Avon Musk is a reformulation and is not as dark or rich (and is a different colour), but it's still not bad. As with many an Avon release, Musk (the original) was incredibly under-rated and under-appreciated and also spectacular value for money, given the number of true musk ingredients that it was made with (the reformulation is, I think, entirely synthetic). Very animalic with lots of mossy and smoky accords and there's also a distinct powdery addition that follows from top to bottom to avoid that frequent danger of musks - fecal and uriney notes - and, for once, the sweet powder works. But it should be noted that it wasn't a bright and fresh musk like The Body Shop's offering. No, this was very definitely a brooding, masculine musk that punched way above its weight class, but was ignored and forgotten thanks to the Avon name, the plain box and unimaginitive bottle. A classic.
05th May, 2010
Musk? Yes. Oddly foresty and pineconey. Other than that, rather ok. Decent musk.
06th September, 2009
Well, it's back on sale in the UK as of 26th June 2010 and for the first time ever it's available in aftershave splash and aftershave spray versions. All good!!

I can't help but think there's been a wee bit of an adjustment/minor reformulation here. It's as a I remember it but the leather seems more prominent to me. Perhaps it's just the same as it ever was but not having smelled it in such a long time my nose is playing tricks.

Avon list the notes as Leather, Musk, Neroli, Bergamot. Nice and simple.

As noted in a previous review of mine, this fragrance has some sentimental value for me though I do like it in itself. I was disappointed when they discontinued it and equally delighted recently when I saw it was available again. Thank you Avon.

Do not be fooled by the low price! This is one of those diamonds that manages to dodge the spotlight. It is clean, sweet, refined and I think pretty suave. I don't often find myself writing such things about a fragrance at this price but credit where credit is due, Avon got it all so right with this one. I think anybody could get away with this and yet it would give a different account of itself on each person.

It does require discretion in use. Too much and you will ruin it but just a little bit and I promise you, people will ask. I can't make out the Neroli or the Bergamot too well but the interplay of the Leather and the Musk are just so good, so well executed. For sure, it's a little bit old school but it is good. There's a little harshness when it goes on but it very quickly settles down (matter of minutes) and starts to let it's mellow charms develop.

Let me do some word association; Warm, Inviting, Intriguing, Interesting, Refined, Sophisticated, Reassuring, Comforting, Beguiling, Provocative.

I strongly believe you could re-bottle and re-badge this with a bigger name, sell it at 7 or 8 times the price and nobody would question it's quality. I've tried Jovan and even Kiehl's in the absence of this baby. Now it's back and I for one couldn't be happier.

Again, to the peeps at Avon. Thank you. You have made me one happy customer :-)
12th July, 2008 (last edited: 26th June, 2010)

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