Perfume Directory

Jovan Musk for Men (1973)
by Jovan

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Jovan Musk for Men information

Year of Launch1973
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 188 votes)

People and companies

HouseJovan
PerfumerMurray Moscona
Parent CompanyBenckiser > Coty Inc > Coty Beauty
Parent Company at launchJovan

About Jovan Musk for Men

A classic musk fragrance for men. You can obtain a free sample (while stocks last) at www.jovanmusk.com/musk/tryitfre.htm The offer is only available in the USA.

Jovan Musk for Men fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Jovan Musk for Men

I absolutely love this fragrance. It is very calming uplifting and linear fragrance. Remains the same on my skin from the beginning to the end. It just makes me feel happy. This is such an inexpensive scent so I have always have a bottle of this.

Don't just dismiss this as a cheapie.

give it a try.

You might just get hooked like me.
20th December, 2018
Can't pass up a chance to recognize how important Jovan Musk for Men has been for me in my cologne using and collecting history...

Jovan Musk for Men was one of the most commonly seen fragrances that I'd seen as a child in most men's bathroom medicine cabinets or bedroom dresser counters. It has an unmistakaly virile, masculine quality that influenced what I would consider to be the standard for musk-based colognes. Full floral-leather-musk character that always impressed me for its boldness and effectiveness as a bracing, reliable scent for almost any man I knew.
11th September, 2018
Overall I get straight up strong spicy musk from this cologne/aftershave with hints of lavender, mint, and citruses (but mostly musk); provides a nice burn too after shaving; very manly smelling, I really like it. It's both clean smelling and spicy at the same time. Also, it's extremely masculine; one of the most masculine fragrances I've ever tried. Cheap and good.

4/5
03rd May, 2018
J˘van Musk has one of the most interesting and unlikely of stories one will find in the perfume world. Love it or hate it, the stuff came to define what "musky" was for many people throughout the 70's and 80's. First and foremost, Barry Shipp was not a perfumer or even a colognoisseur himself. He wasn't from France or the UK, didn't study under anyone, and was just a simple entrepreneur when he literally stumbled upon the idea to make J˘van Musk. According to Shipp himself, the idea came about during a business trip to New York. He observed some hippies in a head shop buying musk oil along with their paraphernalia, and when asked why musk, answered with praise for musk's aphrodisiac qualities and ability to mask odors (like pot smoke). Shipp then got the idea to make a mainstream musk with the chemical "white musk" substitute for the pricey natural oils and similarly market it for it's supposed virility-granting properties. Even the blurb on the "talking" box (as Shipp called it) would speak of the wonderous J˘van Musk could deliver for it's wearer, plus with it being given away free at rock concerts and other places youth would gather, this almost guaranteed it's success. The best part here is J˘van Musk, like all future fragrances made under the brand up until the 80's were created by Shipp's friend Murray Moscona, who was a chemist and inventor who worked mostly with commercial flavorings and not even perfume. He goes uncredited for later things like J˘van Grass Oil (1974) and J˘van Sex Appeal (1976), but all of J˘van's early snake oils were made by a guy more likely to make the flavor of your favorite candy than your signature scent.

The original J˘van Musk Oil released in 1972, but due to American mainstream perceptions of there needing to be a gender divide in fragrance, his and hers eau de colognes and eau de toilettes launched the following year, and were just lighter and darker shades of the original oil to be honest. J˘van Musk for Men is a rather simple affair, combining a laundry-like soapy opening with a few barbershop nods before digging deep into a synthetic white musk base that simulates the sweaty raunch (poorly) of real animal musk with a few flanking base notes. Lime, lemon, peppercorn and carnation create the opening salvo, with an almost amateur straitforwardness that reminds you this was composed by a flavor chemist. The middle of lavender and mint feels almost like an "arbitrary" barbershop vibe tossed into the men's version (absent in the women's take), because that's what would get John Q. Public in 73' to wear it. The synthetic white musk molecule is rather quite heavy as to be expected in a fragrance labeled as a musk, but unlike the competing Alyssa Ashley Musk (1969) or Monsieur Houbigant (1973), J˘van doesn't keep it safe and tosses in some faux ambergris, a peck of cumin, and sandalwood to keep it in that "head shop musk" vein that was the intial inspiration for Shipp. It's not going to compare to anything like Kiehl's Original Musk (1963) or anything a modern niche house would make, so don't expect the fat of the animal you slaughtered to be in this, but it is a nice entry point regardless of gender for a person wanting a musk that is a tiny bit provocative but still relatively safe. This men's version of J˘van Musk does have that clumsy barbershop intro, but it's certainly no worse for the price than anything found in a drugstore also from this era, just with an enhanced bottom end.

The big problem with J˘van Musk for Men in the 21st century is it's former ubiquity in the 20th. This stuff was so cheap, so readily available, it became a dating lure for every sleezeball and alcoholic from coast to coast, since it was actually advertised as such with blurbs like "Made in Chicago so you can get made anywhere". None of this helps it's image for potential new customers since everyone is just going to automatically think of horny, desperate guys in flower print shirts driving 70's land boats down the boulevard looking for action, which was the money maker then, but worthy only of cringe nowadays. J˘van themselves have tried multiple times to address this issue and shake that reputation with new musk flankers every decade or so, with varying degrees of success, but the original is still the best for most folks (but not me). Coty, Revlon, Avon, Shulton, MEM, and everyone in this segment made a standalone musk or musk flanker to their popular lines in response to this, so it must have been a real game-changer. I personally find J˘van Musk for Men hard to wear due to it's barbershop-meets-bordello vibe, even if I put up a mental block to all it's accumulated stigma over the years, and much prefer J˘van White Musk for Men (1992), which is far more balanced and versatile. This old war dog is still made so there must be plenty of brave folks out there sauntering into the night doused in this stuff, ready to practice their one-liners on a fellow barfly that's had one Long Island Iced Tea too many, I'm just not one of them.
14th April, 2018 (last edited: 24th September, 2018)
In all the years I've enjoyed this linear fragrance I can't help but slap my forehead in shock and say 'man I'm reading some serious exaggeration on Jovan Musk for Men (scent wise).I don't get spearmint,spices,woods,lemon,lime,pepper,carnation..none of that.Here's what I smell...

I get through the splash a similar sensation to the lemon/bergamot/lavender foundation of Tabac Original and Vetiver by Guerlain.Switch out the lemon with clean and juicy orange though.Turn down the bergamot a bit to let the lavender cut through which brings out the soapy quality more and gives a brighter/cleaner structure.There is musk in this scent but I feel it slithers it's way through the bergamot note,so it's light.No this stuff isn't anywhere near as deliciously musky as an old Halston Z-14/1-12 scent...but it's there.It doesn't evolve or morph,notes don't blossom out on drydown...smells the same start to finish.

If you try Jovan Musk for Men and like it?I wouldn't be surprised.In that regard it's a pit stop on the road to something more interesting for your nose.To others it just smells good and is wearable year round.Not loud or overpowering,not hard to find...just nice smelling for it's price.

11th January, 2017 (last edited: 22nd February, 2017)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Reviewing the vintage formulation:

A fresh, lemon-cum-mint dyad combines with white musk in the opening blast. Very agreeable.

In the drydown floral elements come to the fore, including lavender and a restrainedly sweet carnation, with the latter being stronger on my skin and with a green whiff present at times.

In the base the floral and citrus elements evaporate and make place for a woodsy impression, with the misk gradually fading into the backgound, but with a gery discrete light and bright soapiness in the background towards the end.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection and seven hours of longevity.

This musk creation is purely based on white musk and throughly void of any dark or animalistic characteristics. Whilst the latest version might be a bit blander, in its original beauty, whilst nothing special, it is a pleasantly summery white musk, and one of those as nice as white musks can be in this league. 3.25/5.

03rd January, 2017

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