Musc Koblai Khan's shy brother. I have no idea how this smelled when first launched, but now it is a not unpleasant, fairly animalic Musk. Apart from the initial Top note, which smells, to me, strongly of Benzaldehyde, and which I don't like, it settles into an enjoyable, slightly raunchy (can you have slightly raunchy?) fragrance. It is a lot cheaper than MKK, and not nearly as edgy. It can be worn when you can't think of what else to wear.
Honestly I think this cologne is highly overrated. It's pleasant, but after giving it multiple tries it just does't grab me. I don't detect any of the complexity others are mentioning (got it direct from Kiehls). All I get is a general clean spice smell. I can't imagine this getting much attention.
Don't get me wrong; it's great value. It's definetly a safe inoffensive scent that would be great for casual wear. If you're looking for a scent that is just "nice", this is the one. It's very inexpensive so credit where credit is due.
Original Musk by Kiehl’s is a really nice soapy-indolic musk scent, rich and straightforward, with a palette of grey-dusty nuances on the base and a luscious, exotic touch of tonka: fairly “chypre-sque” to some extents, as it makes me think of the drydown of many classic (mostly feminine) scents – mostly for the juxtaposition of musk and flowers, and the overall feel of dusty, slightly moldy nostalgia. More soapy than animalic though, so personally I didn’t think of other heavier musk scents. Powerful yet not tacky, on the contrary much pleasant and even quite refined. I find it intense and compelling, fairly dark, much versatile if you are into musk-soapy blends – otherwise it may be soon exhausting given there’s not much else apart musk and some flowers. The evolution is there, though: still musky, but progressively dustier, drier, silkier, always pleasantly “retrò”. I am personally not a fan of musk and this type of scents, but this is really nice and clearly a quality fragrance, so well worthy a try if you’re into musk.
Steve McQueen is your valet, looks you square in the eye, takes your keys, tells your girl to stay in the car, and proceeds to peel the face off your import sedan's tires before disappearing into the night....that is Kiehl's Original Musk.
I should start this review by saying that Muscs Khoublai Khan is my Holy Grail musk, and all other musks must necessarily fall in line behind it. However, based on versatility and wearability alone, I will say that Kiehl's Original Musk (the EDT) nudges ahead of MKK. This is a fantastic all-rounder musk that you can wear with total confidence in all types of situations and weather. It forms part of the true back bone of my wardrobe.
Kiehl’s Original Musk is kind of like a daylight version of MKK and not nearly as reminiscent of a man’s sweaty undercarriage. It very nicely straddles the demilitarized zone between clean, white musks and dirty, dark musks. Somewhere in the Guide, Luca Turin gives a lovely explanation for the appeal of the grand old Guerlain perfumes – he says that their genius lay in summoning up the disparate smells of an entire household at once, so, for example, you get both peaches and floor wax in Mitsouko, and custard and cigarette smoking in Shalimar. I think that is a lovely analogy, and I’m going to use it here too. Kiehl’s Original Musk smells like the entirety of a freshly cleaned public restroom in America, complete with two clean-cut American teenagers with freshly scrubbed faces taking each others’ underwear off in one of the stalls.
In other words, it smells of clean, and it smells of sex. People will want to hug you and lick you, simultaneously. It lasts all day and merges with the scent of your own skin to make one of the most heavenly (and summer-appropriate) smells of all time. Perfect for family barbecues.