Musc de Java brings cheerful fruit, specifically, berries, to the powdery sweetness of musk. Sounds simple, but could also go horribly, horribly wrong. There are musks and there are musks. My own love/hate affair with this particular glandular secretion (now all synthesized, no doubt) has me loving the richness, the decadence, yet also quickly growing tired of it's overpowering tendencies, as well as it's propensity to develop a "just barely turning stale" note on my skin. Sadly, both musk and berries have had some ugly turns with dime store renditions. When reading the notes for this number, one almost immediately pictures a bottle that arrives with a free teddy bear keychain and a coupon for ear-swabs.
With those biases clearly in mind, I plunged in and found Musc de Java to be redolent with a childlike cheer, sweet, but thankfully not at all cheap or junky. The berries are a soft round drop of Chambord, which is in dramatic contrast to other musk and berry offerings out there - for example MPG's Fraicher Muskissme and L'Artisans Mure et Musc, both of which have their own grand merits, but are quite quite different frags. In contrast to their bright fresh fruit hearts, Musc de Java lets the title character have all the glory.
Powdery, the musk has great longevity on me, long after the berry notes have faded away. Certainly, each will have their own experience with this one, (musk always lingers powerfully with my chemistry), but I'm pretty sure that the very pleasant, very gentle overall effect will be universal. Not so sure about that Unisex designation - this is a pretty fluffy little frag. I suppose the drydown drifts a little bit more into the androgynous zone, but there are certainly none of the harsher male notes here. Enjoyable, with a cling that could become cloying if applied carelessly. All around, a quite, quite nice one.
and no teddy bears.
This is a very sheer fragrance. The musk and the berries form one of those endearingly charming feminine diaphanousnesses that are delicacy personified. I almost didn’t test this because of the violent leaf note listed in the pyramid, but in Musc de Jave the violet note doesn’t cause me any negative reaction. The hay / honey accord is lovely and forms a fine refined texture that platforms the sweet berries and echoes the musk. The dry down is almost nonexistent. As usual, with a scent this delicate, the longevity is short enough to be a problem.
The aura, and even the notes to some extent, of this scent remind me of Hanae by Kieko Mecheri and Fraicheur Muskissime by Maitre Parfuneur et Gantier, both of which have much better longevity: They might be better alternatives for one who enjoys the transparent beauty of Musc de Java. Because of its beauty and delicacy I think “thumb’s up.” Because of its poor lasting power I think “neutral.” It’s a flip of the coin… (Edit of 23 May 2008 review.)
23rd May, 2008 (last edited: 31st October, 2009)
Very very nice scent. Gentle and beautiful
blend of berries, light musk and something which gives me an impression of a fresh from the oven, buttery buns. Very nice. In someways, very melancholic scent. Evocative, too.
The downside is insufficient longevity and overall impression of weakness in the drydown.
Ah, it`s that fading beauty!!
My favorite!! This is not complex but it is my pleasure to own it. It gets compared to L'Artisans Mure et Musc but it's like comparing apples and oranges. This is sweet hay, honey, and blackberry with a slight touch of musk.
A delectable, soft, honey-sweet dry grass greenness that faintly echoes a muted fig note with a persistent but diffuse fermented sweet, red wine note. Very original. Its only fault is poor longevity.