Musc 25 Los Angeles is the first Le Labo fragrance I've tried, after purchasing the same city exclusive sample pack from Luckyscent. At first smell, it reminds me of Shanghai Lily by Tom Ford in that it's a soft white musk with significant floral elements, but Musc 25 certainly isn't as refined or as welcoming as Shanghai Lily.
Xs and Os wise, Musc 25 is adequate in projection and longevity but not up to its EDP concentration label in either respect. Also, I definitely regard Musc 25 as more feminine on my skin, so it's definitely not for me, but it seems to hit the mark as far as its description. On the other hand, Musc 25 really isn't anything special and it becomes horrifying at the price point, well above (nearly double at 50ml!) what Le Labo charges for its standard entourage. Not for me, but it might smell nice on a woman with some money to spend.
5 out of 10
The opening combined a lovely white musk with vetiver, resulting in a bright impression that is not my usual connotation when I hear the word "musk." A touch of rose and lily-of-the-valley are just discernible in the background, and in the base some ambergris is added. Not extraordinary, but well a well-made smoothly blended scent for cooler summer days and evenings. Adequate projection with poor silage, and a very decent longevity of six hours. Lacking complexity, overall just a thumbs-up.
Musc 25 fulfilled all of its promise on my skin - it was a pillowy, clean, ethereal white musk from beginning to end, quite lovely, quite mannered. The accent is on the powdery pillow embracing this musk. I have chypre skin, which may be why it didn't turn on me in the midnote, so I would recommend this one to anyone who handles chypres well. It's delectable, cushiony, soft and voluptuous, a winner.
A musk that is white, trite and not worth knowing; but if you wish to smell like fabric softener, don't hesitate.
Kiehl's Original Musk has similar ambitions but smells incomparably more appealing for a fraction of the retail cost.
My experience of this scent is quite similar to Somerville Metro Man's. Musc 25 starts off as a light, slightly sweet, high quality white musk on my skin; however, about 20 minutes later, things go badly wrong. The sweetness is replaced by a sour smell that reminds me strongly of industrial-strength hospital cleaner. Unfortunately for me, Musc 25 remains in this stage for the next 3 hours. In its last stages, the sour note dissipates somewhat, and the primary effect is Johnson's baby powder. My second and third test drives of the scent produced the same results. Fortunately for me (and quite unfortunately for my wallet), Labdanum 18 and Gaiac 10 both provide the soft, clean, skin musk notes that I love.
Le Labo Musc 25
For their 2008 Los Angeles exclusive, Musc 25, Le Labo wanted to create "angelic whiteness with a core of sin". To achieve this goal they signed up Frank Voelkl who is the nose behind Sarah Jessica Parker's Covet. As with the two other 2008 city exclusives this time the titular note is prominent and central to the scent. From the top you get a sheer white musk mixed with aldehydes. This is a quite lovely mix and is combined deftly to give this a clean beginning. The heart keeps the musk in place and adds a light rose to it. Towards the end of the heart is where the note that was described as " a synthesized representation of human semen" makes its appearance. While it doesn't reach the levels of in your face wretchedness of Etat Libre D'Orange's Secretions Magnifique it does turn this slightly sour on my skin. Thankfully like everything that came before it is only present in an ephemeral way and it doesn't last long, after that the base is almost refreshingly normal. As cedar and vetiver return the scent to its clean beginnings. Musc 25 is an ethereal scent much like many of Olivia Giacobetti's creations. This does create the stated ideal of surrounding an animalic core with angelic white. For me it is that animalic core's slightly sour feel on my skin that throws this one enough off the rails that I won't be lusting after this city exclusive as I have the other two. It is a thouroughly modern scent and I think on some people with those sensibilities this is going to be a flat out winner. Unfortunately I'm not going to be one of them.