I love cheap thrills, and L’Erbolario do cheap thrills well. This is the infamous Musc Ravageur clone, and as I write this, I have Méharées on one arm and Musc Ravageur on the other. The parallels are there, but this is not a full substitute.
Méharées starts with a spicy cinnamon and a delicately metallic clove. The clove delivers a faint medicinal chill to what is otherwise a warm tea-like oriental. It’s more balsamic than sweet, and there’s a fig/myrrh kind of desiccation to it. It’s somewhere between chai and an oily benzoin. The scent is quite linear and flat, but it wears pleasantly and is absolutely worth the $25 or so that it costs for a 50ml bottle (I had a friend bring it back from Italy for me). However, if you compare it to Musc Ravageur directly, its inadequacies are revealed.
The most obvious difference between the two is the musk. Musc Ravageur has a blistering civet at the start that’s entirely missing from Méharées. Furthermore, Musc Ravageur is more bodied and refined whereas Méharées comes off as gaunt and shrill in comparison. Having said that, over the course of thirty or so minutes, the two scents drift closer together and what’s left is a fairly analogous base, but I still wouldn’t say they’re identical. Musc Ravageur becomes a rich tonka over time that remains fairly refined; Méharées is notably hollow and higher pitched in comparison, becoming more of a synthy vanilla-resin affair. Musc Ravageur maintains its raunchy musk whereas Méharées never had one to begin with. Méharées smells cheaper in comparison, but not necessarily cheap unto itself. And that’s the key here: Musc Ravageur is about 8X the price of Méharées, but Méharées doesn’t smell 8X as cheap as Musc Ravageur. One way to look at Méharées is that it’s a sturdy, simple scent that just happens to resemble a more developed and expensive scent. While fans and owners of Musc Ravageur would inevitably be let down by this, for the less nitpicky, the dramatic price difference makes Méharées well worth it. It’s no true substitute because it lacks what makes Musc Ravageur what it is: the musk. But if you hate Musc Ravageur’s animalic musk yet enjoy the warm spiced vanilla-tea that it becomes, and as long as you’re okay with a less cultivated composition overall, go with Méharées and save yourself a massive chunk of change.
I was captivated by the smooth, creamy and warm scent of the Méharées soap bar and, encouraged by the hosannas ringing on the internot, ordered a bottle of the Acqua di Profumo as a fairly safe bet. This latter is a jaw-dropping disappointment. Whereas the soap combined the dry warmth of myrrh with a silken touch of spice, the perfume attempts a sweet myrrh rendition which goes from candied orange with the most jarring synthetic screech (of the pan-scrubber variety) to an indigestible, sloppy sweet amber in the deep drydown.
The background noise on this one is deafening. I knew things were not going to plan when this opened with a blast of ‘fresh’ notes (sugary faux citruses mainly, with perhaps a smidge of lavender thrown in), instead of the grand desert caravan theme proposed by the myrrh, spices and dates which are supposedly at the heart of this creation.
Obviously this is a glorious creation for many but blind buyer beware, the perfume variant has none of the restrained luxuriousness evident in the scenting of the soap, and I for one found it quite hideous. I can’t do any Musc Ravageur comparisons as I haven’t tried MR yet.
Meharees has been compared to Musc Ravageur, and I would say there is a definite resemblance, particularly in the opening. I would state that the drydown of Meharees is different in two aspects: overall, it feels thinner; also Meharees has definite myrrh note not present in Musc Ravageur. A nice fragrance and good value!
Ok so I have a decant of musc ravageur. And I really love the drydown but for me its about an hour of hell to get there so I rarely commit. Now first let me say this. 99% of the time when someone says "the new XXX fragrance is IDENTICAL to Brand XXX I roll my eyes and go about my day. I heard this about many scents from clones of aventus, SDV among others. Nearly every single time it is painfully obvious that the scent is NOT as close as people claim (wish) it is and the quality usually leaves a lot to be desired. In this case everything you read about this being identical to Musc Ravageur is true. I will break it down very simple.
BUY IF: You love the drydown on musc ravageur and really dont like its opening and wish you could have the identical scent but have it start out being that musc magic right from the first spray.
DONT BUY IF: You have a medical condition that doesnt allow you to think properly and use common sense and logic. JUST KIDDING. Seriously though If you like the opening of Musc Ravageur and feel you need that in the beginning and you just dont like substitutes no matter how good they are then still with musc.
IMHO Meharees is actually better than musc as a scent. Not only is it more pleasant in the opening but I think while the smell seems identical to musc it to me actually smells of a higher quality. Musc to me smells old and dirty. Sorta stale. Meharees is like a creed in the sense it has a freshness to the notes but never synthetic. There are very few low priced masterpieces in the world today and even less that truly beat the very thing they try to copy. I will be selling my musc ravageur. This is simply better in every way. And the performance is just as good on my skin.
I am in love with this scent. It is spotty but it will last 8+ hours with two sprays. All around great cologne for a man. You can not over apply this.