Reviews of Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido

    Find out more about Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens Les Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    tessera's avatar

    United States United States

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    Clean, soapy musk and barnyard. The two don't blend, but take turns: soapy musk and then hay and animals. Very disappointing for such an infamous and talked-about scent.

    12 October, 2008

    LuciusVorenus's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is truly a great perfume. It is not sweet like the other lutens. It is a simple, delicate, animalic thing, that really turns me on. The smell of musk is the olfactory equivalent of a tender kiss on your cheek. I always feel like making out when I smell this perfume. If you can buy it, please do it!

    07 October, 2008

    mademoiselle_nicole's avatar

    France France

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    This fragrance is touching in the deepest , dirtiest way, comforting and disturbing all at once.

    The first thing I get from it is unwashed intimate parts of a male.
    The first impact is dry urine and other excrements, mixed with sweet tobacco of a chain smoker, dusty polyester trousers and an unwashed body warmed by the sun.
    Smelling it makes me smile because my nose gets lavanda,civet, tobacco leaves, leather, castorum and labdanum, vanilla, and maybe also fava tonca... woven into a devlish masterpiece. Comforting because of its human scent.and at the same time terrorising... because of its human scent.
    It is what we would smell like if we did not have showers and fresh clothes at hand every day.
    It is comforting because it reminds us of our human roots and leck of perfection, it 's so real. But in a society where everything has to function perfectly and be anti-septical, this fragrance will scare all who try to cover all human smell.
    I think it is like caron pour un homme who chain-smoked, drank and partied for a week without ever popping into a shower. I think I would wear this in combination with a stunning evening dress for a dinner with someone I have an open revenge with. It is so breathtakingly beastily terrible that it is already genial.
    A fragrant insult and a masterpiece.
    It does not smell good though.
    Something that might leave You in doubt... did she or did she not... wash? It is freaky. I love it

    25 September, 2008

    mrclmind's avatar

    United States United States

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    I am not a huge fan of the Serge Lutens line. I appreciate them, but they are not my style at all. As a whole I find that their compositions tend to have sharp edges and are composed to be very bold, with very discernible delineations of each note, rather than seamless integrations of accords. This is the style of this house and they do a great job with that particular aesthetic, but they are not generally to my liking.

    Having said all that, Muscs Koublai Khan is a masterpiece. Anyone who has spent time with actual animal musk tinctures knows that many animalic notes in modern perfumery are far away from their natural counterparts. MKK is a massively successful recreation of true-to-nature animalic perfume notes. Although there are also non-animalic notes in the composition, they are purely ancillary to the 4 note accord of Musk, Civet, Ambergris and Castoreum. It is quite an accomplishment given that no animal products were used in the making of this perfume. This is a scent that many will like and others will find difficult to wear; however no one who is familiar with the natural notes that are recreated in MKK can argue with the fact that this is a masterful creation. My hat's off to this house. Bravo.

    23 September, 2008

    PigeonMurderer's avatar

    Finland Finland

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    If someone would ask me what is that one fragrance which every serious male frag-head should own, my answer would be this, Muscs Koublai Khan. (In full-size that is, just because this juice if anything should be admired from that wonderful, classical bell jar bottle)

    A true work of perfurmery art. Stays close to the skin, this is the ultimate essence of man. Actually, in a way, most masculine fragrance ever created. Primitive, sensual, erotic and extremely natural.

    Magical Sheldrake composition for men, it is ridicilous for me even think about this on a woman.

    16 September, 2008

    tort2's avatar

    United States United States

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    Having purchased a vial of MKK decant, and saying my prayers, I was besides myself when the package containing said scent arrived. A spritz to my wrist produced a visceral response. The opening was floral in nature and brief. The heart notes, when they arrived, transformed a civil and non-judgmental night, into a night filled with one epiphany after another.

    The mid notes (heart) are not putrid and wanton. To my nose, the leather/tobacco was quite muted. However, an hour in, a new presence made itself known. As so many others noted, this presence was (once again, to me), smelled of male genitalia, mixed with 2 days worth of secretions and some hint of its (MKK) brief and transient acknowledgment to Western standards of cleanliness.

    In short, a masterpiece.

    13 September, 2008

    JonB's avatar

    United States United States

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    An animalic musk with a floral opening. I really don't find this skanky at all. Nice, but like all Lutens scents, a bit pricey. Layers great with many fragrances. Definitely thumbs up, and don't be scared to try it

    12 September, 2008 (Last Edited: 19 July, 2010)

    crunkjuice's avatar

    Germany Germany

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    Includes:

    civet, castoreum, costus roots, cumin, labdanum, Moroccan rose, ambergris, ambrette seeds, beeswax, vanilla and patchouli.

    Very hard but perfect for me!

    20th August, 2008

    Merlino's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    MKK by Serge Lutens is the most interesting fragrance I own. It may have some people running for the nearest exit but it pushes all of my buttons in exactly the right way. Believe it or not, for me this is a comfort scent that, while animalic and dirty, doesn't really make me think of sex all that much. Actually, it reminds me more of being around wild animals in Africa than of doing the wild thing.

    On my skin MKK is basically as animalic as it gets. I've had friends try it and on them it was much calmer and more floral. I don't get much of the rose that's supposed to be in it. The only thing that makes me believe it's in there is the dry character of the heart notes. I would have liked a more prominent rose note but alas, my skin won't allow it. What I do get is cumin and musk all the way, and being a BIG fan of both I love this one.

    I've just done a side-by-side MKK versus MR so I felt like it was about time to write a review. It's striking how tame MR is compared to MKK. I have them on the back of my hands right now and I have to do my best to smell MR because MKK is so strong by comparison. I do think these two fragrances somewhat belong to the same category but MR is much more overtly sexy while MKK just is. I could see myself owning both at some point in time. However, if I had to choose I'd take MKK over MR any day.

    13 July, 2008

    eugenie's avatar

    United States United States

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    I agree with those who say some of the reviews are getting out of hand. I mean, don't get me wrong - if there were a perfume that smelled like - oh, animal secretions, or bodies intertwined, or such, I'd be first in line to check it out. But this isn't that. It's very pretty, very wearable, a nice incensey rose with musc to hold it down and add sweetness, and some artificial animal juice, and my beloved (real) costus and ambrette to add texture. I wish I didn't love it so much...as dear as they sell their little bell jars, this remains my go to scent when I can't decide what to wear, from days in the woods, to evenings dancing - this is actually the best perfume I've found for oriental dance performances; it can be stunningly feminine.It's just beautiful, on men on women on anything in between.

    11th July, 2008

    FloatingPoint's avatar

    United States United States

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    Balls-to-the-wall musk in a bed of cumin and flowers. Does it actually smell like groin? I don't think so. I think people are letting their imaginations get the better of them. Any man whose testicles smell this good should be awarded the Legion of Honor. It doesn't smell like armpit, either. What it does smell like is musk, of very high quality, and lots of it. I like to spray it on when I walk out the door with just a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and bed head. Magnificent stuff.

    26 June, 2008

    afraafra's avatar

    Iran Iran

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    Type the words Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan into Google and you'll wind up with a deluge of hyperbole: "shocking and erotic", "raw, dirty and sensual", "musk, salt, armpit and leather, in that order", and my favorite piece of ridiculousness: "the aftermath of bodies intertwined in coitus".

    Uh-huh. Right.

    People, please -- can we have some perspective when it comes to talking about a frickin' perfume? One of the reviewers said she let her fourteen year old daughter smell Muscs Koublai Khan and the girl said that it smelled kind of pretty, like incense, which is a far more perceptive and honest statement than all the noise about skank, sweat and armpits her mother was raving on about.

    I've been in a lot of locker rooms, played baseball, football, soccer and basketball with a lot of sweaty guys, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that there's nothing about Muscs Koublai Khan that smells remotely like a rank armpit or a sweat soaked guy, and I have this suspicion that some women (and some gay men) who review this perfume engage willingly in a kind of mass Harlequin Romance delusion about how men smell when they sweat.

    Really, we don't smell anything like Muscs Koublai Khan when we sweat. If we did, we wouldn't need Muscs Koublai Khan, and need it we do if we desire to smell at all dashing or charming when standing at a doorway, a bunch of flowers clutched in one hand and a finger pressing the doorbell.

    Muscs Koublai Khan is, instead, exactly how the level-headed fourteen year old girl described it -- a little sweet, a little smoky incense and kind of pretty (albeit underscored with a warm, rich synthetic musk for lots of depth). The rest of the twisted-knickers crowd twittering their skanky fantasies over Musc Koublai Khan reminds me of the same sort of reactions that get twittered over Caron's Yatagan -- since it doesn't smell like a powder-puff, the more, erm, delicate souls among us succumb to the vapors and immediately start hallucinating fecal matter and men's sweaty armpits.

    Believe me, how they jump from a bottle of rather nice, lightly floral and smoothly musky cologne to writhing coitus, sweaty balls and "every secretion ever extracted from a mammalian backside all rolled into one" reveals far more about them than it does about Muscs Koublai Khan.

    ref:
    http://www.nathanbranch.com/2008/06/musc-koublai-khan-by-serge-lut.html

    25 June, 2008

    surreality's avatar

    United States United States

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    I have to say that after reading some of the reviews, I was intrigued but also a little intimidated by MKK. But after wearing this regularly for the last 2 months MKK is without doubt my favorite fragrance.

    I have to agree with floatingpoint, those who think this smells like groin, or homeless person drenched in rosewater are letting their imaginations run wild (but purple prose like that makes for interesting reading). Yes its dirty, yes its animalic, after all this is a musk perfume that contains castoreum and civet, but it is so much more. What starts off as a smoky and animalic soon (20-30 mins) settles into a rich, deep musk lifted by rose and beeswax notes. The extreme dry down (7-8 hours after application) introduces notes of leather and salt into the mix.

    One would think that a perfume like this wouldn't play well with others, but it layers surprisingly well, especially when worn with Duro. It also works well with lighter fragrances like Acqua de Biella that use a musk base note; a dab of MKK adds complexity and depth without masking the lighter fragrance altogether.

    05 June, 2008 (Last Edited: 06 July, 2008)

    purplebird7's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is for men, not for women. It smells masculine, not in the sense that it uses notes for men, such as leather and tobacco, but that it smells like a man. First there is a burst of powder, and then a sweet cumin note of perspiration, and then a warm enveloping musk--the aroma of a man's clean groin. On a man, it's perfectly nice, but on a woman? It's too butch for me. The musk is perfectly naturalistic, neither too strong nor too dirty. (Ava Luxe Rasa Extreme was dirtier.) To me, the fecal notes are balanced and "aired-out" by the musk. Overall, I would choose something sweeter, more vanillic, and without the cumin. So, I'm giving it a neutral from my own viewpoint, as to whether I would wear it, personally. I have never smelled this on a man, but I would rate it positive in that situation.

    05 May, 2008

    mcjra's avatar

    Philippine Philippine

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    First wearing was a little off putting, it smelled sweaty, heavy, animalic, and slightly sweet. The second wearing was SO much better. No more sweaty and heavy smell, just a nice animalic, yet still slightly sweet fragrance that made my mind wander to thoughts about the aftermath of bodies intertwined in coitus. A very erotic and seductive fragrance from SL. I wish it was easier to access it here in the US.

    13 April, 2008

    kopah's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    To borrow a phrase from Chandler Burr, it smells quite simply like "ripely-scented" male genitals - a scent that's almost physically arousing. The fidelity to the original is remarkable.

    I can't imagine why a woman would ever wear this scent. It seems designed to be worn by men, to attract sex partners in the most primal way possible. And in this regard, it's amazing.

    I do agree, though, that the first 20 minutes are overpowered by cumin. It needs that time to settle into its true form.

    11th April, 2008

    lookingglass's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dirty, dirty, dirty!

    It evokes images of all things sexy and lurid: hidden unclean parts, back rooms at adult video stores, the heat of bodies romping together, and wild dancing. A beautiful animalitic!

    17 December, 2007

    lookingglass's avatar

    United States United States

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    Dirty, dirty, dirty!

    It evokes images of all things sexy and lurid: hidden unclean parts, back rooms at adult video stores, the heat of bodies romping together, and wild dancing. A beautiful animalitic!

    17 December, 2007

    Scentsibility's avatar

    United States United States

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    I'm in my first full wearing of Muscs Koublai Khan today and I don't understand what all the fuss is about.
    I guess with all the hype I was expecting something brash, bold, controversial even. But MKK is none
    of these things. It reminded me a bit of an 80's power scent on the opening - not any particular 80's scent - just
    the profile. It was loud, but certainly not overpowering like the Kiehl's I once tried. It settled down quickly into a smooth musk with an unwashed edge. This was pleasant to me however, not rank or nasty, and I found no fecal or animalic notes. Quite contrary to what I was expecting, "subdued" is an appropriate term to describe this scent.

    It is sweet, but it stays far away from the realm of candied musk that is Musc Ravageur. It is, in fact, very natural smelling - and settles into a nice skin scent on me. I catch a whiff now and then and fancy it coming from my own pores. If my sweat smelled like this I wouldn't have the need for cologne. I'm certain that it was created for intimate moments with a partner - and it seems best suited for this. MKK is the smell of The Morning After... (minus the bad breath)

    With so many scents intent on covering up our natural odors, it's refreshing to find one that blends so naturally,
    and wears so unobtrusively. It's a nice change too from the cumin-laden scents that try to be dirty by design. Compared to MKK they all fall flat.

    08 November, 2007

    dagwoodbowser's avatar

    United States United States

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    MKK: Definitely a sexy, erotic in your face Musk that is like a walking, olfactory art gallery. I enjoy wearing it, but it's what I wear on dates, clubbing or for that special intimate moment. Due to cost, probably the most expensive of most of the other musks, I save it and savor the oozing droplets for the naughty women, especially if these are the kind of women that get off on scent and are going to be devouring along my love trail. For the purpose of what Musk is for, MKK wins hands down.

    01st November, 2007

    Kevin Guyer's avatar

    United States United States

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    Let's get a sleeper car on the Marrakesh Express - bring along your leather pants, you know the ones you wore all last year without underwear and never cleaned.........

    05 July, 2007

    jlros's avatar

    United States United States

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    Well well well... this scent goes through three very distinct phases and while I dislike the first two I love the third enough to outweigh the first two. I would go further and say while they drydown takes a long time the fragrance, in its final form, is VERY long lasting.

    I would describe the first stage as smelling like both the origins of perfumes and the reasons for them in the first place. It smells like the body odour and the floral you would imagine used in the days of Napolean used to cover it up. Either that or like a bad perfume being used to cover up the smell of a NY taxidriver from a certain region of the world in the summer.

    The second stage becomes sweeter, perhaps so much so that as a man who likes earthy, citrus and some orintals it is too sweet. During this phase the B.O. note recedes but is still there and strong when taking a deep whiff.

    The third stage, ah the third stage. I am partial to fragrances, on me, that smell human. That is to say not too obvious, out front or sweet. I think a frag should be a natural outgrowth of the wearer and not a cover or shield of the wearer. I guess that is why I am a great fan of more earthy and organic smells like MPG RDV and even the subtle cologne mure de musc. Here is where the brilliance of the Lutens shines in this particular scent. Yes, it starts off animalic, becomes animalic and floral but it ends up smelling like human intimacy. I do not mean sex, do not think fecal, think sweat may be closer but not that either. To me it smells closer to the smell of slept on pillows, of human closeness, of really close contact with another. It is warm, evocative and very slightly sweet and thankfully, in this stage, it is very long lasting.

    If this third stage sounds good, I would apply an hour before going out in public and would avoid spraying it on clothes as it wll not drydown to the third stage in the 'right' way. It is a brilliantly designed fragrance, the design was clearly about this third stage, do not discount the smell until you live this stage.

    01st June, 2007

    Quixotiq's avatar

    United States United States

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    It makes no sense at all trying to describe this gorgeous and unique work of art. THIS is my holy grail! This is my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This is my light at the end of a dark tunnel. This is ME! When I wear it, I feel as if I am complete. I wear it on my wrists. I wear it on the insides of my elbows. I wear it behind my ears. I wear it behind my knees. I wear it on the small of my back. I dab some on my "pleasure trail".. I wear it to work. I wear it to art galleries. I were it to bed. I wear it during sex. I wear it whenever I feel like it. No certain occasion needed.
    I am so proud to be the owner of this precious and exclusive masterpiece. Whenever I wear Muscs Koublai Khan, I feel like a better man!

    25 May, 2007

    GAIVS IVLIVS CAESAR's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Did you ever fall in love and spend seemingly weeks on end doing nothing but having sex five times a day, eating and sleeping? Well if you didn't shower in all that time, this is what it would smell like.

    There are several bang on (pun not originally intended, but it does work!) reviews below along these lines, among which Ayala's is probably the best and most eloquent.

    Basically this is a fragrance restricted for meetings with your lover, an evening out at the roman orgy/bachanalia, or a good bout of being alone and imagining that you're with your lover or at a roman orgy.

    Enjoy!

    08 May, 2007

    Mario Justiniani's avatar

    Cuba Cuba

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    Hey, what happened to my last review? Was it deleted in cyberspace due to references of Tarzan and Jane doing the wild thing while wearing MKK in their jungle treehouse?

    ( I hope I didn't suggest Cheeta for a menage a trois )

    Say, has anyone thus far mentioned that this is a 'dirty' musk which comes off as animalistic, sexy and sweaty?

    I'm not a fan of the BN adored SL, but this is the exception.

    Well, as the philosopher said:
    You can take man out of the jungle, but you cannot take the jungle out of man.
    5 stars.

    29 April, 2007 (Last Edited: 19 June, 2009)

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Notes: civet, castoreum, costus roots, cistus labdanum, ambergris, Morrocan rose, cumin, ambrette seeds, patchouli

    The notes are a powerful tour de force of all things animalic. I went in expecting smells of a wet dog, unshaved dirty hormonal crotches, sweaty armpits, dirty socks, etc. I came away confused.

    I dont know whether its the skin chemistry acting up, but what I get from MKK is sweet light airy floral which dries down to a sexy musk scent with hints of civet. While a pleasant smell, it smells quite feminine, really. It must be one darn potent Moroccan rose in use here. Something like Kouros blows the pretentious animalic doors out of this one, while Musc Ravageur does the sex/sensual/pheromone with much more sexual panache.

    Overall, MKK isn't a bad scent - its just not what I was expecting. Its a fairly tame, demure fragrance (never thought I would say that about a Serge Lutens fragrance!) with a light pleasant musky floral accord. Would I shell out the big bucks for a freaky bell jar of this one ? Definitely not. It doesnt stand out much in its composition, and cheaper alternatives about. All the talks of this smelling like Genghis Khans nether regions turned out to be false - it smells more like one his harems before the late night carnage of love making.

    30th January, 2007

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    It certainly communicates. It lets itself be known clearly and solidly, but many of us seem to be hearing different messages. Well, regardless, the message we all hear is “potent.” I do get the animal notes, but I don’t find this fragrance nearly as dirty as some have described it. As a matter of fact, it seems I am one of an apparent small but firm minority who see this as an excellently rich, warm, captivating musk scent that only plays for a time with the dirty side of the force. Dark?…yes, it’s dark, but with balancing sporadic occasions of sweetness, smoothness, and rich, mellow ambrette seed and amber. Animalic? …ummm…sure. There are wonderful of interludes of sensual animalic musk and an excellent castoreum rising to the top, and what can only be civet occasionally showing itself. Bodily eminences?…nah…I don’t get them. To my nose Muscs Kublai Khan has a luxuriously full combination accord of musk, patchouli, labdanum, amber, and (a very excellent) rose, incorporated in a typically steamy, sultry, luxurious Lutens offering. It has a dry down that sends shivers up and down my spine. It is terribly sensual and exotic and wearably dirty. I admire this fragrance greatly—it is truly sensual and opulent

    18 January, 2007

    linnea's avatar

    United States United States

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    Muscs Koublaï Khän is my new favorite scent. I opened my decant and was initially shocked at how soft and sweet-smelling it seemed. I put it on and at first it was very light and unassuming, and then once it warmed on my skin, a humongous cumin note exploded. When the fragrance started opening up I thought, "Oh God...I can never wear this to work!" I smelled the cumin and was afraid that I would get a ton of funky cumin-type odor.

    However, the scent has changed a lot on my skin after 20 minutes. Since then it's gotten richer and richer. There's a definite incense note on my skin, and the scent is just fabulous. It's not funky or musty at all, just sexy, spicy, and very exotic.

    Someone here on basenotes posted something about, "Men smell like this all the time, but I think a woman might be embarrassed to smell like this." On me, it smells very nice. I am very pleased because I've got an entire bell jar of this stuff coming in the post, so I'm thrilled that it seems to work with my skin chemistry!

    The drydown on MKK is really spectacular. It's almost caramelly-sweet musk that makes me feel like the most desirable woman on the planet! The fragrance just keeps blossoming and getting better and better on my skin. I feel VERY sorry for the folks whose skin chemistry made it smell like a urinal. On me, this fragrance is delightful and I wear Muscs Koublaï Khän every day.

    02 December, 2006

    jimmyfresno's avatar

    United States United States

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    This fragrance is one of the best attempts at revisiting the amber/musk theme that can be so cloying in other lines. That being said, the funky "what's this?" crotchy pheremone/funky top note, very compelling, lasted five minutes on me. I was like, "WOW!" amazed that they captured that in a bottle. It actually smelled more precisely like the intimate areas of someone dark skinned. I'll go no further on that comment.

    While women may feel embarrassed to smell like this, men (even clean men) smell it all the time on themselves and it was no biggie on me. It also rides very close to the skin, so I don't understand the posts on how strong this is. I was actually prepared for way more funk!

    Still a wonderfully composed scent worth the two month wait and $200

    26 October, 2006

    robyogi's avatar

    United States United States

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    A very animalic musk, this one must be punched up with civet. I don't think I'd call it smooth, or suave, or sexy even...it's raw, pungent, and provocative. To me it smells like the downwind drift of a homeless person, someone who hasn't bathed in a while - all sorts of body odors melding. I guess this would also be the smell of a nomadic tribe in ancient times. Oddly, right smack in the middle of this is a rose note. It's almost like this same person has sprayed him or herself with a rose body spray, or rubbed some rose oil on their skin. Unlike most other Lutens creations, I don't get a lot of development from this. It just softens and becomes more approachable over time.

    MKK has very strong similarities with Kiehl's Musk, but MKK is the heavier, stronger of the two. Of course, being a Lutens scent, it lasts forever.

    08 October, 2006

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