Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

Now I'm an oddball in perfumery terms - I dislike everything about "classic" masculine scents, the dry, the astringent and the woody. I'm a long way out on the unisex spectrum too, and am willing to wear things a lot of other men would find too challenging. In fact I think what other people describe as "skanky" or "animalic" in perfumery just equates to "warm" in my mental lexicon.

Now what about this stuff? Well, I love it. It doesn't say "dirty" to me at all. I'll agree that it has a certain Barry White edge to it - it's not an office fragrance, nor one I'd wear to a family lunch, but it's a rich aura of living, breathing, heart-still-beating aliveness. It's not by any means a slutty reek of "shove me up against the nearest wall" (not that I won't be looking out for a scent like that to add to my collection too). Something in the heart of this - I think the clove and cinnamon - is a dead ringer for Estee Lauder's Youth Dew (a favourite of my beloved grandma's), which makes it a comfort scent for me as well. It's rich and heady and warm, projects beautifully, but nowhere near as overwhelming as a powerhouse like Youth Dew.

Its longevity is jaw-dropping. It's still detectable after 36 hours and two showers, which I guess just shows you that Mother Nature goes all out to promote reproduction. Well, tell us something we didn't already know.

In conclusion? I happen to be a pagan, and the part of me that hates how uptight we are about sex in this society and would welcome a return to thinking of it as just something we human animals do is utterly delighted by this scent. However, the part of me that is well aware how quick others around me are to judge based on arbitrary and petty things also advises using with a degree of caution in the wild...
13th September, 2015
I was excited to try this on, but unfortunately I was let down. I could see how this fragrance could work for someone else but did not do the trick on my skin, in fact some might say it smelt kind of gross on me. However, I did find the fragrance to be unique. Certainly very musky, and I did not smell much vanilla or cinnamon when I wore it. Maybe it is be different on someone else. I enjoy woody fragrances but this one smelt too woody and musky to me and made me feel queezy. 5/10
03rd September, 2015
I love oriental, vanilla, and spice fragrances. However, I put off testing this because I thought it may be too masculine (even though it is listed for both male and female).

I love this! It is warm without being sugary sweet, and the cinnamon is fairly potent on me. It has a similar feel to Hermessence Ambre Narguile but without the strong gourmand presence.
27th July, 2015
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This stuff is just really bad,smells like there is some cat piss in it.Just cannot stand this at all....
08th July, 2015 (last edited: 18th July, 2015)

Deliciously weird stuff!MUSC RAVAGEUR is definitely one of the sexiest unisex perfume i've ever experienced.A unique,oriental and mysterious scent will grab your attention might miss its mark for unisex appeal,this is a makes for a sensual experience that tingles your intelligence as much as your sweet tooth.sensual and sexy in a classy way. more than two sprays of this will land you in trouble,so be very careful when applying. Sweet, Hot,Provocative,Irresistible,Sophisticated,Rich, Strong and Attractive.

This should definitely give you a shock when you first try the fragrance,after marveling at how unusual this opening is,you'll soon notice cinnamon in the heart.the notes turn sweeter and warm by vanilla and amber.the result for men is a very good evening getter for the ladies.intrigues woman that walk near you and leaves a unique lasting impression and the result for women is a sexy smell that just makes she want to bury her head in his neck and take a deep breath.Yes an absolutely winner in both the men and ladies.perfect for a hot winter night.


Longevity?Lasts and lasts.

09th June, 2015
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
I so want this to be the post-coital cinnamon roll that everyone describes. While I might not wear it, I wouldn't mind experiencing it, or keeping it for "special occasions." On me, however, it was a squeaky clean laundry detergent musk with a few fresh spices poking through occasionally. Thoroughly safe, sane and even quite pleasant. But what if other people smell the rutting stench of a dessert-fueled orgy, while I go around thinking I smell of fabric softener? Not sure if I want to risk that. I may try it again, in different weather, to see if it works its magic on me. Right now, however, the secretion-soaked bed sheets have been laundered and the pastry dishes washed up and stacked in the pantry, everything as neat as a pin.
04th June, 2015
Musc Ravageur is a big ole sex musk with a leer on its face. Luca Turin says it’s more flashy than good, and I’d agree, but then again, I don’t think Musc Ravageur takes itself all that seriously to begin with. It’s a musk with bedroom eyes and an Adam’s apple.

The more I wear it, the more I think of it as the male equivalent of Shalimar. It’s a big-boned oriental at heart, a crude, deconstructed version of the older versions of Shalimar extrait – all rude body musks, thick vanilla, and butter-like tonka. Objectionably rich, and quite pungent in parts.

Even the top notes of Musc Ravageur share a certain barbershoppy feel with Shalimar: in Musc Ravageur, it’s lavender and cloves, and in Shalimar, it’s something like herbes de Provence (thyme?). Perhaps that’s why so many men find the opening challenging – the pungent spices, dirty musk, and sweet vanilla churning their stomachs in a way they can’t handle.

But I’m a Shalimar girl all the way, baby, so this is familiar territory for me. People either hate the opening and love the dry down, or wish that the rough opening would last all the way through – me, I love every part of Musc Ravageur from front to end.

It smells like someone rubbed a vanilla-glazed Cinnabon across the sweaty perineum of a man who hadn’t washed for a few days. Hot, sweet, a bit dirty (in a good way). The combination of the rich, sweet vanilla, tonka, and sandalwood in the base is to die for, no matter where you stand on the exact dirtiness of the musk at the start.

I used to think that it was too loud and too dirty for a lady to be wearing outside the house. But then I realized that the Shalimar extrait I wear is pretty dirty and I wear that out of the house all the time. I think I bought into the hype about this being a disgusting, filthy, old-man kind of smell. Now, I just think it’s a fabulous gourmand musk/oriental that’s both sexy and comfortable. Vulgar? Yeah. Hell yeah! And so what! A bit of vulgarity never hurt nobody.
04th June, 2015
L de Lolita defined my fear of the gourmand genre. Thick scents of chocolate dessert are coupled with musks and ambers, both of which are known for their fixative properties. Amber 'fixes' the gourmand quality of L de Lolita the way concrete shoes 'set' in a mafia fable before you're thrown in the river.

Wearing L de Lolita could well be a Catholic-school lesson on the sin of gluttony and the threats of eternal hell. The anticipation draws you close, the titilation makes you give in, the satisfaction is the pleasure you've been denied. Then you continue to eat, unable to control yourself, long past the point of nausea and revulsion. Jaques Guerlain gave a seminar on the line between plenty and excess when he took Shalimar close to crème brulée, but then pulled back. The value of gourmand notes is in the suggestion or the temptation, not in the pudding. L de Lolita demonstrates the lesson by failing it and falling into the more-is-better trap.

So if L de Lolita (2006) is a sin against god, does Musc Ravageur (2000) have a more original sin?

I experienced Roucel's trio out of sequence. I first smelled Labdanum 18 (2006), then L de Lolita (2006) and finally Musc Ravageur (2000). I hadn't known that the same perfumer made all three, nor had I known that the two 2006 perfumes were derived from Musc Ravageur. Now I understand who's who, or better, who's the flanker.

Musc Ravageur is the template. The other two variations were made by turning up and down the volume of specific notes of the original. Labdanum 18 skips the aromatic topnotes but overdoses the sweet vanilla and powdery musk. Without the loud aromatic topnotes of Musc Ravageur, Labdanum18 feels listless by comparison, yet is famously le Labo's best seller. If Labdanum was made by subtraction, L de Lolita relies on the addition of chocolate and maple syrup to distinguish itself. The classic vanilla 'oriental' is given the chocolate-steroid treatment and the bergamot topnote of Musc Ravageur is twisted into a candied orange. Piling a maple syrup/imortelle/fenugreek note on top of the chocolate makes L de Lolita a Frankenstein-Gourmand and poster-child for the excesses of gourmand perfumery.

L de Lolita is so egregious that having smelled it a number of times seven years ago it tainted my experience of Musc Ravageur. This week I wore Musc Ravageur for the first time. I wore it three days in a row, haunted by the anticipation of recognition that wouldn't come. While distracted, the flashback to L de Lolita struck me in the gut and having made the connection, there's no turning back.

How might I have experienced Musc Ravageur if I hadn't first been affected by L de Lolita? We all arrive to a perfume with our bags packed, but the recycling of ideas across different lines without marketing the subsequent perfumes as flankers muddies the waters. Maybe I've been damaged by the Lolita perfume association and have made the jump to Nabokov's Lolita. With its effusive barbershop masculine reference and smarmy musky-amber sweetness Musc Ravageur reads like the perfume a stereotypical dirty old man would wear.

(Please don't take my 'kitchen sink' quibble with Musc Ravaguer as a blanket criticism. I'm all for excess in perfumery generally and in Roucel's work specifically. He's used it to great success in Guerlain Insolence, Hermès 24, Faubourg, Missoni by Missoni and Gucci Envy.)

17th May, 2015
Curious gross fatty smell with an angelic powdery veil, and a metallic note.

Doesn't ravage so much as set my teeth on edge.
04th May, 2015
The first impression gets the expectations up. Rich natural smell of clove, bergamot, and musk backed by some round wood merges into a raw and animalic body. But from there it's kind of going nowhere exciting to me. The drydown is a disappointment, i think it dulls down to a pretty average round and slightly sour musk/vanilla.

Objectively i can appreciate the craft behind it, all components feels vibrant and rich. But subjectively i'm left very untouched by the sum of said components.
13th April, 2015
Musc Ravageur is a wonderful composition centred around musk and clove. The initial impression is of a busy opening with hints of lavender. The transition to heart phase starts very soon where the cloves become more prominent. They finally subside to reveal a base of musk, woods with hints of vanilla. The overall fragrance is warm, cosy, enveloping and sensual. The musk is somewhere between clean and dirty. Musc Ravageur is a pleasure to wear and lasts a good time.

It is a beautiful interpretation of musk, and very distinguished too.
04th April, 2015
I would think of this as very personal kind of perfume. It sizzles on for a day but projection level is in the personal radius. You know it is there and you are surrounded by its cloud but it is very small cloud. People might not compliment/comment on it since they might not smell it on you. I experimented quite a bit with this one to know the level of sillage as I read too many reviews that said that this was a loud one. Musc ravaguer is true and wonderful oriental but its scent doesn't travel far. If you want to be noticed of your scent, you might be disappointed. Superb scent if you love and appreciate oriental like Shalima, but don't count on its sillage.
02nd April, 2015
Musc Ravageur is a hate-it-or-love-it scent. For me, it's a love-it.

Skanky is very much a personal opinion.

The opening of lavender with cinnamon is wonderful and it heads towards its musky, vanilla/amber drydown. It shares kinship with Le Labo Labdanum 18 and also L de Lolita Lempicka (also created by Maurice Roucel) with its prominent use of cinnamon, musk, amber and vanilla.

The eau de parfum of MR is very strong, and there is also the body butter.

Get past the musky, dirty opening and enjoy the drydown.

21st February, 2015
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What's all the hype about? After an hour, all I get is vanilla with a bit of chocolate. That's it. Very disappointed.
17th August, 2014
I certainly like this one... very much. I've heard of it as a love/hate type of fragrance but I think that this one is pretty tame and sensual to me. Apparently this was inspired by Shalimar, and I completely see that.

What Musc Ravageur reminds me of, is the old style of perfume classics like Shalimar and Jicky, wonderful rich orientals with civet, labdanum, amber etc. I get cloves, cinnamon and lavender in the opening, with a hint of caramelised mandarin. Fantastic stuff... but the dry down is where this starts to feel really really good. Soft and sensual musk and amber all the way, with sandalwood, tonka bean and guaiac wood. This is absolutely a soft yet spicy oriental, which I love.

It is however all about the musk, and if you've ever smelt pure musk oil, the high quality stuff, you'll find it here. However I would say the fragrance is mostly dominated by the spices over the musk, but it is there nonetheless.

Overall, is it worth it? I think you could get some of the same feeling from vintage Shalimar extrait, or with high quality musk oil. Probably by mixing the two. But really, I have to admit... Maurice Roucel is a genius, because this is one I have really fallen in love with. Yes, I think you should test it out if you can. If you love it then it will be worth the price, because we don't find vintage Jicky or Shalimar everyday now, do we? Still, very well done by Roucel. Sensual stuff!
14th August, 2014
Initial spray is to medicinal (clove). The base and the drydown is very good. But for the price, you may come out better purchasing Meharres. That way you get MR ' S base and drydown from beginning to end. 8/10
13th June, 2014
fantastic vanilla and cinnamon with some lavender and a hint of clove! and a tiny, tiny whiff of animalic note which soon vanishes!

dont know where people are getting the urnial notes or the civet or stink, on my skin this is a lovely vanilla and cinnamon with lavender...maybe i should try overspraying a few times on the same spot on see

maybe those who this smells animalic, maybe should try smelling some really skanky hindi out? :)

still on the fence on whether i want a FB of this or not :(

wondering if shalimar smells similar to this

EDIT: Ok i do get the civet/urinous note but very tame one. and the drydown is killer! Vanilla but not the cupcake type and something really awesome that i have never smelled before! On the old tshirt or pillows or bedsheets, after 24 hrs the scent that is left behind is pure heaven!

Going to be my next FB buy...cant wait to get a 100ml of this in my hands.

04th June, 2014 (last edited: 01st July, 2014)
This is a really nice fragrance!
The opening may shock you and you hate it at the first sniff.
It's very strong dirty and almost medicinal smell with sharp spicy note and noticeable sweetness in the background.
There are some green notes too, but very light in the background.
In the mid, that dirty smell started to decay and sweet smell become much stronger.
The sweet notes are vanilla mixed with strong cinnamon and while there are no coco and coffee notes in the note break down, I believe it does have coco and coffee notes as well. It's very warm, sweet, sensual and delicious.
In the base, the smell didn't change that much. you have this strong sweet, spicy, coffee and chocolaty smell till the end.
Projection and longevity? are you kidding me? it's insane! very strong and long lasting fragrance.
01st June, 2014
How curious I was to test this and how disappointed I am after sampling it , I cant say I hate it but One thing I can surely say that I cant stand it even for a few minutes , furthermore, proper blending of CIVET is not every perfumer's thing, I love Civet in Kouros which is blended in honey by One of the greatest perfumer ever.

Musc Ravageur starts from the heavy dose of synthetic notes of Amber and Cloves (eugenol) with a hint of Lavender which makes it sticky sweet and cloying, suddenly Animalic notes of Civet kicks in this is the stage where the problem starts, IMHO it has not been handled properly and it transforms into a play-doh like smell and a very out dated stuff which has a huge silage.

Both thumbs down for this.
20th May, 2014
Mr. TL Show all reviews
United States
This provocatively delicious gourmand took me on a scent-filled journey to…eh, who exactly am I trying to kid? Smells exactly like a $5 bottle of Palmers cocoa butter after a couple hours. First hour on my skin reminded of Carmex lip balm, mixed with a baby that needed to have its diaper changed.
04th April, 2014
Uhm... no for me. I get the musk (plus a sweet woody tonka accord) and sadly I get the "ravageur" completely. Frankly a bit too flashy and tacky. Gets better (i.e., calmer and more wearable) in the drydown.

19th February, 2014 (last edited: 05th April, 2014)
Musc Ravageur Is not for the Meek, It starts with cloves and Lavender making it strong in scent but there is something about it that lures people in to your world. I wear it because i love it. I wear it to bed after a shower! Thats how i know its for me first. Those that happen to ask what are you wearing, end up love the story behind the scent as well as the notes and how they change so much. The end of this is a masculine Vanilla its very fatherly with out being creepy. Just smells like someone you feel safe with. comfy. A master piece. Opening and base note are night and day. love that change.
09th November, 2013
An overall good fragrance with both high points and flaws

If you've been part of the fragrance community for a while, you probably know what people were saying about this one. It's hate or love. It's romantic, sensual, and sex-in-the-bottle. It's strong, powerful and daring. It has a strong controversial clove opening that you won't like but dries down into something truly special. This has been the hype. However, as I've tried it, I've personally had a totally different perspective on it.

First, that opening. Yes, it is strong. It has cloves/civet/musk/etc, lavendar, a blast of citrus, and the sweetness of the base. The opening is certainly a bit dirty and animalic, but not nearly as much as I expected it to be. It's overall well balanced and pleasant. Sure, it's not for everybody, but the opening to me is the high point of the fragrance. And keep in mind, I usually don't like old school powerhouses.

Despite all the claims how this is sex personified into a fragrance, it's rather tame. This especially comes true when the opening is gone after the first hour and the dry down comes in. Rather than continuing into that dark territory, it simply retreats into being a very safe fragrance. Not saying I would want the entire fragrance to smell like the opening, but I saw the transition as some sort of condemnation against the wonderful opening.

And in that dry down, it is a pretty good fragrance, but nothing truly special. It's vanilla with some cinnamon and spices sprinkled on, as well as a bit of a smooth woody note. They aren't composed in any meaningful way, nor are they deliciously gourmand, but rather they are just there. The transition between the opening and the base was among the best part, but after that it becomes rather boring. I would honestly prefer the conceptually similar Tobacco Vanille at drydown.

While strong in the opening, after the first few hours, while it does last a very long time, it's very hard to detect on the skin. 2 hours of insane projection followed by 20 hours of insanely weak projection is not ideal. As for versatility, while it is no swiss army knife, I still think it can be versatile (and not a special occasion only scent). Just spray lightly.

And, as for the whole "sex" description of this fragrance. I think it's different things to different people. Fans will say it's hot delicious passionate sex. Critics will say it smells like an old man or an old lady. Both of these perspectives, a bit extreme in my opinion. I don't agree that this is THE scent for seduction, but it does have some sort of romantic sensual vibe and if you asked my opinion of a fragrance of that nature, I probably would nudge you in that direction.

To me it's not something that I hate or love. It's not controversial or extremely rewarding. The first two hours are impressive (though not shocking or bold) and the remaining hours are pleasant (though not amazing). In the end, it is a very good fragrance. Recommendable? Sure, but sample before you buy.

Musc Ravageur is definitely a feral sex-loving man-beast. But one that is tranquilized, chained and bound inside a cage (and whether this is a good thing is up to you).

09th October, 2013
Dirty, sexy, sticky. I love it

This masterful witches brew can only be described as thick and sticky. This is kind of a bad comparison; but I feel like Pépé le Pew when I wear this(hear me out). I can just walk into a club and know that I stink, but I stink so good and I know you want me. I feel like everyone's french lover.

Definitely not a daytime scent. More like a club scene fragrance. It's hard to discribe what I love about it so much. I can understand that some people find it too heavyor unlikeable, but I think they just didn't have anywhere to wear this bad boy. It's gotta be the right time, right place, right man kind of situation. Wear it with pride. Be unapologetic and most of all proud and over-confident.

Good luck.

Pros: Unbelievable projection. I can guarantee no one will smell like you
Cons: Not for all. Needs to grow on you"

08th September, 2013
Musc Ravegeur

I purchased a bottle of Musc Ravageur in Barneys New York. My verdict- I Love this Fragrance. This parfum possess everything that I look for in a fragrance: warmth, spiciness, and a little dirty.

The beginning: a very sharp bergamot, almost Lavender-ish opening

The middle: turns into a burnt vanilla (not sweet) amber wood

The end: a musky wood vanilla-amber base

I wouldnt say this a very dirty fragrance, but it does tend to linger on the sensual side.

Longevity is superb as it stays on you 8+, with the next day the musk lingers.

Projection is excellent depending on who sniffs you. The younger the crowd, the less likely they will like it.

11th August, 2013
Soho, London, 1985. After the club shuts down, the clubbers gather at the all-night patisserie for coffee, pastries and gossip. Everyone is crammed together in the queue, hot, sweaty, over-sprayed with heavy 80s perfumes. Chocolate croissants and cinnamon danish are being devoured. Nobody wants to go home alone.

Musc Ravageur is a warm, dressed-up vanilla pudding of a scent. It takes a couple of minutes for the pudding to emerge from a rich, erotic fog of hot animal, but (too) soon all that lusty funk vanishes and you are left with rich, dense cinnamon, vanilla and tonka which eventually turns to a sweet amber. On my skin it isn't structured or subtle and the patisserie middle is exhausting, but I do like the morning-after glow of the dry-down.
08th April, 2013 (last edited: 12th April, 2013)
Opens with a lovely lavender tinted bergamot, and quickly gets down to business with a salty vanilla musk--a very good and rich one. Definitely on the carnal side, certainly towards animalic. Thankfully it is not nearly as over-the-top as Muscs Kublai Khan, although it does call MKK to mind (in fact, this may be my gateway to finally being able to appreciate MKK, we’ll see). Woods register in the brighter end of the spectrum but remain subtle in the mix. This is a sensual salty sweet and slightly woody musc through and through, with great longevity (detectable as more than a skin-scent for 8+ hours) and projection, and silage that is decent or better. It is not vulgar, but certainly suggestive, falling on the erotic side of "sensual."
20th March, 2013
I would have originally given this a thumbs up but the more and more I wear this stuff the less I am impressed with this. I am apart of the group who does not like the clove opening and it takes a crazy amount of time for that to die down. Learned my lesson of buying a frag for only liking the dry down.
21st January, 2013
Vulgar and uninteresting.
12th January, 2013
Musc Ravageur opens with a few minutes of moderately intense anisic lavender hovering above a very soft, smooth, and creamy vanilla. Then, the lavender mellows but remains easily detectable, and the vanilla intensifies, but because it is aided by musk, it stays very smooth and creamy, all the while hanging alongside a pinch of cinnamon. Of course, this lavender-vanilla accord (like the lavender-oakmoss accord), evokes a typical fougère style and has become ubiquitous in perfumery (e.g., see Le Male, HM [from Hanae Mori], etc.). Ultimately, although the perfume is very well done (as is to be expected from this brand and the perfumer), it is largely unoriginal. Its greatest accomplishment is the exquisite smoothness and creaminess of its vanilla, which I think is largely due to the assistance of the musk. Perhaps this is why the word "Musc" appears in the name of this perfume even though the note itself is not a focal point.
30th December, 2012 (last edited: 12th January, 2013)