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    Duke Hunt's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Musc Ravageur by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

    As a so-called rich “oriental for grown ups“, Musc Ravageur is permeating with a sexy, playful flamboyance and a certain je ne sais quoi that only the French do best. Unfolding with a deceptive opening which has Maurice Roucel’s stylistic handwriting all over it, it’s a stark contrast to the eventual evolution, as it slowly and progressively weaves its magic into a lusty siren of a fragrance.

    Beginning with a mouth watering and tantalizing cool icy bergamot and tangerine, set against a broad backdrop of lavender, the surprise to come of rich woods, musks and spices are yet to make their full entrance to the boudiour, although they remain subtly present.

    Never the less, it’s not particularly “dirty” at this point, but there are some very slight medicinal under currents attributed to the musk, which may equate for the *gasp* “old man smell” association which many seem to be mysteriously picking up. I don’t find the animalic/skank/(insert word here) particularly challenging or off putting, but rather intriguing, since it adds a certain element of mystique and French haute-naughtiness.

    Though I do personally find the musk rather fleeting, which is prominent in the opening, yet remains elusive as the scent progresses, rendering the name almost a misnomer at times. Whether this is down to a probable cause of being anosmic to the supposed variety of musks used is anybodies guess.

    Next up comes the focal point and everybodies favorite part of the strip tease, when MR turns unapologetically gourmand and begins to purr like a kitten. Unfolding with a creamy-kaleidoscopic warmth of the sweet (vanilla) and spice (clove/cinnamon) enveloping the wearer like the proverbial cashmere blanket, cozy,dependable and comforting.

    Staying on this course for the majority of its stay, before slowly unwinding and settling down to lightly woody, ambery base with the rich vanilic sweetness remaining the dominant player. Delicious.

    MR gives off a warm radiating projection, if not a little flamboyant, but without becoming vulgar, the balance of control remains impressive I must say. In closing I find the overall scent seriously seductive, decadent and immensely sensual, with the journey towing the fine line between aggressive and restrained, yet managing to pull it all off with some serious class, swagger and charm.

    A perfect definition of a genderless fragrance, this one works equally well on a man, woman or beast and although a victim of hype through no fault of its own, it still remains mandatory testing for a new comer to the world of niche perfumery.

    25 August, 2012