Lemon, mandarin, cardamom, coriander, cypress, Bulgarian Rose, geranium, davana, Rum extract, frankincense, Oud accord, Musk accord, patchouli
Well... this is definitely one of those times when you sample something with knowledge of the general consensus, and afterwards are left raising your eyebrows in bewilderment of said consensus.
I find this to be absolutely gorgeous from top to bottom, which is saying a lot as I've never fallen for a Kilian scent before and find some from the house to be downright poor.
The top of Musk Oud is a very alive, very rich citrus that is immediately flanked by the rose and grape and wine nuances from the davana. The cardamom is present too, and smooth, and this alongside the never forward and yet quite long lasting coriander seed note work as a wonderful spice offset. In color and hue, this is quite akin to the opening of XXV - dark berries and coriander/bay/clove in XXV, grape/dark berries/coriander in MO, and both share rose, as well. Their weight and feel are drastically different though, with MO being light on its feet, a dark and diaphonous silken purple scarf with golden orange flecks, while XXV is more heavier and regal both out of the gate and throughout its development. All of that being said, this is seriously one of the most amazing openings that I've ever smelled. I compared it to the openings of some similar scents: XXV, Harrods oud Patchouli, and even Fate Man (not that similar) and it makes them seem clunky and pedestrian in comparison. Its balance is perfect and all of the notes are alive; nothing flat or out of place.
Unlike most, I find this scent neither simple, linear, or weak in projection or longevity. An hour in and the heart becomes a deeper rose/geranium, and just as the coriander fades out, a subtle lemony frankincense note starts to rise up in the background. Perfect linkage of two notes throughout the evolution of the frag. The oud is slightly smoky, and the musk is becoming more dominant. Yes, it's an animalic musk, of the animal hair variety. The rum and davana are still present and the oud deepens this accord, adding to the purple hues shades of black.
This accord of rose, davana and rum, and smoky incense and oud slowly crescendos and then decrescendos into the deep base, joined by a subtle patchouli and just the faintest whisps of airy vanilla (likely, actually, hints of some sweet musk).
Deep but never heavy or overly dense, with the impeccable balance of Kilian's Incense Oud but striking out in a much bolder direction (my one criticism of IO and what leads it to not being FBW imo is how safe it plays it in all regards).
In some ways, it calls to mind an oudy take on Ungaro II. Musk Oud is not exactly fecal but it is feral, and the deep purple hues alongside the orange/golden notes, coupled with some similarity in the patchouli/vanilla of the bases and the seamless transitions really does put it in the UII category, in my mind at least.
I have a feeling that some people who've reviewed it are anosmic to the musks, or are suffering olfactory fatigue (eg: Kafkaesque's review mentions picking up the animalic hair note briefly, and then it vanishing for the rest of the scent), and this will change their perception of the scent drastically. Just two sprays on my chest are projecting strong many hours later, and the few swipes I put on my arm about 16 hours ago - with a shower in between - can still be smelled if sniffed close. Subtle patchouli and frankincense smoke.