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  1. #1

    Default learning about skank

    I went sniffing around Shinjuku, trying stuff that I have seen referred to as skanky here. So I went to the Serge Lutens section and made a blotter of Musc Kublai Khan. (I don't do a skin test with stuff I don' know). Well, that stuff stinks! It is not revolting, but if I met someone wearing it, I might wonder if they needed to take a shower. As I walked down the street, I took another sniff of the blotter---I had to laugh at the audacity of a perfumer to create something like this. Maybe someone who had such an elegant persona that people would immediately know the aroma was due to frag and not BO could wear this. Do people actually wear this in public? I know this sounds really negative, but I do think it is interesting. I kept checking the blotter, and it never developed much in the way of anything more positive for me. It also reminded me of my earliest memories of perfume--something nearly this musky that was popular among women in the 1950s. Can't remember what it was...

    I heard there was skank in No. 5, so I got a blotter of that. The SA said the development would bring an even stronger note of 'jasmine.' If there is anything skanky about this, it is done in a way that enhances the rich floral impression. Then, I realized that a lot of Guerlains have this rich undertone that is a bit earthy. In fact, I think I am becoming a Guerlainneur, or whatever lovers of everything Guerlain are called. Habit Rouge and Heritage both have this quality. The Aqua Pampelune also has it. I also went to the LeLabo section and tried the vanille and poivre, which both use a skanky note very effectively as a kind of boost or enrichment. The LeLabo oud only smelled like band-aids, nothing fecal, animalic, or even the rich spicy floral hum of Japanese incense containing agarwood. Maybe a skin test might reveal more...

    So my conclusion is: skank by itself can be hard to take, but used to boost other notes without dominating, I like it very much.
    Last edited by tsuzumi; 13th December 2009 at 03:13 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: learning about skank

    Different people have different perceptions, which is why there can be no "best" fragrance of all time, objectively. Some associate cumin with body odor, whereas others, including me, do not, for example. There is also civet, castoreum, jasmine, and even honey can have a urine-like quality. IIRC, Boss #1 features jasmine and honey, for instance, and is considered a "skanky" frag by a lot of people. As you noted, getting the animalic quality just right can make a good frag into a great one, but of course some people will find it too animalic, and some may not find it animalic enough. In other cases, you can turn a candy scent into a fragrance (KISS Him is one example) with a "skanky" note (in this case, cumin). Just remember that your tastes can change significantly if you continue to do sampling, and so dismissing a frag as too animalic may just mean that you need more time to appreciate the richness of it. This was the case for me with frags like Boss #1.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 13th December 2009 at 04:17 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: learning about skank

    Thanks, Bigsly! I have noticed some frags bring a wide range of perceptions, based on looking around various reviews.

    I suspect people who wear SL MKK might layer it with more nose friendly stuff. I have wondered what Fille en Aiguilles might be like layered with a rather pure musk (I have nothing very musky on hand). I have read good things about Kiehl's musk, I may investigate that.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: learning about skank

    I don't find MKK to be skanky at all.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: learning about skank

    In my humble opinion, although still own and love this frag, Cerutti 1881 Amber has notes which might be perceived as skanky- even a slight over-application can turn this otherwise complex and manly frag into something smelling a bit putrid, sweaty, fleshy, mushy, stuffy and musty, with an additional sensation of smelling moldy fruit and decaying flowers, in addition to the already very animalic/(clearly unpleasant) body odor note.

  6. #6

    Default Re: learning about skank

    I don't find MKK skanky either.

    I may have a high tolerance for "skank", but I love things like civet, castoreum, musk, cumin and indolic flowers. I don't understand the comparisons to unwashed, soiled bodies and BO. It just puzzles me.

    Some of these notes may be challenging, but I don't get anything like bad personal hygiene from them. Maybe a vague whiff of barnyard sometimes, but that's not the same thing.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: learning about skank

    Thanks for sharing your 'skank note' excursion, tsuzumi
    I admire a well-judged or well supported 'skank' note. But nothing in excess for I have low tolerance for poorly balanced indoles, civet, etc.
    Last edited by Diamondflame; 13th December 2009 at 07:24 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: learning about skank

    I've heard people refer to Kouros as a fairly skanky scent but it doesn't hit me like that. The only time I've ever caught something slightly musky in Kouros was last summer when I thought it would be a good idea to try it out in 110 degree weather. Lesson learned.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: learning about skank

    I think I remember giggling a little when I read Merlino saying some girls walking past him commenting on how something smelled like the zoo (). It was MKK right, M?

    I actually quite like MKK.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: learning about skank

    Jacques Guerlain said he wanted his perfumes to smell like ' the underside of his mistress' - I guess that is the earthy smell you are getting Tsuzumi !
    I don't know if this article link has been on Basenotes before but if you are talking 'skank ' then this is a good read...
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandsty...me-ingredients

    Personally I find L'air de Rien by Miller Harris very skanky, unwashed ,like halitosis. Makes Jicky EDP smell clean in comparison.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
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  11. #11

    Default Re: learning about skank

    Thanks for all the interesting comments. I thought that MKK must be near the limit, but the Guardian article linked by mysticknot mentioned several that must be even further out there.

    I had a bottle of Kouros many years ago. I didn't know anything about it, but I didn't like it much, not because of animalic smells, but because it smelled like plastic or chemicals. I am intrigued by M7, but a quick search suggests that it is very rare in Tokyo.

  12. #12

    Default Re: learning about skank

    I like M7 but I can't imagine it being perceived as "skanky." I think LT described it as somewhat grimy, which I can understand ("medicinal" is another possibility), but for me it was just about getting used to the oud note.
    Last edited by Bigsly; 14th December 2009 at 08:05 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: learning about skank

    Quote Originally Posted by mysticknot View Post
    Jacques Guerlain said he wanted his perfumes to smell like ' the underside of his mistress' - I guess that is the earthy smell you are getting Tsuzumi !
    I don't know if this article link has been on Basenotes before but if you are talking 'skank ' then this is a good read...
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandsty...me-ingredients

    Personally I find L'air de Rien by Miller Harris very skanky, unwashed ,like halitosis. Makes Jicky EDP smell clean in comparison.
    Where did you find that quote?

    LOL! Mysticknot, I fancy Cuir Ottoman as the "perfumed thighs of the Comte d'Orsay" after his having been out riding his horse! I get a ton of leather (a saddle) and jasmine, with something animalic mingled with a little vanilla.
    Last edited by Primrose; 28th December 2009 at 11:44 AM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: learning about skank

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    Where did you find that quote?

    LOL! Mysticknot, I fancy Cuir Ottoman as the "perfumed thighs of the Comte d'Orsay" after his having been out riding his horse! I get a ton of leather (a saddle) and jasmine, with something animalic mingled with a little vanilla.
    Hey Primrose- howya doing ' ?

    I read that quote somewhere- you know how these things lurk in our perfumey brains ....
    But - it is also mentioned in the article I posted above .
    Oh, 'perfumed thighs of the Comte d'Orsay' sounds delish !

    I also find Joy vintage parfum extrait to have a good deal of civety skank - sometimes my skin plays it up more than the floral notes and I end up smelling like a fur coat !
    I had a man step back from me the other day in the middle of a conversation - I assume it is becasue I over applied vintage joy parfum . Oh dear ! Mind you, I think Joy parfum is an acquired taste.
    Last edited by Mimi Gardenia; 28th December 2009 at 11:51 AM.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  15. #15

    Default Re: learning about skank

    Quote Originally Posted by mysticknot View Post
    Hey Primrose- howya doing ' ?

    I read that quote somewhere- you know how these things lurk in our perfumey brains ....
    But - it is also mentioned in the article I posted above .
    Oh, 'perfumed thighs of the Comte d'Orsay' sounds delish !

    I also find Joy vintage parfum extrait to have a good deal of civety skank - sometimes my skin plays it up more than the floral notes and I end up smelling like a fur coat !
    I had a man step back from me the other day in the middle of a conversation - I assume it is becasue I over applied vintage joy parfum . Oh dear ! Mind you, I think Joy parfum is an acquired taste.
    Thank you, Mysticknot. LOL! And what thighs he had, I am sure. Standing in stirrups for several hours a day gives you a heckuva pair of legs--shown off, of course, in the tightest of trousers! (Come to think of it, fencing also gives you great legs--just holding the en garde stance will give you a workout...)

    The more I experience perfume, the more I tend to favour the more exotic scents...scents not really marketed for mass appeal. For instance, my husband prefers me to wear floral scents: iris, orange blossom, rose, jasmine. He tolerates my venturing into more unusual scents, such as said "Thighs of the Comte," Black Orchid, or Heaven forfend, Parfum d'Habit. Then again, sometimes I just yearn for L'Occitane's ultra-floral Quatre Reines...or a pure jasmine extrait.

    I really enjoyed reading of your experience with Joy...not usu. seen much these days except on perfumistas. It guess it is up to us to shock people out of their complacency...

    A spray of "Cuisses du Comte," anyone? LOL!
    Last edited by Primrose; 28th December 2009 at 06:53 PM.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

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