Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
My appreciation of most musks is much more theoretical than practical, with Muscs Koublaï Khän being the ultimate sensual animalic musk. Serge Lutens Bois et Musc (a 1992 Chris Sheldrake creation) is a much more restrained fragrance, pairing vegetal musk with Atlas cedarwood. Like Muscs Koublaï Khän, it is sweet and animalistic, however cedar softens the musky notes and lends a satiny counterpoint. Whereas Muscs Koublaï Khän is a Luis Buñuel film, shocking and erotic, Bois et Musc is a much softer take on the sensual aspect of musk. It has an interesting quality of appearing much more innocuous than it really is by starting out gently sweet and smooth and then revealing its more animalic side in the drydown. Perhaps, not as innovative as Muscs Koublaï Khän, but more wearable for me.
Photo: Serge Lutens photography for a Shiseido ad.