I am following smellythought’s blog regularly and he recently posted his impressions on Musc Ravageur. He mentions, as well as many others, that this was not the Devastating Musk he expected it to be and I agree. Even Muscs Koublai Khan is not the stinkbomb I was expecting reading some reviews. So what is my absolute musk stinker? This little benign romantic perfume from Les Néréides. A jewellery company that started producing hand crafted off beat, happy designs back in 1980 and at some point expanded to perfume. Their designs have become more conventional but they have created a different line, N2 jewellery, that still has some of the initial spirit of the brand. Their perfumes have remained under the radar however, selling at very reasonable prices. And they are good! Very good! Old fashioned, romantic, bohemian like the jewellery but of very good quality. This one in particular is a quirky little piece.
The name, Powdered Musk Flower, pretty much is a note list by itself. But the opening packs a fistful of animalic, dirty, urinous musk. It is bold and scary but after the initial shock for some strange reason it makes me go back and sniff my wrist again. A totally primeval urge to experience the repulsion again and again. Or just the primeval attraction to musk? Before I know it I start to like what I smell. It is a sensual and human smell that smiles like a naughty child, poking its nose: “Look how nasty I am!”. The softest and most playful flowers join the elfish musk into a combination that has the proverbial “old lady” vibe but this old lady is a cheerful Miss Havisham, dressed in a pretty white wedding dress, picking up flowers in the garden. In the last phase I can also smell the powder that she uses on her cracked face. The musk becomes less aggressive towards the drydown, shedding most of the associations with urinals but it never goes into synthetic or white musk territory.
The picture of the perfumed old lady that I am drawing might look pitiful in your eyes but there is a very intelligent decision in the composition of this perfume: nothing is done in great seriousness. Everything floats in the air lightly and light-heartedly. The volume is exactly at the right level. It develops into a delicate floral skinscent with the most realistic musk note I have ever smelled in a perfume. It doesn’t claim breaking new ground but rather it digs up in the old attic for forgotten treasures. In a way, Fleur Poudrée de Musc reminds me of Amouage Gold pour Homme. I know this comparison can make me turn into a pillar of salt but given that I can still type, let me explain myself. Both fragrances use pissy musk, white florals and powder to make a statement. But where the cheap Fleur Poudrée de Musc creates a playful, light romantic feminine aura, the uber-expensive Gold pour Homme uses these old fashioned notes attempting to create something relevant in a bombastic “look at me” way that made me run to the sink. Unfortunately Fleur Poudrée de Musc is now discontinued, but I suspect their remaining releases are equally good.
Fleur Poudrée de Musc is a very feminine scent with a very dirty musk. I never wear it when I am going to meet unsuspecting noses but it holds a place in my heart because it is daring and delicate at the same time. It offers me the chance to enjoy musk at its wildest but it knows when to stop. It smells like a fairy tale and I know exactly which one: the Snow-white. The only difference is that this version of the tale showcases a very naughty Snow-white and all seven dwarfs!
Notes from Fragrantica: Himalayan musk
Notes from my nose: urinals, white flowers, powder
flower urinal via trendir.com