This fragrance is only the second perfume that I have sprayed – and then bought the bottle almost immediately afterwards (the other being Tubereuse Criminelle).
The weird thing is, Musc Maori is really not my sort of fragrance. Well – that’s a lie. I love sweet gourmands if they are done right, but at first this could easily be considered too literal and simple. Ok so I’m starting to give all this away, so I’ll move on to the good stuff :)…
Musc Maori opens with the merest subdued hint of citrus at first before a gust of powdery cocoa floats to the surface on a bed of smooth milk. Mmmmmmm. Within a minute, Musc Maori perfectly reproduces the scent of a thick chocolate milkshake.
The cocoa isn’t as deep and dusty as in Borneo 1834, but instead, accurately reproduces the scent of milk chocolate, smooth and creamy, but not as sweet as the real thing – thankfully.
Milky notes underneath are warm, blended with the cocoa perfectly to create a seamless illusion of a gourmand delicacy.
Some delicate almost untraceable wood – as gourmand as the cocoa itself, add a tamed support as the milkshake begins to shed some layers and release its radiant translucency.
Musc Maori sounds dense, thick and almost congealed - it’s not. As just mentioned, it has a radiancy that literally glows off the skin – light as a feather but extremely invasive – in the best possible way. From start to finish it constantly throws itself off of my skin and I’m always surrounded in the cosiest halo of perfume.
Musc Maori is linear - allowing a little sweetness from the beginning to evaporate, and the cocoa to mellow out slightly. After about an hour, the vanilla becomes much more prominent, still gripping the remains of the cocoa and never releasing it. It is around this point that the musk comes in – it is not a leading player whatsoever, and instead provides even more “lift” to the fragrance. The musk hovers dangerously on the clean/dirty border, never giving in either way but dipping in and out of both. Sometimes I find the white musk blends with the vanilla and cocoa and makes me swoon in gluttonous delight – at others the darker aspect comes out, almost turning the lactones acrid and inedible, but I thoroughly love it when this happens. This dirtiness reminds me of S-Perfume’s 100% Love, with its cocoa/rose/sweaty feet, the latter note being almost invisible but still a little sinister.
I won’t lie, Musc Maori is a little immature – I am contradicting myself a little bit when I think how I described A Lab On Fire’s What We Do In Paris Is Secret as a “cheap attempt” at a gourmand by including such cliché notes… well, yes this is doing the same: “CHOCOLATE MILKSHAKE!” it screams! But, it depends who’s wearing it of course. I guess I wouldn’t be the type of person you’d look at and expect to smell sweet chocolate dessert, and I guess that’s why I love it so much. It makes me feel different… confident, playful and a little bit naughty.
Musc Maori gets slated for its simplicity, its literal gourmand immaturity, and its lack of longevity. I’ve tackled my opinion on the first two points – BOLOGNA! – as for the last point, I don’t understand this – on me Musc Maori lasts from first thing in the morning until a long day at work, the gym, and then the train journey home. I constantly catch whiffs of it throughout the day – it’s gorgeous.
The fragrance’s base drifts on and on and on in a light, sweet aura of vanilla, vanilla-heavy amber, tonka and the memory of cocoa and milk.
A deliciously different fragrance that has its own unique place in my collection – I love it!
Musc Maori 50ml Parfumerie Generale – £81.50 Les Senteurs