Thursday, March 15, 2012

Houbigant Alyssa Ashley Musk

Tonight we're slumming it with what is essentially a drugstore musk. Alyssa Ashley was a cheap perfume division under the more prestigious umbrella of Houbigant perfumes (some sources point that Alyssa Ashley was actually an independent label before Houbigant bought it, but I can't find definite and conclusive info). In any case, Alyssa Ashley Musk was released in the late sixties. My own bottle, labeled "Houbigant Alyssa Ashley div." looks very similar to the 1974 ad above and smells like a musk-lovers dream.

It's very seventies, for sure, and walks that line between very clean skin and very dirty thoughts. It's "whiter" in feel than MKK and Kiehl's, and maybe also a tad sweeter. The image my version of Alyssa Ashley Musk gives me is of sunshine and suntan lotion on young skin. Funny how many of those classic 1970s perfumes smell "young" to me, though I wouldn't bet on today's youth sharing my sentiment. I'm taken back to my tweenhood and how these musks smelled to me like the thing a glamorous high school student would wear as she was getting ready to go out on an equally glamorous date.

I'll wait until you're done laughing.

Back to Alyssa Ashley and her Musk. Once whatever's left from the original top notes goes away, this musk is smooth and purring. I could probably use to layer with some floral fragrances that I find too bland, but my favorite way to wear it is as a bedtime scent. It's softer and far less distracting than the truly sexy statement musks  (MKK, Le Labo), so it lulls me gently to sleep.

Alyssa Ashley changed hands a couple of times and I'm not sure who owns the company today. Their Musk is still in production and can be found for dirt cheap at drugstores and online.


  1. Love Alyssa Ashley Musk. I used the body lotion head to toe in the late 70s- it was my ultimate summer scent. All of your descriptors are dead on to my memory....clean skin/dirty thoughts, suntanned skin. Really so soft and sexy yet also comforting. My cheapie drugstore musks are the ones my daughters always love on me the most.

    Curious how todays version measures up to yours. I'd love to track down a vintage bottle. Wearing Coty Wild Musk to comfort myself while I wait....

  2. Does anyone remember a musk by Houbigant (I think!) that came packaged in a small burlap bag?


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