Musk perfumes are the weirdest things, and I'm not even talking about musk anosmia and the frustrating fact that I can't smell a thing in many of Narciso Rodriguez's fragrances. What I mean is the wide range of comprehension and interpretation of the same scent by different people. Is MKK cuddly or dirty? Is Alyssa Ashley Musk extremely clean or highly suggestive? The same goes for Royal Muska by M.Micallef. It's a bright as daylight perfume that's supposed to be built around a fruit floral accord, but impressions vary as many as the people testing it and run the gamut from sweet and gourmand to laundry detergent.
I can only speak for myself, and to me this Micallef musk opens sweet and powdery but without the slightest hint of fruit. As a matter of fact I could swear that I smell violets, or more accurately-- a violet-scented soap. The soapiness is there to accompany a white rose note, a white-washed driftwood and an obvious white musk. Royal Muska is an almost blinding white light that shines strongly, goes away for a while only to return again when you no longer expect it to. The fragrance becomes a skin scent, clean yet intimate, and just when I think there's nothing left there it comes back as a classic (read: 1970s style) sweet musk.
I like Royal Muska. Most of the time, that is. Martine Micallef created such a shape-shifter that sometimes smells too synthetic to my taste only to become very sensual the next time I wear it. So far I've drained about 5ml worth of samples and I still can't quite figure it out. It's a matter of skin chemistry and star alignment, I guess. It is a fun ride, for sure.
Notes: peach, raspberry, Turkish rose, precious woods, ylang-ylang, benzoin and white musk.
M.Micallef- Royal Muska ($90, 1oz) is available from Luckyscent, Osswald, and Parfum1.com. My samples came from most of the above.
Image: Carl Smith-Mixed media-fashion collage via Trendland.