Muscs Koublaï Khän by Serge Lutens

Year: 1998

Notes: cumin, Moroccan rose, patchouli, labdanum, vanilla, beeswax, costus root, ambrette seed, castoreum, civet, ambergris

Comment: Muscs Koublaï Khän is part of the exclusive line

To be honest, one has never managed to comprehend all the fuss about Muscs Koublaï Khän, especially since one doesn't even remotely consider it to be animalic (let alone redolent of sweaty private parts).

Yes, it does contain hints of civet and castoreum but these notes are extremely subdued behind a powdery veil of ambergris, ambrette seed, beeswax and vanilla. Instead, one mostly detects a demure, sweet, and slightly creamy floral musk. Not only does it smell inoffensive but it's also somewhat feminine in its demeanour.

Staying very close to the skin and possessing decent longevity, it's both a soft and pleasant comfort scent that defies this house's well-renowned dense and syrupy-sweet motif. Maybe one is simply anosmic to some of the musks that others have, quite eloquently, commented on but it's by no means the raunchy or even filthy musk it's often alleged to be.

Maybe the vintage formulation (yes, it was reformulated quite some time ago) was far more challenging but one believes that the combination of cumin and costus root (reputed to smell like body hair) have helped to create nothing more than an olfactory illusion, especially when fused with the composition's musk cocktail.

Faecal? Well, one dares you to try Ajmal's AA Indian Pure Musk Ghazelle. After smelling this potent musk oil, one guarantees that Muscs Koublaï Khän will be seen in a completely different light.