Musc Tonkin by Parfum d'Empire

Year: 2014

Notes: fruits, flowers, resins, woods, hyraceum, musk

Comment: Eau de Parfum review
Prized for its aphrodisiac qualities, and considered a very precious ingredient in perfumery, Tonqin musk comes from the Tibetan musk deer but is no longer used for ethical reasons. As a result, Musc Tonkin is supposedly an olfactory reconstruction of this now extremely rare musk, using numerous accords to capture its "myriad of facets".

Unfortunately, as much as one loves animalic musks, it comes nowhere close to possessing the raunchiness, warmth, complexity and depth of the real thing. Instead, one is met with an astringent hodgepodge of gasoline-induced synthetic notes, which are more mind-bogglingly derivative than offensive.

With leathery undertones and salty-floral nuances, it's in no way a multi-faceted musk, smelling cheap, clinical and soulless. There's certainly nothing faecal or even sensual about it at all, and anyone who claims otherwise has probably never had the opportunity to sample either civet or castoreum absolute, a rich ambergris tincture, or even a high-quality Hindi agarwood oil.

With moderate sillage and good lasting power, Musc Tonkin is nothing but an overpriced impostor (and a pretty atrocious one at that).