I do love musk. I revisited Jovan White Musk for Women and Kiehl’s Musk (in the EDT form). And a new one for me is CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention.
I remember saying at some point that the Jovan was less powdery and froufrou than Kiehl’s. I don’t know what I was on at that time. Jovan definitely blows me away as a sub-$10 Walgreens perfume; it’s not quite a clean musk but it proceeds into a creamy, ever so slightly soapy cloud. I think it’s feminine in an “actual girl with skin” way, having as it does just a tantalizing hint of dirtiness at the opening. It’s happymaking, and it’s cheap enough to keep little bottles in the bathroom and in my bag as well as at my vanity: if I forget to put on some other scent before I leave the bedroom, there’s no occasion or mood that this scent won’t work with.
Kiehl’s is definitely more unisex than the Jovan. It has soft citrus and a floral burst at the beginning, but straight on the heels of that is definite skank and I love it. Reading suggests indoles from the orange-blossom florals may contribute to that skank; okay. It’s very suggestively crotchy, but fades fast into a close-to-the-skin people musk that I think is sexy. It stays really close but wafts up if the body’s temerature rises a little.
Musk Reinvention is very strange. It’s not comparable to any other musk I’ve smelled and lacks entirely the “velvety” olfactory feel I associate with musk. Instead, it shifts through notes that remind me of clean horse, slightly dirty horse, horse stable, the sweetness of living rabbit fur when you bury your nose in it, and finally fleshy mushroom. So in that sense it really makes me understand “animalic”, but I can’t see wearing it to enjoy it; it feels like a curiosity. (I lied, I also smell sweaty horse and stable in Declaration by Cartier, which I do wear for the fun of it; but that has a lot of spices, wood and a splash of citrus to add to the pot.)