For my own curiosity I have been wearing and comparing musc Kublai Khan to other musc orientals in my roster to get a better sense of what they're like and how they differ. I think atomizer spray almost always spews out too much, and I don't like silage. Dabbing a perfume is a very different, more skin scent experience. One dab off the stopper.
after 5-10 minutes, I smell primarily animalic musc skin scent sweetened by rose. At this point, I don't recognize much oriental amber or patchouli, though I know it's in the accords. After thirty minutes (relatively quickly), MKK becomes a honeyed amber musc with faint amber rose undertone. Soon, the rose is gone. I smell animalic amber which is slightly sweet but not gourmand or powdery. I could easily wear this in any weather and use a little tea rose to punch up the rose note when I am in the mood. By the way, if I wear this in the intense heat of summer, I get mainly musc that is softened by amber, no rose, even at the beginning.
I know many reviewers compare MKK to FM Musc ravageur, but on my skin they are different. I have a 10 ml from the original assortment of coffrets, now discontinued, which has muted top notes from age. I also have a newer 5 ml from a newer coffret assortment. The newer 5 ml manufacturers vial is spicier, sharper (almost Lavander sharp) like Lutens fourreau noire somehow. The older MR 10 ml with muted top notes is, well muted. But I like it because it's easy to wear - no initial blast. Older MR is similar in gentle opening to a sample I have of kurdjian's cologne Pour le soir (not the absolute, which from reviews sounded like too much animalic raunch for me to handle). From the PLS cologne, I get gentle spiced sandalwood (I think the sandalwood is 'gentled' or softened by amber, but no rose. The dry down is almost play doh like and the musc recedes.
I use MKK when I want a skin scent, but I think I will use MKK more if I layer it with a bit of rose to approximately version of lutens rose de nuit, or if I layer MKK with ambre sultan.
Notes: vegetal musk, costus, labdanum, ambergris, vanilla, patchouli, ambrette seeds and rose.
Opens with a heady blend of musk and ambrette seed. Dewy rose, animalic ambergris and smooth vanilla enhance the musky core accord and create a warm and sophisticated fur impression with shimmering honeyed and soapy facets. Patchouli and various resins add a dark vibrato to the scentâ€™s base, enhancing its air of dangerous glamour. Muscs Kublai Khan is remarkably well-behaved on me, radiating warmth and sensuality without any off-putting nuances. The seemingly delicate floral notes are in fact very successful in balancing their resinous and animalic counterparts. Once these are vanished bit by bit, the composition is dominated by rose and amber-infused musk until the dry-down.
This smells like just like a old lades bad cigarettes breath. Nothing sexy at all. I`m not that kind of woman that just like fresh light perfumes though "Jicky" is the most wonderful fragrance int the world. But MKK is awful!!!
Smells like a hot sweaty tropical jungle....and dung! The last SL sample I tried was Sarrasins and that also had a strong "toilet" smell to it. Lets just say I'm no longer that impressed with Mr Luten. I appreciate the craft that he puts in and I also respect him for trying new approaches to perfume. But he can't be serious this one. Stay well away ladies.
This was my "test case" after a number of disappointing experiences with musk. After this, the Musk Monster, I can confirm that for my nose, vegetable musk does indeed smell like wet Ivory soap.
In MKK, the musk floats around in what strikes me as an old-fashioned, heavy, slightly manly "perfume smell", with just a hint of sweat (which is I assume the civet or the cumin or both).
The effect is of an old Mediterranean taxi driver just beginning his shower. It's not terribly shocking, certainly not sexy to my nose, and only the heavy perfume layer is particularly overwhelming. After washing off, nothing lasted but the powerful soap smell, leaving me with Detergent Accord.
One day, maybe, I'll try a perfume that actually does smell "animalic" in a genuine way. Maybe I should get a little sample of the legendary Secretions Magnifiques. Knowing my weird skin and nose, it'll probably remind me of cheap room freshener or something.
This is the only fragrance that I was actually afraid to put on once I received the newly acquired bell jar from an E-Bayer. This is definitely NOT the behemoth that others say it is. I found it to be very distinct in its animalic qualities, somewhat sweet in the drydown. Smells incredibly earthy and downright sexy. Love it, but still prefer Malle Musc Ravageur to it. Fortunately, it agrees with me...yippee!! Only drawback for me is the price and that it doesn't seem to last long on me...I fear reapplying though as I don't want to overdo it. Those who haven't tried this one based on reviews (and boy, they are so graphic and scary), do yourself a favor and give it a try. I'm glad that I did. Surely worthy of another bottle when this one is finished, but since it is so strange, I doubt that I will ever need to venture into getting another bottle.
This is very close to real wild musk pod which is unforgettably haunting and sweet, but from a passionate amateur perfumista's viewpoint it is pushed over from the musky animalic to the all too human homeless/unwashed/ dirty old MAN...I find it is intensely masculine, yes ball sweaty ; I end up in a sort of schizo-conflicted zone where I don't know what gender I am supposed to identify in the wearing of it... I want to attract the man, but not smell like him...yet I must have a little of this around, because it is so magically powerful.
Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan is notorious for its colorful (and sometimes, hilarious) reviews. If you are reading this one, you have probably already read a few scary and laughable descriptions. So, I will spare you from that.
First of all, I have to admit that when I tried this one, I was already aware of its bad reputation. But the fact that I have a weird skin chemistry, which turns tea into “wet dog” and outrageous amounts of skank into “fluffy pink bunnies”, gives me enough reasons for trying “difficult” perfumes. When I picked up the tester, the SA asked me if I was sure and, after I spritzed it on my skin, she said: “oh, I wish this could smell this good on me”. I fell in love immediately, despite my husband’s puzzled look (something tells me he is not a big fan of this one) and left the store with a bottle, of course.
As the name says, it is a musk scent, and if you want to find out who was Koublai Khan, just check the Wikipedia. Let’s concentrate on the “Musc” part of the name then. Musks can be divided in two big groups: clean or animalic. This said, I must warn you that this one is definitely animalic. If you are looking for a clean detergent type of musk, you won’t find it here. But if you are looking for a musk with claws, this may be right up your alley.
The list of notes for Muscs Koublai Khan includes: civet, castoreum, costus roots, cumin, labdanum, moroccan rose, ambergris, ambrette seeds, beeswax, vanilla and patchouli. The funniest thing is that, despite its awful reputation among perfumistas (due mainly to the animalic musk note), it is pretty tame on my skin.
Muscs Koublai Khan opens with an outrageously high dose of “skank”: civet, castoreum and cumin. I guess this is what gives it the bad reputation. But these notes are very well balanced, sweetened by honey and amber. It smells warm and sweaty, as in “unclean”, but without smelling exactly dirty, as in “fecal”. But, again, my skin chemistry is weird and your mileage may vary.
As it steps further in the drydown, the skank combo recedes a little, just enough to give the other notes a chance to shine. There is definitely some rose, but it is not a fresh and crisp rose. It is more like a rose petals potpourri, beside a burning incense stick. It keeps on changing throughout the day: one moment I get only the skank notes and, when I least expect, the rose-incense combo steps out. Then, all of a sudden, I detect some powdery leather, like a very well worn saddle. It’s never boring.
Muscs Koublai Khan is a unisex scent. The silage is big (translated as: apply with caution) and the lasting power is outstanding (translated as: this stuff can survive showers). It may be too rich for hot summer days, when the heat keeps the rose and incense aspects barely noticeable and highlights the honeyed skank.
As a least word, my confession: I love this one, but don’t wear it as much as I would like to around other people. It is far too personal (like Miller Harris L’Air de Rien), and I can never be sure if other people will mistake my perfume for “unwashed body parts”. It is not how it smells to me, but just to be on the safe side, I wear mostly when I am alone at home.
I think this is a scent that various with individual body chemistry. After reading so many divergent reviews I ordered a sample. I am the type of person that scents disappear on after about 30 minutes, especially those citrus and fresh air ones. Currently I use Musc Ravageur by Frederic Malle.. Also the older Opium by YSL. I love musk in general and it tends to last on me.
At first it seemed a little strangely sweet but soon softened to a very musky dry smell. The longer it was on the more interesting it became. Never experienced the skanky effect.
My husband asked it I had on a new scent and loved the patchouli smell he was experiencing(yes, he was correct, it does have patchouli). He thought it was one of the most pleasant and distinctive scents he had smelled. I had him read some of the reviews and he just started laughing. Never noticed any "socially unacceptable smell".
I will definitely purchase a bottle.
I'm on the fence about this one as the first time I sampled it I just got a soft powdery musk. I was really hoping for the raunch that others were describing here. The second sampling gave me a hit of sweaty armpit for about the first half hour, then it's back to powdery musk. I' still in search of the epitome of a dirty musk, but will not give up on my sample just yet. Just not sure if I would shell out for a full bottle of this.