Review of Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan by abysynth
let me start by saying that I think this is a brilliant composition. that being said, I'm fairly certain that a guy would not want to smell this on me. you see, after thinking & thinking, I finally pegged what the smell exactly was (at least, on me, to me, because let's face it, MKK is an even more subjective experience than most perfumes). originally I thought it was just perfume & human b.o., but that wasn't quite it actually. after the initial skanky explosion in the first couple minutes had abated a bit, I realized it smelled like freshly washed balls. not dirty unwashed balls, or post-coital balls, but balls that have just come out of the shower and are warm & smell a bit perfumey from the soap but still decidedly smell like balls just the same. hence the odd dual nature of the scent I originally detected, with the soap smell and the balls smell, which will never blend perfectly of course, they weren't designed to. after a while, this smell dries down to more of a freshly washed male underarm smell. again, no dirty/unwashed/putrid animal poo-pee/etc at all. just freshly washed skin in certain *ahem* areas of the body. which to be honest, I didn't find unappealing! that sort of a scent is one I associate not with sex specifically, but with general physical intimacy, where smelling areas like that are part of the normal experience between physically intimate people. but not specifically sex. in fact, the clean underarm smell was almost comforting to me, I could imagine it as being something I might smell as I fell asleep in the arm of my guy after he'd showered. strange huh? it's such a *human* smell. and you couldn't possibly layer anything else over/with MKK because it totally ruins that delicate balance between "just washed" and "male skin in certain areas", and changes it to a "trying to hide the fact that I smell bad by using perfume" smell (I know, I tried it!) And it really was a delicate balance, somehow ol' Uncle Serge managed to pull it off and I cannot for the life of me figure out how. it lasted for a relatively short period of time on me, ending finally as the faint smell of a man's clean skin in general, not so "area specific", which was nice too.
this was truly an olfactory experience, veering into brilliance as I said, and consequently most amazing. however! still not so sure I'd wear it out on a date! not so sure smelling like balls would be the most enticing smell to a guy on a date with me. it would of course beg the question "what the hell were you doing *just before* our date??" heh.
something else I found noteworthy is that while trying the MKK on the inside of one elbow, for comparison purposes I simultaneously tried frederic malle Musc Ravageur in the other elbow. as I was ready to buy a full size of the MR just a week ago, I was astounded to find that by comparison, the MR was really overly cloying and incense-y, and even clumsy! because in spite of the scent's "subject material", the MKK scent was truly a delicately balanced work of art and the MR was just stumbling & clumsy by comparison. I would never have guessed.
yum. warm clean male skin. :)