|Picture: Gardenia jasminoides |
Photo by Erin Silversmith (cc) Wikimedia Commons,
some rights reserved
If Musc Intense by Parfums de Nicolaï that I reviewed earlier this week is a subtle, classical musk which evokes associations to the 18th centruary and the powder-pastels of Madame de Pompadour, Barcelonean perfumer, Ramon Monegals White Musk is the opposite. It’s a true contemporary, high quality, imaginative, interpretation of a flowery white musk that certainly stands out even from the white musk niche-crowd. Just as with Musc Intense, the musk in White Musk is not the typical “mainstream white musk” if anyone can’t stand that interpretation of this interesting basenote.
White Musk starts with a intense cascade of gardenina blended with vanilla and the musk accompanying in a moist, creamy way, it’s like the gardenia is cracked and mixed together with cream and vanilla. The opening is an almost gourmand accord also somehow resembeling the smell and also the texture of coconut. This coconutty texture remains during the whole dry down of White Musk.In the middlenotes the gardenia note is becoming increasingly clearer, the sweetness from the vanilla is tuned down and a light, perfectly balanced, resiny peppery note is accompanying in the background, adding an interesting contrast to the creamy flower. The gardenia note is that of a perfectly fresh gardenia, a gardenia that just have entered the full blooming stage, it’s not the gardenia just started to wilting as in Serge Lutens Une Voix Noire. There are also some subdued, green, crispy notes that could be sensed, just like some of the leaves also are crushed down in the blend. Later on the gardenia gets more fragile, almost papery in texture, similar to the gardenia in the beautiful Gardenia by Isabey. All these notes are mingeling with a well balanced white musk that anchors and depening this sensual blend together with dry resinnotes, almost light blond woody in character. Later on in the further development of the basenotes, there is a sort of clear, a bit wet accord, that in smell and texture reminds me of the Helmt Lang cult-frag Cuiron.
White Musk, even if loud, requires lot of space and is not wellmannered as my top Monegal Impossible Iris, is definitly one of my favourites after testing almost all from the wellcrafted and beautiful Ramon Monegal line. I remember this was the one that immadiately caught my attention when I was “screening” all of the Mongeals samples by just sniffing them from the outside. As almost all Monegals, White Musk is a fragrance that involves the wearer during the dry down, there are many interesting twists and nuances to be find during the journey. White Musk almost also rivals my favoritemusk so far: Mona di Orio Les Nombres d’Or Musc but fortunately they are in quite different musk-genres: White Musk is a bold tropical musk when LNd’O Musc is a traditional, elegant, slight flowery, subdued musk.
White Musk is wearable the year around, I can image it will blooms perfectly a warm summer evening as it will warm up a grey and cold winterday. Not suitable for scentofobic offices, its more of a comfort, casual- or a great evening fragrance. White Musk is, like most of the RM:s, a concentrated fragrance and as it’s very intense, (a changes of name with Musc Intense would be appropriate :-) ) it has to be applied sparingly to avoid knockning the ambient. Sillage is huge (if not careful in application) and longevity extraordinary, 24h+.
I don’t find any “alikes” at the moment but I can image that those who likes Montale Intense Tiare and Les Nez Manoumalia will like this unusual, stunning creation.
Notes: Rose, gardenia, olibanum, vetiver, vanilla, white musk