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Ambre Muscadin – Woody and sensual and musky – October 21, 2017

Two Muscadins or Les Incroyables by Loursay, 1795 - Wikipedia

Earlier this year, on March 10, 2017 to be exact, I wrote about Patchouly Bohème by LM Parfums, a smoky, sensual, intoxicating, and haunting Oriental created by Mona di Orio for her friend and fashion designer, Laurent Mazzone, for the launch of LM Parfums in 2011. “Now, THAT’S a real perfume!” I said after congratulating myself for buying it. I promised then to tell you about another fragrance from the same launch, Ambre Muscadin, rumoured to be another Mona creation. But that was “a story for another day”.

Well, that day has arrived. And what a day! A picture-perfect Fall day, a blaze of yellows and oranges and reds, and sunny blue skies with a hint of real cold in the breeze, just enough to encourage me to layer on cashmere sweaters under the jacket, and to stir a real craving for the warmth of an amber fragrance. Cold air and amber notes are a marriage made in heaven. Ambre Muscadin is the perfect choice, so here we are, the day has arrived for the telling.

Amber in perfumes is a fantasy note, an accord made from labdanum (rockrose) and sweet vanilla – read about it here – which is used in many fragrances, especially Orientals, to add warmth and dark sweetness. Amber is often featured as the key note in  fragrance, and paired with strong notes such as woods, leather, vanilla, smoke, or incense. Ambre Muscadin is about the amber and musk notes, as the name suggests - Muscadin translates from French as “wearing musk perfume”**- but as soon as this fragrance touches my skin, I know it’s about much more. 

Ambre Muscadin, just like Patchouly Bohème, is a chameleon, filled with surprises. The moment the juice hits my skin, there’s a huge burst of smoky woods. I wasn’t expecting THIS! Resinous cedarwood, green vetiver, earthy violet, and musk, merge into an almost feral accord, which is soon enveloped in the honeyed sweetness of vanilla absolute and white honey. Within minutes, the sweetness lifts the animalic musks, and by the time we move into the heart, Ambre Muscadin is transformed into an intoxicating and sensuous cloud of powdery woods and dark delicious musky vanilla. Soft suede notes slowly appear, making the core of Ambre Muscadin a sweet and sexy fantasy.

In the long dry-down, Atlas cedar keeps the sweetness at bay, benzoin adds more layers of smoky intrigue, and the musk and vanilla notes deepen into a complex almost-animalic-but-not-quite accord that shimmers on my skin for hours. The waft is perfection, sweet but not cloying, tenacious but quiet, comforting but still conveying a provocative frisson every time my nose meets my wrists.

Ambre Muscadin is big-boned and bold at the beginning, with a flamboyance that matches marvelous classics such as Shalimar or Habanita. All of the LM Parfums perfumes that I’ve sniffed seem to follow in the tradition of the classic structure, they all seem to have a nostalgic quality, but they’re clearly rooted in the here and now, definitely created to ignite our (supposedly) more evolved twenty-first century imaginations.

Ambre Muscadin likely contains the same notes as many other amber perfumes that precede it but Mona di Orio and Laurent Mazzone made this amber their story, infusing their unique vision of light vs. dark, strong vs. fragile, sweet vs. sour, simple vs. complex into its very core. Ambre Muscadin is an intelligent paradoxical amber which solves the gender issue, telling a beautiful but quite different story on male vs. female skin. It’s an amber for everyone..

Ambre Muscadin is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.

** The term Muscadin (French: [myskadɛ̃]), meaning "wearing musk perfume", came to refer to mobs of young men, relatively well-off and dressed in a dandyish manner, who were the street fighters of the Thermidorian Reaction in Paris (1794-1796) during the French Revolution.