The musk-perfume collection built overtime by American fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez since the launch of his bestseller Narciso Rodriguez for Her in 2003 has redefined a portion of what our olfactory expectations for musk are in today's society. Inspired by youth memories in Cuba, but also it has been said by the predilection of late celebrity client Caroline Kennedy for Egyptian musk, Narciso Rodriguez has contributed to musk trails becoming sweeter, fruitier, more solar and cleaner.
With the latest iteration, Essence Eau de Musc, a flanker to Essence by Narciso Rodriguez (2009), the musk note has become even more the paradoxical sign of crisp and clean by being associated more unequivocally with the genre of the fresh, neo-traditional Eau de Cologne recreating the sensation of cooling in the shade of orange blossom trees in the summer...
Perfumer Alberto Morillas who hails from Spain where Eaux de Cologne are particularly beloved, is weaving further the delicious accord found in his modern rendition of the genre in Thierry Mugler Cologne while being sensitive to the discretion of perfumes like L'Eau by Serge Lutens or Guerlain Cologne du Parfumeur.
Apparently, this is all people are aching for because Saks, which carry the perfume as an exclusive currently, are announcing that due to high demand only 6 bottles are allowed to be purchased per customer, every thirty days. Another reason for this unexpected outburst of popularity might simply be that Essence Eau de Musc turns out to be a remarkably soothing and relaxing scent in keeping with the aromatherapeuthic qualities of orange blossom.
Essence Eau de Musc offers very citrusy beginnings, which last longer than the standard whiplash of fresh notes in the opening of a fragrance. The scent then becomes slightly powdery thanks to the iris note but also to the powdery facet of white musk, a synthetized sensation which we have all become accustomed to. It falls short however of evoking powder as a sign of sexuality as in those perfumes which make you enter through the door of a boudoir. Even more than in recent fragrances, the lastingness of the citrus facet is quite remarkable owing the prowess not just to technological improvement but artistic design.
Continuing on its developing course, the restrained composition manages to become something else than the sheer expression of its notes. The perfume becomes qualitatively airy, evanescent. It creates the atmosphere of a all-out white-out. There is something suggestive of the stereotypical vision of an incandescently pure white heaven.
Eau de Musc is a very subtle, finespun fragrance and I want to say, terribly feminine in its delicacy. Its creamy facet is equally extremely understated, evoking for me a textured magnolia dipped in clear lemony water. As I said above, it stands next to pure, white ethereal fragrances like L'Eau by Serge Lutens but also Cologne du Parfumeur by Guerlain while olfactorily being closest to Thierry Mugler Cologne.
Essence Eau de Musc is more of a barely-there yet discreetly haunting presence than a non-scent however. If Cologne du Parfumeur signed by perfumer Thierry Wasser borrowed from Alberto Morillas' Cologne de Mugler, Morillas is going back to the dashboard to re-concoct a new variation inspired by his work on an updated Eau de Cologne while proposing further tuning down and stylistic self-effacement.
The preference for faint perfumes seems to become more and more of a desirable norm. Certainly, it is a very wearable one. A little bit like the shift which took place in the Renaissance when attention re-focused on the person more than on God, perfume is doing something similar today where it is supposed to signal the divine much less so than leave room for the individual to express herself or himself. Those who are looking for the archaic sentiment of reliving the transcendant through the perfuming gesture will nevertheless find that this inspiration lives on, in a different form, in the kind of scent that Essence Eau de Musc is. In it, it has become something more of a visual interpretation of the purity of white seemingly extoling humility as a cardinal virtue.