Friday, January 29, 2010

A whole life so lonely, and then you come and ease the pain.

Serge Lutens Clair de Musc

My weird insomnia attacks continue. I tried everything last night. I took a pill. I took a shower. I made myself a comforting snack (my go to of late is buttered toast). I put in my first season of Gilmore Girls, which I love more than anything and always find soothing. It was five before I fell asleep.

Now I'm up because I had to take Papaya to the vet to have her spayed this morning. The vet just called to tell me she has a heart murmur. They're doing an x-ray to see if they can continue with the spaying or if it is more serious. Keep your fingers crossed for me. The sweetest cat in the world seems to be plagued with health problems. I'm hopeful, though. I don't think fate brought her to me just to snatch her away.

I have no idea why I'm telling you this. I guess I'm feeling especially chatty this manana.

I'm interrupting Rose Week here at Feminine Things to do a review of the now discontinued Serge Lutens Clair de Musc. According to Perfume Shrine, Serge Lutens has recently discontinued four scents: Chypre Rouge, Miel de Bois, Clair de Musc and Douce Amère. Naturally, this sent me directly to my sample box to rummage through it to see what I might die over missing. The only one I had was Clair de Musc, so I sprayed it on with vigor in anticipation of the overwhelming sadness I would feel at having it ripped away so suddenly, because I am, like most sniffas, a masochist.

Serge Lutens offers this about Clair de Musc: "A crystal...Freshness and Finesse.A luminous musk expressing its transparency through delicate orange blossom. Tinged with powdery white iris from Tuscany...Inimitable." I have no idea what to do with this description, so I turned to Luckyscent for more info.

According to Luckyscent, Clair de Musc is
There are musks that are sultry and carnal, the dirty, animalic musks full of heavy-lidded sensuality. Clair de Musc is something entirely different, a musk that is luminous and transparent, with the delicate, pure, radiant beauty that is nothing short of angelic. The fragrance begins with a soft citrus accord of bergamot and neroli. The tender floral notes, the light jasmine and the gentle iris, grace the heart of the scent; the base is warmed by a subtle note of sandalwood. The citruses, flowers and woods are understated, beautifully muted, allowing the silvery-white, lunar musk to shine in all its ethereal, seraphic glory. A sublimely wearable, wonderfully versatile fragrance that is bound to delight the musk connoisseurs and to convert the musk-wary into ardent followers.

Notes: Musk, bergamot, neroli petals, Tuscan iris powder
I'm relatively new to musk scents. I admit that, even two years in, there are huge holes in my perfume knowledge, and musk is definitely one of those holes. So that said, I'll tell you a little new nose secret. When I'm feeling like a perfume newb, I go to the Fragrance Families page at The Perfumed Court, to remind myself what the hell it is I'm trying to smell. This page, combined with the ability to search the site for certain notes, allows me to get a sense of what other perfumes might share a similar center note or theme, which I can then sample side by side in order to get a better sense of what it means to say "woody musk" or "floral musk."

So now that you know how I cheat, pretending to know more than I actually do...

Onto MUSK! I definitely get some of the iris. And I love iris, so of course I thought this was delightful. I do get some bergamont as well. As for "musk," I'm still not quite sure what that means, honestly. I don't have a lot of musk-y samples, as it turns out (whole new world of scent to explore -- woohoo!), but the scent has a warmth to it, something that seems to keep close to the skin. It seems like a kind of animalistic smell, like the kind of scent one gets cozying up to a special someone who has just finished a brisk walk. You know, that natural smells a person has and when you love them, you think it smells just...good. I don't know how to describe it other than that. I know all babies have it naturally -- you know, everyone comments on the "good baby smell." And when you are in love, the person you love smells like that. So musk has a warm smell that I suspect you will either like or loath varying from scent to scent, and in this case -- love. I do. I love this. It is definitely a comforting scent, a scent to cozy up to. Thus it is, of course, a wicked ripping shame that it is being discontinued, especially right now whilst I am unemployed and cannot justify begging my husband to buy me a bottle simply because "it's being discontinued!"


Ah well. Also, every SINGLE review I could find was a rave. Buy it while you can where you can, my dears. I will have to nurse my sadness with what's left of my tiny sprayer.

Oh look! It's the Bangles episode... (returns to Gilmore Girls-athon)

"I believe it's meant to be, darling.
I watch you when you are sleeping.
You belong with me.
Do you feel the same?
Am I only dreaming
or is this burning an eternal flame?"

- "Eternal Flame," The Bangles (you can hear this song here)

UPDATE: Clair de Musc has NOT been discontinued. You can still buy it as of March 2010. Yay!

Want more reviews? Try...
~ A review from The Non-Blonde
~ A review from Perfume-Smellin' Things
~ A review from Splendicity

Images from Serge Lutens and also a band photo of the Bangles because, frankly, there were just no good pictures for musk. Trust me. And don't go googling for it. It's a dangerous place out there. The Bangles are better.


Ines said...

I read the news and I know I won't be sorry for Chypre rouge but I alos found a sample of DOuce Amere and realized I will be sorry for that one so I need to find a bottle soon.
I also have a lot of problem with musk - I recently realized that one of those shrill, "clean" notes I detest so much is probably a type of musk. 'sigh' And I'm not even 100% sure but I believe it is so. It took me only 2 years. :)

The Left Coast Nose said...

This is a SUPER fun review-- thanks for the Bangles blast down memory lane!!

Not much of a SL fan, and I was raised better than to be snarky while folks are grieving. I may have to get down to Barney's and sniff these while they're still around...

Diana said...

Ines -- I don't really know what to do with the "musks" yet. I'm still trying to figure out what "musk" means. :) I appreciate knowing that everyone's nose changes/improves over time, though. Sometimes I still feel like I just started all this, though it's been 2 years and....a whole lot of perfume bottles and samples later!

Diana said...

I'm not the biggest SL fan either, but the few I've tried have been nice. I end up finding myself trending toward other houses over and over again, noyt for lack of quality at SL but more out of love for the products of other lines.

I loved the Bangles, too! It was a nice trip down memory lane all around it seems.

ChickenFreak said...

Given the discontinuation, I'm sort of relieved that I fervantly dislike Clair de Musc.

Then again, I do wish I could smell what you're smelling in it; I get laundry detergent. :( I believe that I get _American_ laundry detergent; someone was just saying that it's Americans that use white musk in their soaps, right?