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Mention musk and my mind immediately takes me back to the huge black bottle of Narciso Rodriguez for her in my cupboard. Unloved and unused. Oh, I tried but it was insanely strong with one spritz taking you well into the next day despite a shower. That really wasn't so bad actually. It was something else about it, something sharp and stern, that was so different from the tiny bottle of musk from the 70's I've always kept. Something from my Mum's vanity. An absolutely beautiful sheer scent verging on floral and, well, sort of unexplainable.
Something else I noticed about the tiny vintage bottle with the cork was it was rather oily to the touch. Then someone mentioned musks seem to smell so much better in oil form and how they can become odd and denatured in alcohol based fragrances. Searching revealed another lead, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy's signature scent of Egyptian Musk by Abdul Kareem. I ended up purchasing a little bottle from here on Amazon and falling in love. Clean, melodic and surprise, surprise a gentler and beautiful version of Narciso Rodriguez for her. Egyptian Musk oil is so good and definitely different. Especially layered with sweeter scents.
Corinne Calvet wrote, "In 15 minutes the scent disappears as the oil is absorbed into the pores. But later, when you go out, when you are dancing, when you get warm, the oil is activated again and the perfume comes out and is detectable again, and that's a good time for it." This pretty much sums up the allure of wearing Egyptian Musk oil.
Two other versions that are also worth a sniff is this classic musk perfume oil by C.O. Bigelow apothecaries (414 Sixth Ave. in NYC, the oldest apothecary in America) which actually ended up smelling the closest to my vintage bottle from the hippie 70's shop. Just a tad more floral than the Egyptian Musk. The other is this natural stick by MBeze in the scent Sweet Sanura which is a blend of Egyptian musk and sweet orange oil. It really does smell of Egyptian musk but mingled with a creamsicle and while this is actually a tiny deodorant stick, it's been perfect as a solid perfume. They sell a perfume body oil Sweet Sanura too for the Corinne Calvet after bath trick too.
One last secret of these musky scents might be hinted at in my vintage bottles cork. Many people have said these musk oils sometimes smell even better when the bottle is uncapped and allowed to breathe overnight. This seems so counter when we think of preserving our perfumes but I'm thankful they shared this trick as it has left each of my tiny bottles even more magical.
For more sweet little gifts of a perfume oil nature take a look at this previous natural perfume gift guide here.
Image: mam for Gave That