Labdanum 18 – Love Notes from the Master of Musk

Maurice Roucel discussing his perfumes

The Master of Musk

Labdanum 18 – which I tested as the oil – is a very interesting scent.  It wasn’t until I loved the base, that I started to understand why I didn’t like the opening.  Because when I got to the base, I gave up on a “blind” review and looked this sucker up.  I simply had to know who did this thing.  BINGO.  Maurice Roucel.

He of Bond no.9 New Haarlem.  He of the amazing Rochas Man.  He of the above video.

Author of Labdanum 18.  One of the truly talented perfumers of the world.  He who is also the author of Musc Ravageur, another very, very popular scent that I don’t like, because of the opening.

So what’s the problem?  Why don’t I love this scent fully?  The problem with both Labdanum 18 and Musc Ravageur is that they open a bit too fresh/dry/spicy for me – in a weird way that just grates on me, personally.  Something which I note, does not seem to bother most other people.  So, if a funky cool opening to a warm musk scent is not a problem for you – which it probably isn’t – then just wait for the base.  Warm, leathery, musky, smooth – and outrageously so on all of them.

The musky magic moment is a certain pinnacle point in perfumery that is rarely attained – an olfactory feeling that evokes human warmth combined with a clean, perfumed piece of intimate apparel.  For a woman, or a man of a certain persuasion, it might be analogous to slipping your arm underneath James Bond’s satin-lined black leather jacket, and feeling the warmth.  For someone oppositely inclined, it might be standing next to a woman in satin blouse and a leather mini, close enough that you can feel the heat radiating from her.  It is a combination of radiant warmth, tactile smoothness, and animalic alarm signals driving sexual instincts – and it is all coming through the wrong sense.  It is a genius of false patterns hitting the brain in combination with – hopefully – a visual stimulus from the wearer.

Perfume doesn’t always work.  But when it does, it earns its keep.

And nobody does a warm, sexy base like Maurice Roucel.  He is one of the few humans on earth who somehow figured out how to turn an Asiatic deer attractant into a true human attractant.  Other people seem to luck into it.  Not Maurice.  Roucel knows how to make musk smell disturbingly good.  Rochas Man on a guy smells so good, it’s almost creepy to be another guy smelling it.  Does that make sense?  Yeah.  You know what I’m saying.  But it doesn’t matter – it makes R-Man one of my easiest recommendations to guys who are looking for a warm, intimate fragrance.

So – my recommendation is not to buy Labdanum 18.  It is to buy at least one warm, musky scent from Maurice Roucel’s resumé, provided for your convenience below.

PS – Thank you, once again, Primrose!

Maurice on Wikipedia

Maurice on Basenotes

Maurice on Fragrantica

 

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