"A sensual perfume, powerful yet perfectly controlled, dramatic and mysterious. Composed by Maurice Roucel as an “act of seduction and generosity”, Musc Ravageur is an uncompromising Oriental, which trumps current fads. Its explosive departure of bergamot, tangerine and cinnamon is set against a backdrop of vanilla, musk and amber. A sexy, turbulent perfume, in one word: ravageur."
I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading the superfluous, often false marketing that perfumers and brands come up with to describe their fragrances. Partly because I too, am afflicted with the same disease of verbose nonsense, and in part because they're often wildly off base, and a less evolved part of my being enjoys laughing at them in secret. However this time, it is all too accurate. Abstractly, perhaps. But accurate nonetheless.
Musc Ravageur is an incredibly difficult fragrance to describe. It is deceptive, and takes great pleasure in tormenting me, and every time I think I've got a grasp on it, something throws me for a loop. Is it frustrating? Hardly. No, the experience is very much enjoyable, like trying to catch a glimpse of something mythical and fleeting.
Musc Ravageur is incredibly simple, yet infinitely complex, and it is within the nuances and depth, that Musc Ravageur truly shines and displays itself as it is. And it needs a great deal of observation to truly appreciate it in it's entirety. One needs to smell and smell again (hardly a difficult task) to find the bite of cinnamon, the heat of cloves and the deliciously edible vanilla, but the impression, by and large, communicates a delicate mirage of soft skin, silken sheets, cashmere blankets, hushed whispers, and low lighting. It is sensual almost to the point of debauchery. It is warm, inviting, criminally seductive, almost like (and please pardon my bluntness) an erotic novel unfolding on the skin. Truth be told, if Casanova had a fragrance, this would be it.
Onto the fragrance itself, in slightly more detail, before my train of thought drags me further off track.
The fragrance opens with a blast of citrus and spice, in the strangest manner. It can't be described as fresh, it can't be described as spicy. The opening is fleeting, but it sets the tone for this (admittedly bottom heavy) fragrance in the perfect way. It is difficult, if not impossible, to explain how this is the case, but it is. They come, they tease, and then they disappear, giving way very quickly to the cinnamon and clove in a beautiful symphony of warmth. And just as the spices truly begin to bloom, they're joined by musks, vanilla, woods and amber.
And here, in the "base" is where Musc Ravageur truly becomes the legend it is known far and wide as. Every note mingling in perfect harmony, becoming something that transcends "just perfumery" and becomes art in earnest. The spices, the deep amber, the sweet vanilla, the warm musk, makes for a blend that defies all description.
The vanilla is sweet, almost like ice cream, and would perhaps be too much by itself. But the dark, almost bitter woods balance it, lending a bite to the base, even as the amber adds depth and gives the impression of a golden twilight on supple skin. And supple skin is truly what shines through as the light dusting of musk makes it's way through the blend, trickling through, almost ghostly in it's prominence. And the musk itself, while hardly animalic, is far from neutral, just raw enough to pay homage to it's name.
The dark, velvety cloak of seduction that one dons when they wear Musc Ravageur is truly dangerous, to others, and to the self. It smells unapologetically of carnality, and unmistakably of sophistication, and in doing so toes many lines, between prim and debauche, between soft and loud, between innocence and sin, and between mortal and the divine.
There is nothing quite like this, to my nose. And I seldom wear it, not for lack of want, but for fear of being enslaved by it's soft whispers. I have rarely, if ever, called a fragrance flawless. But to me, Musc Ravageur is just that. True perfection.