It's hard to believe that almost 20 years have passed since the launch of Musc Ravageur!
Luca Turin's verdict: '.... i shared 'more flashy than good' absolutely back then, and I remember feeling the scent as loud, bold and banal - a slightly too sweet musk-centered work in the mainstream vanilla garb.
What a mistake!
Basically, I wasn't that wrong, but I hadn't bothered to let MR work on me in peace.
MR wasn't flashy, I was. Once sniffed at it and - zap - made a judgement. MR is a scent which, like hardly any other, should be tested slowly and above all several times in order to be able to judge it appropriately.
MR is a true scent chameleon: one time you think you recognize an oriental scent dominated by musk and vanilla, while another time it turns out to be a classic fougère, with herbaceous lavender notes in the head and heart, and a powdery-animal base.
Interestingly enough, he is also perceived just as unevenly - and after almost 20 years many people have really spoken about him in the various forums!
From the ultra-feminine, sweet gourmand Oriental, completely unwearable for the male sex, to the testosterone-laden Mocho-Fougère, this time absolutely not recommended to the ladies. Very, very many sometimes absurdly contradicting judgments can be found among all these comments.
But many, and I belong to this group now, do not share these extreme positions. The scent is not one or the other, it is both.
With MR it's a bit like back then with 'Mary & Gordy': at the end of one of their shows they put off the fumble and the wigs to Frank Sinatra's 'My Way', pulled the fake eyelashes off their eyelids, wiped the make-up off their cheeks and stood in front of their audience at the last bars recognizable as what they actually were: as men. Of course everyone knew from the beginning that the two were travesty artists, but they were so perfect that one somehow forgot. But now, at the end of the show, it was still surprising that it was these guys who did all the fancy work.
A basenoter wrote about MR: '... a sexual dragqueen of frag.'
The scent is just like a striptease - from vamp to guy.
And just as all the glitter camouflages the male core, so initially a sweet-sour, slightly bitter tangerine-bergamot chord camouflages, in the wake of a warm blossoming clove and cinnamon-spicy vanilla sweetness in the heart, the actual aromatic-herbal lavender core on quite hearty animal base (although, it is not so hearty, but later on...).
A transformation from 'Shalimar' to 'Kouros', so to speak, where MR has neither the opulence of one fragrance nor the skingout of the other.
No, MR doesn't look so busty by a long shot, but he also shows off his guts with less legs apart, is slimmer, androgynous - and yet both fragrances are somehow godfathers.
The animal base at all! It is judged as differently as the whole fragrance: from unbearable and unacceptable, to addictive and extremely erotic.
For lovers of 'White-Musc'- and 'Clean-Musc'- scents, of clean scents at all, it might not be tolerable at all. But if you appreciate fragrances with a considerable proportion of civet and/or animalis (a perfume base of various animal secretions), don't faint at 'Kouros', find Dior's 'Leather Oud' wearable and also Bogue's fragrances, you won't have a problem with MR at all.
I find this animal side extremely stimulating (not to say: exciting!) and very sexy!
I can think of two more scents that I loosely associate with MR. One is Alyssa Ashley's 'Musk' from the 60s and the other is good ole 'Jicky'.
Musk' was a quite popular fragrance during my school days in the 70s, one of the many hippie musk scents of the time. Compared to MR, however, it is much more boring and above all harmless, not 'ravageur', i.e.: stunning, devastating, destructive.... Nothing like that is Alyssa Ashley's 'Musk', and yet MR reminds me of this scent every now and then, and makes me somehow nostalgic.
Jicky', on the other hand, is a similar scent chameleon - just as difficult to decipher, whether 'pour homme' or 'pour femme', whether Fougère or already somehow Orientale, but exactly this mask play, this vagueness, this elusiveness from the location, that's what I really appreciate about 'Jicky', but also about MR.
With 'Jicky' MR connects another parallel: both are slim scents, which build on a few chords - rather minimalistic scents with maximum effect
Speaking of maximum effect: MR lasts on me incredibly long. I don't think I've ever experienced a scent like this before. Even 2 days later I can still feel it on my skin, and that - unlike Bogue's 'Mem' - is not unpleasant at all, quite the opposite. If 'Mem' is somehow penetrating and killing, MR remains steadfast to one's side, but just 'to one's side', without burying the carrier (olfactory).
Luca Turin's verdict I have to vary: '....not flashy, really good!'