Pierre Guillame, the young and charismatic perfumer behind the Parfumerie Generale line, composed an unusual gourmand musk with subtle animalic vibrations beneath, like a male lion heard from a distance, which gives pause to think: Is it foody? Is it in dried fruits & wood Lutensian territory? Is it powdery musky? What is it exactly? There's nothing more exciting than a perfume that throws all caution to the wind and perplexes.
The opening of Musc Maori is as promised a strong, sweet cocoa note (juiced over by bergamot & orange) and with the smell of planked woods on which a subversive non homemaking type is preparing chocolate-chip cookies with a dash of Tia Maria coffee liqueur. Yet the aroma of chocolate slowly dissipates and we're experiencing the rise of a powdery, warm, almost clean musk with vanilla in the background, as if the person in question is slowly heating up in that enclosed space of the kitchen, "cooking" alongside the cookies, revealing the fleur de peau note that musks are famous for. After all, musk (like patchouli) does have a natural aspect of cocoa, so it makes sense to pair the two. A hint of floral (jasmine?) wrapped up in cellophane is peeking through, there is a rubber, dusty wood-glue note which is discombobulating. (Might I venture there is some Okoumal aroma-synthetic by Givaudan in there?)
Of course Tonka beans already have a chocolate facet, so coupled with a lactone and vanilla they would give this feel of chocolate being heated up. If it were naughtier, it would evoke bedroom play involving dribbled chocolate syrup, but it doesn't cross the line, even though it tethers there for a few seconds in promise. The overall impression is one of a linear, uncomplicated scent, which doesn't transform through distinct stages, but rather performs a diminuendo of its original motif.
You have to at least like gourmands to appreciate this one, although it isn't your typical Angel clone where the caramel and Caspirene glob you on the head, nor is it as dry and espresso-laced as the refined patchouli in Borneo 1834. The buttery, lactonic feel is reminiscent of Matin Calin by Comptoir Sud Pacifique, so those who like the latter and want a chocolate-milk version or one which reminds them of Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lotion should try it. The Non Blonde compares it to Lea Extreme without the almond-coconut tonality and I will take her word for it. I guess this makes it more feminine than unisex, although adventurous males with a sweet tooth might want to try it out. Musc Maori by Parfumerie Generale is something to be sampled for sure anyway: I can't think of a weirder, more kinky musk out there!
Notes for Parfumerie Generale Musc Maori:
Musc Maori 04 circulates as an Eau de Parfum which lasts for ages, in both 30ml/1oz, 50ml/1.7oz and 100ml/3.4oz sizes, available at Luckyscent, First in Fragrance and The Perfume Shoppe.