Friday, July 23, 2010

Mystery of Musk: Sensual Embrace by JoAnne Bassett, Drifting Sparks by Artemisia Natural Perfume reviews

I smelled a lot of fragrances made of all naturals for the Mystery of Musk project. Some went for carnality (see Kewda), some opted for sensuality (see Eau Natural), others were firmly into gourmand territory (Craving anyone?) and others still were bacchic (Graines de Paradis and Dionysus). Sensual Embrace by JoAnne Bassett was a surprise: Uncitrusy citrus on top (mandarin and clementine have a mellower, sweeter aspect than what we usually associate with tangy tart citrus, i.e. bergamot and lemon), almost aqueous progression, a hint of violet and rose of all things and then less suprisingly tobacco muskiness; honeyed and smooth, baby, yeah, let's get into that groovy feeling! Not exactly what we have come to associate musk per se (or at least what most people conditioned into drugstore musks have come to expect), yet very animalistically and pleasantly so (jasmine pairs incredibly well with musky smells, its indoles enhanced). Sensual Embrace is a proper perfume rather than a plain musk "accord" for sure, like a diaphanous and creamy-retro scent for dilettanti. The only drawback is its lasting power is rather short.
Joanne Bassett's site can be found on this link.

Difting Sparks was composed by Lisa Fong and if your idea of musk is close to powdery rose and honey (or if you like Lorenzo Villoresi's take on his Musk, to make things simper), then it's a must try! Mastic gum for instance gives that hazy, fluffy, and at once oleaginous feel that could be close to a rose-musk. The rose here is resting atop polished woods, like a parqueted floor in an old appartment: aristocratic, classy, inviting, warm. Ambergris provides the right touch, someplace between an object and human flesh. The intriguing ingredient of motia attar I learned is jasmine sambac from India co-distilled in sandalwood, producing a soft note without the heaviness of traditional full-on jasmine ~curiously enough. Makes your mouth water at the thought of those two delicious essences coupled...Still, very well blended, so you can't pinpoint it as such, you just feel the creaminess and the depth.
I found that the overall smoothness, almost linear (after the first three minutes), assured progression and the good manners of this perfume managed to please me, even if a muskier or more animalistic composition was at the back of my mind initially. I can't see Lisa having too much trouble selling this one!

The notes for Drifting Sparks are mastic absolute, beeswax absolute, rose otto, bois rose and cedarwood for the top; rose absolute, orange blossom absolute, jasmine sambac absolute, and essential oil of the blossoms of the nyctanthes aboritistus tree, from India for the heart; ambergris, agarwood, angelica root, ambrette seed absolute, black current absolute, motia attar, sandalwood and siam wood for the base.
Lisa Fong resides in Oakland, California and her Artemisia Natural Perfume site can be reached here.

Please visit the rest of the participating blogs and fora on the Mystery of Musk project following the links provided.

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