Musky pleasure, Parfum d’Empire Musc Tonkin

Parfum d’Empire is well known for their fine fragrances, made with extreme care and full awareness. Every bottle in the line hides some very specific emotions and sights from the past times. Done in a perfect way, rich with raw materials they easily captured my heart. This year Parfum d’Empire & Marc-Antoine Corticchiato launched new, 1000 bottles limited fragrance named Musc Tonkin, which happens to be an extrait de parfum. Perfume blogosphere is pretty excited about it and so am I.

Musk Tonkin is done in a different way than other Parfum d’Empire scents. You don’t get this perfume served on the silver plate with all background story and list of the notes. Marc-Antoine Corticchiato didn’t want to put Musk Tonkin into a specified fragrance frame. He is the creator but the whole interpretation is left in our hands. It’s us (and our noses) who try to solve the riddle. Writing a review without a notes list you can look at is more of a challenge but I’m gonna give it a try.

First whiff reveals the presence of something semi-sweet, I would say it’s bourbon vanilla, matched with an impressive dose of spicy tonka. Shortly Musc Tonkin explodes with animalic, kind of filthy type of musk. In it’s early stage of development Musc Tonkin is very powerful. I would say it’s very concentrated, dense and chewy – the smell is so strong one can almost touch the aromatic molecules and taste them on ones tongue. The perfume is intoxicating and overwhelming at first try.

After some time Parfum d’Empire Musc Tonkin becomes much more wearable when the great sillage takes the volume down. There are only traces of vanilla left and the tonka bean spiciness seems to be stronger than it was right after spraying it on my wrist. Musk is more powdery now with a lot of embracing aura to it. This whole review contains a lot of speculations but I think that I could smell a sultry mix of stewed fruits. I would say plum, apricot, maybe some pear? It is hard to tell.

Few hours later from the moment of application my nose noted a feeling associated with cinnamon aroma and with amber. Slightly spicy and smoky, with a tingle. Some woody tones also seem to be noticeable here (but I don’t know if there are any in Musc Tonkin), ebony comes to my mind when I think of woody accords here. Musc Tonkin also creates an illusion of having Parfum d’Empire chypre element hidden inside. I think I could smell some dry oakmoss – raw and dirty, really enjoyable.

Taking into consideration the entire perfume I’m sure to say that Musc Tonkin is an extremely well made perfume. It’s perfectly blended and has a complicated complexity. I think that we’ll never find out what ingredients Marc-Antoine Corticchiato used to create it. No matter it was only musk or not Parfum d’Empire Musc Tonkin needs respect! This stuff is potent. It offers an excellent longevity and wonderful sillage. It’s filled with erotism, lust and sensuality. As mentioned earlier this perfume is only limited to 1000 bottles so if you want to try – be quick! 50 ml of Extrait de parfum for 120€ is an extremely good price. Once again Parfum d’Empire brought us great scent for great value.


25 thoughts on “Musky pleasure, Parfum d’Empire Musc Tonkin

  1. Thanks Lucas…from what I am gathering you like it, but it’s not one of your favorite Pd’E scents?!

    • lucasai says:

      Hello Scented Hound! I really like Musc Tonkin but it’s pretty specific. You need to really be into this kind of perfume to fully adore Musc Tonkin.
      So it seems that I would rank this one somewhere in the middle of my Pd’E classification. I like it better than Wazamba or Fougere Bengale for instance.

  2. Dionne says:

    I’m impressed with your review, Lucas. I’d find it intimidating to write a review with no background; even after several years as a perfumista, it’s still a regular occurence to smell something and recognize it but not be able to find the words. My own decant hasn’t arrived yet, and I’m really looking forward to getting it.

    • lucasai says:

      Thanks Dionne! It was really challenging to write without a notes list support but still I had fun trying to determine what I smell. I should note somewhere in the review that it’s 100% based on my own impressions and that other people may find this review completely inaccurate.

  3. RobWales says:

    My bottle arrived in the post yesterday, and I’ve had only the briefest spritz so far. My first impression is favourable. This is a very complex fragrance indeed. It’s going to take a lot of investigating, and will give a great amount of pleasure!

  4. laniersmith says:

    Now that was a challenge well met! Bravo.

  5. Flaconneur says:

    I just received my sample today. I’ll be placing my order tonight because I surely don’t want to miss out of this wonderful limited edition creation from Parfum d’Empire. I enjoyed your impressions, lucasai.

    • lucasai says:

      Enjoy the sample and the bottle that will arrive soon! Such a limited edition is worth owning. I wonder if Corticchiato will do some more limited editions in the future one day

  6. Christos says:

    Excellent review! I am so looking forward to smelling this and on the verge of a blind buy

  7. Sweetgrass says:

    I ordered a sample from Luckyscent, and it should be arriving any day now. I’m excited to try it.

    • lucasai says:

      I’m curious to hear your thoughts on it later 🙂

      • Sweetgrass says:

        Just got my sample today. First impressions: the first whiff from the vial was pretty feral, but on my skin it’s not quite as much. On skin the other notes come out and blend with the musky bits more. I get the tonka thing you described at the very beginning. I would guess there’s some civet (or the synthetic equivalent thereof) in here. I think I got a slight whiff of cumin in the early stages, and something kind of soapy/powdery.. a little iris, maybe? The cumin doesn’t last long. The soapy/powdery thing turns a bit rooty after a few minutes and stays around for a while as the floral notes emerge. I get jasmine, maybe a little orange blossom but I’m not sure. As it dries down it’s kind of powdery sweet jasmine with the civety musk. Normally I don’t like powdery, but in this case it’s not overly so and it works. This stuff is sexy as hell, and it strikes me as being really retro. I haven’t tried vintage Rochas Femme or something like that, but this seems kind of like how I’ve heard vintage Femme described. I kinda want to get a sample of that now and compare.

      • Sweetgrass says:

        I’ll add that now, several hours in, it’s still going, but mostly as a slightly sweet, woodsy musk. The civet (or whatever) note has gradually receded so it’s not particularly animalic at this point. The later stages are nice and take on kind of a cozy feel to me. So far I really like Musc Tonkin a lot.. the price isn’t bad at all for an extrait but I don’t know when I’d have an occasion to wear it.

  8. Only a 1000 bottles?! Oh, I hope I get to smell this before it’s all gone.

  9. Ferris says:

    Only 1000 bottles? Holy crap. This Musc Tonkin must be pretty popular, as lucky scent appears to be sold out. Any other outlets you can get this? I’m curious to try this musky scent out and see how it fares on my skin. I tried Wazamba and I didn’t like it too much. The red apple and incense-like accord wasn’t fare well with me, but it was interesting. So if it’s nothing like Wazamba I will probably like it. I like the fact that the perfumer didn’t release a list of notes, makes it more exciting to figure out what’s in it. Great review and I am now a follower of your blog.

    • lucasai says:

      Yes Ferris, it’s very exclusive. And it’s popular due to Corticchiato being a great perfumer and this fragrance being an extrait for great price. If you ask me if you want to acquire a bottle you’ll do best to order directly from Parfum d’Empire website.
      I didn’t try Wazamba but Musc Tonkins sounds nothing like it.

      Welcome to the Chemist in the Bottle family 🙂

  10. […] but Musc Tonkin is definitely a “grungey flower.” And it is a flower that is “filled with erotism, lust and sensuality,” to quote the review from Lucasai from Chemist in The Bottle. Others, however, seem to have […]

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