Double trouble, By Kilian Musk Oud

Originally I wasn’t planning to review the newest perfume in Arabian Nights collection from Mister Kilian Hennessy. I gave it a brief sniff soon after its release but I was rather unimpressed so I let it be. Sooner or later I will just swap that sample – it’s better that way than when it collects the dust kept in my drawer unused. But since we have this fancy week of 7 perfumes in 7 days I decided to write about Musk Oud which in any other case would be easily forgotten by me.

Before I go to the review I’d like to stress the fact that I totally don’t understand the marketing strategies of By Kilian as a perfume brand. Five oud-themed perfume for me is too much for a single house plus I don’t like the schedule of launches. The first one, Pure Oud appeared in 2009, it was followed by Rose Oud in 2010. Then Incense Oud and Amber Oud in 2011 and now Musk Oud. I wish they split the two from 2012 for two years so that one oud perfume was released per year. But this is just my vision and I am not a marketing expert. Just my moaning. Now… to perfume.

The opening act of By Kilian Musk Oud is a tidal wave of musk on my skin. I smell raw, animalic if not a fecal kind of musk. It has that dense, powerful structure that will be definitely too much for those who are not infatuated and obsessive by this raw perfume material. I definitely don’t belong to that group! Couple of minutes later I start to smell trouble. Double trouble because here appears the oud. In the whole oud fragrances trend I am quite lucky that oud notes don’t manifest themselves too bold on my skin. However Musk Oud doesn’t classify as one of those. As I write this my arm is almost dripping with oud. No joke!

10 to 20 minutes into the fragrance development the overall impression becomes a little bit better. The composition spices up with peppery coriander and warm cardamom. This stage is also visited by a huge rose. It is lush, with scarlet and almost black petals that are soaked with oud. By this phase of Musk Oud I’m kind of reminded of a similar scent which is Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Silk Mood. Do I have to mention that Silk Mood was much more wearable and pleasant?

After about an hour of wearing this new By Kilian perfume I started detecting my “favourite” perfume note – patchouli. It was really leafy, smelling kind of like a damp soil mixed with the roots of some plants. The addition of davana which has a specific herbal, dry shrub aroma made this fragrance very unappetizing. I still can smell the rose which is the nicest note available in Musk Oud. And when I was starting to think that the scent is not as bad as I thought and judged by the brief smelling I gave it, I almost died in panic! The musky note reappeared in the most hideous, obscure way possible. Brr, I get shivers only for the thought.

I was attacked by a hard to describe smell that to me, in the closest comparison, was a mix of unwashed, sweaty clothes and sticky, greasy hair. So gross and so off-putting. Maybe it’s just my skin or a bad day for testing this kind of scent (it was kind of humid the day I tried it) but I truly hope you won’t have to go through this horror I experienced. When the wave of dread was over I could smell a little bit of oily quality from cypress (close to Amouage Opus VII opening) with smoky aspect of frankincense. It was then sweetened by the sugar cane syrup made for producing rum.

By Kilian Musk Oud is a bad perfume if you ask me. In my opinion it lacks creativity. With the number of oud fragrances released in the last couple of years I know it’s difficult to release something innovative and sparkling new. Musk Oud doesn’t bring that. It’s just another fragrance with oud out there in the ocean of similar launches. You can love it, you can hate it or stay indifferent. It’s all up to you which of the options will be the right one.

My feeling is also that this perfume should last longer. With oud and musk it should be durable and I can’t smell it after 6 hours. It’s projection  is rather low. Only the opening is big. Musk Oud was composed for By Kilian by perfumer Alberto Morillas. It occurs in the same volumes and options as other fragrances in the line. 50mls with clutch, refills, travel sizes.

[private note] This review is not and never will be intended to offend anyone starting from the brand owners and ending on perfume enthusiasts who enjoy wearing this fragrance. The only purpose of writing this review was to express my personal attitude towards the scent and to show you there’s the other side of the coin. If anyone felt offended – I apologize for that.

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24 thoughts on “Double trouble, By Kilian Musk Oud

  1. LOL. Clearly not a love for you. Actually, I am looking forward to testing this as Incense Oud is one of my all time favorites and Rose Oud is wonderful. I was pretty meh about Amber Oud, but if this has a bit of dirty in it, then I might like it. Fun to read your review Lucas!

    • lucasai says:

      Definitely not a love for me. I’m close to hating it actually. I’m fine with oud in smaller doses but dirty musk is a nay for me. I prefer clean, creamy musks.
      If you suppose you might like it – go for it and get the sample.
      Thanks. Glad you had fun reading.

  2. Kafkaesque says:

    Hilarious! Despite grinning enormously at your panic at the return of the attacking musk, I appreciated your honesty in the review. You definitely gave it a shot, even though you’re the last person to deal well with animalic notes. But it sounds particularly extreme and intense in this perfume. And, my God, for once Oud/agarwood really manifested itself on your skin! (That’s a change. Now you know how I feel all the time. LOL.)

    I have a sample of this one coming my way in a day or two. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to trying it. Now, after your review, even less than I was before…. 😉 Nice job, Lucas, and very evocative review!

    • lucasai says:

      It wasn’t hillarious at all! How can you grin with happiness when I suffered from dirty musk attack. What was I supposed to write, that I loved it and that it felt like I was embraced by a luscious pair of dirty socks 😛
      It was the first time oud turned so intensive and bad on my skin. Even Montale ouds and Kurkdjian Oud Trio was a heaven comparing to Musk Oud.

      I’ll be curious to read your point of view but I’m 99,9% sure you’re NOT gonna like it.

      • Kafkaesque says:

        It was hilarious because I’ve been through similarly pained, terrible experiences (one just recently, in fact), so I could really relate to your horror. Plus, you wrote it so amusingly!

        Wait, the MFK Oud Moods trio was “heaven” as compared to this? I find that a truly alarming statement. Then again, you’ve never had to really, really endure the true effects of oud since your skin muted it all this time, so all I can say is: Welcome — finally — to my world! 😛 😉 Now you can perhaps imagine exactly what Opus VII was like on me (minus the panther pee which you didn’t get here)!!

        • lucasai says:

          I see. I certainly know now what you go through when there’s oud in perfume. But I still think my bad reaction is lighter than yours.

          No, it wasn’t really a heaven with MFK Oud Moods (but I really liked Silk Mood) but they’re much MUCH better than Kilian Oud Musk. You’ll see soon how it smells on you.
          That’s correct, I never had to endure the oud overpowering me, so all in all oud trend doesn’t affect me much.
          Thank you for the welcome !
          I’m trying to imagine now how Opus VII couldn’t be like a ticking bomb on you.

  3. lorraine says:

    Yikes 🙂 I like your honesty, Lucas. I have to admit ‘musk’ and ‘oud’ don’t sound like an appealing combination to begin with!

    • lucasai says:

      Musk and oud definitely don’t sound like a beautiful perfume promising combination.
      Glad you liked the honesty. I want you to know my point of view, good or bad.

  4. hajusuuri says:

    Another pass for me, dear Lucas. Nice review and easy on my wallet!

  5. Yet another oud? 5 is definitely way too many. But we never know how well they might actually be selling elsewhere in the world though!

    • lucasai says:

      Yes, another one! 3 is too many, not to mention 4-5. I bet they sell well. Kilian has a wide audience and it’s a popular brand but to me it has nothing really good to offer.

  6. Yikes! Well, like the Scented Hound, I really do like Incense Oud and Rose Oud a like. Amber Oud left me kind of cold . . . actually I couldn’t really smell it so maybe I’m anosmic to something in there

    I am still looking forward to sniffing this one, but will approach more cautiously!

  7. […] was the case with Lucas of Chemist in a Bottle whose traumatized account of the fragrance reads, in part, as […]

  8. Undina says:

    I smelled this one on a blotter (before reading your review) and didn’t like it at all. I didn’t even plan to test it on skin. Now I see that I was right 🙂

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