Drugstore Divas Week – 2016
This week I’m revisiting popular perfumes available at US drugstores. The sort of perfumes that many of us know but many of us perfume lovers completely ignore.
Young Victoria used to wear Skin Musk oil over Parfums de Coeur Malibu Musk¹ body spray. I spent years smelling like fruits smothered in musk. Eventually, I graduated to full-blown headshop musks and aged patchouli (because those felt much more alt-cult and “cool”).
If you’re into perfume and didn’t wear Skin Musk in your yourth, you probably know about it through Chandler Burr’s “The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry of Paris and New York“. This book covers two popular perfume launches that distinguish some of the similarities and differences of an American celebrity perfume launch and that of an European luxury designer label. Sarah Jessica Parker uses a perfume oil from Bonne Bell as one of her inspirations for her first fragrance, Lovely. After Burr’s book was published, I remember how difficult it was to find bottles of Skin Musk! The prices shot up on auction sites. A celeb perfume made a 1970’s perfume oil popular again.
Skin Musk is a powdery musk that reminds me of sandalwood and rose petals. The sandalwood is bitter and after retrying it, the sandalwood is much more noticeable than I remember. There’s a subtle lily-of-the-valley green/floral thing going on in the first couple of minutes. For the most part, Skin Musk is linear. It wears as a woodsy, powdery musk with warmth. It’s sheer. It’s “skin musk”.
For the most part, the Parfums de Coeur relaunch is the same as the Bonne Bell one. However, it could be my memory or it could be the perfume itself, but it seems less citrus-y than I remember. It’s been so long and I can’t do a side-by-side comparison. All I know for sure is that this cheap little oil smells really good. It’s excellent worn alone or layered with other perfumes.
Notes listed include flowers, sandalwood and musk. Originally launched in 1975 ²
Give Skin Musk a try if you like musk perfumes or “my skin but better” perfumes. Or perfumes like Coty Wild Musk, Sarah Horowitz Perfect Veil, Sage Machado Pearl, Ava Luxe Nude Musk, Kuumba Made Vanilla Musk, Pinrose Pillow Talk and/or The Body Shop White Musk.
I’ve reviewed the perfume oil which I have always preferred over the spray. It wears closely to the skin. Longevity is average.
Skin Musk is available at most drugstores for about $10 (there’s also a spray that retails for more). It’s also available at discounters like Perfume.com.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Sandalwood musk. Not everything has to be expensive. For $10, you can smell really darn good.
¹While writing this, I found out that Malibu Musk has been discontinued and now I’m going through all the stages of grief.
²I’m reviewing a new bottle purchased 5/2016.
Want more reviews? Try…
Basenotes – Member reviews
Yesterday’s Perfume – Review of the vintage
Perfume Fountain – A roundup of 1970’s era musks.