Tom Ford Urban Musk from the White Musk Collection is described as “A musk of carnal passion, a sexy hedonistic scent that leaves an indelible and irresistible impression“. I really do not know where the name “urban” comes in but that is popular in perfumery. We all have an “urban” perfume stereotype, mine being CK1 and Bvlgari Black. But, what does “urban” actually mean? I really do not know where Tom Ford was going with this one. I’d never use the words “carnal“, “hedonistic” or “raw” to describe it. This is actually a very floral white musk that comes across as very tame. In fact, Urban Musk reminds me of my 2nd grade teacher. She wore a mix of something that smelled of Jovan White Musk and Vanilla Fields (most likely not it, not launched yet). She would spend lunches reading Victoria Magazine and knitting doilies while listening to John Tesh. Not very “raw”, huh?
The opening of Urban Musk has a classic vibe, well, sort of. It has to be the black plum reminding me of epic French perfumes like Madame Rochas. This fades after about 10 minutes. It is very floral with lots of jasmine. This jasmine is heady, synthetic, and cheap smelling. It reminds me of a B&BW jasmine accord or something that Jovan already uses. It’s like little faux jasmine flowers made from plastic. There is a strange plastic quality to the florals in Urban Musk. Beneath all of this, there is a heavy handed amount of powderiness. The powderiness reminds me of amber incense smoke and baby powder. It’s too clean to be incense-like in my opinion but not as “white” as baby powder. Tom Ford Urban Musk is definitely beige. Is that the urban reference? Like smoggy baby powder?At this stage, my husband commented that it smells like “drugstore up in here“. He’s right. These powdery synthetic flowers with white musk do remind me of cheaper fragrances, way cheaper than $190. No joke. This reminds me of a $10 Coty fragrance, hmm…perhaps Vanilla Fields in that metal, aerosol spray bottle or Jovan White Musk. Once again, I’m faced with another White Musk Collection perfume that smells like I could buy it at the drugstore for under $15. Anyways, it’s the dry-down that makes me like/tolerate Urban Musk…not full redemption here.
The dry down reminds me of “suede” like musk, jasmine, and spices drowned in resin. More of the beige. It’s a very soft and “comfortable” fragrance. The musk is rich, warm. The base is creamy but the subtle jasmine keeps it smelling fresher than the notes listed would have you believe. Personally, I could live without this freshness. There’s just enough animalic honey to make Urban Musk sweet. It really wears nicely on me,but I tend to wear honey scents nicely. I forget I’m wearing it, catch a whiff, and think “Oh, I smell really good”. I kind of like when I forget about a fragrance and then it comes back to surprise me. This is novel for an overly observant fragrance wearer. It’s nice to turn my fragrance conscious off for a bit. It’s nice to be anosmic to the molecules. Even if those molecules smell like they are from Jovan or Coty.
Out of all of the Tom Ford White Musk Collection perfumes that I have tried, so far Urban Musk is the only one that I’d wear. It isn’t mind blowing and I will never purchase a full-size bottle. I’ll use up my sample and be happy with the brief time Urban Musk and I spent together. Honey and resin notes work well with my body chemistry but there are 50 million other scents out there I’d rather buy. I tend to adore scents that wear warm, cuddly, musky, and soft. But, there are many, many pretty and affordable “beige” scents out there. Tom Ford Urban Musk reminds me of a cream colored cashmere wrap cardigan, longer length, luxurious. It’s simple and comfortable. The wears wants you to tell that they paid lots for it despite its simplicity. But, you know that the wearer could of bought one just like it TJ Maxx or Nordstrom Rack. In fact, most people will think that it came from one of these places. I see Tom Ford Urban Musk as more of a feminine fragrance. I may be saying this because I can’t imagine a man wanting to smell a bit like Coty Vanilla Fields. Hmm…what would John Tesh say to that? Take a gander at this picture.
Notes listed include jasmine, honey, black plum, incense, ambrette seed absolute, white pepper, cumin, white honey, orpur, and musk. I think the notes listed sound a million times more interesting than the actual fragrance.
Try Tom Ford Urban Musk if you like powdery floral white musk fragrances. Or if you like fragrances such as Natori, Fresh Cannabis Santal EDP, Jo Malone Nectarin Blossom & Honey, Donna Karan Cashmere Mist, Coty Vanilla Fields, Lacoste Pour Femme and/or Estee Lauder Sensuous. Tom Ford is likable and neutral enough. I really do wish I could purchase it in laundry detergent so I can hand wash sweaters in it.
Want more reviews? Try…
Now Smell This (I agree with Kevin)
Perfume Posse (I would call it “cuddly” too)
The Non-Blonde (what is up with the name, Urban Musk?)