perfume review

Musc Moschus by Rania J. (2019)

What an intriguing mirroring of close, but not identical synonyms… – that is what I thought when I first found out that Rania J. launches a new perfume, Musc Moschus.

Initial curiosity was inevitably followed by some anticipation: I knew Rania Jouaneh’s strong, bold creations, I very much enjoyed juxtaposition of warm freshness and dark booziness of tobacco in Habanero, loved the rose/oud interpretation in Rose Ishtar, so I expected the new perfume with rather a pleonastic name to be on a track with previous creations.

Well, Musc Moschus is everything but.

Though Musc Moschus turned out to be as rich, its character, almost features a mirror personality, compared to other members of Rania J. line. The perfume also reveals rich shades and shifts, but on a soft-spoken, quietly sensual way.

Mirroring suggested in the name that pairs, joins and confronts musk and moschus – two closely connected, but different entities – permeates the whole composition.

The perfume opens with dry, tickling, almost peppery fresh bergamot, but the suggestion of sharpness is immediately covered and calmed with sweetness, which remains close to surface until deep drydown.

The first impression of perfume being overflown with almost gourmandish sweetness is tricky deceiving: swirls of lightly meaty fruitiness mixed with cheerful cotton candy allusions are balanced with dry iris petals and cloudy, powdery white musk, both adding freshness and lightly powdered transparency.

Stepping into the front, the clean musc features a pillow placed under fruity vanillic iris petals to soften a woody frame. On the way to drydown woods become firmer and more apparent as a contrast to sweet, white musky layer on the surface.

Just before the other musc peeks out, the perfume creates an elusive impression of light smokiness rising up from woods. This smoky effect at the same time draws the focus away from the light fruity and sweet top and redirects it to the darker and seductive heart.

The heart of the perfume beets in the skillful interplay between clean white musc and its alter ego – moschus – not dirty, but quite “lived in”.

If the musc is to be scent’s Ego – sweetly tender and flowery patterned white lace covering the surface, the other musc – moschus works almost as Id, a quiet uncensored and slightly disturbing factor lurking from shady lived in depths beneath the surface.

Trough the phase, when musc and moschus are confronted, perfume does not come near animalic or in any way dirty, but this minimal input of id-musc/moschus expressively creates a tension of withheld.

As the white lace fades and shady-warm woods strengthen, musc and moschus dance into the deep drydown. The dance is slow but on a verge of funk.

Close to the base the role of the leading dancer is transferred from musc to moschus, and the quietly tempting dance amazingly lasts for hours, before the closely connected but essentially different muscs are melted into one.

As mirroring becomes personal and personal becomes private, Musc Moschus manifest the definition of a skin scent which lives on the skin as sensual experience to be enjoyed closely and privately.


The review is based on the discovery set from my own acquisition. Opinions are my own.

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