Perfume Pen Pals: Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur


Looking back through our correspondence over the last year makes me smile. We were both so much younger then, weren't we?

Finally getting around to sampling the Frédéric Malle line was very exciting for me. I was so stuck on my dislike for Musc Ravageur (it comes up in almost every exchange mentioning Malle!), that I had a hard time moving on.

I had remembered reading Basenoters boasting about certain perfumes that lasted over several days -- through showers and, presumably, leaving the house and living life (though one is never sure with some of those guys). And I scoffed. Until I sprayed Musc Ravageur and after a day I still smelled it all over everything. I almost chewed off my own leg to escape. (Luckily, I figured out losing a leg wouldn't make any difference in this case.)

Here I am puzzled by my MR rants and then I go on another one. There's something wrong with me.

It's funny reading your praise of biehl parfumkunstwerke mb03 and realizing you've barely mentioned it since you first bought it. Of course, my emails are filled with praise for things I can't find on the shelf a month later.

Can you find mb03 on your shelf? Without any shuffling or delay? Or is it the little plastic Barbie carrying case you got after you had the Barbie Country Camper?



Well, Mr. Snarkypants, as it happens, mb03 is one of the few bottles I have that's more than half empty. And in the even more exclusive group of perfumes that I loved so much that I finished and bought second bottles? Comme des Garçons Avignon, and your favorite: Musc Ravageur!

Y'know, I never had any Barbie vehicles/houses/horses. Just the Barbies. And a couple plastic carrying cases. I would have loved one of those pink dune buggies. I improvised with a toy truck left behind by one of my older brothers, and ended up with Dyke Barbie.



  1. hey Dan and Katie. There it comes up again, Musc Ravageur! Since I have had a new obsession with Frederic Malle and keep scouting out his work I still think I must try. I too love Avignon and so it seems like Musc is the next in my missing link of scents I should experience. I sadly got my sample of Carnal Flower and although it is amazing I don't think I can pull it off. I am still right now always going back to Dan Tes bras because it still intrigues me when I put it on. Have you guys experienced Outrageous?

    ps G I Joes only liked to wear pants and boots with a bare chest and would go and visit the Barbies down the street.

  2. onesmalldog: Indeed, I've experienced Outrageous! (Frederic's exclamation, not mine). In fact, I sprayed some on in order to write the next few sentences. It's a clean, sporty little apple scent seemingly intended for the younger set, somehow both odder and more realistic than, say, an apple fragrance from Marc Jacobs. And yet I mostly smell like I'm wearing apple deodorant. All over my body. All over my body!

  3. Ok, Dan, calm down! Don't lose a leg over it! I too was surprised to see another menton of Musc Ravageur. I was just complaining about the muskiness of Stella Nude and realize that I probably couldn't handle the truth of MR. I find Stella Nude smells like I sprayed it on a couple days ago and then I went out that night and did the walk of shame not the next morning, but maybe the morning after that, and this is what I smelled like. Not a clean scent at all! Katie's review of it said it was a light clean scent.
    So I will have to skip the MR and go back to some Barbie-lite perfume. And on that note, I think my Barbies were commandeered by a younger sister. I do have the head of what I think was my first one stuffed in a drawer somewhere.

  4. Ha-ha, SoS: "You can't handle the truth! You can't handle the truth!" Yeah, steer clear of MR.

    The slipperiness of reviewing perfumes is that it's essentially a comparative exercise, and there are no absolutes. Well, there are, until you move onto the next perfume that's a dirtier/cleaner/fruitier/flowerier version of the one before it, and then you have to reevaluate everything you've ever thought/said about perfumes until then.

    Taken on its own, Stellanude has a little walk-of-shame goin' on, but then the nose-holes get blown into tarnation by the likes of Le Labo Labdanum 18 or Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan. It's a tricky business, this fragrance evaluating!

  5. What a coincidence, onesmalldog! My Barbies also only liked to wear pants and boots with a bare chest. And there were no Kens to visit. Hence, Dyke Barbie.

  6. you know you make me smile every week.

  7. I keep thinking if I would like smelling like an apple deodorant all over my body. Dan gave me one to ponder.

  8. I like Musc Rav a lot, though it is sweeter than I was expecting. If I didn't know it was in the FM stable, I wouldn't have placed it there. It could even be a sexy designer scent (and that is not a criticism) - it just seems somewhat removed compositionally and in terms of its general vibe from its bedfellows of Le Parfum de Therese, L'Eau d'Hiver, Dans Tes Bras etc. More unexpectedly hoochy. Yet I like it one of the best.

    I wasn't allowed to have any kind of Barbie, much to my chagrin. She was deemed too anatomically provocative. I had to content myself with a procession of Sindys, the Jennifer Aniston to Barbie's Angelina. I say "procession", because my mother managed to melt several of them while drying their hair under the grill.

  9. flittersniffer,your mom must have known my mom. I didn't get Barbies until I was almost too old for dolls. I was the girl playing dolls with my friends and they had their sexy, svelte Barbies and I had my gigantic baby doll complete with diaper and baby bottle. When I finally got one it was almost anticlimactic. I think I have been a day late and a dollar short ever since.

  10. Aha, ScentsofSmell - that doll you mention sounds like our Tiny Tears. You poured water in one end and it came out the other. I wasn't allowed her either as she was deemed too anatomically correct. : - )

    I know what you mean about being "a day late and a dollar short" - I was in Ladybird pyjamas and Cherub vests (brand names, not motifs, thankfully) till about age 16.

  11. flittersniffer, sounds like your mum was on anatomical lockdown for your entire childhood!

    SoS, that image of the gigantic baby doll trying to "hang" with the Barbies is so sweet and "awww".

    Oh, and flittersniffer, and speaking of odd doll out, it never occurred to me to think of Musc Ravageur that way, and I completely agree. And at certain times I like to think of myself as "unexpectedly hoochie".