The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.

Musc Tonkin by Parfum d’Empire


MuscTonkin-ParfumdempireOK…I was sucked in.  The following factors make for a dangerous combination:

  1. Limited Edition
  2. Only 1000 bottles
  3. Parfum d’Empire / Marc Antoine Corticchiato

Since the perfumes of Parfum d’Empire are some of my favorites and since I have found that there really isn’t anything in the line that I don’t like, I thought that this would make for the perfect Christmas present for me.  As my better half is not a perfumista, I was going to put all the ordering information together for him so all he had to do is push a button.  A couple of Mondays ago I saw that Beautyhabit had Musc Tonkin on their website for sale; by Wednesday it was gone.  The same situation occurred at Lucky Scent…’SOLD OUT’.  I panicked and looked all over the web and the only place that I saw it for sale was on the Parfum d’Empire website.  I was not going to lose out, so I placed my order.

WHAT I SMELL:  In the bottle it smells very sweet and somewhat fruity.  When you first put it on the juice it’s thick, you can see the sheen on your skin.  It’s a bit camphoric and incredibly musky.  At first the musk is sweet…it’s strong but I rather like it.  In a bit, some tuberose or jasmine develops out of the musk. I have never been a fan of tuberose so I was a bit scared.  I can’t say that it’s earthy, but instead is more of a ripened floral.  I was expecting this to be warm, but while there is a bit of warmth, there is more a green note mixed with the musk.  It then turns more animalic and it feels a bit dirty and a bit sour.  As it develops it truly becomes stronger.  However, in the drydown, Musc Tonkin turns away from the beastly and instead becomes more of a beauty as it reveals itself as a floral scent.  In the very end (hours later), its a soft floral that has a bit of a metallic edge.

Since the notes were never published, the following is my guess (I can hear MAC laughing now):  tonka bean, jasmine, tuberose, musk, civet, bergamot, camphor or eucalyptus, vetiver, oak moss

I have heard some folks say there is a nice leather note in this.  Not to my nose.  I have also heard that this becomes powdery.  If there is any powder in there, it’s incredibly faint.

my-golden-grunge-flowerWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  A grungey flower

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE MUSC TONKIN:   Miss Havisham-ish, pungent, different

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT MUSC TONKIN:  Chemist in a Bottle, Perfume Posse

BOTTOM LINE:  What I find that I love about the Parfum d’Empire fragrances is that there is an undercurrent of oak moss which creates this lush and luxurious base.  I believe it’s here but its very muted.  As such it doesn’t create that wonderful base like with the others.  Surprisingly, this is a very nice white floral scent once you get past the opening which is an interesting ride.  In fact, my hubby likes it (the drydown) and he does not like heavy fragrances.  Does Musc Tonkin make me feel hot and bothered?  No.  Unlike Kurkdjian’s Absolue Pour le Soir which makes me want to take myself on a date, this is more removed.  It shouts a bit, but doesn’t beg you to come near.  I’m glad I bought a bottle, but I am going to have a hard time figuring out when and where I would wear this.  I do have sneaking feeling that this blind buy is going to grow on me more over time.

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of 5 possible bones
  • Scent: Musk
  • Nose: Marc Antoine Corticchiato
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: 120 Euros for 50ml Parfum Extrait

Author: The Scented Hound

Just a normal guy with the nose of a beagle!

29 thoughts on “Musc Tonkin by Parfum d’Empire

  1. I love to see that I’m not the only one who makes a blind buy now and then.


  2. First of all, Kudos for taking the plunge on a full bottle. I totally respect succumbing to lures and temptation. *grin* Second, I hear soooooooooooooooo many wonderful things about this scent! I also ordered a sample when I placed my Surrender to Chance order (er… my 3rd StC order, alas) but something held me back. Perhaps the fact that it *is* so limited edition?

    I really enjoyed your review and you made me sit up when you mentioned Tuberose. As I proceeded to read, your comments on its more green nature and the slightly camphorous side made me think of the Serge Lutens T. Criminelle and, to a lesser extent, Malle’s Carnal Flower. I was still tempted and actually a bit intrigued. Until I got to your adjective. “Miss Havisham-ish”? ROFL!!!! Oh dear, oh dear. I think, given the review as a whole, I will take a pass. Just out of curiosity, what aspect of the fragrance makes you wonder when and where you will wear it?

    Side note, you have now made me very determined to go smell Kurkdjian’s Absolue Pour le Soir. That was some endorsement you gave, cheri. Wowzer!


  3. I went to order yesterday and they’ve stopped shipment till January. AAARRRRGGHHHHHH!
    Portia x


  4. Yeh this one didn’t work with me – a hugely pungent leather on musk, something in it made me uneasy – but everyone’s raving about it so at least you picked up a bottle! It sounds like you’ll grow to like it more and more. That’s the thing with challenging openings, they quickly become no longer challenge – a la Tubereuse Criminelle… hopefully soon with M/Mink :’)
    The idea of the white florals underneath appeals to me but I didn’t let it develop to that point 😦


    • There is no leather here whatsoever. I have no idea where that came from. Did you get that when you tried it? It is similar to Tuberuese Criminelle but much softer in the drydown. Give it another try F, you might just like it.


      • I’ll be sure to give it another try. And really? The first hit for me was just the most gigantic goat leather. But then I was overloaded with smells (tried it twice in Paris). I will be sure to hunt it out again, but it’s not something I need in my collection. How are you getting on with it now? A little better? 🙂 Are you forcing yourself to love it? 😦


        • Let me just say that I like it. As for goat leather… I wouldn’t know goat from cow…is there a difference?


          • I’m glad you like it Houndy – it’s a risky blind buy so kudos that it worked out 😀
            It’s a gem of a bottle – I love limited stuff it’s so good to own! Thrilled with my bottle of Leva (limited to 200 – I’ll send you some) 🙂
            I remember hearing the term goat leather ages back when used to describe the leather in Cuir D’Iris – now whenever I smell it I refer to it as that – Musc Tonkin had a huge blast of it – or obviously not 😛


  5. Great review my friend! I’m happy you got yourself some Musc Tonkin. I agree with you about the oak moss. It IS there, very faint but it gives a specific feeling to the fragrance. I love that Corticchito uses the moss as a base in his every creation.


  6. As I read through the list that begins your post, I first said “Eek” and then “Oh no” and then “Oh thank gosh, it sounds awful.” So that’s good for me, is I guess what I am saying. 🙂 I’m sorry you’re not loving it, though. Perhaps some basenoter can take it off your hands?


  7. My “buy it now” finger is itchy…..


  8. I want to repeat word-by-word what Natalie said above 🙂

    I know exactly how it feels when you have a sudden urge to buy something when you feel it’s slipping away. When you have high expectations it almost never workd. Hopefully, you’ll like it more now, when the first disappointment is behind.


  9. Congratulations on scoring one of the 1000 bottles! I hope that it does grow on you, or that barring giving it to the husband, you can trade it for something you love.

    Happy holidays, by the way! And have a wonderful New Year!


  10. Since I hate civet, cumin and other animalistic notes ( I cannot stand the civet note present in Jicky(Guerlain) and Gold Man ( Amouage) or the cumin in Rose 31(Le Labo) and Declaration (Cartier) I will probably hate this Musc Tonkin. I wish it wasn’t so but, what can I say.. It’s In The Nose! Had to do put that shameless plug in there for my blog. LOL Hope you had a great holiday.


  11. Pingback: Perfume Review: Parfum d’Empire Musc Tonkin | Kafkaesque

  12. Pingback: Perfume Review: Absolue Pour Le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian | Kafkaesque

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