Friday, 18 June 2010

Abdul Samad al Qurashi - Musk a Ajeeb Oil

I mentioned in a review here that I had bought some samples of Abdul Samad al Qurashi attars and oils from TPC. I really enjoyed the oud-rose attar I tried, but the two musks perplexed me. As a westerner, perhaps I have some preconceived ideas of what musk smells like, and admittedly my exposure to musk (as much as I thought I liked the note in perfume) is in reality quite limited. My benchmark of musk is probably Serge Luten's Musc Kublai Khan, which is considered to be fairly hardcore by many perfumistas' standards. So what was it like sampling Musk a Ajeeb oil? Well firstly, the sample vial contains an oil that  is thick, viscous and the colour of dark treacle. I used the wand on the vial to try to scoop out some of the oil and it clung to the wand like a gloopy tar. When applied to my skin, it stained it a deep orange, ambery colour. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt at the time and I was a bit nervous of staining the sleeves. So what did it smell like? Honestly, I'm finding it very difficult to find suitable words. Weird comes to mind. For the first hour, it didn't even smell like musk to me. Being an oil, there isn't really a definable progression of top, heart and base notes. However, the opening was very peppery, and of all things, minty. I really wasn't expecting that. It actually smells like a fougere, with prominent herbs and lavender. The strongest note to me was geranium, loud and clear, and again, I just wasn't expecting Musk a Ajeeb to smell like this. After a while I started to detect some musk, but it smelled more like a sweet, dark, syrupy cola. The tone of this oil is complex, dark, spicy, minty, even vaguely animalic, without me being able to say exactly why. Underpinning all this is a disturbing sweet note, which as I said, is a bit like cola, yet I am sure it is the musk. I also detected some floral notes later on, and there is a point where it became slightly dryer and more earthy, but overall, I found it to be quite sweet and strange. If this review seems confusing, I apologise, but I am confused, because I have never smelled a perfume like this before. Is it a dirty musk? Again, I'm not really sure. The musk is very intense and sweet, yet beneath it all I couldn't help feeling like there was something a bit disturbing and hidden. I couldn't quite pinpoint it, but it's there.

I really need to test Musk a Ajeeb oil a bit more. This is only my initial impression and perhaps with repeat wearings I will get my head around it. In a way it is quite exciting because I have discovered a perfume style and a style of musk that I haven't encountered before, although initially I don't know if I really like Ajeeb, but perhaps time will tell. Another thought crossed my mind - I wondered if this contains real musk tincture? As I'm almost certain I haven't smelled real musk before, I have no benchmark for comparison. I know it isn't ethical to use real musk in perfume, but I have read a number of Middle Eastern perfume websites that seem to suggest they use real musk. Whether this is just marketing speak I don't know, but this musk was strange enough to suggest to me that perhaps this is the case. If any of you have tried any strange musks, I'd be interested in reading your impressions. 

Image credit:


  1. This sounds just weird enough that I would like it. I'll be interested to know how it grows on you - or not - with repeated wearings.

  2. I'll keep you posted. If you order from TPC they carry quite a few of this line, so readily accessible to sample.

  3. Hi, Yes you are right . It does have a cola smell and I don't think it resembles some of the musk which I have tried. I have smelled Musk from Maroma Fragrences .I am sort of thinking it resembles the Ambrette seed which is said to possess musk smelling compounds. I have placed some order on Black Musk attars from India, so have to try if this smell resembles them.

    Also what I would like to know is if the white musk sold by ASAQ is natural or synthetic ? The question might be a bit silly as white musks itself is being known to the world as a synthetic musk, but UAE houses are said to concentrate more on the natural part, I guess.



  4. I live and work in Saudi Arabia (Dammam), so Arabian perfume oils are readily available to me. I have more than a dozen of these from the houses of ASAQ, Arabian Oud, Swiss Arabian and Ajmal. Among them is Musk Ajeeb which I am wearing right now as I type this. This is the first time I wore it because I have been quite undecided if I like it or not. It's pleasant and has a cool-ish smell (mint, as you have pointed out), but at the back of my mind a voice is saying that this does not smell like a perfume. It's medicinal and camphorous, like a liniment or ointment. I think I have to smell it on someone else to have an objective take.



Related Posts with Thumbnails