Serge Lutens' Clair de Musc is one of those perfumes from the line that I have never spent much time with. I am sure I am not the only one, because searches on reviews reveal that a lot of people wonder why they have not paid more attention to it and also why it tends to be rather overlooked.
I have my theory. Certainly from my point of view I was always more interested in trying Muscs Koublai Khan, a much skankier sort of musk fragrance. I prefer dirtier, stronger musk perfumes and I always thought that Clair de Musc would be too tame for me. It wouldn't surprise me if others felt the same. I wore Clair de Musc today for the first time in a long time. I have to say, it is a fine fragrance. It starts quite perfumey on my skin, with what I perceive as a burst of aldehydes, then settles down to a fairly understated, sophisticated skin musk. It is certainly not skanky or dirty, but equally I wouldn't say it smells too 'boring white musk' either.
The notes include neroli, bergamot, iris and musk. From that list, one would read simplicity, and in truth, Clair de Musc is not a massively involved and complicated perfume. It is fairly streamlined, with clean lines and just enough urban sophistication to avoid spilling over into that dreaded cliched white musk territory. I struggle to detect the iris. I am sure it is there, as there is an ever so slight powderiness to the perfume, but it is not a stand out note to me here.
Clair de Musc is a very decent perfume and I think very well suited to when you want to wear a perfume that does not shout out, yet also is not too much of a wilting flower. I still find it a little bit the 'odd one out' in the Lutens canon, particularly from that earlier period, when most Lutens tended to be fairly heavy hitting orientals.
Image credit - Luckyscent