It’s Complicated – Review: Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur

The cold and wet weather of the last days lets me reach for warm and cozy scents again, I want to be enveloped in a warm, fragrant embrace, comforting and familiar, but still interesting and just a bit challenging. Well, that calls for a classic of this genre!

It was his name at first, Musc Ravageur, what a great evocation, devastating in itself. I had high expectations, I wanted him to be THE ONE, the one to conquer all. He was recommended for me, after completing that little personality test at the Editions de Parfums website, which I interpreted as a clear sign, Musc Ravageur and I, we were made for each other.

I awaited my sample anxiously, when he arrived, I ceremoniously unpacked him and with great reverence for my soon to be soulmate, I sprayed him on the back of my hand, took a whiff and – horror!!!! That is what screeched through my head, that is what I wrote down in my notebook, just the one word, horror! I was devastated, but this was not the devastation I was hoping for, and hopefully also not the one that wonderful name was implying. I was so disappointed, that I literally hid the little spray sample in the farthest corner of the lowest drawer in my bedroom, out of sight, to never having to smell that – again only this one word comes to mind – horror again.

Obviously I was not the woman I fancied myself to be, obviously I was not able to appreciate the greatness he had to offer. I read about him in so many reviews, he was even recommended! (Okay, arguably by an intern at Frederic Malle who never in his life has set eyes on me, but still…) I was bitterly disappointed, not by him, mind you, but by myself.

Weeks went by. On the hunt for something else entirely I chanced upon the poor, vilified sample of MR once more. Cautiously I took him out. Looked at him. Maybe another try, just a little? With a very different set of expectations, I braced myself to face the horror once again. I spritzed…

The bright and alert reader will already suspect what came next.

No horror, not this time, no love yet either, mind you, but a more of a cool and nearly polite appreciation, the chance to really smell him, without any “I have to get this off me, stat!” impulses.

I smell  a little bergamotte at first, then his warmth, dark vanillic amber, the total absence of flowers, something soft and furry, a distinct synaesthetic sense of dark brown-ness, a heat, a presence, an embrace even. That I can live with. Where did the horror come from, where did it go? Will it be back? I don´t know, but I sure hope that is behind us.

So Musc Ravageur is not the love of my life, THE ONE, but we have a relationship that is infinitely more complicated and fraught with baggage (things have been said, that can´t be unsaid, MR will never forget my first shriek). We have to take it slow now. A little testing now and again,  slowly getting to know each other, trying to learn to live with each other. It is not easy, but I am confident we will make it eventually, because that initial ravaging desire to fall in love is still there somewhere.

 He was recommended for me, after all…

Created in 2000 by Maurice Roucel for Frederic Malle. Available in 50, 100 ml Eau de Parfum and 50ml Oil.

Picture source:, soem rights reserved, thank you!

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15 Responses to It’s Complicated – Review: Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur

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