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If You Musk Ask....

Musks! The beloved base notes of perfumery! This months box brings you a unique type of perfume that can be layered with many other fragrances. As a simple skin musk, Soft Touch can be worn on its own or layered with other perfumes to add depth and sensuality.

Touching Inspiration...

What is it about a person that seems to linger in your home or bedroom, or perhaps on your clothes after you have returned home? I feel quite certain that this is the natural musk of the ones we love. A "Skin Scent" as the industry calls it, seems like the perfect way to represent such a quiet yet enveloping and comforting type of perfume.

The creation of Soft Touch was inspired by that feeling of familiarity invoked when you enter your parents home or wrap your arms around your partner. A blend of long lasting, sweet ambrette toned musks are used to paint a picture of freshly washed hair. Animalic, and complex materials like oakmoss and shangralide are used to bring a life like humanity to the scent. Last but not least, I had to have some of the sweet comforting notes of white florals.

I can't say this perfume was inspired by a longing for any one person, but rather a constant need for family's embrace. I hope all my subscribers experience the real thing this Christmas!

Soft Touch

Notes: White Floral, Moss, Animalic Musk, Ambrette, Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Honey.

The dewy floral top notes of this months perfume fly off quickly after it is sprayed, as this perfume was designed to sit close to the skin. The middle gives way to the more animalic honeyed musks that build up the majority of the formula. In the dry down your are left with moss, honey, complex vanilla and of course, musk.


The featured raw material of the month, Shangrlide, can be somewhat polarizing and difficult to control in a formula. It's heavily cresylic and animalic character can come across as a bit "pee pee" if over dosed. For this reason, it is vitally important to use this one sparingly. Aside, from the obvious animalic character, this material offers a delicious honey toned sweetness and realism when incorporated correctly.

It would not surprise me if some people think this perfume smells vintage. Shangralide is a synthetic that mimics deer musk, a material historically used in perfume, making it's first appearance in the 5th century AD. For animal cruelty reasons, deer musk is much less common in perfumes these days. The musk material used to be collected from the caudal glands of the male musk deer, which are now endangered due to this practice. This is one of the many examples for my argument that natural is not always better. Synthetic chemistry is an ally not an enemy.

Compare the (+) and (-)

When smelling the (+) perfume, hopefully you will not be blasted with the striking animalic note, but rather it should peak it's head through the other more modern musks. The (+) perfume might seem more honeyed and sweet than the minus and the difference should become more evident as it dries.

The (-) perfume is likely to seem more "ambrette" and modern than the (+). Unfortunately it's difficult for me to articulate what the term ambrette means. I might try to say that it is somehow fluffy and dry smelling, like hair? It also has a bit of purple hue, like a lilac.... this is a subjective description of course. In the world of perfumery, a modern musk generally entails that it be subtle yet radiant with the use of synthetics. Even without the animalic shangralide, the (-) perfume is still quite mossy and has a bit of a rose hue, and so perhaps its is not quite modern.

So now that you have trained your nose to identify shangralide and its effect(s) in perfumery, what do you think? Do you prefer the (+) or (-) perfume?

Feel free to share any questions or comments you have! I would love to hear your thoughts! As always, thank you for subscribing. I work very hard to make this subscription as fun, engaging, and educational as possible, but I am always seeking suggestions for improvement.

If you like what this perfume has to offer, I do suggest sniffing the perfumes listed below:

  • You Glossier

  • Shalimar Eau de Parfum Guerlain

  • White Musk The Body Shop

  • Silent St. Derek Lam 10 Crosby

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