I’ve been called a fruitcake and I’ve been called a fruit — but not because I smell fruity. Men’s and unisex fragrances rarely feature a sustained stream of natural-smelling (non-citrus) fruit aromas, so my perfume cabinet has always had an empty space where I could lodge a FRUIT FRAGRANCE or two — but that situation may soon change.
Last weekend, there was an unseasonably hot (over 75 degrees Fahrenheit!) day here in the Northwest and I stayed outside to feel the warm sun, to smell the saucer magnolias, wallflowers, hyacinths and clematis that are in bloom, and to enjoy the fragrant sea breeze blowing in from the west. The beautiful day made me think of the coming summer and I felt ‘summery’ myself; I reached for an untried perfume sample that sounded perfect for such a glorious day: Montale’s Fruits of the Musk.
Fruits of the Musk contains bergamot, mandarin, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry leaves, Bulgarian rose and musk. Fruits of the Musk begins with the fragrances of ripe, sweet blackberries and tart raspberries. These fresh berry aromas quickly morph into the scents of sugar-dusted lollipops and, then, berry syrup (the type you combine with sparkling water to make “Italian” sodas). As far as the other fragrance notes are concerned, Fruits of the Musk’s mandarin, bergamot, strawberry leaf and rose notes are either imperceptible or not worth mentioning and its light “white” musk is present throughout the perfume’s development.
When worn outside on a warm, breezy day (this is a great beach/boat scent), I like Fruits of the Musk, but when I wear it indoors it is too sweet, too rich, too powerful. Fruits of the Musk needs to be ‘housetrained’; I have several suggestions for Montale: add a salty/sea-spray accord to cut through the sugar; or dilute the dense fruits with a ‘green’ aldehyde; or simply lessen the sugar content of the fruit notes and make a fruit salad fragrance instead of a fruit compote perfume. (Of course, for those of you who delight in heavy-duty, sugary berry-musk fragrances, you may like Fruits of the Musk as-is.)
I may not buy a bottle of Fruits of the Musk (50 ml Eau de Parfum, $95) but it made me yearn for a fruity/berry scent to fill that empty FRUIT FRAGRANCE space in my perfume cupboard. Any suggestions?
For buying information, see the listing for Montale under Perfume Houses.
Image: Black Butte blackberry, photo by Scott Bauer via Wikimedia Commons.