When I composed Tibetan Musk, I didn’t intend to focus on the Tibetan theme. Rather the focus was on the Musk.
It wasn’t about deliberately capturing the smells of Jokhang Temple Mount or the spices wafting down the valleys. I wanted to showcase Sultan Qaboos’ precious musk grains in a perfume I would be honored to have presented to him myself.
While Tibetan Musk portrays a French aesthetic using Chinese musk, for a proper Tibet inspired perfume—a fragrance designed around the Zen aesthetic, from the incense to the spice to those scents that throw the Dalai Lama back to his childhood—for a perfume like that, you need a very special ingredient.
You know not all ouds are created equal—neither are all musks. And as I’ve learned, not all ouds get along with all musks. It took a royal treasury that was off-limits for all of recent history to open up before you finally got access to vintage musk pods that were so potent, so sappy and sticky that infusing artisanal oud became a meeting of histories—distant eras that somehow warped time so they could meet.
The class of oud we’re talking about wasn’t around in the days when this musk was first brought to the palace, while the musk was locked up during the formative years of artisanal oud distillation. It’s only now that these two worlds get to stand on the same turf.
To get to the heart of the Chinese aesthetic and capture the scents you’d associate with the orange groves of Yunnan and the dry spices of Tibet, that oopmh, required a meeting of distant eras.
Right alongside the batch of Ha Tinh oud I’d been busy infusing with Tonkin, I infused myself a batch of Oud Yusuf with musk. Tibetan Musk. In the same way Ha Tinh LTD became the backbone of NFU, Musk Yusuf’s foundation is Oud Yusuf infused with Tibetan musk.
The Abassids could never have done this. The Umayyads couldn’t have dreamed about it. Sultan Qaboos’ predecessors may have speculated it, but it wasn’t until now that the creamy chocolaty earthiness exuded by the aged musk of Tibet got injected with the boozy, apricot aroma of Oud Yusuf.
You might say, “What does a Thai oud have to do with Tibet?”
Oud Yusuf is just about the most orange oud I’ve smelled. Infused with Tibetan spices, it’s a dream ingredient and makes the perfect base for a Tibetan-style perfume.
As an ingredient, a Tibetan musk-infused Oud Yusuf doubles up as a fixative with potent diffusivezen power. You could now smell how the accessory notes symbiotically ride atop this combo while also enhancing the zesty orange-hued, jammy-floral profile of Oud Yusuf to a magnitude you would have never thought possible. All the while maintaining perfect harmony between notes, where not one single whiff feels out of place: Zen.
Surrounding the musked-up Oud Yusuf, imagine a delicate arrangement of precious frangipani, a dash of clove, while the peachy apricot sweetness is beautified by… as if there wasn’t enough musk in this already: Musk Motia.
I’m sure you’ll agree Oud Yusuf’s ‘pretty’ profile is taken to new heights by the exquisite trio of frangipani, orange blossom, & musk-infused jasmine, while at 33% of the composition the musked-up Oud Yusuf oozes out confidently throughout your wear and doesn’t budge all the way to the drydown.
It’s a fine time to be alive, isn’t it? For all his perfumed extravagance, you have the chance to don what Louis couldn’t even dream of. A perfume no Emperor or Sultan ever had access to. To see and smell these olfactory galaxies collide as if the universe was fine-tuned to serve up a bespoke spritz exclusively for this oud-crazy circle you followed the rabbit hole into…
If there’s one smell that may be even more beautiful than Oud Yusuf, Musk Yusuf is it.