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    Tonkin Khus

    Price: $235 $199

    It sounds so simple, it’s hard to believe it’s not been done before. Khus infused with musk—why did nobody ever think of that?

    Musk was traditionally used in ghalias, and vetiver isn’t one of the main ingredients. That’s one possible reason. If not in a ghalia, musk was reserved to enhance specific and uniquely precious ingredients, and vetiver might not have been on that list.

    More likely though it was that vetiver by itself is already tenacious aplenty and the idea of boosting its already diffusive aroma didn’t occur to anyone.

    But if you don’t think of musk as a fixative or projector, it’s hard to think of a better companion than good ol’ khus. The two share so much: the deep earthiness, a strange sweetness you can’t define, and surprising as it may sound—a spiciness you don’t normally associate with either grass or muskdeer.

    They’re so compatible that when you take a swipe of Tonkin Khus it takes a second to register which is which. “Is that the khus or the musk?” And then you realize—it’s BOTH. That earthy-sweet-spicy DNA shared by both, intertwined in a single smell.

    Vetiver has been called the poor man’s oud. I think that’s unfair to both oud and vetiver, but I see why people say that. We’ve done two full episodes covering vetiver on The Morning Oud Show, so I love vetiver and it’s a key ingredient in not just mine, but any serious perfumer’s arsenal. 

    If you enjoy composing chypres or fougeres, or you’re looking for something to spice up your spices, good khus does just that. If you own a bottle of Chypre Sultan, you have a backstage pass to smell the unique interplay between musk and khus.

    It sounds so far-fetched, it’s hard to believe. Who in his right mind would infuse vetiver with the most sought-after musk in history? 

    Call it an artists’ indulgence, a petition to honor vetiver for the majestic aromatic it truly is. As a perfumer, it was actually the most natural thing in the world to think of. 

    Tonkin Khus doesn’t have the wet, turpentine muddiness that makes many vetivers only usable as an ingredient. Instead, its smooth whole-perfume-like complexity means you can easily wear it as a standalone fragrance. Of course, it makes a killer chord in your perfume as well!

    One thing you’ll learn about essential oils, from flowers, roots, leaves, or otherwise, is that many of the most frequently used, and most sought-after oils, share certain traits: they calm the nerves, relax the mind, and make things more exciting in the bedroom. Add musk, and things get dialed up a notch further…

    Infused with musk that has been declared extinct a long time ago means that this bottle of poor man’s oud received a serious promotion. This is such a bombastic infusion, it’s hard to ignore how good it is, and it’s a tough call deciding to offer it neat instead of using it exclusively in my perfumes. The maturity, the depth, the deep green. Easily one of the finest vetiver oils you’ll ever own. Not to mention, the only Tonkin musk-infused vetiver in existence… 

    Tonkin Khus has a heavenly emerald quality that reminds me so much of an Indian Khus I used to enjoy during my days in the monastery, except your version adds this sublime, celestial chord that takes it to an entirely new level. Just beautiful. Girish, USA

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