Skin & Fragrance Blog by Thom Watson

Molton Brown, Amber Fragrances, Editorials

Molton Brown Milk Musk Perfume

A modern, unusual and delicious gourmand scent suitable for the daring man

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I asked the questions you’re probably asking right now “what on earth is ‘milk musk’!? Can you even get musk from milk? I’ve never had a cup of tea and thought ‘ooh, this tea tastes musky’! “. Rest assured, I too have never bought a pint of milk so Musky it might buy Twitter. But Molton Brown Milk Musk is a delicious accord with unusual notes, that become far more than the sum of its parts.

How does one make Milk Musk?

Molton’s Milk Musk is a blend of Milk (not actual milk, but a synthetic fragrance) Vanilla, Musk, Ambroxan, Tonka and Resins (Benzoin and Elemi). These 7 ingredients come together to create an intoxicating, gourmand and unusual fragrance that I find incredibly addictive. It’s sweet but not sickly; edible gourmand-y but not childish and simplistic although there is an air of penny sweet milk bottles, that I absolutely love.

How does Milk Musk wear?

Milk Musk is a powdery, milky, vanilla amber fragrance. Milk Musk doesn’t have a message; it isn’t trying to represent something; it’s just fun, really, really fun. People will notice you wearing this and it’s so unusual, they’re going to ask you about it. Milk Musk, therefore, isn’t a fragrance for someone who’s shy, it’s for someone who wants to be seen and wants to stand out – it’s definitely a statement fragrance.

Is Milk Musk suitable for men?

100%. This is absolutely a unisex fragrance and is definitely a Molton Brown perfume for him. As I mentioned, more on the slightly feminine side of unisex, but would definitely smell great on a man. Not that I’m equating them to Musk Milk, but in terms of the scale of more feminine masculine fragrances, JPG Le Male and Mugler A*Men are about there.

Molton Brown Musk Milk 50ml Eau de Toilette. £60 at Look Fantastic
Molton Brown Milk Musk Eau de Toilette.
£60 Look Fantastic.

Musk Milk Fragrance Throw/Sillage

The throw/sillage of Musk Milk is amazing. To be honest, most Molton Brown fragrances are fairly concentrated, especially for an Eau de Toilette. But one-two sprays and you’ll be good to go and for a good number of hours and people are going to smell this.

What else is available in Milk Musk?

Naturally, with any Molton Brown fragrance, there are a suite of ancillaries, including:

I’m yet to try these and Molton Brown shower gels are pretty good, although as someone who fights eczema, I use them sparingly every so often with my ultra-boring but excellent Cerave SA Cleanser as they can be a tiny bit drying, but for normal skin types, have at it, they’re great.

Are Molton Brown and their fragrances any good?

They were, then they weren’t, now they are again. Molton Brown was a British company founded by Caroline Burstein and Michael Collis in 1971. They became a huge 90’s staple but went off the boil in around 2007 after their Kao cosmetics acquisition in 2005. It all went very mass market smelling, and after a lot of misses and a definite feeling that their formulation quality had dipped, the brand appeared to lose a lot of its shine. I abandoned the brand in around 2012 apart from little odds and ends. They also stopped appearing in as many hotels as they used to.

However, in the last 5 years, I’d say the brand is making a resurgence, and their fragrances, every one of them, are definitely something luxurious to experience. And, at £60 a pop for the Eau de Toilettes and £120 for the Eau de Parfum, they’re reassuringly priced.

Orange & Bergamot Hand Wash, aka Naran Ji.
£20 at Look Fantastic.

Molton Brown was famed particularly for the Naran Ji handwash, now known as the more pronounceable but infinitely more boring name, Orange & Bergamot. This was since trumped as the Handwash de jour by Aesop and their incredible Resurrection collection seen in every hotel and posh, celebrity chef’s TV kitchen around the globe.

Aesop Resurrection Hand Wash.
£27 Look Fantastic

The last time I went to buy Naranji, I asked for the one that used to be called “Noojoo is it? Nanagee?” but I was corrected to Naranji and then filled in on the name change, that’s how I know. We live and we learn.

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