Monsieur Musk (Dana)

There are a few different bottle types for this fragrance, and mine is identical to the one pictured above. I believe this is an interim formula, released between the vintage opaque black glass of the nineties, and the newest silver/black label in clear glass that Dana currently advertises on their site. It's probably four or five years old.

Many people say the musk is a minor player here, but Monsieur Musk is all musk to my nose. It conjures the image of Tom Cruise in Risky Business with Ray-Ban shades and a lit Marlboro. Released by Houbigant in 1973, it was eventually acquired by Parfums Parquet, and wound up with Dana, the humblest of humble outfits, with no masculine beauties to their name - except this one. Somehow they've abstained from messing it up, and I'm happy to say it smells like a Vietnam-era musk bomb. It possesses a kind of suburban bordello raunch, replete with the animalic and floral underpinnings found in pre-Clinton era fougeres. Imagine if you could scissor off the musks of Paco Rabanne PH and bottle them, and that's MM. The experience is a dirty/clean/soapy redolence, pitching freshness against skank, and it smells dated, but very good.

I'm not so sure why, but I get a slight eighties vibe from this scent, hence the Risky Business reference. Its fake citrus note and Castile accent evokes the Whatchamacallit candy bar commercial, permed curls, boxy Thunderbirds, dad building shelves in the garage next to the Caprice with a pack of Newports tucked in his shirt. It was a simpler time back then, though one could say that this type of simple and old-school musk scent was passé by 1985. Still, it's incredibly cheap, very well made, and worth a bottle if you enjoy unembellished 20th century drugstore musks.


  1. Consider yourself lucky to live in the States, at least when it comes to colognes. (Politically, and socially, speaking, I'm not so sure. Guess we can agree that the good old days, if they ever existed, belongs to the past. If Trump/Clinton seemed like a joke, what do we call Trump/Biden? Flat-out farce? We live in interesting times.)

    But when it comes to drugstore colognes, you're spoiled.

    Here in Norway we're stuck with Axe and Dove spray cans, and the perfumeries isn't much better. Beckham's, Le Male, god-damn 1 Million and a few other similar scents... Sure, there's the online stores, but really, I got other things to use my money on, than to blind buy colognes.

    And shipping from abroad, say from UK or USA, are impossible, a.k.a. restricted, thanks to a tunnel rat named bin-Laden.

    At least I can enjoy/envy them through the reviews!

    1. Yeah we're spoiled here in the US. No doubt about it. I've spent a few years in Europe, and don't recall perfume being anywhere near as accessible there. Sure, you can find it, but often you have to go to the "source" of a scent - i.e. the Chanel store for Chanels, the Creed boutique for Creeds, etc. Independent merchants aren't well advertised, and internet wasn't as advanced as it is now, so I can't comment there, but I imagine international branches of eBay and Amazon are your best bet.

      Truth is though, most American "chemists" (as they call them in parts of Europe) only carry the same ten or fifteen fragrances, and only put a handful on shelves. You're looking at the scintillating choice of Old Spice, Aqua Velva, Skin Bracer, and some generic brand aftershave, and that's about it. Behind locked glass are Grey Flannel, Cool Water, Burberry, Fahrenheit, Polo (and one or two flankers), Obsession, and Drakkar Noir. There might be a few others, but generally the men's selection is limited to the old standbys of the eighties and nineties. So if you were drugstore shopping for fragrance here, you'd be just as disappointed.

      The difference of course is internet access to virtually everything. I want something, I can have it within a week off Amazon or eBay (although I'm tepid on eBay). Ironically there are a few fragrances sold in Europe that I can't get here due to shipping restrictions. One such scent is Caldey Island Lavender, which I wanted to review ten years ago when it was briefly available, but missed my chance. Now I can't get a single bottle of it, as they won't ship outside the UK or mainland Europe. If I ever have a chance to buy a bottle, I'll snatch it up without a second thought.

  2. Yep, same problem here. Since Norway stands outside the EU-bureaucracy, we're snubbed of the luxury of ordering dirt cheap fragrances from the UK and other EU-enclaves. And if they do ship, it's not worth it, similar to the US postage.

    Ex. 20-30$ postage for a 5$ bottle.

    But... watching the basement shelf, filled with enough bottles obviously to survive me, I shouldn't complain.

    At least I can order some Denim Original after shave from Bulgary relatively cheap. They're pure sentimental to me (first cologne I ever owned, some 30 years ago), since the smell usually disappear somewhere along the way from my bathroom to the garage.

    As you said in another post; perfume are the least of whatever we need in life, so I'm blessed to live a life where I can afford it, after all.

  3. Not sure if my other post got through, but never mind;

    As for the lavender you mentioned, it seems the monks found a way. 4.50$ worldwide shipping, here's the link to the lavenders:


    Cheers, Sofus

    1. Thanks for the link! I appreciate the gesture. Unfortunately though the link takes me to the Caldey site, where it says 404 error/page not found. They're cagey about shipping to the USA. Apparently we're not part of the "world" that they view worthy of their lovely lavender cologne! However it does appear they might send me their lavender oil, so I'll look into that. Not sure if I want that version of it, but it might be the best I can do.

  4. Yep, things have changed. If I am willing to pay a shitload for the shipping, it's allowed to send me pounds of black powder from USA, to Norway.

    But a bottle of cheap cologne worth 1,99£ is dangerous for the brits to ship overseas. It contains alcohol! The horror...

    Hopefully the oil will do, at least to get a sniff. It might, of course, be a curse too, if you really love the smell.

    Better chat up a british chick online, and have her send the colognes we want, if she's willing to declare it's only massage oil in that package...

  5. https://www.caldey-island.co.uk/Lavender+100ml+Spray/0_CAAA002_CAAA011/PRAA139.htm

    Try that link, Bryan. Or go to the 100ml lavender bottle through their site.

    I did a "test-shopping" now (100 ml bottle, for shipment to Sofus Philioculus, Beaumont, Texas, United States!) And yes, they sent me to the VISA-payment. 26,95 for the juice, 4,95 for the postage.

    So it should be possible.

  6. Got an e-mail from Caldey;

    Sorry for any inconvenience caused. There is a mail order company in Germany however, called Manufactum who may be able to help you out. They stock several of our products including the Lavender cologne.


    Kind Regards, David

    Caldey Island Post Office

    At the bottom of the site, you can switch the site to english text. Maybe they are able to ship it?

    If not, my only bet is that your next vacation goes to Caldey Island...

    And even if you do, there are still costlier colognes out there, hehe.

    1. I'll keep Manufactum in mind. I think there's a chance I could get a bottle from them, especially if I call them and order that way. They don't seem to have a prohibitive shipping clause in their information section. Thanks a lot for finding this! I appreciate your dedication to the cause. If I do get a bottle, the review will be on your behalf.

  7. Manufactum doesn't seem to have the Caldey Lavender cologne though; only the Lavender water (and three other related Caldey products).

    Did you actually find a listing for the cologne on Manufactum's site? I couldn't.

    1. Ah yeah you're right. I mistook that for being the cologne. I wonder if the lavender water is the next best thing

    2. I think it's the same thing, only in german. They have a 28ml bottle on Caldeys site, similar to the one ("water") on Manufactums site


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