a journey of the senses by FLACONNEUR

MUSC TONKIN by Parfum d’Empire


MUSC TONKIN – 2012 – 
Classification: Chypre Floral
Notes: The perfumer has refused to release the list of notes beside musk.
Perfumer: Marc-Antonine Corticchiato
Price: $145 for 100ml bottle (eau de parfum).

Marc-Antoine Corticchiato has taken his boyhood love for plant scents, combined it with his training as a perfumer, and the perfume house Parfum d’Empire was born. This house has a collection of some pretty memorable fragrances, which many of us have come to know and love. Some of my favorite perfumes from their library include Equistrius, Cuir Ottoman and Aziyadé. One of their relatively recent creation is called Musc Tonkin. This perfum extrait concentration was a limited edition release of 1000 bottles worldwide in 2012. It has come out of hiding for worldwide consumption again in 2014 as an eau de parfum. Tonkin musk is the secretion from a specific species of deer that live in the mountains of Southern Asia. It is considered the finest of all musks from an area called Tonkin. Since deer musk in no longer being harvested naturally, all scents containing musk or musk notes are synthetically engineered for our enjoyment. This is what makes Musc Tonkin unusual. This fragrance’s recipe is created without the use of real Tonkin musk. Musks, in generally, have been banned due to animal cruelty concerns since 1979. Musk perfumes have had an impressive run in popularity seen as early as ancient China, right through to modern-day fragrances. Thought to be an aphrodisiac and closely resembling the smell of testosterone, musk has played an important part in perfume history by adding depth.

Musc Tonkin opens with a bountiful profusion of skank. This skank is thick, sweet and painfully animalistic. Totally natural nonetheless, slightly leathery and somewhat urinous, making Tonkin Musk’s beginnings a guaranteed turn off to most unsuspecting individuals. For me, approaching this perfume was easy, proceed with caution. The “It looked terrible but tastes so good” adage comes to mind. I decided to give this perfume time to redeem itself before i gave up. Since the creator is doing nothing to assist us with a diagnosis of the notes for this fragrance, our noses are left to fend for themselves. Once past this general unpleasantness, the heart of Musc Tonkin is slightly sexy and definitely floral with just a bit soapy niceness. The fragrance moves slowing into floral venues with a touch of spice. I detect orange blossom, perhaps something less pungent, more spicy, like mock orange. This is where Musc Tonkin changes to something reminiscent of the smell of human skin. There is also a dusty or earthy attribute in the heart that associates this perfume with characteristics found in oakmoss. So, let’s add that to the list of unknown notes. I detect a good deal of smokiness, adding a sophisticated air with frankincense or myrrh as part of the concoction. The base of Musc Tonkin certainly contains tonka bean or a splash of vanilla, at the least, something sweet and slightly nutty. What would a perfume be without sandalwood? Yes, Musc Tonkin contain a healthy dose of wood. Can Musc Tonkin be classified as a floral chypre? Sure, Musc Tonkin display properties of soft, sweet and earthy qualities to earn the badge.

Off-putting at first, Musc Tonkin is not for the faint of heart. It is sexy, warm and naturalistic. It is fringed in white spicy flowers tied with earthly bounties of resinous woods. Longevity is fantastic with the fragrance’s zenith happening after the four hour range, after which it descends to a sweet nutty, still heavily noticeable skin scent. While the limited edition parfum extrait is no longer available, Musc Tonkin can still be enjoyed as an eau de parfum version currently available at


5 comments on “MUSC TONKIN by Parfum d’Empire

  1. Biljana
    December 1, 2014

    As long as you pass overvthe skank smell lol

    • Flaconneur
      December 2, 2014

      Only in the beginning, Biljana. As you already know, perfumes can change drastically after the opening. Some of my favorite perfumes start off terribly and end up magnificent.

  2. Katy
    December 2, 2014

    Yikes! I mean, I like my fragrances warm and earthy, but this sounds a but overdone. I literally cringed while reading the opening of the scent review. Perhaps I am too faint of heart for this one! ☺️

    • Flaconneur
      December 2, 2014

      Don’t get the wrong idea, Katy. This is a fabulous creation and well worth the experience. Do I need to tempt you with a sample?

  3. Katy
    December 12, 2014

    Lol! Perhaps, my friend!

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This entry was posted on November 30, 2014 by in Reviews and tagged , , , .

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