When people ask us “what are you wearing?” they typically aren’t curious about our jeans (J Brand, for the record), but our fragrance choice. “Tropical Vial,” we tell admirers, a heady mix of mango, jasmine, basil and botanical musk, from Strange Invisible Perfumes. The Venice, Calif., fragrance house was started in the year 2000 by Alexandra Balahoutis, the fiery-haired stepdaughter of Hollywood power producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean; CSI; Without a Trace). You won’t find a note of anything synthetic in these scents; they’re made solely from botanical ingredients, and they have a complex, refined earthiness that wears beautifully.
Now, Balahoutis is launching a new scent, Musc Botanique ($135 for 1.7 oz.). In early perfumes, the musk used was distilled from greasy secretions produced by the male musk deer; today, most musk is synthetic. Balahoutis, however, has created musk’s alluring odor from flower and plant essences and, she says, “while it belongs to an animalic genre, it is clean, crisp and warm.” The new Musc Botanique eau de parfum is also unisex—feminine on her, masculine on him.
It features notes of geranium, white amber, angelica and frankincense, and can be layered with other scents. How? Any way you’d like. “Just go crazy,” Balahoutis says. “Experiment. No rules. It has an uncanny ability to get along with others.” We have just sprayed a bit of Musc Botanique over Tropical Vial and, yes, we smell terrific. A bit feral, perhaps, but friendly.
We can’t wait to find out how Musc Botanique smells on our man. What’s your favorite unisex scent?