Personally, I love this cologne. But I'm not your average fragrance fan. The better part of my collection is made up of really old school colognes that challenge current style and push the boundaries of taste. I love the 70's and the 80's and I don't take these scents too seriously. I think they smell great, even if my affection has a bit of irony thrown in. I think of them the way I think of a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado; they're ridiculous, overblown and undeniably badass.
Royal Copenhagen Musk is exactly this type of fragrance. It's fresh, it's powdery, it's masculine, but not in an overbearing way. I currently own the 8 oz splash bottle and it comes across a bit weak. It comes on strong at first but it dies down pretty quickly. I have the vintage cologne on order as well as the current spray. I am hoping that, like Stetson, the splash cologne is more diluted and the spray is more concentrated.
At first RC Musk bears a very strong resemblance to Jovan Musk. However, the RC DNA becomes more and more apparent as it dries down. It's not designed to be a powerhouse like Aramis. Even Jovan is much more potent by comparison. RC Musk is a polite scent that walks softly but still has some balls and some backbone if you get closer. It's a mature scent that has a lot of confidence. If you wear colognes like Aramis, RC Musk is what you wear to work or to a dinner with colleagues. They might notice that it's there, but it's not screaming for attention. It's professionally masculine.
It's also very old school. If you see yourself as someone who would rather be more like Kurt Russsell and less like Ryan Gossling, this fragrance is for you. It's bold, it's charming and more than a little cheesy.
People rail against the reformulation versus the vintage. To that I say "guys, it's Royal Copenhagen, for God's sake! Oakmoss is banned, earlier ingredients come from what are now threatened and endangered species. They wanna keep the price low. This is a pimp scent. It's a black velvet painting in a bottle. Relax! Just enjoy it!"
There was a strong alcohol smell when I first sprayed it on that I didn't like -- like an old aftershave -- but after a few minutes it faded down to a "Clean and Powdery" scent like an old-fashioned Barber Shop.
I can't really smell the Musk or any of the other scents this is supposed to have. I'm not sure what the original version of this old-fashioned cologne smelled like, but my bet is it smelled more musky and less synthetic than this latest version does.
In the old days the best scents seemed to have two ingredients: Parfum and Alcohol. This has a few unpronounceable ingredients.
Note: Although I do have a good sense of smell, my nose isn't well-educated re: colognes because I fell out of the habit of wearing colognes some years ago. I decided to order this along with a higher-end cologne (Varvatos Vintage) to see if I want to start wearing them again.
I can't say I like this anywhere *near* as much as I liked any of my old favorite colognes from the 80s and 90s. Those were popular mass-market brands like Chaps, Polo, Eternity, and Acqua di Gio -- nothing unique or terribly expensive.
I could maybe call this pretty good if it were just an Aftershave, but as a Cologne it fails me. It's decent at best.
I had heard this was old-fashioned before I bought it, but it's REALLY old-fashioned. I live in hip and trendy West Los Angeles and have a hard time imagining myself wearing this as anything other than an Aftershave.
Or using it as an Air Freshener. "Clean and Powdery" does beat "Doggy and Musty" after all, when I'm airing out the apartment.
Sillage is pretty poor and it dies down quickly.
I do like the bright blue color and the bottle: the cap is just plastic.
This one opens bright/sharp and clean from a lot of aldehydes and talc powdery of lavender in the base. If you sniff at the sharp aldehydes you should catch a pinch of moss. Jasmine is the heart but it's merging with the aldehydes that enhances the impression that this fragrance does smell blue or slightly aquatic. This seems rather light on musk until drydown then becomes moderately musky. Leather is not a listed note in Royal Copenhagen Musk, but I always catch a hint of it. It's an old/worn/soft leather note.
Royal Copenhagen Musk smells more like a luxurious (but also bracing) men's soap or after shower powder. Good for casual and formal wear. For the most part this is a bitter fragrance and doesn't have any sweet elements except for the musk note.
This review is for Vintage formulation of Royal Copenhagen Musk (from an 8oz. Splash bottle):
Very, very good...and, "special", to me. I read the reviews here and what I got was similar to Shifty Bat. To me, this is about fresh herbal/green notes balanced with florals - all on a base of musk and moss. The opening is rather striking and one that I really am fond of. One does not think a "Musk" could be so clean, airy and yet rich with all these notes that are far away from an animalic accord - and this is done exceptionally well.
You see, I know the original Royal Copenhagen from my youth, along with original Vintage bottlings of Jovan Musk for Men, Coty's Musk, Vintage Jovan Sex Appeal for Men, Original Old Spice, Vintage Brut and many others. I am pretty sure my father had the "Musk" bottling by RC in its Vintage form when I was young, so I sought it out to do a comparative thread on Vintage "Musk" scents of a bygone era. This one struck me as profoundly different and one that I have a deep fondness for - like I did for Original/Vintage Royal Copenhagen when I was a kid. This is not about macho - this is about refreshment and a wonderful aromatic composition that lasts virtually all day. A little touch-up goes a long way, too!
The opening of lavender and herbs is great - mostly sage and basil, but I detect a hint of thyme as well. This is very nice and definitely (in Vintage form) does not smell cheap or overly synthetic. Read Jon_Remy's review above and you will see that I am not alone in my opinion - what it is today is nothing more than a bottle of synthetic blue liquid that smells cheap. Original/Vintage RC Musk is another scent altogether!! It is well-worth seeking out.
The transition from the bright and lively top to the nice floral heart is wonderful and the lavender stays and the herbs keep lingering for a great effect...I find this builds in warmth and strength on my skin like a true, good musk should. The jasmine in the heart creates the powdery accord, but not one that is unnatural or anything feminine, or is it too powdery at all. It actually "softens" the scent and makes it less sharp - allowing it to warm up nice and blend better with the other florals & spices and well into the base. Along with the neroli and lily-of-the-valley, this really opens up. Nutmeg comes in at the end of the heart along with the cloves - this is really breathing nicely and opens up. The spices are key here as they take the freshness of the lavender and herbs, slight powder from the jasmine and other florals from the heart and transition the scent to a nice dry down that really is wonderful. They are key in the composition. I adore the heart of this and find it to be compelling as it lingers for a long time...
The base is where the warmth comes from - again, very natural. I get a nice oakmoss first (again, mine in Vintage and pre-IFRA ban...so the true pyramid!) that really keeps this green and also a wonderful fixative that helps the freshness last. Along with a nice natural, earthy feel with the patchouli - which is a green note here, not dark at all. The scent then goes into the nice clean musk. This is a nice and vibrant musk that is not dirty. What is smoldering under all of that is a smooth amber note - creating the solid base for this fragrance. Really a great fougere "vibe" from this...just no coumarin. Just a touch soapy and knightz puts forth - but in a classy, "milled-soap" feeling of cleanliness and sophistication.
This is NOT even remotely the same as what current formulation is, so if you run out and buy a bottle from the drugstore expecting to get the Vintage Royal Copenhagen Musk, you will be very disappointed. I have only tried smelling by unscrewing the cap...and put it back on the shelf immediately.
So, this bottle led me on a retro-journey to travel back. I still need to procure a couple more bottles that my father used to have, but I now have enough to start writing. What I find so good about RC Musk in Vintage form is how the entire composition just comes together and stays fresh for hours. This smells a bit dated - but so am I. ;-) I will be 40 later this year and have a large collection of Vintage fragrances from top labels. What I wanted to do was revisit the Musk's of Yesteryear. I am familiar with layering Vintage RC with Vintage RC Musk, but I wanted to write this review about Royal Copenhagen Musk in Vintage form unto itself.
A memory...and now a great scent that I look forward to wearing (along with the other Vintage Musks) that I bought at first just to see "how much" things have changed, knowing them from my youth and smelling the chemical waste that is being labeled today under the same name.
To remember vividly - is there anything more cool, Macho and Masculine from my youth than the moment I saw my dad finish shaving, rinse off the shaving cream and then reaching up into that cabinet, pulling down a bottle of nice musk, cupping his hand and splashing it on vigorously? No. The days are gone, but the images linger in my memory. It is what brought me to scent. It is part of me. Smelling my father and the aroma around him, now that's a man! It would last all-day long! When he left, I would sometimes even climb up to reach a precious bottle just to smell it and dab a little bit on (before I was shaving!). How it brings me back...
This is truly exceptional scent that I have and I am very glad I decided to take this interesting little tangent in the world of fragrance. I will, for memories sake, keep a nice rotation of Vintage Musks around. Whether or not I even shave in the morning - after showering or washing my face thoroughly with a nice soap/cleanser, I find myself reaching for this bottle and other Vintage Musks as a way to start my day. A nice vigorous splash. I actually have to shower or wash it off in order to change scents as it is so potent and radiating - now, that is how it USED to be!!! I also sometimes touch up and put another splash on...it never gets cloying or overbearing. To smell like a gentleman never goes out of style and retro scents actually bring compliments from all age groups. It is how you carry yourself, your attire and attitude. It's about being a Man...something that perhaps is rare to find in our modern times. Not brash, overly-macho or arrogant - but refined, fresh and confident.
No score. Precious memories are not quantifiable with a fraction.
I knew there was no way a flanker could stack up to the original RC, a reigning champ in my rotation, but I really am pleased with this. (Top notes are lavender, basil and sage; middle notes are jasmine, neroli and lily-of-the-valley; base notes are nutmeg, patchouli, amber, musk, oakmoss and cloves.)
For me it boils down to a pleasantly bitter-sweet vanilla lavender scent, but it has motion to it. The musky-sweet top that smells like the color of the juice itself would suggest is both garden-herbal green and fizzy and grape-like, the latter aspect reminiscent of Escada's Magnetism for Men. In fact, RC Musk now seems to me a bit like a cross between Magnetism and the original RC. For the first ten or twenty minutes I was a little off-put and self-conscious about the strange, old timey herbal potency of the opening. This is just a flash in the pan though, and Musk turns down the volume considerably thereafter and stays close, warming as it does as the ambery clove base with a smoothing, almost creamy nutmeg begins to rise. Sweet, soapy, a touch green, and in the end a very pleasant wear for me. Perhaps a little dated, but unlike anything else I wear.