Musky pistachio which lasts and lasts.
Lime, bergamot, pistachio, galbanum, tobacco, orris, tonka bean, jasmine, cedar, woody musks, oud, amber.
Stardust Musk is a fragrance which its easily to smile about, partly because of the delicious nuttiness it contains, alongside soothing, cocooning muskiness, but at least in part as well due to the cheeky intelligence with which it has been formulated. This is particularly evidenced in the opening few moments of the scent. Spritz Stardust Musk and you do indeed smell nuttiness alongside lime and bergamot, but the amusing and clever thing that the perfumer has done here is to disguise the citrus. If you are paying attention you will indeed be able to pick out the individual notes, but if you just spritz and go, the effect of them is to make your brain think “green” and in doing so, the nuttiness which quickly follows is interpreted as pistachio rather than say hazelnut or peanut. It’s a clever little device that has been deployed in order to do that and once it is noticed, the smartness of the way that it has been done is even more satisfying.
The citrus start also serves to give the fragrance energy, movement and lift. Nutty notes can sometimes feel a bit oily, heavy, perhaps even sluggish, but here they have been injected with that sense of energy and vitality which facilitates the scent rising beautifully and with a sense of purpose. The citruses with their tartness also stop the scent from being too sweet or too one-dimensionally gourmand.
The lime and bergamot which led us off on the start of this adventure are pretty tenacious, but as they slowly recede, the warm, close nuttiness of pistachio comes through and it does become a touch oilier. There is something really dense about the way that the nut is rendered in this composition which makes it feel like it hovers just millimeters above the skin, coating it with its fatty unctuousness.
Touches of a powderiness which verges on chalkiness start to creep into the composition, helping to balance out that oiliness we notice from the nut, and continuing to give it lift and life as the citrus did right at the start. This is rounded out by the soft suppleness of tobacco which adds a refined, half-woody-half-leathery sense to the composition. These three facets of oily, powdery/chalky and supple seem like they should contradict each other, but somehow they don’t. Instead they balance out beautifully and giving a very textural side to the fragrance. Indeed, the more I wear this scent, the more I think it is an interesting exploration of texture, in quite an understated way.
One of the pleasing things about the midpoint of Stardust Musk is that it isn’t too sweet. There is a vein of sweetness in there, but it’s a supporting player rather than a starring role. Too often, nutty scents fall back on becoming tooth-aching as a way of being interesting, and thankfully that trap is neatly sidestepped here.
The tobacco leads us into the base of the fragrance which is woody and musky in equal measure. The nuttiness lingers but only in the sense that we retain that oiliness that it brought with it earlier on in the composition. The vivacious pistachio that we started out with has definitely calmed by this point in a wear.
It’s worth taking a moment to note those facets which you might come to this scent expecting, having read the notes list, but which I didn’t get a lot of when I tested this scent. The florals seem to be there to support the composition, rather than being particularly evident in their own right, and the oud is but a whisper and not much more. That’s all fine though, sometimes a fragrance needs to be more than the sum of its parts.
The beauty of Stardust Musk lies in its delicacy and lightness of touch. This isn’t a brash and shouty fragrance, instead it whispers its secrets directly on to your skin, making you feel like you are dusted with…well…star dust
The other stuff
The perfumer for Stardust Musk was Gabriel Gabor.
The fragrance projects to a moderate level, going to just a bit further than hugging distance. Similarly, the longevity of the scent is also decent, lasting around six hours following application.
Stardust Musk is the sort of fragrance which can happily be worn for many occasions. It would work well both during the day and for an evening event.
De Gabor are a brand that firmly has a foot in both the traditional sense of French perfumery, but also has an eye on the future too. Whilst their compositions utilise classical structures and styles, these are given a thoroughly modern twist to make them feel new, exciting and relevant.
The packaging of the De Gabor scents is unfussy and modern, simple but elegant bottles uncluttered by bling.
Find out more about De Gabor on the brand’s website.
Stardust Musk is available from the De Gabor website where it is priced at €295 for 50ml of extrait. You can also buy this scent from Perfume Playground in the UK.
We were given a sample of Stardust Musk when we visited the brand at Esxence 2022.
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay.