Monday, May 23, 2011

Khus Khus

I recently read a blog post by Bajan-Scent here about this old perfume Khus Khus (PA Benjamin, Jamaica c. 1960's). I was so happy to read about it because I've had a small bottle of this dark perfume, a nearly full bottle, in which the cork was completely lodged, for about 9 months. No scent came from the top of the bottle at all; it had all evaporated years ago leaving nothing to guess at.

Well, I finally got the bottle open. I put it in the freezer for nearly a week, mostly because I forgot it was in there, then wrenched, and I do mean wrenched, the stopper out. It came out in one easy, fluid motion to allow the trapped djinn inside to float out . . . my. I immediately smelled something animalic and poopy, a hint of civet, I suspect, but then it quickly faded away and a soft, powdery, vanilla and benzoin note arose, sweet and deep with a hint of the fur from the unfortunate creature whose juices were used to create it; there was a greeny, grassy, earthy note as well, the vetyver, of course. It reminded me very much of Estee Lauder's Youth Dew, so I did a side-by-side comparison.

Youth Dew screeched out, all fat and aldyhydic and handing out the bitch slaps like sugar-free lollipops at the dentist's office. I like Youth Dew in the dry down. The opening makes me sneeze, and then I kind of feel like I have to immediately wash it off because it's so -- so -- intrusive and persistent and I'm fearful someone's going to smell me smelling like my grandma. The dry down is gorgeous, though, even if still a little screechy. Khus Khus kind of crept out, spreading first the fecal/furry animal smell I mentioned, then folding in on itself and becoming very quiet with notes of vanilla, soft dry grasses, a titch of green and a dose of resinous benzoin.

I prefer the Khus Khus, even with that dooky smell in the beginning. I like my perfume to behave, and this one does, nicely.


  1. Monica11:39 AM

    I so love your descriptions!

  2. Wow, I have never heard of this before, it smells... magical. Thanks for posting about it!

  3. @ Carrie, yes, it does smell magical. It feels almost like an entirely naturally compounded perfume.

  4. poopy but nice, grin!
    sounds fun!
    I HATE youth dew with a passion. To me it embodies all of the very worst in modern perfumery! Nasty nasty stuff.

  5. Yes, poopy but nice ~ ha! I actually like Youth Dew in the dry down, but the opening scares the heck out of me!



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