Post by Tom Jones. Follow @
Musgo Real is a brand of Claus Porto, a Portugese company that produces high-end grooming products. M.R. was established in 1920 and aimed its products squarely at the aristocracy. The firm produces a range of grooming products across 6 scents; classic, lavender, lime basil, oak moss, orange amber and spiced citrus.
Musgo Real is one of those brands. One of those ‘you’ve got to be in the know’ brands and I love it all the more for it. You know you are onto a good thing when you can boast to your friends that the aftershave you are wearing ‘can only be bought in one place in the UK.’ That, of course, is not the sole reason you should try M.R. All of the scents smell classic, like something your grandfather would wear on a night out; something a real man would wear, kind of heavy. This gives the range another of the things I love about these scents – you can tell them apart from others. You can have an opinion on them. For a while now, I’ve struggled to find an aftershave I truly adore. I like some on the market today, but when was the last time you came across a new cologne that was different and memorable? I’ve no doubt you can’t remember…the firms producing them are prepare to take the creative risks anymore and therefore just keep pushing the variations on the same old base.
M.R, however, does not do that. The scents are strong and often earthy, rather than light and airy. This is very useful and often modern light aftershaves are washed away by the combination of smells from other grooming products (deodorants in particular), the wearer’s natural odours and the environment. I found the strength of the scents useful when wearing the aftershave, in particular when I wore it to a restaurant. So, here is a summation of the fragrances I tried;
Orange amber smells like taking a stroll through a Mediterranean grove of ripe oranges, but stronger. Imagine if you found a really strong tasting orange, and dug your fingernail right into it to begin peeling it. Orange amber is that smell, with an interesting hint of another flavour; Turkish Delight, of all things!
Spiced Citrus smells like cut grass, which I find really interesting and different, but with notes of lemon in particular, as well as vague hints of black pepper. However, since the lighter tones are constrained by the more earthy scents of the pepper and various other spices we can declare it light but not flowery. It could be perfect for wearing in the summer to distinguish yourself from all the mass-produced ‘summer’ offerings.
Lavender smells like, as expected, lavender. But that’s not just it; it doesn’t smell like the usual synthetic fragrance of lavender, it smells like the plant, the particularly strong breed you find on the continent rather than our
slightly less strong types. I recently walked through some European lavender fields and spent about an hour working lavender flowers into my hands and chin; the end result smelt more like Musgo Real than any other lavender fragrance I’ve smelt.
Since lime and basil are two of my favourite smells, I was terrified of either being bastardized. Lime Basil at first sounds a little off-putting. I agree it sounds that way, but it doesn’t smell that way. It has an initial note of strong, zesty lime, but finishes with the basil. The lime prevents you smelling like pesto all day, and the basil stops you smelling like a good G&T. The end result is not only strong, but very quirky. Good if you enjoy strong smells.
Oak moss is an acquired taste. I enjoy it it because I love the countryside and walking, particularly in the rain. Oak moss reminds me of a walk through an ancient wood after fresh rain; it has those earthy notes and again is very strong. However, I also noted it was a polarising fragrance; a lot of my friends think of it as I do but many others thought it smelt of watered down Domestos. I must caution against over-using this one though, as it is the strongest in the range.
Now I also tried some of M.R’s lotions, in particular their shaving range. The lotions are designed not just to smell great but to moisturise and refresh your skin, and they work. Even after a particularly aggressive shave (I was going away on holiday). In particular the lighter lavender scent I found really appealing to shave with, as the lighter fragrance seems somehow to match a clean, freshly-shaven feel and look.
So in short Musgo Real is perfect for those amongst us that enjoy natural scents and something a bit different. It’s great for those amongst us who desire something a little more substantial from our fragrances. Have no ideas though, this range isn’t for everyone.
The Musgo Real range is available from Carter and Bond at http://carterandbond.com/