When most people think "musk", they think of a beastly, sweaty, animal funk smell. What's funny is that so few musk fragrances actually smell like that. I find most musks smell like powdered laundry detergent, and bore me to tears.
Kiehl's Original Musk, on the other hand, smells the way musk is supposed to smell: animalic and dirty. This is a great musk scent. It's nice and strong, and it uses pungent floral notes like jasmine and lilac to enhance the sharp, raunchy smell of the musk. Some dry wood and pepper notes are blended in here as well to add some spicy complexity to the fragrance, but make no mistake - musk is the featured act, and it's center stage. I find it very masculine smelling, but it would probably smell great on a woman too.
It smells a lot like YSL's Kouros, so fans of that monster are sure to dig this. In fact, smelling the Kiehl's reminds me of just what a musk-dominant scent Kouros really is.
I'd call Kiehl's Original Musk a definitive musk fragrance. If you want to show someone what musk smells like, have him get a whiff of this. I'm talking about the eau de toilette spray; I have never smelled Kiehl's roll-on musk oil.
I have to rate this as being tied with Serge Lutens' Muscs Koublai Khan as the best musk fragrance I've ever smelled.
MY RATING: 8.5/10
Fragrance House: Kiehl's