Gazelle Musk from Silk Road’s End

Last week I met up with some friends for a post-Ramadan/Eid meal. One of our number, Kamran from Peterborough, is a real connoisseur when it comes to scents he seems to have a nose for these sort of things, he usually has some interesting scent that he carries around. As much as I like oud, I have always been on the look out (or should that be “sniff out”?) for something else to get my nasal passages excited and to take a break from oud (you can have too much of a good thing).

Kamran normally buys from two sellers, one is Uns Fine Crafts (who don’t have much of a selection at the moment) and the other is UK based Silk Road’s End (whose website is currently being rebuilt). Both sellers I know personally, some of the Shayukh also obtain their scents from these two sellers and are regarded as having some of the finest stock of oud, rose, musk and other well known fragrances in both hard form and oil form. I have personally had some really excellent oud from both sellers, exquisite Turkish rose from Uns, Amber 15K, Oud Sufi Special from Silk Road’s End.

For the last few years I have really been into oud (agarwood/aloeswood). Oud, if you have never had it before, can be quite off-putting at first (rather like olives), oud is really earthy, almost smells a bit like a bottled farm-yard but if you stick with it, you are then exposed to the really subtle and complex nuances of this amazing and mystical scent, you soon come to realise why it is referred to as “The King of Perfumes and the Perfume of Kings”. Every time I have pasted a drop or two of oud on a new initiate, some recoil with a contorted expression of olfactory offence others politely take a sniff, then give me a sideways look that says “what the hell have you just put on my hand dude” and give me one of the those strained but polite smiles through gritted teeth. In nearly all cases, the same people came back to me and say, “wow that is good stuff, where can we get some?” With oud you have to let it settle and mingle with your natural skin oils and then you get a lovely earthy/woody smell with an oh so subtle floral sweetness and a hint of a pine type freshness. Oud is notoriously expensive, the highest grades can be the equivalent of gold and it is very hard to get since all the rich sultans buy it up for their personal stocks. When buying oud, always buy from a seller who knows oud, some general perfume sellers will sell you oud blended with inferior oils and perfumes and pass it off as oud and it will be disappointing and is likely to go stale.

So along comes Kamran with some gazelle musk to give to our other friend Tokeer (also from Peterborough and the guy doing all the good work in distributing the the Dal’ail al-Khayrat), Tokeer shares some out and I am instantly hooked, it was a wonderful exquisite fragrance and I had to get me some! So I drop an email to Khalid from Silk Road’s End and ask him to send me some and it arrived in the post yesterday.

Both musk and oud were beloved to the Prophet Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace), both have a mystical and an “other worldly” dimension to them and both are very different and yet share some of the same fragrance characteristics and nuances. I described my interpretation of the smell of oud above, the description of musk is the same but the smell is quite different. It doesn’t have the hint of pine of oud, it is probably less “earthy”, a bit more floral and is a sweeter smell although not sickly sweet as I don’t like really very sweet smells. Musk’s pleasant out of the bottle fragrance is immediately appreciable as opposed to oud and so it is something you can wear everyday without fear of assailing your work colleagues’ sensitive nasal tracts.

For those looking to try a perfume other than the run of the mill ones or your usual high street ones, I heartily recommend gazelle musk from Silk Road’s End it costs about 25 for 1/4 of a tola (about 11.5 grams) you will love it and it will be the best 25 you will spend.

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One thought on “Gazelle Musk from Silk Road’s End”

  1. Jazak’Allah for this. I was wondering where I might be able to get some natural gazelle musk from. Most musk that is sold today is ‘White Musk’, which is nice in itself but is artificial and not the real thing.

    I’ll wait for the site to come back and order some soon insha’Allah!

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