Yet another huge favourite of mine, the potent gem from 1972. The 1970s was the beginning of a fragrance fashion for musk. It garnered huge popularity which continued into the late 1980s with superstars such as White Musk by the Body Shop.
Jovan Incorporated did not originate from a fashion design house, it had humble origins being a small perfume business created by two entrepreneurs. The name Jovan is another form of the Italian name Giovanni. It was chosen because it sounded European and had a similarity to a combination of Revlon and Avon.
They intended to be a success through strong marketing techniques and a quality product, rather than fancy prices, expensive packaging, and being an elite status symbol. They intended to appeal to everyone. Jovan had a good business model from the beginning, it made a conscious decision to sell at an affordable price, with a heavily promoted international ad campaign.
Musk was sensual, erotic, and thought to be an aphrodisiac, this was their main commercial approach. The box design was bright orange, extremely bright and unsubtle, and very easy to spot on the drugstore’s shelf. It was given a heavy sexual approach in men’s cologne advertising. Women preferred a slightly subtler suggestion.
This ad from a Ladies magazine in the 70s show a man’s hand stroking the musk wearer’s legs. ‘Proposition’ being a veiled way of saying offering or asking for sex.
One tagline used by Jovan was “Drop for drop, Jovan Musk Oil has brought more men and women together than any other fragrance in history.” A bold claim considering the thousands of years of perfume use.
The female packaging actually did reference this millennia of history and stated “It releases the animal instinct. Musk oil is the exciting scent that has stimulated passion since time began. Cleopatra, Helen of Troy, Pompadour knew the spell it could create. So can you.”
However by the late 80s women had become to be empowered. Sexual equality was burgeoning. It was now fine to be blatant about what Jovan Musk really meant:
This is an ad for men and women, I find the centre picture most revealing. A white cream being spurted over a very obvious female anatomy metaphor. ‘What sexy is’ indeed!
Though the popularity of musk in general has waned somewhat as the main note, it is still a popular base note ingredient. Jovan Musk has still got a good fan base after all these years, a perennial drugstore favourite. Its low price point certainly helps that. There are no longer ongoing ad campaigns, the scent itself is good enough to sell on its own merits.
The for women bottle is slender and basic, in line with the low cost, with white lines scrolling diagonally at the bottom and a gold lid. The box is a stunning bright orange, extremely eye-catching and distinctive. It has light orange diagonal stripes across it, and a gold band at neck level with JOVAN in white.
The FOR MEN bottle is square, thick glass, with an amber orange content, and silver lid. The box is bright orange, with silver horizontal stripes, and thick band at the top bearing JOVAN.
The notes for women are simple yet powerful – Jasmine, neroli, bergamot, and musk.
The notes FOR MEN are more complex –
Opening notes: Carnation, amalfi lemon, lime, and pepper.
Middle notes: Lavender, amber, mint, and spices.
Base notes: Woody notes and musk.
I love musks in general, but this is my favourite musk, and one of my overall favourite perfumes and colognes. It is incredibly sexy, without being heavy or overbearing.
It is really hard to believe how inexpensive this is, considering how amazingly beautiful it comes across. The women’s version has a floral side from the jasmine which works divinely, and the men’s gains strength and masculinity from the wood notes and spices. I actually wear both versions, and treat the male version as unisex. I often buy this for male friends, due to the quality and fair price.
A light spray of this can take you anywhere, it is very easy to wear. Dose up on sprays for evening romance and more.
This gets a gold medal, very highly recommended.
Price rating is very inexpensive.