RETRO - Jovan Musk Cologne
Year Introduced: 1974 - Unisex
Notes: Slightly sweet light floral notes over a deep sensuous musky base
Jovan Musk is the quintessential musk fragrance of the 1970s. Barry Shipp was a perfume salesman who discovered an aromatic oil being sold in a drug paraphernalia shop and developed it into a multimillion-dollar business called Jovan Musk. In the late 1960's he was a sales representative with Revlon, and while on a business trip in Manhattan he saw a line outside a Greenwich Village ''head shop,'' one of the small stores that commonly sold incense and fragrances, hashish pipes and hookahs. He learned that the crowd had been attracted by a very sweet fragrance called musk oil. People were lining up to buy it because others were talking about its unusual powers of sexual attraction, aphrodisiac powers and the fact that it could mask the odor of marijuana and anything else they wanted to mask. Mr. Shipp brought a bottle home and went to a fragrance house and developed what would become Jovan Musk Oil. He left Revlon and, along with an entrepreneur, Bernard Mitchell, founded a corporation to market an inexpensive synthetic musk that he patented and called Jovan Musk. Mr. Shipp and Mr. Mitchell were the first to mass-merchandise musk oil in the early 1970s. When most other perfumes were being sold with soft packaging in light pinks and blues, Jovan burst onto the scene in a bright orange box with a "talking package" that described the potent powers of musk in provocative tones.
The product was also unusual at the time because it was marketed to both men and women under the same brand name, and it was introduced by a small company in Chicago rather than Paris or New York. Competitors thought it would just be a fad, but they were wrong and soon there were several similar fragrances on the market. Musk oil was HUGE in 1973. There were musk fragrances by Dana, Alyssa Ashley, Bonne Bell, Coty, Max Factor, Menley & James, Yardley, Revlon and Houbigant but it was Jovan who started it all.
Jovan Musk was a synthetic version of an animal pheromone and was marketed for its ability to enhance sexual attraction. Until then, musk had been used only in small amounts as a fragrance additive.
It was part of The Animal Kingdom by Jovan's Hunting Kit for today’s woman. It had a ‘fragrance arsenal’ that you could use to allure your man with Musk Oil, excite him with Civet Oil, and bring him to his knees with Ambergris Oil.
Vintage Jovan Musk is a beautiful smooth scent with a subtly-sweet, soft floral note above the musk that balances the fragrance between freshly showered and just ravaged.
In 1975, the Fragrance Foundation voted Jovan's Musk Oil promotion the "most exciting and creative national advertisement campaign." Jovan's CEO, Bernard Mitchell, also earned an industry award. He was voted "the year's most outstanding person."
In 1981, Jovan paid the Rolling Stones $1 million to put the brand’s name on the tickets sold during the band’s American “Tattoo You” tour. It was the first brand to sponsor a rock tour and some critics felt that the Stones sold out to a cheap cologne corporate sponsorship. But it all added up to extra power for Jovan at the drug store.
Jovan Musk Cologne has been discontinued. Jovan Musk is still available for purchase but it is now distributed by Coty and has been reformulated and is available as Men's and Women's.
We are decanting from an unopened bottle of the original cologne version of the fragrance that was stored in its original box.