Here are the listed notes from Mr. Storer: Birch tar oil, frankincense, civet, musk, cocoa absolute and sandalwood.
I smell much more than the above list of notes. I also smell a smoky tobacco and leathery note which is just sublime. The musk has an ambery edge and if I really really focus I can detect the cocoa absolute but you wouldn’t notice this unless you read the notes. The cocoa absolute is probably what gives Monk is easy-wearing appeal. While it’s dark, sensual, gothic and musky, that cocoa note adds a smidgen of sweetness that rounds it out and makes it easily wearable and not truly a weird gothic creation. To me, Monk seems like a very modern take on old classics like Bandit, Tabac Blond and Cabochard by Gres. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bandit, Tabac Blond and Cabochard, but these aren’t the perfumes I wear to the office or on a day when I need to consider others. Monk manages to simultaneously be a perfume I can wear anywhere, yet still maintain it’s slightly unusual and musky aroma. Monk is a well-blended fragrance, none of the notes stick out obtrusively over the others, and it’s a smooth and balanced smoky/musky/leathery masterpiece. Monk, like most musky fragrances, wears pretty close to the skin. Congrats to Michael Storer for creating a gorgeous fragrance that is unusual yet completely wearable. And at $82 for 2 fl oz, Michael Storer’s fragrances don’t break the bank and that is always appreciated.