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Ever love a whisky so much that you wanted to smell like it? Now you can: Monkey Shoulder has just launched a fragrance inspired by its scotch — Monkey Musk — with the help of actor and comedian Joel McHale.
Engineered by Monkey Shoulder Malt Master Brian Kinsman, Monkey Musk takes all the tasting and scent notes that you get with the brand’s best-selling scotch and transforms them into a unisex fragrance. You’ll notice “zesty orange, vanilla, honey, and spiced oak,” which combine for a “soft scent of the hard stuff,” per Monkey Shoulder.
“The process of creating whisky is in many ways similar to a perfumer crafting a fragrance,” says Kinsman. “We both prioritize the quality of elements going into the blend and spend hours perfecting the combination of different notes. It’s a science, and the beautiful blend of Monkey Shoulder deserved to be replicated as a fragrance since it’s made up of tasting notes you’d typically find in leading fragrances.”
Monkey Musk is a limited-edition release, comes in a 100-milliliter bottle, and sells for $33.33. It can be ordered now at shop.monkeyshoulder.com, but if you’d rather enjoy scotch the old-fashioned way (i.e. in your mouth), be sure to pick up a bottle of Monkey Shoulder here. The scotch’s smooth, rich flavor works well solo on the rocks, or in cocktails like Ginger Monkeys, highballs, and penicillins, and costs $36.99 on Drizly.
“My initial response [to Monkey Musk] was ‘thank god,’” McHale tells Rolling Stone. “I always wanted there to be a fragrance with the words ‘monkey’ and ‘musk’ in it on our planet,” he says. “But in all seriousness, the fragrance is great.”
McHale, who has been collaborating with Monkey Shoulder for a while now, can be seen modeling Monkey Musk’s bottle in comically-suave promotional photos. “I’m thrilled to be working with Monkey Shoulder again to launch the incredible Monkey Musk Fragrance… although I’m a little shocked it’s taken me this long to secure a fragrance deal,” says McHale. “That said, I am grateful and humble and IN YOUR FACE CHRIS EVANS.”
Monkey Shoulder said it chose McHale for Monkey Musk because the Community actor “knows a thing or two about poking fun at pretentiousness, and the fragrance industry is exactly that.”
Although McHale says he isn’t normally a cologne guy (he finds them overpowering), he is a whisky man: “I love fine spirits, and I’m a fan of fragrances inspired by fine spirits,” he says. “[The whisky] smells great in a glass, just like an unlit cigar or the smell of chocolate or coffee beans, so why not rub that all over your body?”
According to McHale, Monkey Musk’s scent is set apart by understatedness. “It brings to mind subtlety in its fragrance because there’s nothing worse than an overpowering cologne,” says McHale. “But more abstractly, it makes me think of a beach covered in cinnamon sticks and peat.”
When he isn’t being a fragrance model, McHale is busy making appearances in a spate of TV shows. Recently, the former host of The Soup was seen on HBO Max’s buzzy hit series The Bear, Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli (a.k.a. Manningcast), and E! Network’s Celebrity Beef.