Musk

lat. Moschus Moschiferus

Group: Animal Sources

Musk Moschus Moschiferus
Musk Moschus Moschiferus
Musk Moschus Moschiferus
Odor profile: Naturally the essence derived by the perineal glands of the Tibetan musk deer, now endangered and protected. Synthetically replicated in a plethora of variations for fixation and warming fragrance compositions.

Musk is a whole class of fragrant substances used as base notes in perfumery. This wonderful animalistic note creates a groundwork on which the rest of the aromatic shades and nuances of the composition rest. Musk is the most commonly used raw material, present in almost all fragrant compositions. You can easily check this claim by using our search for notes. What makes it so indispensible in the perfume industry is its unique property to balance the composition and add a subtle touch of sensuality and warmth. It is also prized as a wonderful fixative, which reduces the evaporation rate and allows the original composition to last longer while keeping its true fragrance.


Musk
is a name that originally designated a strong-smelling brownish substance secreted by the male of the musk deer of the genus Moschus. Each of the adult male representatives of this animal species has a musk gland that lies in a sac positioned between the genitals and the umbilicus, and secretes powerful pheromones used to attract mates. It has been rumored since ancient times that wonderful musk odor works as an excellent aphrodisiac, and modern science has offered an explanation for this. Even though the debate on the existence of sex pheromones continues, there are scientists who believe that the smell of musk closely resembles the smell of testosterone, which may act as a pheromone in humans.

The term "musk" is often used to describe a wide range of musky substances, typically animalistic notes such as Civet, Castoreum, and Hyrax, or various synthetic musks, known as white musks, which are created in chemical laboratories. The original deer musk has been used and prized for thousands of years as one of the most precious raw materials in perfumery. This lovely animal is still found in the mountain forests of India, Pakistan, Tibet, China, Siberia and Mongolia, even though classified as threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The musk deer populations could be driven out of existence because of the black-market price for the musk from their glands that reaches almost $45,000 per kilogram. This is one of the most expensive natural products in the world, even more valuable than gold—the all-time highest price of gold ever recorded is $1,913.50 per ounce (there are 0.0284 kilograms per ounce). What is really worrying is that only a few tens of grams can be extracted from a single animal and around 160 deer need to be killed for each kilogram of musk collected. It is possible to remove the gland without killing the animal but, unfortunately, this is hardly ever done.


Deer musk has been used since antiquity and some of the first references of its use in the perfume industry point to Arab and Byzantine perfume makers of the 6th century. It was generously used by the caliphs of Baghdad and highly regarded among the Arabs. This fragrant material was even added to mortared walls of mosques during their construction, to emanate the wonderful fragrance whenever it’s warmed by the sun. Al-Kindi, the famous Philosopher of the Arabs, who wrote hundreds of original treatises on a range of subjects, including perfumes, mentioned this ingredient in many of the perfume recipes, making it one of the mostly prized luxury goods imported from the East. However, musk was not used only for its olfactory features but also because of its curative properties. The Arab and Tibetan healers used it as a stimulant for male health; Ayurvedic practitioners used it in the treatment of cardiac, mental and neurological disorders, and it still holds as one of the most important ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine, being included in the recipes of more than 300 different medicines.
 

In perfumery, the term “musk” doesn’t always apply to a concrete perfume component, but rather designates the overall impression of the fragrant composition. Natural aroma of musk is very complex and usually described with so many contradictory attributes. It's description may range from sweet, creamy or powdery, to rich, leathery, spicy and even woodsy. Most typically, the musk note is described as an animalistic nuance, with a lively and oscillating, often contrasting nature. The typical musky smell develops from the natural musk tincture once the volatile parts have evaporated, allowing the sensual and warm “true musky” notes to come up to the surface.

Angelica archangelica

Until the late 19th century, natural musk was extensively used in the creation of perfumes before it became much too expensive and controversial. Luckily, there are some plants that share similar olflactory properties with musk, capable of producing musky-smelling macrocyclic lactone compounds.

Ambrette by Bob Richmond

Many of these plants, such as Garden Angelica (Angelica archangelica), Musk Flower (Mimulus moschatus) Abelmosk  or Ambrette seeds (Abelmoschus moschatus), are now widely used as a substitute for animal musks.

Musk Flower by alexlomas


In 1888, the scientist Albert Baur was the first to discover an artificial musk. This was a completely accidental discovery that occurred while the scientist was experimenting with TNT explosives. After an attempt to produce a more effective form of trinitrotoluene, he suddenly noticed a very pleasant musky-like odor in the air and attributed it to, what was later named, nitro-musk. This was the first member of the family of synthetic musks, but it was banned from use due to its instability and potential toxicity. Later on, polycyclic musk and macrocyclic musk classes were developed, of which the first one is most commonly used in modern perfumery. Macrocylic musks are derived from plants and they most closely resemble the natural scent of musk, but their production is more costly. Another interesting fact about macrocylic musks is that around half of the population cannot detect their smell in a fragrant composition. For this reason, successful perfumers usually combine a variety of musks in the formula in order to truly convey the original idea behind the fragrance.
 

The use of natural musk was prohibited in 1979, when the musk deer was protected as an endangered species. Today, white musk note is one of the most commonly used in creation of perfumes, offering a more ethical approach and being less expensive than the natural musk. Some of the wonderful perfumes highlighting this note are Serge Lutens' Clair de Musc, Montale's White Musk, Il Profvmo's Musc Bleu, and Narciso Rodriguez For Her. Michael Boadi’s musky quartet from the Illuminum collection plays with the musk olfactory group in four different compositions and perfectly illustrates the broadness of this term: Cashemere Musk, Rajamusk , Piper Leather and Wild Berry Blossom.


Author: Marina Milojević (Mary)
Fragrantica Writer, Translator & Editor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perfumes and Colognes With Musk

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White Musk Tesori d`Oriente
1.506212057038
Clean Skin Clean
1.504517859664
Silver Musk Nasomatto
1.5031530895572
Body Fantasies Signature Fresh White Musk Parfums de Coeur
1.5018824415267
L'Antimatiere Les Nez
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Princess Musk Ajmal
1.5016471363358
Musc Tonkin Parfum d`Empire
1.5016000752977
Royall Muske Royall Fragrances
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Black Musk Jovan
1.5012706480305
Fuel for Life Summer Diesel
1.5012235869923
Moschus Wild Love Sophie Nerval
1.501129464916
Ruehl No.925 Ruehl No.925
1.501129464916
Angel Face Ava Luxe
1.5010824038778
Define Next
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Felce Azzurra Paglieri
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Sula Stiletto Musk Susanne Lang
1.5009882818015
Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
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Summer Mania Eau Fraiche pour Femme Giorgio Armani
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Fleur Poudree de Musc Les Nereides
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Pur desir de Lavande Yves Rocher
1.5008941597252
Clean Lather Clean
1.5008941597252
Lumberjack Werewolf Smell Bent
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Sexy Sparkle Hot Berry Victoria`s Secret
1.500847098687
Egyptian Musk Ava Luxe
1.500847098687
Seductive Musk Oriflame
1.5008000376488
White Musk Al-Rehab
1.5008000376488
Pearl Musk Ava Luxe
1.5008000376488
Illusions Impulse
1.5007059155725
Musk al Madinah Al-Rehab
1.5007059155725
Jasmine Musc Zara
1.5007059155725
De Tout Coeur Fragonard
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Talc Douceur Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
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White Goldskin Ramon Molvizar
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Solinotes Musc Arno Sorel
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Lago del Desierto Fueguia 1833
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Tea Rose Mesk Perfumer`s Workshop
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Snow, Glass, Apple Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Musk C.O.Bigelow
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Musk Bettina Barty
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Commando Smell Bent
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Air de Fio No 2 Pupa
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Magic of the Orient - White Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5004235493435
Musk Urbar Royal Crown
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$ D.S. & Durga
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BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
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LOMUSK Santi Burgas
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Gant Summer Gant
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Deer Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
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Musk Kaaba Arabian Oud
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Benetton White Night Man Benetton
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Clin D`oeil Porte Bonheur Bourjois
1.500282366229
Huemul Fueguia 1833
1.500282366229
Aoud Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.500282366229
Witchblade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.500282366229
Fae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Royal Dark Musk Arabian Oud
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Celine Sensual Summer Celine
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Black Pearl Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Musk Mazzolari
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Vice Ajmal
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Les Bijoux Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Whoso List To Hunt Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Sara Pezzini Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Kabuki Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001882441527
Kalgoorlie Bud Parfums
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Egyptian Musk Michelle Michini
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Eau de Frohliche No.2 Erik Kormann
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Dragon's Musk Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001411831145
Muschi Bianchi del Tibet Compagnia Delle Indie
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Endymion Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Pavo Lily Lambert
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Tentación de Rosas Victorio & Lucchino
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Saltwater Portland General Store
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Tristan Pierre Cardin
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Bien Loin d'ici Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Rajamusk Illuminum
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Musk Al Haramain Perfumes
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Vanilla Musk Al-Rehab
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Bathsheba Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Charlie White Musk Revlon
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Musc Refan
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CBMUSK CB I Hate Perfume
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АRТ Ekspresija (ART Expression) Dzintars
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Rose Nerolita Eau Jeune
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Male Supreme Roberta Andrade
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XXV Red Musc Mad et Len
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Aperotos Eros Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Taiga DayNa Decker
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Superior White Musk Arabian Oud
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♥ Invisible Musk Slumberhouse
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Satyr Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Body Language House of Matriarch
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Ladon Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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The Temptation Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Wondrous Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
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Libertine Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Jasmin Musk Al-Rehab
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Jacomo Oud for Men Jacomo
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Victory Al-Rehab
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Bora Bora Exotic for Men Liz Claiborne
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Miriam Ocariz Eau de Toilette Miriam Ocariz
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Al Khulood Asgharali
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Lurid Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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I`m Fio Deep Coral Pupa
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Shuhaiyah Syed Junaid Alam
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Musk Al Ghazal Al-Rehab
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Blu Light Fever Byblos
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Sultan Desire Queen B
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Red Carpet Attitude Nicole Lola Mood Parfums
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Gleam Johan B
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1538 Rheims D.S. & Durga
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Musk Al Sheikh Al-Rehab
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Amber Musk Shiara
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Sheer Musk Ava Luxe
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Amour Mandarine Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
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s.Oliver City Beach Woman s.Oliver
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Dragon's Hide Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Dragon's Heart Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Musc Elixir Precieux Dior
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Paris CDG The Scent of Departure
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Love Pulse Avon
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Clair de Musc Serge Lutens
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Musk Jovan
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Narciso Rodriguez For Her Narciso Rodriguez
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Skin Musk Parfums de Coeur
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Heaven Gap
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Salome Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Sed Non Satiata Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Lazy Sunday Morning Maison Martin Margiela
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Baby Grace Philosophy
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Bois et Musc Serge Lutens
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Black Musk Jovan
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Trish McEvoy 3 Snowdrop & Crystal Flowers Trish McEvoy
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Misk Al Oudh Ajmal
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Narciso Rodriguez for Him Musk Narciso Rodriguez
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Amber Jalaine
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Blanc Al-Rehab
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Talco Delicato Il Profumi di Firenze
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Muschio (Musc) Santa Maria Novella
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Hint of Musk Impulse
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Crystal de Musc Comptoir Sud Pacifique
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Seplasia Bruno Acampora
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Trish McEvoy 11 White Iris Trish McEvoy
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Stiletto Nicole Amy Fragrances
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Lucid House of Matriarch
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Soft Musk Avon
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Vison Noir Robert Beaulieu
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Yacht Man Metal Myrurgia

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