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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Wild Musk Coty
1.5058594736576
White Musk Tesori d`Oriente
1.5046471687629
Clean Skin Clean
1.5042430671314
Silver Musk Nasomatto
1.5019194827499
L'Antimatiere Les Nez
1.5016669192302
Black Musk Jovan
1.5014143557105
Royall Muske Royall Fragrances
1.5013133303026
E HRH Princess Elizabeth
1.5013133303026
Fuel for Life Summer Diesel
1.5013133303026
Musc Tonkin Parfum d`Empire
1.5013133303026
Princess Musk Ajmal
1.5012123048947
Angel Face Ava Luxe
1.5011617921907
Define Next
1.5011112794868
Ruehl No.925 Ruehl No.925
1.5010102540789
Sula Stiletto Musk Susanne Lang
1.5010102540789
Fleur Poudree de Musc Les Nereides
1.500909228671
Sexy Sparkle Hot Berry Victoria`s Secret
1.500909228671
Clean Lather Clean
1.5008587159671
Egyptian Musk Ava Luxe
1.5008587159671
Vintage Love Marks and Spencer
1.5008587159671
Lumberjack Werewolf Smell Bent
1.5008082032631
Pearl Musk Ava Luxe
1.5008082032631
Seductive Musk Oriflame
1.5007576905592
Illusions Impulse
1.5007576905592
Jasmine Musc Zara
1.5007576905592
De Tout Coeur Fragonard
1.5007576905592
Talc Douceur Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.5007071778552
Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5006061524473
Solinotes Musc Arno Sorel
1.5005556397434
Lazy Sunday Morning Maison Martin Margiela
1.5005051270395
Air de Fio No 2 Pupa
1.5005051270395
Commando Smell Bent
1.5004546143355
Musk C.O.Bigelow
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Musk Bettina Barty
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Lago del Desierto Fueguia 1833
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Musk Urbar Royal Crown
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Tea Rose Mesk Perfumer`s Workshop
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Shaman Arno Sorel
1.5004041016316
LOMUSK Santi Burgas
1.5004041016316
Magic of the Orient - White Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5004041016316
$ DS & Durga
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Gant Summer Gant
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Fae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5003535889276
Les Bijoux Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Benetton White Night Man Benetton
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Clin D`oeil Porte Bonheur Bourjois
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White Musk Al-Rehab
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Witchblade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Vice Ajmal
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Shadha Swiss Arabian
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Bien Loin d'ici Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002020508158
Sara Pezzini Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002020508158
Black Pearl Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002020508158
Musk Kaaba Arabian Oud
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Charlie White Musk Revlon
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Royal Dark Musk Arabian Oud
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Whoso List To Hunt Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002020508158
Huemul Fueguia 1833
1.5001515381118
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5001515381118
Pavo Lily Lambert
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Eau de Frohliche No.2 Erik Kormann
1.5001515381118
Musk Mazzolari
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Kabuki Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Satyr Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Egyptian Musk Michelle Michini
1.5001515381118
Dragon's Musk Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001515381118
Deer Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5001515381118
Aoud Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5001010254079
Male Supreme Roberta Andrade
1.5001010254079
Superior White Musk Arabian Oud
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Taiga DayNa Decker
1.5001010254079
Musc Refan
1.5001010254079
CBMUSK CB I Hate Perfume
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Muschi Bianchi del Tibet Compagnia Delle Indie
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Tristan Pierre Cardin
1.5001010254079
♥ Invisible Musk Slumberhouse
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The Temptation Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Love & Fun Eau Jeune
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АRТ Ekspresija (ART Expression) Dzintars
1.5000505127039
Miriam Ocariz Eau de Toilette Miriam Ocariz
1.5000505127039
Musk Al Ghazal Al-Rehab
1.5000505127039
Al Khulood Asgharali
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Bora Bora Exotic for Men Liz Claiborne
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Musk Al Haramain Perfumes
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Lurid Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Maisam Rasasi
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Jasmin Musk Al-Rehab
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Rose Nerolita Eau Jeune
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Endymion Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Saltwater Portland General Store
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Rajamusk Illuminum
1.5
Trish McEvoy 11 White Iris Trish McEvoy
1.5
Qubism Emper
1.5
Sultan Desire Queen B
1.5
Red Carpet Attitude Nicole Lola Mood Parfums
1.5
XXV Red Musc Mad et Len
1.5
Shuhaiyah Syed Junaid Alam
1.5
Dragon's Heart Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
1538 Rheims DS & Durga
1.5
Blu Light Fever Byblos
1.5
Tuscia Sigilli
1.5
Amber Musk Shiara
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Amour Mandarine Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
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Dragon's Hide Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Sheer Musk Ava Luxe
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s.Oliver City Beach Woman s.Oliver
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Narciso Rodriguez For Her Narciso Rodriguez
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Musk Jovan
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Clair de Musc Serge Lutens
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Skin Musk Parfums de Coeur
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Snow, Glass, Apple Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Body Fantasies Signature Fresh White Musk Parfums de Coeur
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Heaven Gap
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Ladon Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Bathsheba Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Baby Grace Philosophy
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Libertine Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Black Musk Jovan
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Nude Musk Ava Luxe
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Musk al Madinah Al-Rehab
1.466667
El Otro Tigre Fueguia 1833
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Vanilla Musk Al-Rehab
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Talco Delicato Il Profumi di Firenze
1.4620431270395
Trish McEvoy 3 Snowdrop & Crystal Flowers Trish McEvoy
1.4549996143355
Herve Leger Intrigue Homme Avon
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Amber Jalaine
1.4503535889276
Muschio (Musc) Santa Maria Novella
1.4485790762237
Hint of Musk Impulse
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Crystal de Musc Comptoir Sud Pacifique
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Fiji Paradise Avon
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Seplasia Bruno Acampora
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Ambre Chinoise Des Filles a la Vanille
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Paris CDG The Scent of Departure
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Salome Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Narciso Rodriguez for Him Musk Narciso Rodriguez
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Odyssey Avon
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Narciso Rodriguez For Him Eau de Parfum Intense Narciso Rodriguez
1.4310966351973
White Musk Montale
1.4301874065262
Vison Noir Robert Beaulieu
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Yacht Man Metal Myrurgia
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Zara Silver Zara
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Gone But Not Phoenicia Perfumes
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Banafsaj Night Oil Syed Junaid Alam
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Zara Sport 421 Zara
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Lulu Castagnette Blue Addiction Lulu Castagnette
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Fruit Al-Rehab
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Millie Koto Parfums
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Misk Begum Tola
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Almizcle de BV Bottega Verde
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