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
1.507161007161
Clean Skin Clean
1.5067452067452
White Musk Tesori d`Oriente
1.5045738045738
Silver Musk Nasomatto
1.5031878031878
Body Fantasies Signature Fresh White Musk Parfums de Coeur
1.502079002079
L'Antimatiere Les Nez
1.5018796176946
Musk Jovan
1.501848001848
Musc Tonkin Parfum d`Empire
1.5018018018018
Royall Muske Royall Fragrances
1.5017556017556
Princess Musk Ajmal
1.5015708015708
Black Musk Jovan
1.5012474012474
Fuel for Life Summer Diesel
1.5012012012012
Moschus Wild Love Sophie Nerval
1.501155001155
Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5011088011088
Define Next
1.5011088011088
Angel Face Ava Luxe
1.5011088011088
Ruehl No.925 Ruehl No.925
1.5010626010626
Felce Azzurra Paglieri
1.5009702009702
Sula Stiletto Musk Susanne Lang
1.5009702009702
Summer Mania Eau Fraiche pour Femme Giorgio Armani
1.5009702009702
Fleur Poudree de Musc Les Nereides
1.5008778008778
Clean Lather Clean
1.5008778008778
Pur desir de Lavande Yves Rocher
1.5008316008316
Egyptian Musk Ava Luxe
1.5008316008316
Sexy Sparkle Hot Berry Victoria`s Secret
1.5007854007854
Over The Musk Thierry Mugler
1.5007854007854
Illusions Impulse
1.5007854007854
White Musk Al-Rehab
1.5007392007392
Musk al Madinah Al-Rehab
1.5007392007392
Pearl Musk Ava Luxe
1.500693000693
De Tout Coeur Fragonard
1.5006468006468
Talc Douceur Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.5006468006468
Jasmine Musc Zara
1.5006468006468
Commando Smell Bent
1.5006468006468
Solinotes Musc Arno Sorel
1.5006006006006
Lago del Desierto Fueguia 1833
1.5006006006006
White Goldskin Ramon Molvizar
1.5005544005544
Musk Bettina Barty
1.5005544005544
Ed Hardy Love Is... Christian Audigier
1.5005544005544
Tea Rose Mesk Perfumer`s Workshop
1.5005082005082
Musk C.O.Bigelow
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Snow, Glass, Apple Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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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
1.5004158004158
Musk Urbar Royal Crown
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Deer Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
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$ D.S. & Durga
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BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
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Musk Kaaba Arabian Oud
1.5003234003234
Lilac Vegetal Pinaud Clubman
1.5003234003234
Benetton White Night Man Benetton
1.5003234003234
Scuderia Ferrari Black Ferrari
1.5003234003234
Black Pearl Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5003234003234
Gant Summer Gant
1.5002772002772
Huemul Fueguia 1833
1.5002772002772
Musk Mazzolari
1.5002772002772
Clin D`oeil Porte Bonheur Bourjois
1.5002772002772
Witchblade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Fae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Aoud Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.500231000231
Royal Dark Musk Arabian Oud
1.500231000231
Les Bijoux Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.500231000231
Celine Sensual Summer Celine
1.500231000231
Goddess of Dreams CJ Scents
1.500231000231
Kabuki Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.500231000231
Vice Ajmal
1.5001848001848
Sara Pezzini Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001848001848
Dragon's Musk Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001848001848
Egyptian Musk Michelle Michini
1.5001848001848
Kalgoorlie Bud Parfums
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Endymion Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001848001848
Old Spice Musk Shulton Company
1.5001848001848
Whoso List To Hunt Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001386001386
Pavo Lily Lambert
1.5001386001386
China Musk TerraNova
1.5001386001386
Eau de Frohliche No.2 Erik Kormann
1.5001386001386
Saltwater Portland General Store
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Bathsheba Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Musk Al Haramain Perfumes
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Tentación de Rosas Victorio & Lucchino
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Bien Loin d'ici Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001386001386
Muschi Bianchi del Tibet Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001386001386
Jasmin Musk Al-Rehab
1.5001386001386
Libertine Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001386001386
Charlie White Musk Revlon
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Tristan Pierre Cardin
1.5000924000924
АRТ Ekspresija (ART Expression) Dzintars
1.5000924000924
Rose Nerolita Eau Jeune
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Superior White Musk Arabian Oud
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Taiga DayNa Decker
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Male Supreme Roberta Andrade
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CBMUSK CB I Hate Perfume
1.5000924000924
Alf Zahra Al-Rehab
1.5000924000924
Ladon Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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♥ Invisible Musk Slumberhouse
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Aperotos Eros Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Clubman Musk Pinaud Clubman
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Oriental Musk Ava Luxe
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Lurre Signature Fragrances
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Satyr Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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XXV Red Musc Mad et Len
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Musc Refan
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Body Language House of Matriarch
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Citrus Musk Pinaud Clubman
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Musk Al Ghazal Al-Rehab
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Victory Al-Rehab
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004 Sublime Love Ajmal
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Bora Bora Exotic for Men Liz Claiborne
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Wondrous Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
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Fawakeh Shirley May
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Lurid Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Miriam Ocariz Eau de Toilette Miriam Ocariz
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Musk Abiyad Afnan Perfumes
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Al Khulood Asgharali
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The Temptation Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Tracy Reese Eau de Parfum Tracy Reese
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Black Musk The Merchant of Venice
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Spring Vetiver 40 Notes Perfume
1.5
Dark Entity Aziza World Fragrances
1.5
Kalemat Musk Arabian Oud
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Anfas Al Musk Al-Rehab
1.5
Pink Musk Al-Jazeera Perfumes
1.5
Blu Light Fever Byblos
1.5
L`Esprit Divin Paul Emilien
1.5
Sultan Desire Queen B
1.5
Nude Moderne AetherArtsPerfume
1.5
Cashmere Musk Ava Luxe
1.5
I`m Fio Deep Coral Pupa
1.5
Gleam Johan B
1.5
Amber Musk Shiara
1.5
Red Carpet Attitude Nicole Lola Mood Parfums
1.5
Shuhaiyah Syed Junaid Alam
1.5
Ehsas Al Haramain Perfumes
1.5
Musk Al Sheikh Al-Rehab
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Synthesized Lotus Root Malin+Goetz
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Love Pulse Avon
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s.Oliver City Beach Woman s.Oliver
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Dragon's Heart Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Dragon's Hide Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Amour Mandarine Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.4999537999538
Sheer Musk Ava Luxe
1.4999537999538
Fresh Musk Al-Jazeera Perfumes
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Antebellum West Third Brand
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Paris CDG The Scent of Departure
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Musc Elixir Precieux Christian Dior
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Narciso Rodriguez For Her Narciso Rodriguez
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Clair de Musc Serge Lutens
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Werewolf Lumberjack Smell Bent
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L`orpheline Serge Lutens
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Skin Musk Parfums de Coeur

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