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

1.5094837442655
Wild Musk Coty
1.5082766154222
Clair de Musc Serge Lutens
1.5063933626159
White Musk Tesori d`Oriente
1.5057589067838
Clean Skin Clean
1.5046364080039
Silver Musk Nasomatto
1.5031722791606
Body Fantasies Signature Fresh White Musk Parfums de Coeur
1.5020009760859
L'Antimatiere Les Nez
1.501756954612
Princess Musk Ajmal
1.501756954612
Black Musk Jovan
1.5013665202538
Royall Muske Royall Fragrances
1.501317715959
E HRH Princess Elizabeth
1.5012689116642
Moschus Wild Love Sophie Nerval
1.5012689116642
Fuel for Life Summer Diesel
1.5012201073694
Lazy Sunday Morning Maison Martin Margiela
1.5011713030747
Ruehl No.925 Ruehl No.925
1.5011713030747
Musc Tonkin Parfum d`Empire
1.5011713030747
Angel Face Ava Luxe
1.5010736944851
Define Next
1.5010248901903
Sula Stiletto Musk Susanne Lang
1.5010248901903
Summer Mania Eau Fraiche pour Femme Giorgio Armani
1.5009760858956
Fleur Poudree de Musc Les Nereides
1.5009760858956
Lumberjack Werewolf Smell Bent
1.5009272816008
Clean Lather Clean
1.500878477306
Sexy Sparkle Hot Berry Victoria`s Secret
1.500878477306
Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.500878477306
Egyptian Musk Ava Luxe
1.5008296730112
Felce Azzurra Paglieri
1.5008296730112
Pearl Musk Ava Luxe
1.5007808687164
Seductive Musk Oriflame
1.5007808687164
Lago del Desierto Fueguia 1833
1.5007320644217
De Tout Coeur Fragonard
1.5007320644217
Jasmine Musc Zara
1.5007320644217
Illusions Impulse
1.5006832601269
Snow, Glass, Apple Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5006832601269
Talc Douceur Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.5006344558321
Solinotes Musc Arno Sorel
1.5006344558321
Commando Smell Bent
1.5005368472426
Musk Bettina Barty
1.5005368472426
Tea Rose Mesk Perfumer`s Workshop
1.5005368472426
White Musk Al-Rehab
1.5004880429478
White Goldskin Ramon Molvizar
1.5004880429478
Magic of the Orient - White Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5004880429478
Air de Fio No 2 Pupa
1.500439238653
Musk Urbar Royal Crown
1.500439238653
Musk al Madinah Al-Rehab
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Musk C.O.Bigelow
1.5003904343582
$ DS & Durga
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LOMUSK Santi Burgas
1.5003416300634
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
1.5003416300634
Benetton White Night Man Benetton
1.5003416300634
Clin D`oeil Porte Bonheur Bourjois
1.5003416300634
Gant Summer Gant
1.5003416300634
Fae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5003416300634
Les Bijoux Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002928257687
Huemul Fueguia 1833
1.5002928257687
Witchblade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002440214739
Musk Kaaba Arabian Oud
1.5002440214739
Celine Sensual Summer Celine
1.5002440214739
Bien Loin d'ici Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002440214739
Musk Mazzolari
1.5002440214739
Dragon's Musk Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002440214739
Vice Ajmal
1.5002440214739
Bathsheba Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001952171791
Eau de Frohliche No.2 Erik Kormann
1.5001952171791
Kabuki Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001952171791
Aoud Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5001952171791
Royal Dark Musk Arabian Oud
1.5001952171791
Black Pearl Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001952171791
Whoso List To Hunt Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001952171791
Sara Pezzini Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001464128843
Egyptian Musk Michelle Michini
1.5001464128843
Pavo Lily Lambert
1.5001464128843
Muschi Bianchi del Tibet Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001464128843
Satyr Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001464128843
Endymion Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001464128843
Charlie White Musk Revlon
1.5001464128843
Rajamusk Illuminum
1.5001464128843
Musk Al Haramain Perfumes
1.5001464128843
Saltwater Portland General Store
1.5000976085896
The Temptation Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000976085896
Superior White Musk Arabian Oud
1.5000976085896
Taiga DayNa Decker
1.5000976085896
Kalgoorlie Bud Parfums
1.5000976085896
CBMUSK CB I Hate Perfume
1.5000976085896
Deer Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5000976085896
Male Supreme Roberta Andrade
1.5000976085896
Tristan Pierre Cardin
1.5000976085896
Musc Refan
1.5000976085896
♥ Invisible Musk Slumberhouse
1.5000976085896
АRТ Ekspresija (ART Expression) Dzintars
1.5000488042948
Bora Bora Exotic for Men Liz Claiborne
1.5000488042948
Miriam Ocariz Eau de Toilette Miriam Ocariz
1.5000488042948
Lurid Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000488042948
Jasmin Musk Al-Rehab
1.5000488042948
Rose Nerolita Eau Jeune
1.5000488042948
Al Khulood Asgharali
1.5000488042948
Wondrous Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5000488042948
Jacomo Oud for Men Jacomo
1.5
I`m Fio Deep Coral Pupa
1.5
Sultan Desire Queen B
1.5
XXV Red Musc Mad et Len
1.5
Amber Musk Shiara
1.5
Spring Vetiver 40 Notes Perfume
1.5
Dragon's Heart Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5
Red Carpet Attitude Nicole Lola Mood Parfums
1.5
1538 Rheims DS & Durga
1.5
Gleam Johan B
1.5
Blu Light Fever Byblos
1.5
Shuhaiyah Syed Junaid Alam
1.5
Musk Al Sheikh Al-Rehab
1.4999511957052
Dragon's Hide Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999511957052
s.Oliver City Beach Woman s.Oliver
1.4999511957052
Sheer Musk Ava Luxe
1.4999511957052
Musc Elixir Precieux Dior
1.4999511957052
Amour Mandarine Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
1.4999511957052
Love Pulse Avon
1.4999511957052
Paris CDG The Scent of Departure
1.4999023914104
Musk Al Ghazal Al-Rehab
1.4982693367496
Narciso Rodriguez For Her Narciso Rodriguez
1.4917981117618
Musk Jovan
1.4885587061981
Skin Musk Parfums de Coeur
1.4786770141532
Heaven Gap
1.4784562171791
Ladon Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4762388042948
Libertine Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.47619
Vanilla Musk Al-Rehab
1.4760540810151
Baby Grace Philosophy
1.4708654748658
Black Musk Jovan
1.4621236515373
Trish McEvoy 3 Snowdrop & Crystal Flowers Trish McEvoy
1.4596542171791
Sed Non Satiata Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4546914128843
Amber Jalaine
1.4503904343582
Muschio (Musc) Santa Maria Novella
1.4485688257687
Hint of Musk Impulse
1.4469201688629
Narciso Rodriguez for Him Musk Narciso Rodriguez
1.4464937803807
Nude Musk Ava Luxe
1.4454200858956
Crystal de Musc Comptoir Sud Pacifique
1.4449320429478
Seplasia Bruno Acampora
1.4445904128843
Ambre Chinoise Des Filles a la Vanille
1.4444928042948
Trish McEvoy 11 White Iris Trish McEvoy
1.4443951957052
Salome Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4439090405076
White Musk Montale
1.4363942693997
Soft Musk Avon
1.4338473245486
Talco Delicato Il Profumi di Firenze
1.4321377301122
Narciso Rodriguez For Him Eau de Parfum Intense Narciso Rodriguez
1.4301327374329
Vison Noir Robert Beaulieu
1.4296934987799
Yacht Man Metal Myrurgia
1.4294006730112
Zara Silver Zara
1.4291566515373
Gone But Not Phoenicia Perfumes
1.4289614343582
Banafsaj Night Oil Syed Junaid Alam
1.4288150214739
Rosa del Deserto di Petra Compagnia Delle Indie
1.4287662171791
Zara Sport 421 Zara

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