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
1.5067577080107
White Musk Tesori d`Oriente
1.5062884227322
Clean Skin Clean
1.5045051386738
Silver Musk Nasomatto
1.5032380684218
Body Fantasies Signature Fresh White Musk Parfums de Coeur
1.5019240696419
L'Antimatiere Les Nez
1.5017832840584
Musc Tonkin Parfum d`Empire
1.5016894270027
Princess Musk Ajmal
1.501595569947
Royall Muske Royall Fragrances
1.501595569947
Black Musk Jovan
1.501267070252
Fuel for Life Summer Diesel
1.5012201417242
Moschus Wild Love Sophie Nerval
1.5011732131963
Define Next
1.5011262846684
Angel Face Ava Luxe
1.5011262846684
Ruehl No.925 Ruehl No.925
1.5010793561406
Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5009854990849
Fleur Poudree de Musc Les Nereides
1.5009854990849
Sula Stiletto Musk Susanne Lang
1.5009854990849
Summer Mania Eau Fraiche pour Femme Giorgio Armani
1.5009854990849
Felce Azzurra Paglieri
1.500938570557
Pur desir de Lavande Yves Rocher
1.5008916420292
Lumberjack Werewolf Smell Bent
1.5008916420292
Clean Lather Clean
1.5008447135013
Sexy Sparkle Hot Berry Victoria`s Secret
1.5008447135013
Egyptian Musk Ava Luxe
1.5007977849735
White Musk Al-Rehab
1.5007977849735
Illusions Impulse
1.5007977849735
Pearl Musk Ava Luxe
1.5007039279178
Jasmine Musc Zara
1.5007039279178
Musk al Madinah Al-Rehab
1.5007039279178
De Tout Coeur Fragonard
1.5006569993899
Talc Douceur Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.5006569993899
Solinotes Musc Arno Sorel
1.5006100708621
White Goldskin Ramon Molvizar
1.5006100708621
Lago del Desierto Fueguia 1833
1.5005631423342
Snow, Glass, Apple Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5005631423342
Tea Rose Mesk Perfumer`s Workshop
1.5005162138064
Commando Smell Bent
1.5005162138064
Musk C.O.Bigelow
1.5005162138064
Musk Bettina Barty
1.5004692852785
Air de Fio No 2 Pupa
1.5004692852785
Magic of the Orient - White Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5004223567507
Musk Urbar Royal Crown
1.5003754282228
LOMUSK Santi Burgas
1.5003754282228
BHPC Classic for men Air-Val International
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$ D.S. & Durga
1.500328499695
Musk Kaaba Arabian Oud
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Gant Summer Gant
1.500328499695
Clin D`oeil Porte Bonheur Bourjois
1.500328499695
Deer Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.500328499695
Benetton White Night Man Benetton
1.5002815711671
Aoud Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5002815711671
Witchblade Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002815711671
Fae Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002815711671
Huemul Fueguia 1833
1.5002346426393
Royal Dark Musk Arabian Oud
1.5002346426393
Les Bijoux Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002346426393
Celine Sensual Summer Celine
1.5002346426393
Vice Ajmal
1.5002346426393
Musk Mazzolari
1.5002346426393
Black Pearl Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001877141114
Dragon's Musk Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001877141114
Egyptian Musk Michelle Michini
1.5001877141114
Whoso List To Hunt Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001877141114
Kalgoorlie Bud Parfums
1.5001877141114
Kabuki Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001877141114
Eau de Frohliche No.2 Erik Kormann
1.5001877141114
Sara Pezzini Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001407855836
Bathsheba Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001407855836
Vanilla Musk Al-Rehab
1.5001407855836
Musk Al Haramain Perfumes
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Tentación de Rosas Victorio & Lucchino
1.5001407855836
Pavo Lily Lambert
1.5001407855836
Muschi Bianchi del Tibet Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001407855836
Charlie White Musk Revlon
1.5001407855836
Bien Loin d'ici Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001407855836
Tristan Pierre Cardin
1.5001407855836
Endymion Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001407855836
Rajamusk Illuminum
1.5001407855836
Saltwater Portland General Store
1.5000938570557
XXV Red Musc Mad et Len
1.5000938570557
Body Language House of Matriarch
1.5000938570557
Male Supreme Roberta Andrade
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Rose Nerolita Eau Jeune
1.5000938570557
Ladon Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Aperotos Eros Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Musc Refan
1.5000938570557
CBMUSK CB I Hate Perfume
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Taiga DayNa Decker
1.5000938570557
Superior White Musk Arabian Oud
1.5000938570557
АRТ Ekspresija (ART Expression) Dzintars
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♥ Invisible Musk Slumberhouse
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Satyr Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Wondrous Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5000469285279
Miriam Ocariz Eau de Toilette Miriam Ocariz
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Al Khulood Asgharali
1.5000469285279
Lurid Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Jacomo Oud for Men Jacomo
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Bora Bora Exotic for Men Liz Claiborne
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Libertine Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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The Temptation Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Jasmin Musk Al-Rehab
1.5000469285279
Victory Al-Rehab
1.5
Musk Al Ghazal Al-Rehab
1.5
Blu Light Fever Byblos
1.5
Sultan Desire Queen B
1.5
Musk Al Sheikh Al-Rehab
1.5
I`m Fio Deep Coral Pupa
1.5
Spring Vetiver 40 Notes Perfume
1.5
Shuhaiyah Syed Junaid Alam
1.5
Amber Musk Shiara
1.5
Red Carpet Attitude Nicole Lola Mood Parfums
1.5
1538 Rheims D.S. & Durga
1.5
Gleam Johan B
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Dragon's Heart Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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s.Oliver City Beach Woman s.Oliver
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Sheer Musk Ava Luxe
1.4999530714721
Dragon's Hide Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4999530714721
Amour Mandarine Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
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Paris CDG The Scent of Departure
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Love Pulse Avon
1.4999061429443
Musc Elixir Precieux Dior
1.4951495565254
Clair de Musc Serge Lutens
1.4947505553053
Musk Jovan
1.4941598951617
Narciso Rodriguez For Her Narciso Rodriguez
1.4801346328781
Skin Musk Parfums de Coeur
1.4787842077057
Heaven Gap
1.4782140714721
Salome Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
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Lazy Sunday Morning Maison Martin Margiela
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Sed Non Satiata Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.4761255662865
Baby Grace Philosophy
1.4715187831433
Bois et Musc Serge Lutens
1.4646352828382
Black Musk Jovan
1.4621480708621
Trish McEvoy 3 Snowdrop & Crystal Flowers Trish McEvoy
1.4615849285279
Misk Al Oudh Ajmal
1.454862334178
Narciso Rodriguez for Him Musk Narciso Rodriguez
1.4546857855836
Amber Jalaine
1.4545919285279
Blanc Al-Rehab
1.4537419273077
Talco Delicato Il Profumi di Firenze
1.4504692852785
Muschio (Musc) Santa Maria Novella
1.448604499695
Hint of Musk Impulse
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Crystal de Musc Comptoir Sud Pacifique
1.4449132852785
Seplasia Bruno Acampora
1.4444909285279
Trish McEvoy 11 White Iris Trish McEvoy
1.4417860708621
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
1.4296503561406
Yacht Man Metal Myrurgia
1.4294626420292
Zara Silver Zara

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