Musk

lat. Moschus Moschiferus

Group: MUSK, AMBER, ANIMALIC SMELLS

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Musk Perfumes

1.511209304105
Clean Skin Clean
1.5071540609817
White Musk Tesori d`Oriente
1.505317724473
Body Fantasies Signature Fresh White Musk Parfums de Coeur
1.5052794674624
Silver Musk Nasomatto
1.5046290982823
Musc Tonkin Parfum d`Empire
1.5038639580703
White Musk Montale
1.5030988178584
Over The Musk Thierry Mugler
1.5022954206358
White Musk Al-Rehab
1.5022571636252
Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5020276215617
Royall Muske Royall Fragrances
1.5019893645511
Princess Musk Ajmal
1.5019511075405
L'Antimatiere Les Nez
1.5016450514557
Black Musk Jovan
1.5014537664027
Felce Azzurra Paglieri
1.5014537664027
Silent St. Derek Lam 10 Crosby
1.5012624813497
Egyptian Musk Kuumba Made
1.5012624813497
Ruehl No.925 Ruehl No.925
1.5011859673285
Moschus Wild Love Sophie Nerval
1.5011859673285
Werewolf Lumberjack Smell Bent
1.5011859673285
Angel Face Ava Luxe
1.5011859673285
Define Next
1.5011859673285
Muschio (Musc) Santa Maria Novella
1.5010329392861
Musk al Madinah Al-Rehab
1.5009564252649
Fleur Poudree de Musc Les Nereides
1.5009181682543
Musc Solinotes
1.5008799112437
Egyptian Musk Ava Luxe
1.5008416542331
Sakura Olympic Orchids Artisan Perfumes
1.5008416542331
Cristal de Musc Comptoir Sud Pacifique
1.5008416542331
Asalat Al Musk Arabian Oud
1.5008033972225
Deer Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5007651402119
Sula Stiletto Musk Susanne Lang
1.5007651402119
Clean Lather Clean
1.5007268832013
Musk Tahara Arabian Oud
1.5006886261907
Aoud Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5006503691802
Magic of the Orient - White Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5006121121696
Lago del Desierto Fueguia 1833
1.5006121121696
Khalis Musk (Pure Musk) Lattafa Perfumes
1.5006121121696
Commando Smell Bent
1.500573855159
Jasmine Musc Zara
1.500573855159
Talc Douceur Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.5005355981484
Pearl Musk Ava Luxe
1.5005355981484
G7 Mixed Gap
1.5005355981484
Musk C.O.Bigelow
1.5005355981484
Musk For a Perfect Walk Zara
1.5004973411378
Metal Hurlant Pierre Guillaume Croisiere Collection
1.5004973411378
CBMUSK CB I Hate Perfume
1.5004973411378
Moschus Love Fever Sophie Nerval
1.5004973411378
Musk Bettina Barty
1.5004590841272
Musk Mazzolari
1.5004590841272
Oud & Musc Cartier
1.5004590841272
Kabuki Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5004208271166
Tea Rose Mesk Perfumer`s Workshop
1.500382570106
Air de Fio No 2 Pupa
1.500382570106
Magnetic Blend 7 Initio Parfums Prives
1.500382570106
Musk Kaaba Arabian Oud
1.5003443130954
Eaudesalpes Mora & Almizcle (HIDRATANTE) IVR Swiss Group
1.5003443130954
Royal Dark Musk Arabian Oud
1.5003443130954
013 White Oudh Ajmal
1.5003443130954
Musc Blanc Nejma
1.5003443130954
06 Clean Musk Fred Segal
1.5003060560848
Dragon's Musk Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5003060560848
Benetton White Night Man Benetton
1.5002677990742
Floral Bouquet For a Sunset in The Market Zara
1.5002677990742
Gant Summer Gant
1.5002295420636
Guapo Al-Rehab
1.5002295420636
360 For Men Arabian Oud
1.5002295420636
$ D.S. & Durga
1.5002295420636
Egyptian Musk Michelle Michini
1.5002295420636
Agua de Almiscar Companhia da Terra
1.5002295420636
Pink Nancy Sapil
1.500191285053
Disclosure Adventure Sapil
1.500191285053
Vice Ajmal
1.500191285053
Musk Abiyad Afnan Perfumes
1.500191285053
Silver Musk Syed Junaid Alam
1.500191285053
Muschi Bianchi del Tibet Compagnia Delle Indie
1.500191285053
Dehn al Oudh Abiyad Afnan Perfumes
1.5001530280424
Jasmin Musk Al-Rehab
1.5001530280424
Irinia Bvlgari
1.5001530280424
Mukhallat Al Haram Majid Muzaffar Iterji
1.5001530280424
Dark Entity Aziza World Fragrances
1.5001530280424
White Musk Musk Collection
1.5001530280424
Dragon's Hide Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001530280424
Satyr Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001147710318
Jade East Musk Regency Cosmetics
1.5001147710318
Pavo Lily Lambert
1.5001147710318
Huemul Fueguia 1833
1.5001147710318
Power Musk Oriflame
1.5001147710318
Tristan Pierre Cardin
1.5001147710318
Cashmere Musk Ava Luxe
1.5001147710318
Levitation White Gold Cuarzo The Circle
1.5001147710318
Saltwater Portland General Store
1.5001147710318
Respiro MONOM
1.5001147710318
Dynamo Sapil
1.5001147710318
Arabian Musk Kuumba Made
1.5001147710318
No. XXV Red Musc Mad et Len
1.5001147710318
Supreme Modigliani
1.5001147710318
Kalgoorlie Bud Parfums
1.5001147710318
Musc Gold Bruno Acampora
1.5001147710318
Ghair 1 Ajmal
1.5000765140212
White Musk Arabian Oud
1.5000765140212
Amazing Grace 20th Birthday Special Edition Philosophy
1.5000765140212
Icon Musk Oil Ga-De
1.5000765140212
Taiga DayNa Decker
1.5000765140212
Ménage à Trois Zarkoperfume
1.5000765140212
Musk Musk Collection
1.5000765140212
Anna Karenina Novaya Zarya
1.5000765140212
Superior White Musk Arabian Oud
1.5000765140212
Rose Nerolita Eau Jeune
1.5000765140212
Myski Arabian Oud
1.5000765140212
Gold Lily Shanghai Tang
1.5000765140212
Le Secret d'Arielle Mauboussin
1.5000765140212
Pure Oil Of Musk Carolina Herrera
1.5000765140212
Yujin Ectasy Ella Mikao
1.5000765140212
Oriental Musk Ava Luxe
1.5000765140212
Amber Musk Shiara
1.5000765140212
Nike Urban Musk Nike
1.5000765140212
Jaathbia Collection White Musk Ajmal
1.5000765140212
Musk Al-Manara Al-Makkeah Majid Muzaffar Iterji
1.5000765140212
Musc Refan
1.5000765140212
♥ Invisible Musk Slumberhouse
1.5000765140212
Pearl Al Battash Concepts
1.5000765140212
Fetish: Toro Opus Oils
1.5000765140212
Cotone-muschio bianco Dr. Taffi
1.5000765140212
Lurid Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000765140212
Durrat Al Khaleej Reehat Al Atoor
1.5000382570106
Bouquet d'Amour Malicieuse Mariella Burani
1.5000382570106
Fawakeh Shirley May
1.5000382570106
Anfas Al Musk Al-Rehab
1.5000382570106
Brisas Sedução do Musk Eudora
1.5000382570106
Evolution Musk DSH Perfumes
1.5000382570106
Lomani White Lomani
1.5000382570106
It`s Candy Time Mel Merio
1.5000382570106
Miriam Ocariz Eau de Toilette Miriam Ocariz
1.5000382570106
Champion Al-Rehab
1.5000382570106
Black Musk N°12 The Master Perfumer
1.5000382570106
Laccio L`acqua Di Fiori
1.5
More e Musk Aquolina
1.5
Al Janaan Ajmal
1.5
Imperial Asiatic Musk Abdul Karim Al Faransi
1.5
After 9 Silver Emper
1.5
White Musk Nemat International
1.5
Musk An Aura of Purity Khalis
1.5
Ascension Kuumba Made
1.5
Synthesized Lotus Root Malin+Goetz
1.5
Pink Musk Al-Jazeera Perfumes
1.5
Musc YanFroloff Perfumer
1.5
Sheer Musk Ava Luxe
1.5
Wondrous Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5
Oriental Musk Mel Merio
1.5
Clean Musk Harvey Prince

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