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

1.5114087843995
Clean Skin Clean
1.5071077091307
White Musk Tesori d`Oriente
1.5056497175141
Body Fantasies Signature Fresh White Musk Parfums de Coeur
1.5055403681429
Silver Musk Nasomatto
1.5049207217059
Musc Tonkin Parfum d`Empire
1.5039001275743
White Musk Montale
1.5028430836523
White Musk Al-Rehab
1.5025879351194
Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5020776380536
Royall Muske Royall Lyme Bermuda
1.5020047384728
Princess Musk Ajmal
1.5019682886823
L'Antimatiere Les Nez
1.5019682886823
Silent St. Derek Lam 10 Crosby
1.5017131401494
Black Musk Jovan
1.5015673409878
Egyptian Musk Kuumba Made
1.5013850920357
Felce Azzurra Paglieri
1.5012392928741
Angel Face Ava Luxe
1.5012028430837
Moschus Wild Love Sophie Nerval
1.5012028430837
Muschio (Musc) Santa Maria Novella
1.5011663932932
Ruehl No.925 Ruehl No.925
1.5011299435028
Define Next
1.5011299435028
Werewolf Lumberjack Smell Bent
1.501057043922
Musk al Madinah Al-Rehab
1.5010205941316
Deer Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5009476945508
Asalat Al Musk Arabian Oud
1.5009112447603
Khalis Musk (Pure Musk) Lattafa Perfumes
1.5008747949699
Fleur Poudree de Musc Les Nereides
1.5008747949699
Musc Solinotes
1.5008383451795
Egyptian Musk Ava Luxe
1.5008018953891
Clean Lather Clean
1.5008018953891
Aoud Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.5008018953891
Cristal de Musc Comptoir Sud Pacifique
1.5007289958083
Sula Stiletto Musk Susanne Lang
1.5006925460179
Musk Tahara Arabian Oud
1.5006560962274
Pearl Musk Ava Luxe
1.500619646437
Moschus Love Fever Sophie Nerval
1.500619646437
Magic of the Orient - White Body Musk Abdul Samad Al Qurashi
1.500619646437
Commando Smell Bent
1.5005831966466
Oud & Musc Cartier
1.5005831966466
Lago del Desierto Fueguia 1833
1.5005831966466
Musk C.O.Bigelow
1.5005467468562
Jasmine Musc Zara
1.5005467468562
Talc Douceur Monotheme Fine Fragrances Venezia
1.5005467468562
Gold Lily Shanghai Tang
1.5005102970658
G7 Mixed Gap
1.5005102970658
CBMUSK CB I Hate Perfume
1.5005102970658
Musk For a Perfect Walk Zara
1.5005102970658
Musk Mazzolari
1.5004738472754
Musk Bettina Barty
1.5004738472754
Kabuki Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.500437397485
Magnetic Blend 7 Initio Parfums Prives
1.5004009476946
Musc Blanc Nejma
1.5004009476946
Rue Royale Hové Parfumeur, Ltd.
1.5004009476946
Tea Rose Mesk Perfumer`s Workshop
1.5003644979041
Guapo Al-Rehab
1.5003644979041
Floral Bouquet For a Sunset in The Market Zara
1.5003644979041
Musk Kaaba Arabian Oud
1.5003280481137
Fascinator Hové Parfumeur, Ltd.
1.5003280481137
06 Clean Musk Fred Segal
1.5003280481137
Royal Dark Musk Arabian Oud
1.5003280481137
Eaudesalpes Mora & Almizcle (HIDRATANTE) IVR Swiss Group
1.5003280481137
Jamoca Soft Musk Avon
1.5002915983233
Night Musk Avon
1.5002915983233
Dragon's Musk Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5002915983233
Benetton White Night Man Benetton
1.5002551485329
Gant Summer Gant
1.5002551485329
Dehn al Oudh Abiyad Afnan Perfumes
1.5002551485329
Batch No. 46 Abercrombie & Fitch
1.5002551485329
Water Goddess Kuumba Made
1.5002551485329
White Musk Musk Collection
1.5002551485329
Silver Musk Syed Junaid Alam
1.5002186987425
Egyptian Musk Michelle Michini
1.5002186987425
Huemul Fueguia 1833
1.5002186987425
Agua de Almiscar Companhia da Terra
1.5002186987425
$ D.S. & Durga
1.5001822489521
Divine Goddess Musk Alkemia Perfumes
1.5001822489521
Imperial Asiatic Musk Abdul Karim Al Faransi
1.5001822489521
Muschi Bianchi del Tibet Compagnia Delle Indie
1.5001822489521
America Musk Milton Lloyd
1.5001822489521
Musk Al Ghazal Al-Rehab
1.5001822489521
Disclosure Adventure Sapil
1.5001822489521
Anfas Al Musk Al-Rehab
1.5001822489521
Vice Ajmal
1.5001457991617
Mukhallat Al Haram Majid Muzaffar Iterji
1.5001457991617
Power Musk Oriflame
1.5001457991617
Pure Oil Of Musk Carolina Herrera
1.5001457991617
Satyr Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001457991617
Dark Entity Aziza World Fragrances
1.5001457991617
Jasmin Musk Al-Rehab
1.5001457991617
Dragon's Hide Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5001457991617
Jaathbia Collection White Musk Ajmal
1.5001457991617
Myski Arabian Oud
1.5001457991617
Amazing Grace 20th Birthday Special Edition Philosophy
1.5001093493712
Levitation White Gold Cuarzo The Circle
1.5001093493712
Respiro MONOM
1.5001093493712
Pavo Lily Lambert
1.5001093493712
Jade East Musk Regency Cosmetics
1.5001093493712
Kalgoorlie Bud Parfums
1.5001093493712
No. XXV Red Musc Mad et Len
1.5001093493712
Cashmere Musk Ava Luxe
1.5001093493712
Dynamo Sapil
1.5001093493712
Musk Musk Collection
1.5001093493712
Musc Gold Bruno Acampora
1.5001093493712
Saltwater Portland General Store
1.5001093493712
Arabian Musk Kuumba Made
1.5001093493712
Tristan Pierre Cardin
1.5001093493712
Supreme Modigliani
1.5001093493712
Ghair 1 Ajmal
1.5000728995808
Musc Refan
1.5000728995808
Oriental Musk Ava Luxe
1.5000728995808
Taiga DayNa Decker
1.5000728995808
Superior White Musk Arabian Oud
1.5000728995808
Eau de Noir Bourbon French Parfums
1.5000728995808
Icon Musk Oil Ga-De
1.5000728995808
La Vie Nouvelle Bourbon French Parfums
1.5000728995808
Musk Al-Manara Al-Makkeah Majid Muzaffar Iterji
1.5000728995808
Fetish: Toro Opus Oils
1.5000728995808
Black Musk Pino Silvestre
1.5000728995808
Pearl Al Battash Concepts
1.5000728995808
Lurid Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
1.5000728995808
Nike Urban Musk Nike
1.5000728995808
♥ Invisible Musk Slumberhouse
1.5000728995808
Durrat Al Khaleej Reehat Al Atoor
1.5000728995808
Globos De Chicle Haught Parfums
1.5000728995808
Amber Musk Shiara
1.5000728995808
Ménage à Trois Zarkoperfume
1.5000728995808
Yujin Ectasy Ella Mikao
1.5000728995808
White Musk Arabian Oud
1.5000728995808
Rose Nerolita Eau Jeune
1.5000728995808
Cotone-muschio bianco Dr. Taffi
1.5000364497904
White Musk Nemat International
1.5000364497904
Miriam Ocariz Eau de Toilette Miriam Ocariz
1.5000364497904
It`s Candy Time Mel Merio
1.5000364497904
Brisas Sedução do Musk Eudora
1.5000364497904
Bouquet d'Amour Malicieuse Mariella Burani
1.5000364497904
Champion Al-Rehab
1.5000364497904
Fawakeh Shirley May
1.5000364497904
Six Scents 2 Bernhard Willhelm: Wicken 3000 Six Scents
1.5
Nude Moderne Aether Arts Perfume
1.5
BPC Musk Brooklyn Perfume Company
1.5
Musk Otoori
1.5
Shuhaiyah Syed Junaid Alam
1.5
Musc Supreme Ajmal
1.5
Sapphire Cuarzo The Circle
1.5
Musk Hayati Arabesque Perfumes
1.5
Clean Musk Harvey Prince
1.5
After 9 Silver Emper
1.5
Anna Karenina Novaya Zarya
1.5
Original White Musk Zuma
1.5
Patchouli Spirit Of Musk Teufels Kuche
1.5
Nima Al Haramain Perfumes

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