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What is Musk?

What is Musk?

What is Musk?

You’ve heard of Musk in fragrances, but what is it?

Musk is a note in fragrance that is usually added to the base notes as a fixative to help the fragrance last longer, and sometimes to add a sensual quality to the scent.

Up until the late 19th century, it was found within a gland of the male Musk Deer, which is native to Russian and Asia. This gland produces pheromones during mating season. 

Natural Musk is no longer used in fragrances, as the Musk Deer is killed in order to extract the Musk Pod. This led to the Musk Deer becoming endangered, and there are now laws in place to protect the animal.

After the Musk Pod was extracted, the semi-liquid inside was left to dry, becoming Musk Grain. The grain was then used to create a tincture with alcohol, then left to dilute for no less than 18 months. Over time, the sweeter essence we know as Musk was then used in fragrances.

It is said that a diluted liquid can be drunk for its curative properties for impotence, which may have something to do with the notion that Musk has aphrodisiac qualities.

Today there are synthetic and plant essence alternatives that are used in fragrance.

The most widely used is Muscone, an organic compound with a base of Citronellol. Yes, that Citronellol. 

Other alternatives are Angelica Root, the Musk Mallow, and Indoles - oils found in flowers, primarily Jasmine, that create a ‘dirty’, earthy, animalic tone.

Most synthetic Musks are labeled as ‘White Musk’.

Musk based scents tend to be warmer, worn in colder months, and are something with a sense of sex appeal.

Musc Poudre by Christian Provenzano is a sweet scent. Fruits and flowers blend into a base of Precious Musks, Amber, Vanilla, and Vanilla-like Benzoin and Tonka Bean.

Musk Extreme from Perris Monte Carlo is aromatic and floral, blending Aldehydes and flowers with Musk and an Animalic Accord. 

White Musk from Giardino Benessere is a soft, floral Musk scent with fruity nuances. It is fresh and reminiscent of Springtime.

Musk Therapy from Initio is a citrus and floral Musk scent with a lighter side. White Musk and Pink Musk(blended with Roses), create a sense of calm.

Meliora by Parfums de Marly is a fruit and floral blended scent that is warmed with the essence of Musk, adding a sultry sense to a bright blend.

While Musk tends to represent warmth and sultry qualities, and can be intimidating if you’re just starting to try, today’s blends can be very versatile and welcoming. At Parfumerie Nasreen, we’re ready to help you along on this path of your fragrance journey.

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