Basenotes taking part in NPG Musk Project

by Grant Osborne, 01st June, 2010

Basenotes is taking part in the Natural Perfumer's Guild Mystery of Musk Project, where 12 perfumers are all developing their own interpretation of the popular note and sending them to various bloggers and forum members for their review.

The Project has been created by Guild owner, Anya McCoy to celebrate four years of the guild. McCoy says: "If there is one thing I’ve observed during my long tenure on the Internet, musk is the Number One subject of interest among those who love all kinds of perfume, both natural and synthetic. Musk fascinates! Many perfumistas realize that natural perfumers don’t use synthetic musks and civets and such, but that we search for alternatives that give the same effect."

Each perfumer will send out their musk samples to each blogger and forum poster taking part, who will in turn write about their impressions on the internet.

The perfumers taking part are:

  • Adam Gottshalk (Lord's Jester)

  • Alexandra Balahoutis (Strange Invisible Perfumes)

  • Alfredo Dupetit-Bernardi (Dupetit Natural Products)

  • Ambrosia Jones (Perfumes by Nature)

  • Anya McCoy (Anya's Garden)

  • Charna Ethier (Providence Perfume Co)

  • Dawn Spencer Hurwitz (Perfume des Beauz Arts)

  • Elise Pearlstine (Belly Flowers)

  • Jane Cate (A Wing and a Prayer Perfumes)

  • JoAnne Bassett (JoAnne Bassett perfumes)

  • Lisa Fong (Artemisia Perfume)

  • Nick Jennings

(Sharini Parfums Naturales)

Bloggers and website taking part are:

  • I Smell Therefore I am

  • Perfume Shrine

  • The Non Blonde

  • Indie Perfumes

  • Bitter Grace Notes

  • Cafleurbon

  • Olfactarama

  • The First Nerve

  • Olfactory Rescue Service

  • Grain de Musc

Basenotes will be picking five Basenotes Plus members to take part soon. Stay tuned.

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    • Niles | 1st June 2010 23:16

      This sounds like a cool project. I look forward to it.

    • Mimi Gardenia | 2nd June 2010 02:16

      Sounds very interesting - look forward to reading .....

    • Doc Elly | 2nd June 2010 19:10

      Very interesting project. I am assuming the perfumes will only contain natural musk-like materials. I would love to try these.

    • jrd4t | 4th June 2010 14:20

      Very cool! Looking forward to how it turns out.

    • Sugandaraja | 4th June 2010 16:34

      I'd be fascinated to try some natural perfumers' renditions of musk. Quite a challenge, I imagine, given the limitations put on them.

    • pkiler | 24th June 2010 06:20

      I just posted a new blog of photos of all the perfumes and their packaging, that I have received as of today.

      As of now, I do not have any reviews done, but you all can see how the perfumes came to me... :-)

      See it here:


      Paul Kiler (aka Pueblo)

    • FrouFrou | 5th July 2010 20:23

      I once visited a friend and we went to a tiny shop where they sold little India wooden boxes, inside was one tiny rectangle of a greyish substance, it said on the label: pure musk.

      I didn't buy one, and have been sorry ever since.

      The project sounds very interesting. I have been making my own perfume oils and cosmetics.

      Does anybody know where to find real musk?

    • Nostalgie | 29th July 2010 02:34

      I smelled real musk at the Osmothèque (I mean with the musk deer's tail still attached--the way it was sold in the 19th century to assure authenticity). Needles to say it was potent. I'm not sure how old that sample was, but apparently it translates well to perfume. I am a musk-lover from way back when I bought Jovan at the drugstore, and I know those I've sniffed in perfume today are made from vegetable, not animal, ingredients--or they are synthetic.

      I'd love to be involved in this project!

    • James Peterson | 11th June 2012 18:25

      I'm fascinated by this since my approach to scents and in particular, musk, has a Proustian aspect. When I was growing up in the 50s, my mother would wear perfumers from 20 years before. When she would go out for the evening I would be left in the care of my mean brothers, so her return for the evening was always a relief. I associate this association of re-finding my mother, with the dried down perfume she was wearing. She smelled of natural musk. The problem is that the only musk odor I find really satisfying is natural musk. The closest similar thing I like is Cashmeran and ambrettolide, but these aren't the same.

    • James Peterson | 11th June 2012 19:28

      I continue my search for an adequate substitute for natural musks. No other musk smells like natural musk to me although cashmeran comes close and I like ambretollide. All these musks--muscone, tonalide, galaxolide, etc. are odorless to me. There are plenty of sweet musks around but it seems to be hard to just get that very dry note that natural musk has.

    • mstrocovie | 19th January 2013 12:19

      Great call on the dry note....very hard to pull off.