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  1. #31

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    I read somewhere that natural musk should be matured with something alkaline such as "potash" or "soda," (potassium and sodium hydroxides?) to help it mature. Has anyone ever heard this?

  2. #32
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    yes, arctander wrote,
    Tincture of Musk: 3% musk in a 90% ethyl
    alcohol. Alkali and other additives are often used
    during the maceration. To be aged for not less
    than 6 months before filtration.

  3. #33

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Re: costus, I have an oil from Oshadhi and a C02 from WLA, neither of which dissolve fully in alcohol. I don't know what the problem is. Odour-wise the C02 is more refined with more of an orris feel. The synthetic Costausol is an even cleaner scent, and even more orris like, maybe a bit coconut-y. There's another one called Costaulon that is apparently stronger - not available at TPC. I suppose there is kind of a musky feel to them. Fatty is what really came to mind, the Oshadhi oil was very unpleasant, kind of like burnt oily fish skin. I can't confirm the "wet dog" thing - you may say I haven't lived, but it's honestly not a smell I'm familiar with.

    Gido, are you aware that you can buy real musk tincture online now? Just Google it! The guy is (or was, not sure if there's any left) doing a special offer on it recently. I was able to get a 1ml sample of Tonquin musk tincture from him last year.

    The "animalid" stuff from TPC is miles off a convincing musk tincture - that is much more like ambrette. You would be on the right track with muscone, but initially what you smell is very animalic, and with a touch of ammonia. Actually it's more than that, but really hard to describe. It's fascinating to smell the actual "muscone" effect in the drydown - so familiar and "perfumey", and to think that it's a natural, animal product!

    The thing is, we are so familiar with musks these days in functional products and the like that I think maybe we kind of tune them out to a certain extent. I can only imagine what it was like for people in the past to smell musk for the first time, not having been bombarded with it their whole lives.

  4. #34
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    david,

    is TONQUITONE PCMF DEPR 1206, IFF the one you were talking about? janmeut can get this, but only a whole kilo at 285 euro. he also wrote that SHANGRALIDE OLIFFAC 05 is discontinued, they now sell a product called OLIFFAC 1010 (both iff). are you familiar with this latest version, is it good? it's apparently less expensive than tonquitone, but i have most likely have to order 5 kilos, or more.

    btw. if there's anyone interested in a split, please contact me.

  5. #35
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    renegade,

    thanks for the write-up.

    i think that ammonia thing is included in the odor profile of real musk tincture, is that right?

    if you want to experience wet dog, just go to a public park on a warm day, and find a spot where people let their dogs swim. you could even take a little treat to attact them, and have a good whiff while you pet the animal. it's a very peculiar odor, one that surely enough will stick in your memory.

    i am aware that musk pods/grains/tinctures and so on are offered for sale online, but i am not so sure whether it's the real thing or not. it seems a huge gamble with very little chance; and then, how would i discern the real thing if i don't know it to start with?

  6. #36

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Arctander mentions a "slightly amine-like" odour which I'm sure is something do with ammonia.

    As for whether it's the real thing or not, most of us can only use our own judgement and compare it to the literature. The guy I got the sample from seems very reputable - apparently he used to be the chemist for the company in NZ that sells Ambergris (I have his ambergris absolute too), and he seems well known among the Natural Perfumers community, for what that's worth. I think there's an old post on one of the Yahoo groups explaining how he has a permit or something, and how in some areas the deer are making a real comeback...

  7. #37

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Costus, to me, smells of wet dog, never like fish; and I haven't smelled "real" Costus oil in years. Only used the Oliffac, which I believe has been reformulated (to remove Nitromusks and reduce Oakmoss?).

    gido, have no idea if the chemicals you mention would give a close approximation to Musk tincture; if you have them to hand have a go. There is a sour, sweaty aspect to real Musk; so maybe you would need some Butyric or iso Valeric acid there as well. Not too much though!

    Tonquitone PCMF DEPR is a reformulated Tonquitone which contain no DEP and is PolyCyclicMusk free. So it will contain Macrocyclic musk as a base. I'm afraid I am not familiar with this reformulation. Wasn't aware about Shangralide being discontinued. Shangralide used to be based on Galaxolide (a PCM), maybe Oliffac 1010 is a Shangralide sans PCM; sorry I haven't ever smelled it. I'm surprised that they won't send you a small smelling sample to try it out.

    Other animalic notes you should get to know are Phenyl Acetic acid (some describe this as honey, others like,pee). para Cresyl Acetate and para Cresyl Phenylacetate ( a bit like horse pee and poo). Amongst the new musks Cosmone has the powdery animalic feel of a Nitromusk, but isn't.

    Sorry that I cannot be of more help, and good luck.

  8. #38

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    To be clear, I don't think costus smells like fish per se, one of the samples just reminded me of that burnt fatty smell of overdone fish skin like salmon. I think Arctander says something about "fatty acids" so maybe I'm not mad!

  9. #39

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Be careful with butyric acid. I was in a lab when I transferred a small amount from a large bottle into a smaller container. I worked under a hood, but the janitor still showed up with his bag of sawdust...

  10. #40

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Butyric Acid is very strong; use a 1.0% solution (even 0.1%). I just think that a hint of it would fit into the general natural musk smell.

  11. #41

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    My musk guy sent me a tiny piece of aluminum foil with this brown smudge on one side. It turns out it is pure musk. It has a heavenly aroma and doesn't seem to be fading. It's a different aroma than tincture, not better, just somehow more primal.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Does anyone know what the musk deer situation is? I can't justify buying musk if the deer are endangered, but if they're sustainable, that's something different...

  12. #42

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    As far as I am aware Musk Deer cannot be farmed, so are not "sustainable". I think it is illegal to use Musk Tincture. It is still used in Chinese medicine, but it seems to be completely unjustifiable to use it in Perfumery. In a way that is a shame as it does smell divine. And by the way James, your sample will not fade for years; if it is the real stuff.

  13. #43

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    This is actually a rather complex question that Iíve written about fairly extensively on Basenotes before. I should probably pull all the information together into a blog post but time presses as ever . . .

    Anyway the summary position is this: Musk Deer have been farmed in China since 1952 but farming has not been terribly successful and only a tiny proportion of natural musk that is consumed in the world is produced that way, almost all of it in China itself where it is used in traditional Chinese medicine more than as a fragrance material. There are a few Ďfarmsí in other parts of the world but most amount to little more than a handful of animals in captivity, often in very poor conditions indeed with very high mortality rates. Musk is produced only by male deer and they form only a small percentage of the population - most animals in a sustainable herd will be female.

    Musk is harvested (really hunted is a better word, although technically it is possible to harvest without killing the animal in practice thatís rare) mainly in the Russian Federation and there are quotas set under the CITES regulations for the numbers to be Ďculledí. Most real tonkin musk now on the market is from these sources, though much of what purports to be real musk isnít real at all - even more than most expensive natural materials deer musk is faked and adulterated extensively.

    There are 16 species of Musk Deer from which the material can be extracted and all of them are endangered to one degree or another, most seriously threatened. CITES does not forbid trade in musk and although I have seen many, many claims that real musk is now illegal I have yet to see a citation to evidence that, despite challenging people to produce such evidence frequently: it may be illegal in some countries, but it isnít banned for international trade in the way that many products of endangered species are (such as tiger products, ivory or rhino horn for example). There is a good argument that it should be though.

    There are moral questions to be considered with respect to synthetic musks too, but in my opinion the weight of evidence in this case is firmly in favour of the synthetic alternatives over the natural product. Those who argue that synthetic musks are dangerous to humans or the environment are usually forgetting that there are many, many synthetic musks and they donít all have the same issues - select with care and you can have a great musk scent and a clear conscience.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
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    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
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  14. #44

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Musk used in Chinese medicine nowadays is synthetic as well. I am fluent in Chinese and almost all ingredient lists I've seen read "synthetic musk". I'm sure some millionaires can get real musk in their "private blend" Chinese medicine, just like they can get rhino horns when most recipes calling for rhino horns have been replaced with bull horns.

  15. #45

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    I have some costus and it smells like sweaty wet plants to me, but I would imagine adding a chocolate nuance to it may give something of a musk feeling. Maybe with some castoreum for a leathery furry skin feeling. I will have a go for this thread and see what happens. I have some real musk tincture to compare to.
    Currently wearing: Beautiful by Estťe Lauder

  16. #46

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    I have some costus and it smells like sweaty wet plants to me, but I would imagine adding a chocolate nuance to it may give something of a musk feeling. Maybe with some castoreum for a leathery furry skin feeling. I will have a go for this thread and see what happens. I have some real musk tincture to compare to.
    I realise many people won't be troubled by it, but for the benefit of those who want to sell their creations, keep in mind that costus root oil is prohibited by IFRA completely.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  17. #47

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    This is actually a rather complex question that I’ve written about fairly extensively on Basenotes before. I should probably pull all the information together into a blog post but time presses as ever . . .

    Anyway the summary position is this: Musk Deer have been farmed in China since 1952 but farming has not been terribly successful and only a tiny proportion of natural musk that is consumed in the world is produced that way, almost all of it in China itself where it is used in traditional Chinese medicine more than as a fragrance material. There are a few ‘farms’ in other parts of the world but most amount to little more than a handful of animals in captivity, often in very poor conditions indeed with very high mortality rates. Musk is produced only by male deer and they form only a small percentage of the population - most animals in a sustainable herd will be female.

    Musk is harvested (really hunted is a better word, although technically it is possible to harvest without killing the animal in practice that’s rare) mainly in the Russian Federation and there are quotas set under the CITES regulations for the numbers to be ‘culled’. Most real tonkin musk now on the market is from these sources, though much of what purports to be real musk isn’t real at all - even more than most expensive natural materials deer musk is faked and adulterated extensively.

    There are 16 species of Musk Deer from which the material can be extracted and all of them are endangered to one degree or another, most seriously threatened. CITES does not forbid trade in musk and although I have seen many, many claims that real musk is now illegal I have yet to see a citation to evidence that, despite challenging people to produce such evidence frequently: it may be illegal in some countries, but it isn’t banned for international trade in the way that many products of endangered species are (such as tiger products, ivory or rhino horn for example). There is a good argument that it should be though.

    There are moral questions to be considered with respect to synthetic musks too, but in my opinion the weight of evidence in this case is firmly in favour of the synthetic alternatives over the natural product. Those who argue that synthetic musks are dangerous to humans or the environment are usually forgetting that there are many, many synthetic musks and they don’t all have the same issues - select with care and you can have a great musk scent and a clear conscience.
    Well stated as usual Chris.
    Zanshin

  18. #48

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Quote Originally Posted by mstrocovie View Post
    Well stated as usual Chris.
    Thanks, that's very kind. I've written about the some of the synthetic musks available on my blog for those interested in the differences. As you'll see, several of them are found in various natural materials too. I'm planning a series of blog posts exploring ethical aspects of perfumery over the coming year.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  19. #49
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    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Thank you so much for the information on musk. Very informative and interesting.

  20. #50
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    I'm not convinced that Shangralide has been discontinued...

    As for the Musk Odor Profile, The real is beautiful and complex, but for my nose, Muscone is a prime element (albeit expensive and hard to obtain in small amounts). When my sample came, I put in my order the next week because it was so nice.

  21. #51

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    Thanks, that's very kind. I've written about the some of the synthetic musks available on my blog for those interested in the differences. As you'll see, several of them are found in various natural materials too. I'm planning a series of blog posts exploring ethical aspects of perfumery over the coming year.
    Nice info there Chris. I look forward to the series on ethical aspects. Ambrettolide indeed works well w Omega pentadecalactone....lol
    Zanshin

  22. #52

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    I'm not convinced that Shangralide has been discontinued...

    As for the Musk Odor Profile, The real is beautiful and complex, but for my nose, Muscone is a prime element (albeit expensive and hard to obtain in small amounts). When my sample came, I put in my order the next week because it was so nice.
    Shangralide Oliffac (by IFF) is still listed by their UK distributor: it isn't something I use but it does look like it's still available.

    I agree Muscone is fabulous and the same supplier lists that too. I've previously bought it from De Hekserij but I couldn't see it on their latest International Price list now, so perhaps they are having supply problems.

    l-Muscone is even nicer, but I've never been able to find a supplier for that other that buying direct from Takasago which involves buying far larger amounts than I can cope with.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  23. #53

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Love i-muscone very much indeed. Will be looking up Shangralide too, if only because it has a really cool name.
    Zanshin

  24. #54

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Shangralide (not Shangralide Oliffac) was manufactured by IFF, and was based around Galaxolide. Last time I asked the IFF rep about it he thought it had been withdrawn. Maybe another reformulation?

  25. #55

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Quote Originally Posted by David Ruskin View Post
    Shangralide (not Shangralide Oliffac) was manufactured by IFF, and was based around Galaxolide. Last time I asked the IFF rep about it he thought it had been withdrawn. Maybe another reformulation?
    Ugh!!! Reformulations!!!! All the musks and their reformulations really pale in comparison to the real stuff. Not enough animal in any of em if you ask me. Good call on the para cresyl caprylate above....def a pee pee note there.
    Zanshin

  26. #56
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    mstrcovie, did you get the chance to take David's early suggestion of Tonquitone PCMF DEPR?

    I just got my sample today, and I like it, (for what it is...) probably in combo with others would work well.
    Paul Kiler
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  27. #57

    Default

    Are there any perfumes which make use of l-Muscone and where it is possible to experience the scent of this particular musk?

  28. #58

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Quote Originally Posted by gecko214 View Post
    Thanks Gido, as to 50 grams for you, that all depends on how many others are interested. I was surprised at no interest yet, since others were saying what a nice and hard to get molecule it is. But maybe the geosmin group buy has everyone distracted...
    Oh! Yes definitely interested in buying some of this. I'd like 100g but if there are not enough buyers to make it viable I could consider some more, perhaps even as much as half a Kg - this is a truly lovely musk.

    And you were right I'd been distracted by Geosmin . . . I've set out there the main considerations for hosting group buys. With l-Muscone you don't need to worry about refrigeration and of course it will be much easier to weigh out and no dilution is required so there isn't the concern about ethanol. Otherwise it's pretty much the same things apply.
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  29. #59
    Paul Kiler
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    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    Put me in for 150g - 250g please
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
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    Gold Medal for "Best Aroma"; Los Angeles Artisan Fragrance Salon

  30. #60

    Default Re: natural vs artificial musk

    How does this compare to the racemic muscone from PA? Seems to be much more expensive...

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