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Thread: Musk

  1. #1
    Asha's Avatar
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    Default Musk

    Compiled from the Note Identification Project Thread:

    Musks - I had to dilute the musks with alcohol and diffuse them on paper strips in covered wine glasses in order to smell them. They are similar. All of them do a nice job as soft, pretty bases. Either that, or I had to put them on a test strip, close them in a room, leave, and come back later to smell them in the room.

    Animalid: faint odour but it is nice and it is musky. as i am a total "musk in its variations" newbie that´s all i can say for now.

    Ambrettoloide: yes, musky! but it is kind of subdued and does not do too much for me.

    Ambrettolide, Perfumers Apprentice – The sweetest, most vanillic-floral of the musks I tried.

    Ambrettolide - I could barely smell this one--a little sweet, musk-like. Strangely, it is giving me a headache

    Cashmeran – Light, clean, bright musk. Not animalic at all. Almost dry and pine-like in its freshness. A bit apple-fruity.

    Ethylene brassylate
    – Nice, floral, woody musk. I can smell this one pretty well, so I would recommend it to anosomics.

    Galaxolide - 2% dilution in carrier oil : this was the hardest one - warm/clean?

    Galaxolide: bright floral musk... perhaps with a tiny bit of wood.

    Galaxolide – Soft, pretty base. Bright, clean musk.

    Habanolide, Perfumers Apprentice – Soft, pretty base. My favorite, all-around, useful, white musk.

    Habanolide – A bit more skin-like, powdery, white musk. This is my favorite.

    Habanolide - 2% dilution in carrier oil : sweet, a little floral.

    Habanolide: soapy and clean musk

    Habanolide: more masculine/unisex musk, with a bit of green and some leather. Somewhat reminds me of Bandit.

    Tonalide – Soft, pretty base. A bit sharper and drier to my nose than the others. More masculine.

    Tonalide: mmm, familiar but can't place it. Feels rather minimalist but at the same time reminds me of paper with some musk.

    Tonalide - 2% dilution in ethanol : warm, white musk.

    Velvione: sweet and clean musk

    Velvione-- I love this. I was hoping to find a biodegradable macrocyclic musk that had nitro-musk attributes and this is it. Soft, powdery and sexy.

    Velvione, Perfumers Apprentice – A wee bit dirtier, more natural, warm musk.
    Attention: these musks (although soft and cuddly) are extremely tenacious, in fact so persistent, that the trash can where I threw away my test strips still smells like them one month later. Like the synthetic sandalwoods, they cannot be underestimated in terms of their strength and usefulness. Curiously, the best way to smell them is to put the test strip in a room, close the door, and leave. Later, come back, and the room smells like musk. Or alternately, take a brandy glass, put the strip in there, cover it with foil, and leave it for a few hours or overnight. Take the glass to a "clean" room and uncover it. It doesn't work very well to drop musk on a test strip and then smell the strip. For some reason, especially in the presence of other samples, it is difficult to smell them immediately before they diffuse. I'd imagine the best way would be to dilute them to safe concentration and put them on one's skin.

    Musk Ketone: sweet, classic, feminine, floral musk. Smelled like a perfume in itself rather than a note (I would wear this on it's own!)

    Musk Ketone – Soft, pretty base. Has the sightly sour, warm, animalic aroma that I remember from musk oil in the 70s.

    Musk Ketone - 2% dilution in carrier oil : relatively more distinct than the others - white musk, clean.

    Musk, Red
    from Mid-East source- Dry, unsweet, musty, pungent, powdery, bitter, dusty, leathery. Hours later, sweeter and very complex. Sharper and more masculine than the white musk. As time passes, it just gets better and better.

    Musk, White
    from Mid-East source- Smooth, musty, powdery, starts out bitter and ends up sweet and leathery. Soft yet animalic. This is drier, and dirtier. Hours later, still sweetening and becoming powdery. This is very nice. Smells like perfume all by itself. Still later, smells very sweet and close to some synthetic musks. Now I see what chemists have tried to capture--it is the drydown phase, alone, of real musk. This is gorgeous." I let my cats smell my arms, and they both started licking me. They have never done this before.

    Musks – On the Habanolide/Velvione thing, I just got Habanolide as well, and haven't fully explored it yet. The funny thing is, there's a girl I know (I had a very drunken one night stand w/her once, 2 years ago) who wears Wild Musk. I can always tell when she's been in a hallway or elevator, and everytime I smell nitro-musks or musk ketone, it reminds me of her. Strange, because I have difficulty smelling some musks like Galaxolide, but the more powdery nitromusks are easier.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Musk

    Habanolide - very light and clean, but is the kind of musk that I associate with 'spiky'. powdery, reminds me of bvlgari omnia crystalline.

    Musk Ketone - soft animalic, but also clean and floral/stem like.

    Musk T - slightly sweet, warm and fluffy. almost fruity.
    Last edited by Gblue; 13th July 2009 at 04:46 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Musk

    Is there a really animalic musk? I remember dating in the 70s when musk was very distinctive. Now the descriptions all sound like sweetener. And not molases or honey but Splenda. It's good to have a sweetener but where is the animal part of fragrance history?

    I found a similar sentiment in Walter Minton's "Time to get serious," BN column (2 June 2009)
    Musk began as an incredibly dense, intense animalic smell of the pod from a Deer. It had to be used in extreme dilution. Now musk seems to have come to mean almost any very heavy molecule. The huge variety of synthetic musks available now can smell vanillic, nutty, ambery, even floral. They make the washing powder smell clean. The idea of musk has been through several generations each more distant from the original, ever adapted like a whisper passed around a circle of children. This must surely happen to the naturals about to be banned or strictly regulated by IFRA, and the list of these is long. I hate to think what a lemon will smell like in fifteen years.

    Or can anoter note (perhaps an indole) be added to get that musk deer smell? Is there even a place to smell the real thing, so we would know what we were trying to duplicate?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Musk

    Hmm I dont see anything close in discription to Ajmal's new AA Indian Musk Ghazelle. It is the most animalic scent there is and I would bet on it. Asha have you tried it?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Musk

    No, I haven't tried it abubakr_al-misky. Hopefully some of the other BNers who have it will add to the thread in time!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Musk

    Hi! Asha,

    Is it still possible to purchase real animal musk? I read online that since 1979 it was banned due to the musk deer becoming nearly extinct as a result of overharvesting its glands for the perfume.
    It follows therefore that there could still be perfumes out there which were made BEFORE 1979 which use real animal musk as one of their ingredients. If you (or anyone else) knows of any I'd be really grateful. Alternatively if you can tell me where to get my hands on authentic 'misk' then I'd be as pleased!

    Thanks.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Musk

    Quote Originally Posted by abubakr_al-misky View Post
    Hmm I dont see anything close in discription to Ajmal's new AA Indian Musk Ghazelle. It is the most animalic scent there is and I would bet on it. Asha have you tried it?
    Bro, where can I purchase some of this Indian Musk Ghazelle?!

  8. #8
    Asha's Avatar
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    Default Re: Musk

    naqshbandi--you can check out the BN marketplace or PM abubakr_al-misky directly.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Musk

    Auratouch -- a delicate and elegant blended musk from Firminich created with fine Alicyclic and Macrocyclic Musks. A fruity-musky side is obtained with Helvetolide® and Romandolide® , enhanced by Habanolide® and Exaltolide®. Exaltolide is delicately animalic. Habanolide is a traditional white musk. Helvetolide has ambrette, pear and floral qualities. Romandolide is a more ambrette and less fruity alicyclic musk compared to Helvetolide, which was introduce a decade earlier. It possesses a classical musky type odor, reminiscent of that of Galaxolide®, a sweet and natural musky odor, with a velvety connotation, and which provides much volume. There is also found a light ambrette nuance which is accompanied by an undernote reminiscent of the odor of green fruits.

    My experience of Auratouch is that I get a natural sweaty coriander-like musk with white bar soap and the feet of well-worn nylons. Honestly, I used to smell the insides of my new shoes as a child, and I loved that smell. There is a baby oil, plastic impression with Auratouch that can also smell like clothing or hair. It's a musk that you get from burying your face in hair or undressing. It is well-balanced between clean and healthy sweat. Of course, musks have been added to laundry detergent, so people tend to experience it as clean, though it references sexual organs. This is a near-perfect, modern specimen for me. It's very sensual mixed with rose otto. When I had some Auratouch on my fingers with Undecavertol, I got a raw potato smell.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Musk

    Never realized there was such a plethora of musks. Fascinating. Great info.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Musk

    Which of these smells like cat pee? So many fragrances have this as the base note and I can't stand it.

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    Default Identifying Musk?

    I own a few scents that allegedly have musk in them, but to be honest I really don't know what musk is suppose to smell like. I own Aventus, Virgin Island Water, and MI...all are said to have musk.

    The only scent that I can smell musk in is MI, note I really have no clue what musk really may smell like.

    Does MI have a predominant musk note in there?
    Maybe I'm smelling something else entirely?

    Looking on basenotes they say A Men has musk in it as well?

    What is this musk all about?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Quote Originally Posted by yteek View Post
    but to be honest I really don't know what musk is supposed to smell like.
    Would also appreciate a clearer understanding.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    It's seems to be a tough note to pin. My guess is that because musk is so widely used in perfumery there are dozens of synthetic musk oils, thus creating the confusion. I know that Musk Rav and MKK smell nothing like Montale Musk to Musk and Aoud Musk, then we have Coty's Wild Musk and Jovan Musk which again smell completely different. To me it's an animalic but at the same time fresh smell.

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Is Milesime Imperial known for being musky?

    I want to say I smell musk in it but then again I have no clue what musk really smells like?

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Animalic/Fresh is a good way to describe it if you're an American. Think Snuggle drier sheets and the Body Shoppe White Musk. I associate some musks with towels fresh from the drier, while others are very different. Nitro Musks are incredibly skin-like and are totally different from the ones most prevalent today.

    I conclude that musk is an entirely abstract concept these days.

    Millesime Imperial is pretty musky, I think.

    Keep in mind that a large percentage of the population can't smell the huge molecules that comprise certain musks.
    My Top Ten:

    1: Guerlain - Habit Rouge
    2: Guerlain - Jicky
    3: Guerlain - Mouchoir de Monsieur
    4: Guerlain - Shalimar
    5: Knize - Knize Ten
    6: Caron - Yatagan
    7: Caron - Pour Un Homme
    8: Jean Desprez - Bal a Versailles
    9: Yves Saint Laurent - M7
    10: Salvador Dali - Dali Pour Homme

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    When I think of musk it is the animal anal gland kind, like civet(Musc Rav, Kouros, Jicky). MI to me has no "musk" as i know it.
    White musk or synthetic musk is the type that is probably referred to in the frags you listed. It is used in everything and is said to smell clean and fresh. Seems like musk is in the basenotes of almost every frag, but the type of musk is almost never specified. I cant pick it out in frags and possible dont have the ability to smell it.
    *BASENOTES SPLITS*
    Tom Ford Oud Fleur, AVENTUS
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/289345-

    *CRYSTAL FLACON SPLITS*
    Tom Ford Plum Japonais, Oud Fleur, AVENTUS
    http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?p=927#927

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Current (synthetic) musk is this metal-sheet like smell. Monotonous in nature.
    Real musk smells the same but add some feces to it.

    for swap/sale:





  19. #19
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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    I agree with Luca Turin's assessment that musk smells of "clean, warm skin."

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Great comments guys....I agree with LTA, Hedonist, Heperd and MB


    Discover my Guest Reviewer Of The Day here

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Quote Originally Posted by lovingthealien View Post
    Keep in mind that a large percentage of the population can't smell the huge molecules that comprise certain musks.
    Yeah, this really helps matters, doesn't it ?

    I asked sort of the same question a while ago, as I'm one of those people who thinks MKK is just a pleasant but weak floral, when it's apparently one of the rankest and most skanky things around.

    But supposedly there's hope, in that musk comes in many different molecular forms, and just because we may not be able to smell one of them doesn't mean we won't be able to smell some of the others.

    Or so they say.

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Anal glands and feces yum, I just got hungry

  23. #23

    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    For me their are two types, white musk like in Creeds Himalaya and the animalic dark musk which smells like civet which has been slightly sweetened with honey. I prefer the dark type of musk.

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    For me their are two types, white musk like in Creeds Himalaya and the animalic dark musk which smells like civet which has been slightly sweetened with honey. I prefer the dark type of musk.
    That's my understanding also.
    Kurt smells like Teen Spirit

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    There are a few things:

    - most perfumes contain musk of some description.

    - Victoria at Bois de Jasmin wrote a great piece calling musk the "salt and butter of perfumery." In most cases, it's not a note you're meant to be able to pick out; it's there to enhance the other smells, add depth and richness, etc. I think of it as being like 'umami' is to food.

    - There are like hundreds of synthetic musks out there that have different smells and accomplish different things with regard to a perfume. From what I understand, natural musk is hardly used at all anymore, and certainly not in mainstream perfumery.

    - As above, the range is very broad - but you can pick musk out doing different things in different perfumes. For example, Chanel Jersey contains a smell that isn't just a smell, it's a sensation, similar to what you experience with laundry you just took out of the dryer. For me, it's almost a raspy, furry, dry thing that catches in the back of my throat. I get it from Muscs Koublai Khan, too, but I assume MKK contains a few different musks. Musc Ravageur does it for me too.

    - Another example is "Egyptian" musk, which you can pick out if you smell a few different things with the note in them. Narciso Rodriguez for Her is one, Body Time Egyptian Musk is another. Once you've smelled it a few times, you can recognize it.

    - Reportedly, most people are anosmic to at least one or two musks. But I think I'd try not to confuse that fact with the inability to pick it out of a more complex fragrance - as I said, in some cases I don't think it's meant to be picked out.

    At least that's how I understand it, anyhow.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    The word "musk" comes from the Sanskrit word for "testicles." And for once, I am not joking.

    A musk is just an aromachemical produced (or synthesized to resemble) an odor secreted by an animal or person. The musk of MKK is said to resemble pretty closely the original deer musk scent. (Deer musk is now illegal because the species was almost completely destroyed by people harvesting them for their musk glands.) I was under the impression that traditionally civet was considered different from musk, but I'm sure today since musk has taken on the more general term, it could be considered musky. I tend to think of civet however as more of a top note whereas musks are typically basenotes. Civet, if you do not know, is the urinous secretions from the anal gland of a small mammal; it is very similar to what an unfixed male housecat will "spray" to mark his territory.

    There is a bit of an irony today with musks that were originally synthesized to smell like clean, human skin getting re-purposed for laundry products. In particular people in America have come to associate these "musks" with the smell of their laundry and, weirdly, think of them not as animal smells at all but as sterile inanimate smells.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Chambers View Post
    The word "musk" comes from the Sanskrit word for "testicles." And for once, I am not joking.
    Actually I was under the impression it came from the word for scrotum. Which makes even more sense. Ahem.

    Good info Brian. Though of course all of that is available simply by DAS. OP, take note.

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Different classes of synthetic musk supposedly have their own characteristic smell. I know nitro musks are fruity, floral, soft and clean. It's probably a little far from what real musk deer musk smells like. Given the gland's proximity to the rear end, I'd expect it to be more fecal, urinal, etc.

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    There are thousands of musks around: the real deal is forbidden by law. Some naturales render the smell of musks, but the ones that closely resemble it are allergenic. So the industry resort to synthetic musks that are grouped infor types: nitro-musks, polycyclic musks, macrocyclic musks and alicyclic musks.

    For example, galaxolide is a polycyclic musk widely used in laundry detergents and perfumes, it si the compund that gives baby - cologne its characteristic smell. Thus, by the term "musk" you have to understand that it is a chemist's rendition of musk. Besides, musks are used as base notes, so they don't have much projection, so it takes some training to perceive their smell. This is the reason why you cannot get much analogies between Jovan's Musk and the one used in Aventus.

    So, the right thing to do would be to ask the House which aromachemical are they using in order to claim the smell of musk. Now, if Creed informs you that they are using Galaxolide as Aventus' base notes, you may have some ground to believe they are robbing you hands down

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pollux View Post
    There are thousands of musks around: the real deal is forbidden by law.
    Actually I was under the impression a miniscule amount of real musk enters the market legally from musk pods sourced from naturally deceased deer.

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    As noted by Kagey above, Victoria's highly informative article, Musk in Fragrance : Salt and Butter of Perfumery, can be found here: http://boisdejasmin.com/2011/10/musk...perfumery.html

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    Actually I was under the impression a miniscule amount of real musk enters the market legally from musk pods sourced from naturally deceased deer.
    Industrially, I meant. That does not rule out that you might get natural musk if deers are legally haunted. The point being, you cannot go around killing deers for their their musk in order to sell them to the big corporations in order to produce liters and liters of EdT, mainly because that would mean the extinction of the musk deer.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    I agree with Jack's and Brian's descriptions.

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    Default Re: Identifying Musk?

    Quote Originally Posted by yteek View Post
    Anal glands and feces yum, I just got hungry
    I received an infraction for this, a little silly joke to lighten up the odd nature of what musk really is. Is it really that offensive, in real life I couldn't see anybody getting so overly offended...I guess some enjoy a good power trip.

    Its not even disrespectful, its a little crude humor...does it really upset people?

    I know for a fact if I said so in real life, you'd probably laugh and not even think twice of it instead of shunning me...if anything that's more disrespectful.

    I really can't grasp the reality of this being so out of line....
    Last edited by yteek; 28th June 2012 at 09:34 PM.

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    Default Re: Musk

    Everyone's touchy about poop since the MKK thread. Don't worry about it.

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    Default Re: Musk

    I think musk deer is also farmed on a small scale in China.

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    Default Re: Musk

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by MonkeyBars; 8th July 2012 at 03:47 AM.

  38. #38

    Default Re: Musk

    Respected Scent worshipers,
    I have been for many years collecting deer musk from various sellers from around the world, but as of yet iam not fully satisfied with the quality and the genuinality of the product, as there is alot on the market named "Deer Musk" but its just a scent, NOT the real thing.
    So could you tell me if you have any or contacts who seel the real PURE DEER MUSK?
    Tulsi
    Please reply to
    tulsibhai@hotmail.com

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Musk

    Quote Originally Posted by abubakr_al-misky View Post
    Hmm I dont see anything close in discription to Ajmal's new AA Indian Musk Ghazelle. It is the most animalic scent there is and I would bet on it. Asha have you tried it?
    NO DOUBT ABOUT IT!!!! Absolutely the most animalic hands down.
    Zanshin

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    Default Re: Musk

    i learnt from perfumers that in 1 perfume there can be several types of musks....becasue most people are anosmic to some, so there is something for everyone so to say , but those who can smell all of them are in trouble

    muscs are huge heavy molecules and they can be harsh to your nose if sensitive, i have noticed i am no fan of modern musks because with almost no exception, what smells like cream, body product, or detergent i associate with musks in it. Also before i used to think musk is some white cloud, and almost neutral note-so a bit boring! (ref.Juliette has a gun Romantina),
    but now i have a feeling perfumes are stuffed with it to achieve some opulence and density, so to say to fill the void,and are extremely longlasting

    Belovedw Amoage- is heavy on musk, it smells clean, modern, in combination with other synthetic animalics very sharp
    Memoire w Amouage - this is nice white musk, very feminine and sensual, warm,slightly fruity, but again smells modern, similar is in Jubilation 25
    Musk intense- Parfums de Nicolai- this one is very interesting one, of course it smells synthetic as the most beautiful detrgent one has tried, or some mix of detergent and cream, its sooo amazingly longlasting! , after 2 days one gets that animalic warm skin note! i suppose thats close to what real musk smelled once
    Rubj - Veroprofumo-musky base gives itself off as soemthing familiar(a bit boring), clean and neutral, cloudy
    Dia Amouage- white musk, clean,detergentlike, very longlasting

    vintage Shalimar, has beautiful musky base....like some complex, dirty cloudy warmth, undefined powdery
    other vintages :My sin, Tabu, Bal a Versailles, they all have complex bases, with musk that adds warmth to it, and complexity, and never smells clean, powdery
    Last edited by iivanita; 13th March 2013 at 11:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Musk

    Which one of these would be in Bal á Versailles edt? The drydown of the vintage edp smells nothing like the current reformulation drydowm. the edt starts off sharp and then drys down to what I consider a very powdery musk. The vintage edp, on the other hand, is raunchy, sexy and exotic. So rich and lovely. ive never smelled anything like it before. Seems like they replaced the musk/civet that was so prevalent in the original with one that was more powdery.
    Want more reviews? Check out my fragrance blog, In The Nose
    Http://Dkchocoman.wordpress.com

  42. #42

    Default Re: Musk

    Real musk is an extraordinary thing. In concentrated form it is almost quite unpleasantly, nose curlingly, fecal/musty but extremely diluted it is across between the addictive part of chocolate with the smell of a mucky kittens warm underbelly and a dirty warm musty skin sort of compelling attraction. It is completely impossible not to want to nuzzle, as if you don't want to let it go away. It is certainly a very sexy smell but not a clean smell.

    Misk though in my experience was quite a clean thing. More floral with the musty. Mine was from a dubious source though.

    There seem to be two main pathways for a musk note. The real animalid zone of mucky musty and the white musk which veers towards the clean musty.

  43. #43

    Default Re: Musk

    Real Tonquin deer musk, the fine perfume quality version, is a heavenly smell. I could wear it neat at 10%. It is the best smell ever. It's not horrible or unpleasant. It's extremely sexy, and while it is dirty and fecal, it's not really all that nasty or unclean. I would compare it to good ambergris. The best ambergris (which I'm also lucky to have experienced) can be worn neat as well.

    Lower quality deer musk is increasingly unpleasant, and increasingly less useful.

    The best deer musk absolutely can be used to get a clean note. Easy.

    The whole thing is sad for everyone, including the deer, of course.

    I don't know how possible it even is any more to get the elite stuff. I got very, very lucky just to have the experience I do have with it, which is a lot. I currently have none of the good stuff, and don't know where best to get it. I have an empty bottle, and that will have to do.

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