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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

    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
    Asha's Avatar
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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
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    Default Re: Musk

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

  9. #9

    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
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    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.

  12. #12

    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
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    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.
    Currently wearing: Vol de Nuit by Guerlain

  15. #15

    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?

  16. #16
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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

  17. #17
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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.
    Want to trade - Chanel Platinum Egoiste for Dior Eau Sauvage...
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/394...82#post3308582

  18. #18

    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


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  21. #21
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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.

  22. #22

    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.

  24. #24
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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.
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  25. #25

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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

    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.

  28. #28

    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.

  29. #29
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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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