Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. #1
    Critic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom, Woking
    Posts
    553

    Smile What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Ok, this is probably a stupid question. I've tried searching about this and I have not found anything to satisfy me. So here it is; when someone says a fragrance smells 'musky' what exactly is he/she trying to say? What does 'musky' smell like? I hear people use that term somewhat loosely and one idea of musky is completely contradicted by someone else's. I do have some actual musk fragrances but I don't see a relation between them and the other fragrances that people call musky. So please educate me if anyone knows, I'll really appreciate it.
    Check out my Fragrance Review Blog

    Wishlist: Byredo Pulp, Creed Aventus, Montale Black Aoud, Original Santal, Dior Jules, Invasion Barbare, Pure Distance M

  2. #2

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Buy a bottle of Kielh's original musk or The Body Shop White Musk then you will know what musk smell like. =)
    AUSSIES, come join our SPLIT GROUP at http://groups.google.com.au/group/oz-scent-splits

    "No Pain, No Gain"

  3. #3

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Given the variety of musks out there that smell from fruity, to 'clean laundry', to animalic, it's basically a catch-all and hence, meaningless term. I'm not the only one who thinks this - famous perfumer Alberto Morillas said something quite similar.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  4. #4

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Someone with a greater knowledge of perfumery (scentemental?) Could answer better then I can, but musks are ingredients - once animal derived now mostly synthetic - whose inclusion creates an olfactory 'texture' of sorts. They have their own smells, but more likely 'musky' refers to the density they create. I'm having trouble articulating how they smell.... it's sort of like aldehydes or chypres in that one can recognize musks but not necessarily describe how they smell (or at least I'm doing a bad job).
    Last edited by shermanirving; 7th July 2009 at 02:18 PM. Reason: typos

  5. #5

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    Given the variety of musks out there that smell from fruity, to 'clean laundry', to animalic, it's basically a catch-all and hence, meaningless term. I'm not the only one who thinks this - famous perfumer Alberto Morillas said something quite similar.
    I am not able to find any such quote by Alberto Morillas. What I was able to find was a book, Chemistry and Technology of Flavors and Fragrances, by David J. Rowe, which, on the contrary, credits Morillas with coining the term "white musk" (see Pages 156-57).

  6. #6
    Critic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    United Kingdom, Woking
    Posts
    553

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    I own bottles of both scents aforementioned and I still don't get it... ?! They could not be anymore different. I think Sculpture of Soul hit the nail right on the head with this. It's just a loosely used term without a distinct meaning!
    Check out my Fragrance Review Blog

    Wishlist: Byredo Pulp, Creed Aventus, Montale Black Aoud, Original Santal, Dior Jules, Invasion Barbare, Pure Distance M

  7. #7

    jrd4t's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    4,432

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Man, I know exactly what you're saying. I think some replies are focused more on what musky might actually be, but it sounds like you're talking about people that just loosely throw the term around, but have no idea what musk is. It annoys the heck out of me. I've found that with a lot of people that are less keen on scents or their sense of smell, they don't understand what they're smelling. It's either "fresh" or "musky." I've heard people call anything from leather to wood to vetiver "musky." If it's got aquatic or marine notes, it's "fresh."
    It's almost like a substitute for a whole list of olfactory experiences they might not be familiar with.
    I'm a colognosaurus. Rawr!
    Currently wearing: China White by Nasomatto

  8. #8
    Big Punisher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    A cave in Afghanistan
    Posts
    805

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    So basically something "warm"... like M7, Jovan Sex Appeal for Men... etc.?

  9. #9

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Musk has become a catch-all phrase nowadays and causes confusion because it is synthetically made. So musk can refer to a whole range of smells. It can take on a variety of scents: from powdery and light, to metallic and harsh, to something both warm and earthy. Some people describe it as sexy and masculine. I came across this article that explains it quite well:
    https://www.groomjournal.com/what-does-musk-smell-like/

  10. #10
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Reside in McLean, Va., Manhattan NYC, Manuel Antonio Costa Rica & Búzios Brasil
    Posts
    312,790

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Interesting read. Thanks for the link.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    I think 'heady' is the best descriptor from the article

    I would also suggest that 'musks' nowadays are usually sweet and used as fixatives

  12. #12
    Dependent Andrei Bolkonsky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Brazil
    Posts
    1,244

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    The "good" musks smell like your balls when you haven't had a shower for longer than 24h. The more "tamed" musks smell earthy, slightly animalic, but less brutal than the "good" ones. You can find a good (wait, a terrific and terrifying) musk on Muscs Koublai Khan. You can find a tamed musk in Kiehls original musk.

    Sorry for using the word "balls". I couldn't find any other way of describing it.
    "Life is too important to be taken seriously"
    Currently wearing: Black Aoud by Montale

  13. #13
    hednic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Reside in McLean, Va., Manhattan NYC, Manuel Antonio Costa Rica & Búzios Brasil
    Posts
    312,790

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    I just think of it as a very strong and sweet odor that's hard to ignore.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  14. #14

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    I think "musk" is so broad that it needs a qualifier in front to narrow it down. Musk was originally derived from the musk glands of animals which suggests something super animalic but that may be a bit misleading. Animal derived substances change their basic character at high dilutions, so something really rank smelling at full strength can be warm and pleasant when diluted, with unexpected overtones not necessarily related to animal smells. The synthetic "white" musks take this to an extreme and are just sort of pure abstract warm pleasantness. I'm pretty new to all this but the guys I associate with well crafted modern musky drydowns are Alberto Morillas and Jacques Cavalier. Both seem to like to pair a second note along with the musk to add interest to the musk, or to put it another way, the musk adds body and warmth and I guess acts as a fixitive for the more piquant second note. The scent that jumps to my mind is Bulgari Pour Homme Extreme which dries down to white musk plus the persistent remnant of the opening sharp citrus (plus some Iso E super cedar). It goes on for hours like this and you can tell it's no accident.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Warm, powdery, slightly soapy, fluffy-furry something. This is the common denominator of musks for me.
    Currently wearing: Jaïpur Homme by Boucheron

  16. #16
    Dependent deltasun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Cloud 9
    Posts
    4,280

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    My first exposure to the term "musk-y" smell has been with someone's body essence. I.e., when someone is sweating a bit and their pores are exuding their smell. That's always been how I picture musky. It's a bit animalic, raw, etc.
    Currently wearing: Cuir Beluga by Guerlain

  17. #17

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    It's the fall-back description for almost every cologne that is reviewed on the Macy's website. That I have noticed.

  18. #18

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Spooky ---- this just landed in my 'Inbox'

    https://www.lessenteurs.com/blogs/ar...rm=Read%20More

  19. #19

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Just bumped into this:

    http://www.basenotes.net/features/35...matter-of-musk

    The Murky Matter of Musk, Claire Vukcevic, 2017. Really well written and researched.

  20. #20
    Super Member Cigar Guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Quote Originally Posted by deltasun View Post
    My first exposure to the term "musk-y" smell has been with someone's body essence. I.e., when someone is sweating a bit and their pores are exuding their smell. That's always been how I picture musky. It's a bit animalic, raw, etc.
    I agree.

  21. #21
    Dependent Beck's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    no canto do cisco, no canto do olho
    Posts
    6,518

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Dans Tes Bras. More musky than Musc Ravageur according to Frederic Malle himself.
    "True change is within; leave the outside as it is."
    Dalai Lama

  22. #22

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    I'd call it pissy
    Currently wearing: Équipage by Hermès

  23. #23
    Freed from BN Institution

    N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    48,801

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    I just think of it as a very strong and sweet odor that's hard to ignore.
    This
    Follow Upcoming Sync Fridays For 2020 HERE:http://www.basenotes.net/threads/471...d-Fridays-2020

    Fragrance Reviews:http://www.basenotes.net/fragrancereviews/13373062

    Interested in Learning about Discontinued/Vaulted Creeds? Join Basenotes' Creed Group: http://www.basenotes.net/group.php?groupid=35

  24. #24

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    From some reason never associated musky scents (that may or most likely not overlap with musky notes/ingredients in their natural state, admittedly) with anything even remotely raunchy, sweaty, provocative, animalic or dirty.
    And while not as laundry clean and fresh like several white musk scents, still as a note that is mostly leathery but also incense like and slightly intoxicating exotic spices, more in savory/gourmand than sweet way.

    While this may be just idealizing, lack of knowledge, selective memory etc. or even a combination of all, cannot imagine a musk note and/or scent without this specific profile.
    Currently wearing: G. Bellini X-Bolt by Lidl

  25. #25

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Critic View Post
    Ok, this is probably a stupid question. I've tried searching about this and I have not found anything to satisfy me. So here it is; when someone says a fragrance smells 'musky' what exactly is he/she trying to say? What does 'musky' smell like? I hear people use that term somewhat loosely and one idea of musky is completely contradicted by someone else's. I do have some actual musk fragrances but I don't see a relation between them and the other fragrances that people call musky. So please educate me if anyone knows, I'll really appreciate it.
    I think "musky" has become a catch all phrase to be honest.

    Honestly, I didn't really understand what musky was until I actually went out and bought some musks from places like Perfumer's Apprentice and smelled them individually one by one. The funny thing about musks is that they are made of very heavy molecules which means that some people's scent receptors are unable to perceive them. I've recently learned from a friend who works for one of the big fragrance houses, is that even the majority of famous perfumers are pretty much anosmic to like half of the musks! As a result, perfumers prefer to use something called a "musk cocktail" in their formulas to increase the chance of people being able to smell at least one or two musks.


    So there you go, that's your fun fact of the day
    Currently wearing: Indigo by Baruti

  26. #26
    Super Member PartySnake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    180

    Default Re: What exactly is 'Musky'?

    When I think of a fresh musky fragrance, I think of how the Abercrombie & Fitch sore smelled in the mid 2000's
    Currently wearing: Interlude Man by Amouage




Similar Threads

  1. A Green Musky Smell
    By Scentologist in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 49
    Last Post: 15th October 2014, 06:47 PM
  2. Musky Guerlain?
    By bird in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 4th June 2008, 06:49 PM
  3. What do you think of D&G PH and Dunhill Edition as musky scents?
    By jimbo123 in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 3rd October 2007, 02:15 AM
  4. What are some nice musky scents
    By enigma11_11 in forum Just Starting Out
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 27th January 2007, 06:34 PM
  5. Help me find a new light, musky fragrance, pls.
    By Perfume_Hound_Dog in forum Female Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 12th November 2005, 03:38 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  



Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000