Why is musk such a popular perfume scent?
Perfume formulators have always valued musk as a base note. And it’s no wonder. Musk is a powerful, captivating, yet mysterious fragrance. But trying to describe musk would be like trying to describe the flavor of vanilla to someone who’s never had ice cream – it’s impossible to pin down. No one single word can do it justice. But if we really had to try, we’d say that musk smells of a chemical earthiness, mixed with a clean floral essence that sometimes gives off some nutty and woody nuances. Flowing throughout is an animalic quality that completes musk’s overall primal, sexual and irresistible nature.
With this incredibly diverse fragrance profile, it’s no wonder that placed in the hands of master perfumers, musk can be incredibly versatile. It goes well with just about anything, including florals, citruses, heavy Orientals, and even gourmands. Moreover, perfumers love using musky notes in their concoctions because it enhances the longevity of other less lingering ingredients, keeping them close to the skin. At the same time, it provides a softening effect that can subtly round off the harsher edges of some top and middle notes.
Is natural musk still used in perfumes?
The original ‘musk’ perfume ingredient was originally derived from the scent glands of the Tibetan musk deer. One had to kill the animal to obtain the glands. Unfortunately, this led to many of these animals being killed each year, eventually putting the species at risk of going extinct. Thankfully, in 1979, several laws were passed to protect the animal. In its place, the perfume industry started using synthetic molecules known as white musk – substances designed to mimic the original, natural scent. Years of research have gone into developing these ethical substitutes, which, even in small quantities, are plenty powerful for modern blends. Interestingly, each of them has its own distinct smell, ranging from sweet to powdery to metallic.
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There’s something about musk’s alluring, sensuous scent that just does it for most people. Like it or hate it, it’s a scent that radiates confidence and adds layers of heavy sophistication to any look. Whether you’re looking to seduce a particular someone or just want to feel good in your skin, musk fragrances are the way to go.
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