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Musk in perfumery

The smell of musk

From its discovery, the woody and animal smell of musk was the delight of men's fragrances, in order to give them the virile state that they lacked until then. It was in 1926 that Lavoslav Ruzicka found the perfect synthetic replica of the scent of animal musk. Musk offers woody, warm, enveloping, sensual and sweet notes. There are three types of musk, namely nitromusks (which includes musk ketone) which gives off a powdery, floral and slightly animal odor. These have been used a lot by perfumers, but they are currently prohibited by French law. We also distinguish polycyclic musks which offer more floral, slightly fruity, and powdery tones. This variety of musks is increasingly criticized for its impact on the environment. At last,we distinguish macrocyclic musks, which are considered the most harmless musks.

Musk and its association in perfumery with the different olfactory families

Suave, warm and animal, musk has almost become essential to oriental compositions where it gives off sensual tones. It is thus found in an oriental masculine composition A * Men by Thierry Mugler, where white musks are positioned as a base note, alongside tonka bean and coffee. It will also be found in oriental feminine compositions such as L by Lolita Lempicka. We will also find white musks in the heart of woody essence as in Allure Homme Sport by Chanel where the musks are in the base note alongside vetiver and tonka bean. Musk can also be found in floral essences such as in 1881 in Flowers by Cerruti or in A Scent by Issey Miyake Soleil de Néroli, by Issey Miyake, a floral-green.We will also discover musk in citrus fragrances such as Acqua Allegoria Teazzura by Guerlain.

Today synthetically reproduced, musk has a special place in niche perfumery. It is very popular for its sensual, even sexual scent, but also for the warm and enveloping tones it gives off. Musk is associated with all olfactory families, providing each with its atypical smell.


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