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The Alluring Aroma of Musk
Since its discovery, the woody and animalistic scent of musk has been a favorite in men's fragrances, providing a virile edge that was previously lacking. In 1926, Lavoslav Ruzicka developed the perfect synthetic replica of animal musk, offering woody, warm, enveloping, sensual, and sweet notes. There are three types of musk: nitromusks, which emit a powdery, floral, and slightly animalistic odor; polycyclic musks with more floral, slightly fruity, and powdery tones; and macrocyclic musks, considered the most harmless variety.
Fun Fact: Historically, natural musk was obtained from the musk deer, specifically from the gland of the male deer. The process of obtaining this natural musk was often controversial, leading to the development of synthetic alternatives.
Musk's Harmonious Blend with Different Olfactory Families in Perfumery
Suave, warm, and animalistic, musk has become almost essential in oriental compositions, exuding sensual notes. It can be found in oriental masculine scents like Thierry Mugler's A * Men, where white musks are a base note alongside tonka bean and coffee, or in oriental feminine compositions like L by Lolita Lempicka. Musk also appears in woody essences like Chanel's Allure Homme Sport, where it serves as a base note with vetiver and tonka bean. Additionally, musk can be found in floral scents such as Cerruti's 1881 Flowers or Issey Miyake's A Scent Soleil de Néroli, a floral-green fragrance. Musk even appears in citrus fragrances like Guerlain's Acqua Allegoria Teazzura.
Fun Fact: Musk is a versatile ingredient in perfumery, as it has the ability to not only enhance other scents but also act as a fixative, making fragrances last longer on the skin.
Today, synthetically reproduced musk holds a special place in niche perfumery. It is highly sought after for its sensual, even sexual scent, as well as the warm and enveloping tones it imparts. Musk effortlessly blends with all olfactory families, contributing its unique aroma to each fragrance.