"She spoke to me when it was quiet
In a silky voice late at night
With hair so dark like skies at dusk
Perfumed perhaps with scents of musk"
Musk is a fragrant substance that is used as a base in perfumery. It is a raw animalistic note that creates the basis for most aromatic fragrances. Musk has sensual qualities that are brilliant at balancing other ingredients and also helps in to fix them, allowing the resulting fragrance to last longer. It is one of the most expensive natural products in the world and is even more valuable than gold.
Musk is originally obtained from the strong-smelling brownish substance secreted by the male of the musk deer. The adult male of its deer species has a musk gland that lies in a sac positioned between the umbilicus and secretes powerful pheromones used to attract female mates. It has been known since ancient times that the wonderful musk odor works as an excellent aphrodisiac, a substance that increases desire. In ancient Tibetan medicine, Tibetan healers used it as a stimulant for male health. Also, Musk still holds an importance in traditional Chinese medicine. Ayurvedic practitioners used musk in the treatment of cardiac, mental and neurological disorders.
Historically, musk was popular in the Eastern perfume industry where Arabs and the Byzantines have famously used it in the process of perfume making during the 6th century. Musk was generously used by the caliphs of Baghdad that were highly regarded among the Arabs. This fragrant material was even used on the walls of places of worship to emanate the wonderful fragrance. A famous philosopher of the Arabs, Al-Kindi has been well known for using musk. Although it has been unfortunate that deer have been hunted down to the verge of extinction, therefore, they are being protected today by CITES an organization for animal conservation.
There are plants that share similar olfactory properties with musk and are capable of producing musky-smelling compounds. These plants are Garden Angelica (Angelica Archangelica), Musk Flower (Mimulus Moschatus) Abelmosk or Ambrette seeds (Abelmoschus moschatus), which are now widely used as a substitute for animal musks.
The calmness and subtleness of musk make it suitable for all occasions such as formal meetings, weddings, and celebrations. Women who wear musk are characterized by its sophistication and femininity. The blend of musk and agarwood expresses a subtle elegance that captures the senses and leaves a hint of timelessness. Men who wear musk are expressed by boldness and independence. It is worn and favored by those who share the qualities of warmness, sensuality, strength, and completeness. The notes of musk are opulent and velvety, therefore, it adds a hint of uniqueness to the overall fragrance.