Musk is used as raw material in the majority of fragrant blends particularly in perfumery. It is resulting from glandular secretions of animals such as; the musk deer, beaver, muskrat or musk ox. There are also various plants that emit similar fragrances such as floral musk found in angelica root, seeds, hibiscus and other plants. Furthermore, musk is derived from other artificial substances with similar scents such as the nitro-musk, polycyclic musk and macrocyclic musk.
Musk was a name primarily given to a strong-smelling brownish substance with a dominating odor secreted from a musk gland that sits in a sac located between the genitals and the umbilicus of a male musk deer and secretes strong pheromones employed to draw in mates and as outlined by contemporary scientists, this musk odor operates as a great aphrodisiac based on the fact that the scent strongly is similar to the smell of testosterone, that might function as a pheromone in human beings. The various types of musk include:
The original deer musk has been utilized and valued for centuries as one of the very valuable raw materials in perfumery something similar to the scent of babies' skin . After its dried, the reddish-brown liquid substance inside the musk pod changes into a dark granular material known as "musk grain” which is then tinctured with alcohol. The fragrance of the tincture gives a pleasant odor only after it has been significantly diluted.
The first references of the use of deer musk in perfumery points to the Arab and Byzantine perfume makers of the 6th century. This aromatic substance was also added to mortared walls of mosques during their construction, to exude the excellent fragrance when it’s warmed by the sunlight.
The Hyrax ; a small and furry herbivorous animal is a member of the family Procaviidae along with the order Hyracoidea located in the Southern parts of Africa and the Middle East .
The petrified and fossilized excrement of the Cape Hyrax is known as Hyraceum or Dassie . This excrement is made up from the faeces and urine of the Hyrax which is a jelly-like substance which has an incredibly sophisticated scent comparable to notes of deer musk, Castoreum, civet, agarwood and tobacco. It is a sweet smelling raw material useful within perfumery in addition to the treatments for epileptic seizures, abdominal issues, ear contamination, back problems, kidney problems, convulsions, feminine hormonal disorders and as a tranquilizer.
The Civet is a small creature which belongs to the civet family very similar to the weasel or cat in appearance. African civet resides in savannahs and also woodlands of South and central Africa, while Indian civet dwells in Nepal, Bangladesh and Vietnam. A number of species of these animals produce odorous secretion with the purpose of marking their territory. This secreted substance referred to as civet or zibet is a soft, almost liquid material which appears pale yellow when fresh, becomes dark when placed in light and becomes greasy in consistency. Its odour is strong, even putrid as a pure substance, but once diluted it is pleasantly and sweetly aromatic useful in both perfumery as well as medicine.
Castoreum is a yellowish odoriferous oily secretion that is generated by the castor sac of the North American Beaver Castor Canadensis and also the European Beaver Castor fibre utilized in combination with urine for the purpose of marking the beaver’s territory. When secreted, it is used as a tincture in some perfumes, as a food additive and as medicine as treatment for epilepsy, headache, fever, and hysteria.
The odour of Castoreum is a warm, carnal, and leather-like scent often described as razor-sharp, spreading a tar-like note that reminds of an odour of a birch tar or Russian leather. After it is diluted with alcohol, the raw Castoreum melts into more pleasant musky and fruity nuances. The scent of Castoreum is wild and bodily, lustful and passionate, bestowing on the one whom wears it a delicate ambiance of sensuality.