Search
Browse Categories
Shopping Cart
Your cart is empty.
Mailing Lists

MUSK PROFILES by BEN JOHNSON

Musk Aroma Profiles

Musky aromas are the foundation you will find in about every perfume on the market. Not only for fixative qualities but for roundness, soft sensuality and creamy sillage. 


ADOXAL (Givaudan)

 Sharp, clean, lightly astringent citrus peel with a faintly bitter, metallic edge.  Faint green, floral, and ozonic nuances.  After an hour those nuances have disappeared as well as the sharpness and astringency.  The metallic citrus peel remains, although much weaker.  After 2 hours, it is barely discernible on the skin. 


AMBRETTOLIDE (IFF)
Initially this presents a mild, clean, sweet, almost herbaceous aroma with slight ozonic overtones and a faint soapiness. With time, spicier notes creep in above the underlying warm, mild amber undertone with some fruity aspects and a hint of tobacco.  Leaves a warm, sweet, lightly unctuous, vaguely powdery impression on the skin with very minimal animalic nuances.  Pleasantly unisexual, but leans a bit to the masculine side.

Ambrettex XNM (IFF)

This is a very soft, warm, sweet aroma, similar to musk ambrette but with a softer, gentler impact.  
More fruity than floral with powdery, amber overtones.  Initially, it has more masculine hints of anise and tobacco leaf, but it quickly dissipates to something between the sensuousness of warm skin and the innocence of baby skin.  After an hour it devolves into a skin-hugging faintly animalic warm skin smell with very slight floral overtones.  All in all, a very feminine fragrance.

A very light, clean, fresh, soothing musk with a definite fruity/herbal top note of green apple/chamomile.  After 30 minutes, it persists as a vague, extremely delicate, faintly powdery, sweet musk aroma with slightly fatty nuances. A very delicate musk with a decidedly feminine character.

Very light, slightly soapy, clean, fresh cotton aroma with a pleasantly sensual animalic undertone.  Short lived.  After 30 minutes, it is detectable only as an indistinct fresh, soapy, delicately sensual impression.  Although quite soft and delicate, it is not particularly feminine or masculine but it invokes an intimately cozy feeling.

Aurelione® Symrise
Very soft, sensual, fuzzy, cozy, warm musk. Similar to Auratouch, but warmer, more sensual and lacking the soapy nuance.  Has a definite warm, clean cotton smell, highly reminiscent of freshly laundered cotton towels straight from the dryer. Persists on the skin as a soft warm clean skin fragrance with a warm cotton nuance.


CASHMERAN (IFF)

 Although this has a constant warm animalic note which is more noticeable as other

notes dissipate, it is a background note. I have a lot of difficulties fitting this aroma into a musk profile.  This is a sharp, camphoraceous, terpenic, slightly phenolic, pungently woody aroma with faint aromatic herbal nuances.  A freshly cut evergreen smell with facets of cedar and juniper, even a little artemisia. As it ages, it develops a slightly musty, moldy, old paper note reminiscent of decaying, rotting wood.  The animalic undertone becomes more prominent with age, but the pungent wood remains the dominant tone. A very rugged, masculine aroma.

CELESTOLIDE (IFF)
  An extremely soft, delicate, elegant, sweet aroma, lightly powdery and faintly fruity.
There is a subtle but definite plastic/vinyl note with a faint citrus edge, much more citrus seed than peel because it lacks the shrill tang of citrus peel. Very little, if any animalic tone.  The aroma warms as it fades but I would not call it a sensuous warmth. A very subtle hint of vanilla.  The character is more child-like than feminine. 


COSMONE® Givaudan
A highly complex, beautiful, elegant, refined musk with many layers.  A light dry soothing, slightly ozonic, freshness with whispers of cool green cucumber floats above a sweet, clean, powdery core. Beneath this runs a rich, earthy, rooty undertone between potato peel and orris root.  Underpinning the entirety is a vague but tangible sensuality--not a warm animalic sensuality, but cool and clean and yet sensual at the same time.  A bit like standing naked in the outdoors and letting the cool breeze caress your body, sensual but not erotic. The powdery orris note becomes more prominent as it fades and it eventually dies to a faint sweet freshness on the skin.  I am highly tempted to give it a feminine persona, but I really think it is more unisexual in character, evoking a primal universality.


ETHYLENE BRASSYLATE
This is a very delicate, soft, feminine musk.  Initially, it is almost imperceptible but as it begins to warm on the skin, hazy wisps of aroma begin to waft upwards.  A delicate mist of warm, sweet, creamy, powdery scent, colored with balsamic tones of amber and vanilla.  The aroma deepens somewhat as it ages and becomes laced with a slight floral fruitiness of raspberry/rose.  Weaving in and out of this ambery sweetness is the merest hint of a strange note somewhere between plastic,
vinyl and clary sage. This is a very soft, warm, skin-hugging scent with very low projection and little or no animalism.
 
EXALTOLIDE® 941962 FIRMENICH
It is quite possible that I am nearly anosmic to this one.  It is very vague, indistinct and abstract.  Nothing concrete or tangible here, more of an impression than an aroma.  Everything is muffled, muted and barely perceptible.  A hazy clean, slightly animalic, faintly sweet with airy, lightly fatty, musty hints.  Persistent but without substance, merely an elusive sweet, musty, airy aura on the skin.

Very light, oily, fatty, faintly sweet, warm and sensual.  Quite delicate in aroma and bears some similarity to Exaltolide 941962 but much more distinct and powerful with a faintly woody, paper nuance.  Becomes lighter and airier as it ages and the paper note develops a mustier, old newspaper tone.  The entire aroma is permeated with a cozy, sensual, warm skin quality--reminiscent of bed linen still warm and fragrant from sleeping bodies. Not a particularly feminine nor masculine aura, but very human.

 Very delicate, airy, elegant, light dry powdery, moderately sweet aroma.  Suave and soft, nothing harsh.  Faintly woody, pencil shaving note with just a whisper of camphor. Mildly musty nuance.  Has a delicately warm, subtle but definite sensual, almost erogenous, animalic undertone throughout.  Starts feminine, but becomes mustier and muskier as it ages and takes a much more masculine turn as it starts to fade.

Opens with a pleasant, slightly sharp white musk burst which dies as quickly as a spark in the darkness, leaving only an extremely light and airy, clean, cool freshness.This fresh aroma soon develops very faint woody, dank, musty basement undertones.
Fades to a very delicate, indistinct, ephemeral freshness with no warmth nor animalic tone whatsoever. Pleasant, but only vaguely perceptible.

GLOBALIDE® 100% Symrise
This is a very soft, subtle, airy, oily, papery aroma.  It has a dry, almost dusty character to it with a faintly musty undertone.  Vaguely animalic nuance, but not warm nor sweet, in fact, it has a very slightly bitter edge.  The oily note dissipates in time but the dry, musty, papery note--faintly reminiscent of the smell of Elmer's glue--remains.
Soft and delicate but not particularly feminine in character.

GLOBANONE 100% SYMRISE
Very faint, very similar to Globalide but softer and more indistinct.  Dry, powdery but only faintly sweet.  Lightly animalic but with a warmer undertone than Globalide.  Fresher and less musty with floral hints.  Definitely leans towards a  more feminine projection.

HABANOLIDE (Firmenich)
This is a very strong musk scent.  Powerful, high impact, but quite pleasant.
Dry, powdery but with no sweetness, mildly woody with faint cedarwood tones, earthy, musty, almost leathery core.  Clean, fresh top notes with muted terpenic, camphoraceous, mineral nuances.  Animalic but not overly warm base which seems to deepen and warm a little as it starts to fade.  An extremely pleasing, masculine fragrance.

HELVETOLIDE (FIRMENICH)
This is a soft, elegant, feminine musk.  Sweet, creamy, powdery--even starchy--core with a faint plastic edge, somewhat reminiscent of a candy wrapper.  Has just the faintest whisper of something sweetly herbal, tarragon, perhaps. Underlying this is a
pleasant warmth with light ambery, balsamic, vanilla nuances but not particularly sensual or animalic. 

ISOMUSCONE® Symrise
A light airy clean freshness hovers above a prominent core of rich earth, dank and musty, with highly organic overtones of roots, mushrooms, decaying wood and leaf litter. A velvety soft sensuality underlies the whole fragrance, becoming warmer, slightly sweet and powdery with orris-like tones as it ages.  It has both masculine and feminine characteristics:  a soft, powdery feminine sensuality and an earthy masculinity. A complex aroma with many contrasting qualities: fresh and stale, dry and moist, masculine and feminine, all at the same time.

This is a strong, powerful musk.  Dry, musty, woody, papery core with slight vinyl, earthy nuances and just a faint hint of peppery bitterness. Hazy, airy top with the merest whisper of camphor. Deep, velvety, sensual undertone, animalic but not overly warm. Lightly powdery but not sweet.  Has a very appealing masculine sensuality.

Very clean, fresh, slightly starchy aroma reminiscent of the smell of hot, steamy towels.  Slightly musty, papery nuances with a mild soapy note.  Somewhat powdery but not overly sweet.  Strong warm, clean skin smell with a soft but potent undercurrent of sensual, almost erotic, animalism.  Soft, but definitely leans toward a masculine energy. 

MUSK AMBRETTE REPL ( AMBRETTEX G) IFF

This is a very soft, dry, rich, sweet musk with balsamic, ambery, powdery nuances.
The balsamic note becomes more resinous as it ages.  Has a mildly unctuous, starchy, glue-like undertone with a hint of fruity pear.  Very feminine in character but only minimally warm and animalic.

HEXADECANOLIDE (MUSK R1)

Very light, clean, fresh, airy aroma with ozonic qualities and a vague but definite herbal nuance with hints of evergreen.  The herbal nuance is short lived and gives way to an indistinct, slight fruitiness.  There is an undertone of warm skin sensuality to it that persists throughout dry down but lacking any real animalic tone. Mildly sweet and powdery with very faint floral hints.  Carries both masculine and feminine characteristics, but the general impression is unisexual.

This opens with a very pleasant, rather strong initial burst of fresh, clean, dry white musk aroma.  Slightly oily, very faintly woody, somewhat powdery but not sweet.  Unfortunately, it does not last very long and quickly fades to a very light, vaguely powdery, faint warm skin scent, but not particularly animalic. A rather unisex aroma but it leans a little more to the feminine because of the soft, vaguely cosmetic dry down.

  A beautiful, elegant white musk aroma with a subtly voluptuous sensuality. Lightly powdery, mildly sweet, fresh and clean with a slight ozonic fruitiness hinting of melon and pear.  Underpinning this is a subtle but deep warm skin sensuality, muted animalic undertones with just a hint of wood and an oddly pleasant, very slight musty plastic note.  A very soothing, soft and subtle but quite sensual aroma, unisexual but leaning heavily to the feminine side.  The essence of restrained opulence.

When I think musk, this is the aroma that comes to mind.  Suave, soft, rich, creamy, elegant, refined, sensual musk. An air of faintly minty freshness with soapy tones and hints of white flowers wafts up from the warm, rich, mildly sweet, powdery, cosmetic  core. Hints of wood mingle with subtle musty, old paper notes.  An undercurrent of warm, delicate yet persistent, true musk sensuality runs beneath.  Unisexual, but definitely leaning heavily to the feminine side.  A full, rich, exquisite musk fragrance and probably my favorite.


SHANGRALIDE (IFF)
This is a very unique, enigmatic, complex musk.  Initially, it is quite potent but it softens as it ages.  Opens with a strong earthy, rooty, musty, slightly fecal, indolic animalism.  Mildly sweet with a faint green floral nuance similar to narcissus. A light but perceptible urine note lurks in the background.  The undertone is profoundly sensual, almost erotic but in a slightly skanky way. Not profoundly warm and with a leathery nuance mixed with hints of costus, amber, and faint powdery notes.  Not a repulsive aroma but not altogether pleasant either. A dark and sensual masculine character.

Opens with a creamy, fresh, slightly ozonic white musk aroma which quickly becomes very soft and muted with a slightly earthy, dry, musty nuance.  Hints of wood and smoke play in this dusty core but never fully materialize.  Very mildly warm and sweet but with no animalic tone whatsoever.  A very understated, ethereal masculine aroma.

The skankiest of musks!  Musty, highly animalic, very lightly sweet with faint tones of ammonia and dominated by a strong urine aroma.  The smell of dirty, soiled underwear!  Not fecal, but highly urinous. Earthy undertones with a faintly nutty pecan nuance.  The urine note fades somewhat with time but never disappears.  I suppose some might find this erotic, frankly, there is nothing sensual about it for me.  Neither masculine nor feminine but very animal.  Not a pretty fragrance and definitely not for the faint of heart or easily offended.

This is a very light, delicate, subtle white musk.  Fresh, slightly ozonic, mildly sweet with a very indistinct fruity mint overtone.  Has a very ethereal quality to it, making it difficult to grasp anything of real substance.  Only a mild warmth and lacking any animalic tone at all. I would have to call it a unisexual aroma since it lacks any real substance to tip it one way or another. 

Opens with a powerful burst of fresh, clean musk which quickly evaporates, leaving a core of dank, musty forest floor notes:  roots, moss, decaying leaves, mushrooms and wet earth.  Here and there, one can catch a whiff of vague citrus and faint floral hints.  Only mildly sweet with little warmth or animalic quality.  Unisexual but leans more to the masculine side.

Very clean, lightly ozonic, fresh laundry aroma.  Delicate, sweet and creamy with floral notes of tea rose, soapy tones, and very faint hints of musty old paper.  Fades to a softly elegant, lightly animalic, sensual, powdery, warm skin fragrance. A quite pleasant aroma which I suppose could be unisexual in certain contexts, but it leans very heavily to the feminine direction.

A very light, mild, airy fresh aroma with a distinct berry-like fruitiness.  Sweet and creamy with a degree of warmth but not particularly sensual, although it develops a more warm skin aura as it fades with a hint of amber.  A soft, delicate, sweet, fruity musk with minimal animalic tone.  Neither particularly feminine nor masculine, so unisexual in character.
 
This concludes the musk profiles.  It has been interesting, educational and a fun exercise for me and has opened a fuller appreciation of some fragrance types which I did not particularly care for previously.  It has also forced me to ferret out notes and nuances which would probably have gone unnoticed before.  The profiles are one person's perception of fragrance.  At times, there have been notes cited by others which I did not find and I have sometimes cited notes which others apparently did not, but I hope they will be of value to your other customers. At any rate, it has been a fun exercise and I appreciate the opportunity to share my own personal perceptions of what may or may not be reality.
 
                                              Ben



About Musk

In 1981 the nitro musks were restricted mainly because of a certain toxicity(neurotoxicity) and their phototoxicity, but besides they also caused ecological concerns due to their poor biodegradability.

Taking their place. Are Macrocyclic musks

Muscone, a macrocyclic musk

A class of artificial musk consisting of a single ring composed of more than 6 carbons (often 10-15). Of all artificial musks, these most resemble the primary odoriferous compound from Tonkin musk in its "large ringed" structure. While the macrocyclic musks extracted from plants consists of large ringed lactones, all animal-derived macrocyclic musks are ketones.[2]

Although muscone, the primary macrocyclic compound of musk was long known, it was only in 1926 that Leopold Ruzicka was able to synthesize this compound in very small quantities. Despite this discovery and the discovery of other pathways for synthesis of macrocyclic musks, a compound of this class was not commercially produced and commonly utilized until the late 1990s due to difficulties in their synthesis and consequently higher price.[4]

About half the human population are anosmic (unable to smell) to macrocyclic musks, possibly due to its high molecular weight. Common macrocyclic musks include: Ethylene Brassylate, Globalide, Habanolide, Ambrettolide, Muscone, Exaltolide, Velvione.

Alicyclic musks

Helvetolide, an alicyclic musk

Alicyclic musks, otherwise known as cycloakyl ester or linear musks, are the relatively novel class of musk compounds. The first compound of this class was introduced 1975 with Cyclomusk, though similar structure was noted earlier in citronellyl oxalate and Rosamusk[5]. Alicyclic musks are dramatically different in structure than previous musks (aromatic, polycyclic, macrocyclic) in that they are modified akyl esters[6]. Although they were discovered more than 10 years before, it was only in 1990 with the discovery and introduction of HELVETOLIDE at Firmenich that a compound of this class was produced at a commercial scale[5]. ROMANDOLIDE, a more ambrette and less fruity alicyclic musk compared to HELVETOLIDE was introduced ten years later[6]. Common musks of this class include:

Cyclomusk

Helvetolide (trademark of Firmenich SA)

Romandolide (trademark of Firmenich SA)

Making perfume is an understanding of the aroma materials. The more you study and memorize aroma materials the better you will be at combining them. Materials being essential oils, aroma chemicals, and our aroma accords. A large array of perfumes can be created using our accords with or without the addition of other aroma chemicals or essential oils.We do not offer formulas or recipes but can suggest you read the following info at http://www.perfumerbook.com/Arranging%20Fine%20Perfume%20Compositions.pdf

allured.com the best place to purchase books and magazines about perfume.


http://media.allured.com/documents/071112fragrancemythsandfacts.pdf
http://media.allured.com/documents/071112truthaboutphthalates.pdf