Musks in perfumery:
Although widely used in perfumes, Musk notes are not part of the 6 original families (Floral, Citrus, Woody, Oriental, Fougère, Chypre) according to the SFP (French Society of Perfumers).
However, musks have known 2 great eras:
- The trend of natural musks around the 5th century: at the time, we used (in concrete terms, we killed them) poor animals like Chevrotin Musk in order to extract its odorous glands. Use? Cover body odor as lack of hygiene was terrible.
- The use of synthetic musks is therefore probably recent in the history of perfumery, towards the end of the 19th century.
We then find 4 families of musks:
- Natural (Chevrotin Musk), now prohibited
- Nitrates (Musc Ambrette, Xylene, Tibetene...), now prohibited because they pose problems in terms of phototoxicity and stability
- Polycyclic (Tonalide, Galaxolide, Fixolide...), they are authorized in perfumery and are not expensive but can pose problems in terms of biodegradability
- Macrocyclic or linear (Muscone, Exaltolide, Habanolide, Ambrettolide, Musk T, Globalide...), authorized in perfumery, some of them cost more than natural raw materials (Muscone costs around €480/kg).
We only use macrocyclic musks in our fragrances.
Musks are fixatives in perfumes, they are notes with smells often associated with cotton, soft, enveloping, very cocooning which give substance to your perfume. Some people cannot smell synthetic musks because they are often considered skin notes.
Almost all perfumes (unisex, feminine, masculine) contain musks in order to guarantee a good hold on the skin.
All musky notes are base notes. Here are some raw materials:
Musk T: fresh.floral.blackberry
Galaxolide: blackberry.powdery.soft floral
Helvetolide: fresh.floral.red fruits
Some emblematic perfumes:
"Blackberry & Musk" - The artisan perfumer 1978 - Jean-François Laporte / Floral Musk
"White Musk" - Body Shop 1981 / Floral Musk
"Bvlgari Man" - Bvlgari 1996 - Jacques Cavallier / Woody Floral Musk
"Flowers" - Kenzo 2000 - Alberto Morillas / Floral Musk
"Pest Musk" - Frederic Malle 2000 - Maurice Roucel / Musky Animal Amber
"Cologne" - Mugler 2001 - Alberto Morillas / Citrus Aromatic Musk
This list is not exhaustive because there are a lot of beautiful launches: some emblematic, some more commercial.