Natural and Synthetic Musks in Perfumery


The word “musk" derives probably from the Sanskrit muska (scrotum: from the scrotum-shaped musk bag), Persian mushk, Greek moshkos, late Latin muscus, and old French musc.

The first written record of the use of musk is found in a work compiled by Aetius, a court physician at Byzantine. Musk was probably introduced into Europe by the Arabs.

Natural musk is still highly valued in Asia as folk medicine and as an aphrodisiac. In perfumery, natural musk bas been used as a valuable fixative, as well as a modifier.

Of the various types of musks, Musk Tonkin, Musk Nankin, Musk Yunnan, Musk Bengal (less odorous), Musk of Boukharie, and Musk Siberian (having a secondary odor of castoreum—harsh and sour) maybe mentioned.

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