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Musk Notes in Perfumes: A Guide to Musk Perfumes

Musk is one of the most common perfume notes used at the base of many scents – warm, and skin-like it's an inviting and sensual note that almost gives a semblance of romance to a perfume. To learn more about Musk Perfumes, we asked Tripta Holtz Senior Fine Fragrance Evaluator, L’Oréal USA to answer some of the most common questions about musk perfumes.

Q: Can you describe the scent profile of Musk in perfumes? What does Musk perfume smell like?

A: Musk is found in almost all fragrances in different quantities depending on its role. If it is a star ingredient, it will be highlighted and it will make the fragrance smell very warm, nuzzly, skin-like, intimate and sensual. If it is in a supporting role, it will be the golden thread that ties all the ingredients together to make the fragrance come alive and last for hours on skin.

Q: What kind of mood does Musk evoke as a fragrance?

A: Musk is sensual, warm, enveloping, comfortable, skin-like, intimate, sexy, primal instinct.

Q: Where does Musk typically sit in the layers of a perfume (top, middle, base?)

A: Musks are very large molecules. They act as fixatives in a fragrance and as a result will last for many hours on your skin, clothes or perfume blotters. They sit in the bottom note of the fragrance pyramid and it is no surprise that you can smell them on your clothes the morning after a lovely night out.

Q: What other perfume notes does Musk pair well with?

A: Musks are versatile and pair well with citrus notes, clean floral notes, fruity notes, spicy notes, floral ambery notes, gourmand notes and many other fragrance notes. Because of its characteristic full-bodied sensual effect, it really fills in the cracks of a fragrance making it seamless, connecting one note with the next.

Q: What are the different types of musk in perfumes?

A: Traditionally musks were obtained from the glands of the male musk deer. However, in recent times, and with the progress made in science, we can synthetically produce musk-smelling molecules in a lab. These synthetic musks allow us to enjoy the aesthetic of a musk note in modern perfumery without having to use animal-origin musks.

Musk Ingredient Used in Perfumes

Our Musk Perfumes

If you’re looking to wear a perfume with musk as a note we two of our iconic scents include White Musk as an ingredient. White musk provides our scents with a clean, smooth, and sweet musky scent.

Our Idôle Perfume is a clean, fresh, floral scent which features white musk and vanilla at the base of the perfume (in addition to Patchouli and Cedarwood). These are layered with fresh notes of Rose and Jasmine at the heart, and Bergamot (Citrus), Juicy Pear and Pink Peppercorn at the top. Our Idôle Aura variation features a bottom note of powdery milky vanilla, and salty crystal melting into a musk.

Our Trésor Perfume also features Musk as a base note which perfectly helps set the tone for this delicate and light fragrance with a romantic and smooth touch. Other notes included in the scent are Vanilla, Amber, Sandalwood, Musk, and top notes of Apricot Blossom and Rose with heart notes of Lilac, Peach and Iris.

Miracle Perfume is sensual, spicy and every so slight zesty – think of a fragrance that is joyful and warm. With dewy top notes of Lychee and Freesia, and heart notes of Magnolia, Jasmine, Ginger and Pepper the scent is layered on a warm and sensual base of Amber and Musk.

Trésor Midnight Rose is a mischievous, playful, and charming scent with an elegant fruit blend of Raspberry and Blackcurrant layered with rose and vanilla at the heart. At the base of this perfume sits sensual musk to add elegance and mystery.

How to Find Your Best Perfume

If you’ve identified Musk is a note you would like to experiment with in your perfume – you may like to try our fragrance finder quiz which can tell you the best perfume to wear based on your mood and a few other preferences.

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