Surely you are already familiar with the Musk perfume variant, right? Musk is a special class in perfumery that is very popular and is often used as base notes. The characteristics of this musk fragrance are sensual, earthy, and warm.
The origins of Musk’s Scent
Then, where did this musk material actually come from? For those of you who don’t know, this might be surprising, this musk scent comes from the fragrance secretions that have been produced by the glands of the antler’s stomach, and these glands release strong pheromones to attract mates. Well, now you know, right?
Are you not allowed to use musk fragrance, because it turns out that the ingredients come from animals? You’re against animal cruelty? Apart from violence against animals, it turns out that this deer is a protected animal and is classified as endangered according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Musk deer can still be found in forest areas in the mountains of India, Tibet, Pakistan, Siberia and Mongolia.
The musk gland is arguably one of nature’s most expensive sources – surpassing even gold! The price of a kilogram of glandular sacs from this animal can reach $ 45,000 or the equivalent of Rp.632,000,000!
The History of Musk’s Use in Perfume
Musk deer stomach glands have been used since ancient times, and the first references to this material being used as a raw material for fragrances were in Arabia and Byzantium (the eastern region of the Roman Empire) in the 6th century!
In fact, this rare raw material, in its day, was mixed with the raw material for walls to build mosques so that when exposed to the sun, a distinctive aroma would emanate from the mosque walls. Mind-blowing, right?
Al-Kindi, an Arab philosopher, wrote hundreds of treatises on various subjects, including perfume. In his treatise he mentions musk as an ingredient in many perfumes, making the gland of deer origin the most valuable luxury item imported from the East! In addition, he also wrote a book about the chemical basics contained in fragrances and wrote 107 perfume recipes for different aromas.
Current Musk Raw Material Alternatives
In perfumery, the term “musk” does not always depend on what the components are made of but rather the aroma it produces. The natural scent of musk is complex and is usually described as sweet, creamy or powdery, leathery, spicy, and even woody notes.
The use of musk from male deer was banned in 1979, when musk deer were declared endangered. Then, what is the musk scent perfume that we use today made of?
Today, musk-scented perfume products come mostly from plants that have a scent similar to the glands that come from musk deer. Some of the plants used as raw materials are Garden Angelica (Angelica archangelica), Musk Flower (Mimulus moschatus) Abelmosk or Ambrette seeds (Abelmoschus moschatus) which are the main ingredients in making musk-scented perfumes which are so popular.