Story of a myth: this is how Musk was born
So many stories and legends have been built around the Musk, the most used raw material in the history of perfumery and for sure the most aphrodisiac.
In India it is told that the demon Pulaka received from Shiva a sensual and inebriating perfume as reward after having expiated a long punishment, living in the form of an antelope. From that moment on, Pulaka started seducing all Shiva's women, which drew the ire of the God who ordered him to abandon the body of a demon, although he gave him the possibility to save the perfume produced by his limbs.
In China , on the other hand , they say that concubines were fed with pure deer musk before making love, so that each pores of their skin would whisper sensuality.
Furthermore, it's also known that Josephine Bonaparte ( Napoleon's wife) used musk with great generosity in order to seduce her husband and ensure his devotion to her.
Every story, description, testimony which talks about musk it is a story about seduction, charm and attraction.
The name Musk comes from the Sanskrit "Mrgamada" which means "love secretion from the antelope".The musk is produced by the glands present in the belly of the Himalayan deer. During love season, our deer spreads little balls produced by the inside of the glands, which balls emanate a very enveloping and seducing scent. The olfactory facets of these musks are influenced by factors such as age of the deer, its health, its genetic heritage; an actual olfactory ID card with an aphrodisiac effect.
Since the dawn of perfumery the musk has been the most desired and chased raw material. They use to take glands off the deers, put them in alcohol for three weeks and mix them twice a day for an hour. Then they let them macerating for minimum three months , maximum ten years. Luckily, for reasons of protection of the animal species, already at the end of 800 they manage to synthesise a molecule capable to reproduce this exceptional scent. Since 1979, when hunting this animal was banned, in perfumery only synthetic musks could be used.
The most antique olfactory formulation inspired by the musk that we know is the one from Houbigant in 1923. Using more than one hundred amongst essential oils and valuable absolutes, this French Maison created a perfume which kept all the sensuality of the inspiring raw material, reducing though the too animalised facets. Introducing aldehydes in the formula has given a push to the perfume, a fizzy aspect and at the same time a sense of cleanliness ,which gave to the composition a unique character.
Within the Maison Houbigant , this perfume was a bit neglected until 1969 ,when Enrico Donati decided to relaunch it ,with other three fragrances also inspired by raw noble materials ( Patchouli, Amber and Civet) ,with a name brand dedicated to his younger daughter Alyssa Ashley.
During the riots in 1968, Musk becomes the symbol of the hippy revolution and of all those values and changes that went with it such as sexual emancipation; no better symbol could express those ideals!
The great fame of Musk does not come exclusively from the perfumes dedicated to it, but also from the fact that it is used in the base notes of many olfactory composition , due to its long persistency. Moreover,its molecular characteristic allows it to exalt, push and prolong the perception of some notes more volatile, which we can find in perfumes. For this reason it is often used as a fixative. Its presence in a formulation allows on one side to push some olfactory facets otherwise flatter, and to give the impression of prolong their persistency in time. On the other side lets the perfume to be perceived even after many hours after it has been vaporised.
Finally, I would like to precise what we mean by white musk in perfumery. All synthetic musks, reproduced in labs, are called white musk, this is mainly to indicate the fact that they've been undressed of the sharpest animal facets, and they've kept that sensual character with a connotation of cleanliness.
Instructions for use? For your nights as a seducer; for your nights of passion; for your days as a heart breaker; generously spray Musk on your body and clothes; hardly anyone will resist you!