Animals and Perfumes

Publié le par Anas Ibn Annadhr

What is Musk?

Musk is one of the animal’s products which is considered as the best odor in the world. It has a magical effect of soothing the soul and strengthening the inner organs as well as the outer body if applied whether thru sniffing, eating or drinking. The good musk is a dry and black substance, sometimes purple, smooth and tastes bitter.

An Early Engraving of the Musk

Musk in History

Throughout history, the good musk used to be stored in special vessels made of gold, silver or brass and placed in corridors and lobbies in the palace so kings can smell the fragrance all over the place. Musk is produced in a gland between the stomach and the genitals in a form of a hairy sac in the male deer. Its scientific name is Moschus moschiferus (Musk deer). The name Musk is derived from Sanskrit name muska meaning testicle. The musk deer is1 meter long and half meter of height, with grey, long and fragile hair. It’s a nocturnal animal and very shy which makes it hard to find. Hunters usually resort to entrapments to capture it because of its evasive nature. Its natural habitat is the Himalaya heights and forests, Tibet, Siberia, and Northwest of China generally. The musk deer female is considered the most precious producer of black musk which is a high quality perfume additive. Hunters watch the female for extended period of time to make sure of its health condition. Then they attempt to capture it in a certain season of the year, extracting after all a small, congealed, black clot below the stomach.

How to extract the musk from the Musk Deer?

Firstly, hunters do kill (unfortunately) the deer then secondly take off the musk sac and dry it under direct sun, or dip it in a very hot oil. The good news is we can get the musk without killing the poor deer as people used to do before but we just only need to be patient. The musk deer gets uncomfortable when the musk sac is full where it feels itchy and irritated. So, the musk deer attempts to scratch that sac on a rough rock to peel it off, where eventually that sac gets stuck on the rocks in a good condition without spilling any of the musk. Here, musk experts collect those sacs which are called at this stage: Musk Mouse which is extremely rare and expensive nowadays. Musk comes from several countries but the quality is different of course: China and Tibet are the best producers of musk then come Nepal and Siberia in a second place. Several governments strictly banned the killing of the Musk Deer as it is on the verge of extinction like other species due to man’s greed.


Musk Being Newly Extracted
Musk Being Newly Extracted
Musk Powder
Musk Powder

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