Best Synthetic Musk

bokaba

Well-known member
Sep 13, 2007
I am working on a project right now and was wondering which synthetic musk on the market (i.e. Muscone, Muscenone, Iso-Muscone, Musk Ketone, etc.) best resembles the smell of the actual Tonquin musk from the musk deer if you've smelled it.
 

Manuel

Rogue Perfumery
Basenotes Plus
Nov 18, 2005
The aroma chemicals you mention replicate certain key "musky" aspects of the overall fragrance, however on their own they don't smell of musk grain. Perfumer's Apprentice has a "Musk Deer Blend (Animalid)" that does a decent job but I find the experience to be more fleeting and vague -sort of like catching hints of roses in the breeze rather than putting your nose into an actual bouquet of roses.
The best replica I've found so far is "Tonquin Musk Imit." from Adirondack Outdoor Co. It's a hunting lure, it was never meant to be worn as a perfume! But I swear, it is actually quite lovely and animalic. It smells very close to true musk grain minus the strong traces of ammonia-like notes.
 
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Chris Bartlett

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jul 17, 2011
As a single chemical I think the best available is l-muscone but I agree that none of the individual molecules really does it on their own.

You need to either: buy an accord (never tried the Adirondack one - they don't ship to the UK - but it sounds interesting), the PA one is pretty good; make your own blend or buy the real stuff (it is still available legally, though you have to be very careful to be sure you are not buying something either fake or produced via illegal hunting as both are very common).

Personally I'd recommend making your own blend - much more interesting and then you'll have something you can use in future projects too.
 
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greencourt

Member
Nov 11, 2011
Manuel, have you ever tried wearing the deer musk lure from adirondack and then been out in nature? I read that a man got attacked by a buck deer because he was wearing it on his body instead of putting it on trees/the ground where he was hunting. I'm very interested in animalic fragrances but I don't want to wear or give my friends a perfume that will have all the dogs and cats in the neighborhood following me/them around, much less bigger animals.
 

Manuel

Rogue Perfumery
Basenotes Plus
Nov 18, 2005
Manuel, have you ever tried wearing the deer musk lure from adirondack and then been out in nature? I read that a man got attacked by a buck deer because he was wearing it on his body instead of putting it on trees/the ground where he was hunting. I'm very interested in animalic fragrances but I don't want to wear or give my friends a perfume that will have all the dogs and cats in the neighborhood following me/them around, much less bigger animals.
:D:D:D

Ha! Yes, I've heard of similar stories too. I've even heard of large animals reacting to conventional perfumes as well.
I have actually worn the musk lure mixed with a small amount of sandalwood and a minute amount of Ta'if rose. It's a really lovely fragrance -even on its own, and I really doubt it was intended to be so appealing to the human nose. I've never worn it out in nature -gardening is about as close to nature I really ever get. However for all practical reasons I wouldn't suggest wearing it while camping or hiking. :D

As to animal reactions, they were only slight: my cats were momentarily interested, then one ran off and hid; the other just walked away to go eat as usual. My yorkie took much more interest and then remained very passive until I eventually washed it off. He's always very spry and playful so I found his behavior a bit unusual.

All in all the fragrance of the lure is pleasant but by no means Earth-shattering. I find it, however, the most similar to the fragrance of diluted musk grain than other "musk" compositions. It is a little animalic in a sweaty scalp sort of way with a breath-like note :)p) and hints of a dark smokey background. The fragrance has a crystalline sparkle effect (musk ketone) that borders upon being powdery and then becomes vanillic and sweet with red berries. This is where I detect some muscone (a lot of Arabic perfumes are chock-full of muscone, giving them an irritating excessively sweet, grape Kool-Aid note, so it's easy to pinpoint).

It's great for experimenting and can be found cheap on ebay http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tonquin-Mus...369?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eb50a3bc1
 

Manuel

Rogue Perfumery
Basenotes Plus
Nov 18, 2005
I can only detect muscone and some musk ketone, I woundn't be able to guess the remainder. But, as Chris Bartlett confirmed above, the individual chemicals don't give the full effect.
 

mstrocovie

Well-known member
May 20, 2006
Working on the same sort of project now for some time. Have some real stuff and there is nothing like it really. Muscone is good stuff tho and a great place to start trying. I like Exaltolide too. It is difficult to mimic a natural essence with molecules but it is fun to try.
 

springlilac

Active member
Dec 9, 2011
There is an absolutely fantastic one at The Good Scents Company, Musk Methyl Ketone! it's simply divine! so is most of their fragrance oils, sometimes more expensive, but, superior quality. Never inferior, NEVER!
 

Naia

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2015
My new Favorite is Tonquitone base mix which I bought from PSH. It does seem to have a pretty authentic animalic smell but it is also so warm. Very animalic without being very offensive. Can be used in higher amounts and so easier to use. Does contain exaltolide in a pretty large amount though. As an aside recently I am really loving romandolide. I love how it seems to have many different musk qualities depending on how it's used, musky, papery, reedy, ambretlike, powdery, not too sweet!
 

Kacper Kafel

Well-known member
Feb 12, 2015
Musk ketone is my favorite musk, it is strong, diffusive, soft, warm and rich. Musk ketone has a slight smokey, incense conotation and nice soapiness.
But is restricted.
Other musk is galaxolide and tonalide, smell seductive, very long lasting, luminous aroma but smell very weak compared to musk ketone.
Silvanone supra is also interesting musk with characteric old paper soapy and powdery aroma, similar to velvione with slight animalic, smooth slight fruity very feminine sexy aroma.
 

timventura

Member
Apr 18, 2017
The aroma chemicals you mention replicate certain key "musky" aspects of the overall fragrance, however on their own they don't smell of musk grain. Perfumer's Apprentice has a "Musk Deer Blend (Animalid)" that does a decent job but I find the experience to be more fleeting and vague -sort of like catching hints of roses in the breeze rather than putting your nose into an actual bouquet of roses.
The best replica I've found so far is "Tonquin Musk Imit." from Adirondack Outdoor Co. It's a hunting lure, it was never meant to be worn as a perfume! But I swear, it is actually quite lovely and animalic. It smells very close to true musk grain minus the strong traces of ammonia-like notes.

Thank you Manuel! I joined Basenotes JUST to reply to this post. Bought the Adirondack fragrance, it's a little rough, but it does smell pretty "natural". It's missing the dark, sensual nearly subliminal musk scent that I remember from childhood, but it's entirely possible that I've become anosmic to that. However, my 2 dogs (both of which spend way too much time outdoors & know what a deer smells like) got really excited, so as far as this scent is concerned, it seems at least reasonably authentic.
 

Serg Ixygon

Well-known member
May 2, 2015
I have smell true origin dry deer musc grain from Sybiria. It has nothing to do with synthetic musc. It's pure animalic, very strong, complex, sophisticated, without direct connotation to the leather comparising with castoreum. I feel no ammonia note. It's dry- if there was any ammonia it's gone away during the drying. I think it's better for Oud reconstruction than for flowers.
 

Bill Roberts

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2013
Muscarome J5 perfume supply house.

Interesting, thank you. For some reason I don't have this.

Everything else mentioned, I don't find to smell close or (most cases) close at all to Tonkin deer musk grains (which I have not tinctured yet, so just the grains themselves.)

It would be fair to say that L-muscone is "part of the story" of the actual musk, but very much only part.

After that, Civettone and Exaltone would be, to me, the most closely related, again only related to a part of the real musk.

Of all the musks I've tried animalis was the closest to real deer musk. Even then it really doesnt come close enough to it

Agreed.
 

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