Enhancing musks with other Aroma Chemicals VS Increasing Concentration


Basenotes Member
Jan 4, 2021
Hi all,

I am fortunate to have most musks (bar musk ketone and xylene) at my disposal, and have noticed that their perception varies dramatically.

Helvetolide seems to me, to be the strongest of all, and is detectable immediately, whilst others like muscone or Ethylene brassylate are milder and more subtle in their effects.

One would imagine that increasing the levels of them would make them stonger, but generally this is at the expense of the other notes in the perfume, sometimes "clogging" up the mid and top notes (especially muscone which seems to dampen every note).

I have experimented with Cashmeran Velvet which does bring out the musk qualities, however it imparts its own character that may not be welcome in every blend.

Do you have any tricks or tips for enhancing the musk elements, or do you just overdose on certain musks to strengthen that facet of your blend?

Thanks in advance!


Basenotes Junkie
Oct 26, 2021
I love to enhance musks with using aldehydes, becoming almost aggressive and than ready to adjust with something nutty, floral, fruits, citrus or direction you want. I like aldehydes especially using scentolide, muscenone, muscone, shangralide. If you dont mind, ambrette seed is very nice addition too.


Basenotes Member
Dec 24, 2022
I find this a perplexing subject as well. I've seen suggestions that various strong-smelling materials at low doses (like 0.1-0.5 PPT) can pump up the musk effect, such as Raspberry Ketone, Iralia, Coumarin, aldehydes (as mentioned), and sandalwood ACs. Personally I find a small amount of Bacdanol can help but it's easy for the sandalwood to completely bulldoze the musks. My experiments with those other materials haven't been very successful. Helvetolide and traseolide are both musk top notes so this can also make a musk-forward scent.

Generally I feel like from experience (happy for someone more advanced to contradict me) that musks are really these "canvas" materials that will never be the primary drivers in a composition. "Musky" perfumes are perhaps more fantasy notes using animalics (the stinkier musks like tonquitone), amber materials or woody materials to buff up and complement things like ethylene brassylate, galaxolide, exaltolide, etc.

I also wonder if the issue is that musks need a long time to mature in bottle to reach full strength. Just a shot in the dark, though. Curious for knowledgable members to chime in.

Latest News

Whatever your taste in perfume, we've got you covered...

catalogue your collection, keep track of your perfume wish-list, log your daily fragrance wears, review your latest finds, seek out long-lost scented loves, keep track of the latest perfume news, find your new favourite fragrance, and discuss perfume with like-minded people from all over the world...