Musk is in the composition from Chanel No. 5 perfume to Axe deodorant. In other words, the compound is used in much of what you might spray on your body. After all its complex structure provides some heavy notes and prevents the lighter notes of a fragrance from evaporating too quickly. Undeniably Musk is almost everywhere, but do you really know where it comes from?
The aphrodisiac scent of musk
At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a big difference between the smell of a family girl and a prostitute. Some scents, such as jasmine and musk, patchouli, and angelica, gave a woman a very sensual smell.
That is why besides prostitutes, only actresses, dancers, or the more worldly dared to wear them. The “serious” girls stayed with the delicate perfumes of flowers, especially roses and violets.
But the recognizable aphrodisiac smell of musk comes from much older times. The story goes that in 1810 Empress Josephine doused the Palace of Versailles with the scents of animal musk to excite Napoleon.
Cruel Origin of Musk
Musk was originally an animal secretion that smells like urine. This is because natural musk is obtained from the fluid stored in a small sac in the nether regions of an animal called the musk deer in its heat.
The word musk comes from the Sanskrit Muska, which means testicle.
The removal of the gland, which produces the musk, results in the death of these animals.
The musk deer is an animal native to China and Southwest Asia. To obtain the perfume, the animal is killed and the gland is completely extracted and dried in the sun on a hot stone or submerged in hot oil. This is sold in two forms: the whole gland or the perfume extracted from its receptacle – a lucrative international trade for centuries.
Also classified as a family of musk scents is the faecal-scented civet, which comes from the anal glands of wild cats.
China's bears are also victims of cruelty
Bears in China are also victims of human cruelty to produce musk-based perfumes. The bears are captured as cubs, sold to farms for about $2,000, and kept in cages for 10 to 20 years in the same position.
As adults, they undergo an incision in the abdomen through which tubes that collect bile fluid are inserted. The “milking”, as the procedure is called, takes place while the animals are feeding, at which time the bile circulates through the body.
Animal protection organizations have built sanctuaries north of Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital, and in China, where they shelter rescued bears.
To make matters worse for Bears, China approves bear bile as a treatment for Covid-19
Musk also used in alternative medicine
Loved not only in perfumery, but natural musk is also very important in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine. This is because it is considered an alternative cure for depression and anxiety, as well as a great aphrodisiac and stimulant.
Although there are some regulations and control, the musk trade still exists, legally and illegally, and is incredibly cruel. Not only musk deer fall victim to it, but also any animal that secretes this substance, such as civets, muskrats, European beavers (by castoreum, a type of musk) or even sperm whales (by ambergris or whale amber).
Alternatives such as musk seed oil, laudanum and galbanum resins are also used to replace musk.
So research before you buy what you put on your body.
Before using products with musk, think about the fact that this is a species of animal that has been sacrificed for centuries to get its scent, which serves, of course, for the little animal, only to attract the partner at the time of mating.
We of the Nomadic Soul tribe do not let our vanity make us shallow or selfish.