In the world of fragrances, scents tend to fall into certain general camps like earthy, floral, fruity, or sweet. Then, there’s musk, which happens to be a unique, distinct fragrance that turns heads and can give people a visceral feeling upon catching a whiff.
Though musk has actually been used in fragrances for centuries, the evocative scent has slowly risen to popularity again. “Musk has now become a really trendy scent that’s always been an essential component in personal fragrance,” says Carina Chaz, founder of a leading fragrance brand. “It’s usually found in sweet or woodsy, earthy scents, and tends to be a scent that those with advanced fragrance palettes appreciate.” If you’ve ever sniffed a musk fragrance, you’d understand how complex and alluring it is.
Just as people turn to woodsy scents for grounding, or citrus-based perfume to pep up their mood, musk serves more of an alluring, intoxicating purpose. “Notes in the musk category are grounding, traditional, and oftentimes very sensual,” says Lauren Gannes, formulator of a leading aromatics company. “Musk is commonly that lasting note that stays behind after the more volatile notes have shifted on.” Since it straddles the line between different fragrance categories, perfumes often use it as a base note or as something you blend with other scents. Either way you wear it, Phillips says that musk is the fragrance equivalent of sensual appeal.
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