MUSK

BASE NOTES
Dissonant | Sweet
Vanilla | Animalic
Natural musk
Wilted flowers
Oddly repellent but intriguing

Brooklyn Perfume Company’s MUSK is rather tenacious and will likely still be detectable the day after you apply it. You can wear it day or evening. 

In its pure form, musk is perhaps the most confusing of all perfume materials. Only those who have smelled perfumes made before the 1960s know what real musk smells like.  Many describe it as “feral” or “gamy” or “funky.” While this may not sound particularly appealing, I find that most people are attracted to this funk and have difficulty pulling their noses away.

Authentic natural musk, one of the rarest substances in the world, comes from a particular kind of deer found in the Himalayas. Unfortunately, these deer are now on the endangered list and wild musk is virtually unavailable. As a result, musk perfumes are made with aromatic compounds intended to simulate the aroma of natural musk. I suspect, however, that most perfumers have lost the memory of what authentic musk smells like. For that reason, many of the musks on the market have absolutely no resemblance to the real thing.

Jim's mother in the early 1960s.

Jim's mother in the early 1960s.

I was fortunate to have smelled natural musk as a child because my mother wore perfumes from the 40s and 50s. In fact, the aroma resonates with me deeply because when my mother would apply perfume – Vol de Nuit, I think – I would become anxious because it meant she was going out and leaving me. When she would return, a few hours later, the perfume would have worn off so only the smell of the musk remained. To this day, this smell transports me back to early childhood as it recalls my mother’s return and the comfort she provided. Since then I have searched for a synthetic musk that emulates the rich gaminess of deer musk. After much toying around in the laboratory, I have come up with something very close and that I think you’ll enjoy.