Here’s a fact: Musk can be found in the DNA of most fragrances. Commonly used as a base note, this aromatic substance softens and balances the scent while adding a lingering depth and warmth. It’s also considered a versatile category in perfumery. With the company of other notes, this scent can be interpreted into something that is light, clean, crisp or dark, spicy, and sexy.
Where does musk in perfume come from?
It’s fair to say that musk has quite an interesting backstory. Originally, this classic scent is harvested from a gland sac of a male musk deer. This contains a liquid that is used to attract mates and is deemed as a form of aphrodisiac. The sacs are turned to musk pods and later on enhanced with alcohol. Unfortunately, this almost caused the extinction of deers, causing them to be placed under the protection of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
To prevent this from happening again, musks that are used in perfumery today are either synthetically produced or have been mimicked by alternative ingredients such as ambrette seed or angelica root to provide the same sensuality to modern blends.
Best Musk Perfumes
Musk scents may not always be an easy pick for beginners, but we're certain that there's a bottle for everyone. To help you out, we rounded up a variety of musk fragrances that can be your new signature scent. You’ll find everything from floral, fruity, woody, and even leathery options that might possibly match your liking. Scroll down to view our best finds!
1. Kiehl's Origin Musk Blend No. 1
This renewed take on the brand’s signature scent contains the perfect blend of bergamot nectar, orange blossom, rose, and ylang-ylang in a bottle. Originally sold as a "love oil" in the late '50s, this fragrance dries down to a warm, sensual oriental finish of musk. Spray this on your pulse points to be left with an alluring, floral-woody scent that turns heads.
Origin Musk Blend No.1, P2800, KIEHL'S, kiehls.com.ph
2. Miu Miu Twist
If you love a light and refreshing fragrance that's still musky, you might want to consider this perfume from Miu Miu. With notes of apple blossom, pink amber accord, and cedarwood, this fragrance settles to a sparkling fruity-floral musk scent that you won’t be able to resist. What's more, it comes in a playful bottle that's inspired by the brand's signature matelassé quilted pattern.
Twist Eau De Parfum, $99 (approximately P4740), MIU MIU, miumiu.com
3. Aerin Amber Musk
Think of this fragrance as a soft cozy blanket on a cold snowy night. It captures notes of sensual florals, distinctive amber, and creamy musks that create a warm, inviting scent that you’d just want to wrap yourself in. It's both comforting and sophisticated, something that you’d want to wear even if you are just at home.
Amber Musk Eau De Parfum, P7100, AERIN, Rustan's
4. Tom Ford White Suede
The harmony of velvety rose, amber, saffron, and thyme makes White Suede one of the most alluring blends in Tom Ford's range. It's warm, supple, and sensual—it perfectly fits Tom Ford’s description as a perfume with an irresistible expression of raw desire. Not to mention, it's housed in the chicest chess piece-like flacon that makes it a prized addition to any shelf.
White Suede Eau de Parfum, P12,600 (50ml), TOM FORD, Rustan's Makati
5. Glossier You
This cult-favorite perfume from Glossier is designed to adapt to your skin chemistry for the ultimate personal fragrance experience. It features a blend of pink peppercorn, ambrette, ambrox, and musks that creates a clean, fresh scent that smells like "you." Plus, it comes in a blush bottle and a bright red cap that's so IG-worthy, as all Glossier products come.
You Eau De Parfum, $60 (approximately P2872), GLOSSIER, glossier.com
6. Narciso Rodriguez Pure Musc For Her
Don't say we didn't warn you, but Pure Musc's clean, powdery scent is nothing short of addicting. It's a refined and elegant take on a classic musk fragrance, with notes of orange blossom and cashmeran to emphasize the sublime heart of musk.
Pure Musc For Her Eau De Parfum, P5550 (50 ml), NARCISO RODRIGUEZ, Rustan's
7. Acca Kappa White Moss Eau De Parfum
We all have a soft spot for clean and fresh scents, and White Moss is exactly that. It actually reminds us of fresh hotel laundry! The scent opens with a bright, citrus accord of lemon, bergamot, and juniper, while the base of white musk unveil a delicate, uplifting whiff that never feels stuffy. What's more, it's the kind of perfume that you can share with your significant other!
White Moss Eau De Parfum, P3300, ACCA KAPPA, Rustan's
8. Jo Malone London Midnight Musk and Amber
This cologne is for anyone who fancies a fresh, oriental spin to musk. Your first spritz will envelop you in the freshness of juniper, the glowing warmth of amber, plus a special blend of three musk molecules. This fragrance also combines beautifully with English Pear and Freesia for an additional layer of vibrance.
Midnight Musk and Amber Cologne, P8650, JO MALONE LONDON, SM Aura
9. Clean Classic Skin
Inspired by the comfort of a warm embrace, this fragrance perfectly captures the enticing scent of touchable bare skin. The warm white musk base is uplifted by notes sheer honeydew, fresh air accord, and dewy flower petals. It's a clean, cozy fragrance that you'd want to wear every day.
Classic Skin Eau de Parfum, P3900, CLEAN, Rustan's
10. The Body Shop White Musk Eau De Toilette
This fragrance from The Body Shop is a classic musk scent that won't break the bank. The pure, cruelty-free musk it contains is surrounded by notes of amber, rose, jasmine, and warm spice, providing a light, sensual, floral blend. It's the perfect balance between uplifting and comforting, a scent that simply feels and smells heavenly in every spritz.
White Musk Eau De Toilette, P1595 (60 ml), THE BODY SHOP, Shangri-la Plaza