Musk can be a relatively affordable and easy fragrance to get. It's made by various companies for the drugstore chains and sold on the street by oil vendors across the city. There are many types of musk but most of what we find now are synthetic, not natural animal musks--musk was originally derived from animal glands in painful ways for the animals. Many of us have heard the term "clean" musk or "skin scent". I believe we often perceive musk to smell clean because musk is used in most of our cleaning agents today, from baby products to commercial soaps and detergents. I actually have aversions to many types of musk, because I find them powdery and a bit cloying in the air. Some of them smell soapy, like commercial detergent--these are referred to as "clean" musks. Some literally smell like BO to me, with sweaty lily top notes and animalic, earthy bases--hardly a "clean" skin musk; others smell so dirty, they smell like civet or castoreum more than the kind of baby oil or baby powder-type of musk we're more used to. There are musks we may be anosmic to as well, which is why most perfumes contain more than one type os musk in it, so people can smell at least one of them in the mix.
Musk is often used in complex fragrances as base notes or fixatives to make the notes on top last longer. Musk is also used alone, or in a musk blend with different types of musk making an original musk scent. All that said, all musks are not the same. One of my favorite musks which I consider to be a great original work of perfumery is Teint de Neige (color of snow) by an independent perfumer named Lorenzo Villoresi. If you've heard before that Italian perfumes were not up to par with French, you could dismiss this notion, because Lorenzo Villoresi creates quality works of olfactive art. Teint de Neiges is a powdery, sweet musk blend--to me, it walks the thin line between the implied baby powder smell of Love's Baby Soft and the sophisticated maquillage (makeup powder) smell of Chanel No.5. There's something cherry-like about it, or bubblegum-like--I suspect I'm smelling almond or heliotrope with its somewhat spicy, cinnamonlike heat sharply pricking through the soft and warm, almost loukhoum-like hypersweet and edible, yet soapy, powdery fog. I could almost compare it to Caron Farnesiana but this one has no flowers in sight; flowers are obstructed by talc. If it's a bed of snow, it's as gentle on my skin as a baby wipe and as sweet as the fantasy ski slopes in Candyland.
Notes from Lafcony.com:
Lorenzo Villoresi Fantasy Fragrance
An aroma delicately permeated by the richness of the natural extracts of precious flowers, recalling the light, images and atmosphere of the belle-époque.
Top note: Jasmin, Rose, Ylang Ylang and sweet, powdery and floral notes
Middle note: Tonka bean, Jasmin, Rose, and sweet, powdery and floral notes
Base note: Heliotrope, Musk, Rose, Jasmin and sweet, powdery and floral notes
For a less sweet version, try Lorenzo Villoresi Musk, which is also musky and powdery but with deeper notes.
(Image: Perfume Critic, Your-cosmetics.com)