The dark secret of white musk!
One more time we are going against the mainstream and releasing the power of knowledge to the public from our sincere belief that the knowledge and power of perfumery should be in the hands of people, the knowledge that made many people millionaires, made some very famous and was kept as a very well-guarded secret.
Since this subject is very long and complicated I will not go into any chemical or complicated technical details, I will simply lay it out in a very simple, direct and understandable way. Many people will not agree with this information being shared or even talked about, but we believe its time that people know about it. As they say, the truth will set you free, so are you ready?
There is no easy way to say this, but there is no white musk. At least no real white musk. So where does the name and the product come from? The white musk or the main ingredient in what gets sold and promoted as white musk is Musk ketone or the molecular formula (C14H18N2O5) which was first created by the German chemist Albert Baur in 1888, while he was doing his research on TNT (big boom). Yes, in the explosive material he smelled something pleasant and similar to the soapy rose scent and being a smart chemist and scientist, he knew he was on to something and in short that’s how the musk ketone was found.
This material was so widely used in so many colognes and perfumes (about 50% of every cologne and perfume in the world contained a generous amount of it) until recently when it was proven that it’s not safe to be used, so it was replaced by the later musk Xylene, which for safety reasons was also removed from the list and was no longer used.
The characteristics of the white musk that usually get sold in the market are fully white or semi-clear white color liquid, usually thick and heavy, with a strong soapy flowery scent sometimes mixed with rose to be diluted and sometimes mixed with oud to make a yellowish color thick liquid that smells something between light oud and soap but not either one.
Many companies in the Middle East, including some of the largest and most well-known houses, are promoting white musk as pure musk, or natural musk or authentic white musk, or even body musk! And I’m not sure what they mean by that, but it is definitely not a pure substance, definitely not natural and for sure it’s not real musk and should not be used directly on the body externally and never used internally.
Many sellers, especially in Thailand, China and Indonesia, sell and promote this kind of liquid as pure white 100% natural musk and this is simply a lie. Many merchants and distributors from the Arabic world buy from those manufacturers and makers and then for their part, they also sell it as pure, natural original musk. Believe it or not, some even promote it as 100% organic (yes, I know it’s unbelievable). Then very unfortunately the customer or client buys it thinking it’s real musk and it’s natural and pure. This material is the most profitable and commonly sold perfume liquid in many countries in the Middle East. Lately, we have noticed that many people are trying to promote and sell this in other countries like Europe and USA.
The danger of the white musk is that many uneducated or misled people use this musk directly on their skin. Many, especially women, use it diluted or mixed with water internally, for example during the monthly menstruation which is extremely dangerous and can cause very serious health issues in the long term.
The problem is since many of those companies are promoting and selling this so-called “white musk” as essential oil and natural material (honestly most of them don’t know what an essential oil is), this matter is not getting the attention and the monitoring that it should. Made in huge amounts, by the ton in countries like China and Thailand it will always find a merchant or reseller that wants to make a fast dollar and buy something really cheap that can be easily flipped in the market being a well-known commonly used consumer product.
In the last few years, many people documented many cases of children having severe skin reaction, irritation or allergy from this material. Some parents are using it directly on the skin of their children in shower with water or directly as perfume. Here I need to stress the importance of knowing what are you using, the source, and the content, especially if you are using it on children!
The most serious issue is the solid white musk or what is called the musk cubes, which are mainly musk ketone with other chemical and synthetic materials. Many of those materials are considered poisonous and dangerous. Those musk cubes being widely available and very cheap, are used in a variety of products and perfumes, many young and untrained perfume enthusiasts are breaking down those cubes and mixing them with other materials without having the slightest knowledge about the chemical composition or content of the materials used. This is widely happening in the Middle East especially the Gulf region.
Here I need to clarify that many well-known and respected houses are using Musk ketone or other kinds of permitted synthetic musk in a very specific amount usually diluted under strict monitoring and chemical knowledge, which is fine and safe actually. One kind or another of chemical synthetic musk is being used in more than 90% of all current perfumes and colognes in the market in different ways with different percentages.
White musk is an easy way to know the seller. As we mentioned, the white musk is an easy way to make fast money especially if sold in large amounts, so it is another way to recognize if any seller or company is real, legitimate, and genuine or otherwise! See if they sell white musk and see if it’s being promoted as we mentioned as pure, authentic, real musk. If that is the case, be careful as this company or person may be selling synthetic chemical Musk ketone mixed with some other materials promoting it as a pure musk.
Actually, and it’s sad to say it, but 90% of large companies and perfume houses are selling the same thing with very slight differences. Those differences usually come from the different percentages and amount of rose, ambrette, or other well-known synthetic materials that they mix to make it their own product.