Musk is one of the most commonly used raw ingredients in the perfume industry. Although in modern creations, a synthetic version is used as musk originally comes from a deer. This is a raw and sensual scent that some might say is sex appeal in a bottle.
Almost every perfume contains some sort of musky ingredient. However, you need to have a trained nose to pick it out. That being said, it is a strong, pungent aroma that is prized around the world.
There are many perfumes with musk scents, so it pays to think about the type of musk you want to go for. We believe that these are some of the most intoxicating and beautiful musk perfumes around.
Introduction To Musk Perfume
Musk is extremely popular in the world of fragrance because it has a unique ability. When used as a base note, musk can balance out other notes in the creation. This gives a fragrance a more well-rounded overall aroma. However, musk is also such a potent scent that when it is used in perfume, it can make the fragrance last longer.
But it is also so well-loved because of its diversity. Musk can be blended with so many other scents and, therefore, is used in many different fragrance families. Most commonly, however, you would find musk used in woody, Oriental or floral fragrances. It is also sometimes used in gourmand scents to add a slightly richer overall accord.
Musk has been used in fragrances for thousands of years, and while it is a ‘love it or hate it’ kind of scent, it remains a perfume staple. It is raw and wild because of its roots. Musk is a scent derived from the musk deer, and this is where it gets its animalistic quality. It is known to allure and intoxicate and is commonly used for romantic encounters.
20 Best Musk-Scented Perfumes
It would take a lot to list every perfume with musk scent since there are just so many. However, in our opinion, these are some of the best musk-scented perfumes currently available. From affordable to high-end luxury, there is a musk fragrance for every budget and every taste.
1. Jovan Musk For Men by Jovan
This is a beautiful woody floral musk fragrance for men that was launched in 1973. It comes in a stunning amber-colored bottle that is both masculine and chic. If you like a classic fragrance, then this is a good option.
At the top, we find carnation, lime, and Amalfi lemon before getting to a heart of lavender, amber, and mint. This unique blend continues to a base of musk and woody notes. This fragrance has a distinct air that makes it perfect for a signature scent.
It is such a fantastic musk cologne owing to its versatility. It can be worn for almost every occasion since it is clean and light. At the same time, the fragrance is cozy and comforting. You could wear this to an evening meal in a top restaurant just as easily as you could for a stroll through the park.
2. Chance Eau de Parfum by Chanel
Chanel brought out Chance in 2005, and its popularity has never waned. It is little surprise when you look at the intricacies of this Chypre Floral perfume for women.
The fragrance is presented in a clear, sophisticated bottle that is representative of everything Chanel is. It is a very diverse fragrance that can be worn both during the day and in the evening. It blends pink pepper, iris, musk, and vanilla.
This is a very playful fragrance but is also extraordinarily grown-up and elegant. It would suit a woman who wanted to show off her fun side while remaining respected.
Chance is a fresh musky scent, and this makes it ideal for wearing during the warm summer months. It would be perfect for a romantic picnic but equally suited to a shopping trip in the city.
3. Roses Musk by Montale
One of the first things that strike you about this fragrance is the shocking bright pink, metallic bottle. This is much the same as many other fragrances from Montale but gives this a feminine and glamorous appeal.
This floral woody musk fragrance for women was released in 2009 and is exceptionally diverse. It is perfect for both daytime and evening wear and can be worn year-round; if you want a go-to fragrance, this will work well.
It blends rose, musk, and jasmine for a simple yet modern perfume. Roses Musk is fun and flirty, it is sexy and seductive, and it is youthful. This is a scent that will captivate with its addictive character. One thing is for certain; you will not go unnoticed wearing this scent.
4. Musc Ravageur by Frederic Malle
In 2000, this gorgeous Oriental fragrance for men and women was released. With it, it brought an air of animalistic sophistication. It is wild and raw and everything that you would expect from a musk perfume,
This is not a scent for those who like to be understated. If you want something bold and strong then this would make an excellent choice. At the head, there is lavender, bergamot, and tangerine before a heart of cloves and cinnamon. This spiciness then gives way to van, musk, and Tonka bean for a warming, rich aroma. There is a surprisingly feral character to this scent.
This decadent fragrance would work well for someone who is sensual and wants a classic scent that doesn’t shy away.
5. White Musk by The Body Shop
Despite being released in 1981, the bottle for this perfume is incredibly modern. Purple and white hues with clear text make it look up to date and far more high-end than it is. This is an affordable yet delightful Floral woody musk fragrance for women.
It is incredibly feminine and light and is perfect for a quiet weekend with your significant other. Perhaps a romantic break to a log cabin, next to a roaring fire. It is comforting and cozy and perfect for wearing during the colder winter months.
This is not an overpowering fragrance, but rather something much more intimate. The top notes are musk, lily, and ylang-ylang, and at the heart, we find musk, jasmine, and rose. There is more musk at the base, blended with iris, amber, and vanilla for a rich and creamy dry down that lasts all day.
6. Kiehl’s Original Musk
This is a unisex fragrance that comes in a beautiful and dark bottle that oozes class and sophistication. It is a floral woody musk perfume that has been around since 2004 and is extremely popular with musk fans.
At the top, we find orange blossom and bergamot; it’s fresh and uplifting. The heart comprises ylang-ylang, lily, and rose before revealing a decadent base of musk, patchouli, and Tonka bean. The notes are dynamic and very well-balanced.
This sweet and warm fragrance would ideally be worn in the fall. Imagine walking through an orange forest, leaves crushing underfoot, your lover by your side. It takes you back to the wild in a romantic and effortless manner. It is deep and rich and would work well for a couple who wanted a joint signature scent.
7. White Suede by Tom Ford
Tom Ford is known for not holding back when it comes to creating a fragrance, and this is no exception. This is a strong yet delicate perfume for women that embodies everything it is to be female.
The perfume is light but extremely long-lasting. The aroma is distinct yet doesn’t overpower. There are contrasts all the way through, making this a superbly diverse fragrance.
It begins with fresh notes of thyme and tea before revealing a heart of rose, lily of the valley, and saffron. The base is rich and indulgent, amber, musk, and suede.
Thanks to its light character, this is an excellent choice for a daytime perfume and works well all year round. It is chic and sophisticated and perfect for elegant women, regardless of their age.
8. Lazy Sunday Morning by Maison Martin Margiela
When you think of a lazy Sunday morning, you might imagine this aptly-named scent. It is comforting in a clean way, like fresh linen or cozy bed sheets.
It is presented in a bottle that looks as though it has just been delivered from the lab, so you are instantly intrigued as to what is inside. Spraying the scent will deliver top notes of aldehydes, lily of the valley, and pear. The heart blends rose, iris, and orange blossom into a base of musk mallow, white musk, and patchouli.
This is an intimate fragrance that is light yet noticeable. In our opinion, this wouldn’t work well as an evening scent. However, for use in the day, it can be worn all year. Wear it for a family lunch, a casual shopping trip, or a weekend walk.
9. Silver Musk by Nasomatto
Silver musk is something of a divisive fragrance. But that is the nature of musk. For those who like a rich and sensual musk perfume, this would be perfect. It comes presented in a clear bottle with a wooden lid; the packaging is clean and modern, just like the perfume.
It is an Oriental fragrance for men and women and is enchanting and warm, charming, and romantic. The perfume was designed to represent superhero magnetism, and it does so effortlessly.
The fragrance brings together a variety of musky notes to create a blend that is simple yet sensual, clean yet deep. It can be worn almost anywhere and at any time of year, making it an incredibly diverse scent. It will leave a glorious musky trail behind you and will last all day.
10. Vanilla Musk by Coty
If you grew up in the 90s, it is likely that this will be a scent that induces nostalgia. It comes in a classic bottle that has remained much the same since it was launched in 1994. This is a warm and inviting fragrance that is youthful and fun.
But it is far from childish; this is a more elegant and pretty fragrance that would suit a girl transitioning into womanhood. It does not over-complicate things with a huge blend of notes but keeps it simple. Vanilla, musk, cedar, and sandalwood are enough to intoxicate.
Wearing this in the winter, for a walk through the snow, or for hot cocoa by the fire are perfect excuses to lavish in its comforting aroma. That being said, it is extremely versatile and can be worn at any time of the day.
11. Musk Oud By Kilian
This floral woody musk fragrance for men and women is part of the wider Oud Range, which has been hugely successful. Much like many of the other Kilian fragrances, this is rich and luxurious and extremely well-blended.
This is a high-end fragrance that perfectly suits those who have a taste for the finer things in life and want a luxurious perfume. It works very well as an evening fragrance. However, if you don’t mind attention being drawn to you during the day, the strong scent would work well.
It blends lemon, cardamom, and coriander at the head for a fresh start. The floral heart of rose and geranium dries down to a base of oud, musk, and rum.
There is no denying that this is one of the most opulent and indulgent musk perfumes on the market.
12. Choco Musk By Al-Rehab
The bottle for this scent is simple yet has a warm feel to it, almost as though something edible was inside. The Oriental Vanilla perfume that you find inside also has a delicious quality to it.
It has a unique and complex blend of notes, including milk chocolate, vanilla, musk, rose, amber, and myrrh. It is quite unlike any other fragrance, but many would agree that the creamy aroma is reminiscent of luxurious cocoa body butter.
This is a very comforting and familiar scent that makes you think of home. However, it also feels very modern and youthful, almost suited to a young person in the prime of their life.
It is versatile and perfect for everyday use. It is long-lasting and has a potent aroma but doesn’t over-announce itself. It will leave a delicate yet captivating trail.
13. Roja Musk Aoud
Roja is one of the most luxurious and high-end perfume brands in the world, and this decadent scent demonstrates the quality they offer. It is presented in a bottle that exudes luxury and class.
This is a Chypre floral fragrance that would make an ideal option for those special evening occasions. A birthday celebration, an anniversary, or a meal at the captain’s table on a cruise. There is nothing shy about this fragrance, and it demands to be treated as such.
It starts fresh with lemon and bergamot before revealing a floral heart of ylang-ylang, rose, and jasmine. At the base, there is oud, musk, musk mallow, nutmeg, sandalwood, and vanilla. It is rich, creamy, and smooth.
There is a sensual quality about the scent that makes it sexy and raw. It will trail for hours, perhaps into the following day.
14. Amber Musk by Aerin Lauder
Amber musk comes in a clean-looking bottle that doesn’t try to take away from the main event; the fragrance. This is an Oriental floral perfume for women and is perfect for anyone who wants to show off their feminine side.
It is light and simple and would be a good choice for a signature scent. It is not overpowering but is noticeable thanks to the pretty trail it will leave behind you.
Wear this during the day; it would be great as a perfume for work or for spending a casual day with friends. This scent is ideal for wearing during cooler weather and will provide a warming aroma that is cozy and inviting.
The notes are ambroxan, rose, coconut, and lily of the valley, and these are balanced by the power of musk.
15. Avon Soft Musk
Avon is known for offering affordable fragrances without compromising on quality. This is a fine example of that. The perfume was first released in the 1980s and remains popular with musk lovers today.
It comes in a beautiful amber-colored bottle that gives a luxurious first impression. You might wear this perfume during the fall months for a comforting and welcoming aroma.
The fragrance blends notes of musk with rose, vanilla, jasmine, and spices. It is intoxicating and alluring and perfect for those days with a lover when you want to seduce.
The musk in this gives a deep and sexy character to the fragrance that is inviting and warm. That being said, there is a sweet quality to this that gives it a fun edge, which you don’t see in many similar scents.
16. Trish McEvoy No 9
This fragrance for women was released in 2000 and came in a clean, modern bottle. It is suitable for wearing both at night time and during the day, however, in our opinion, we would lean towards day wear.
The way that musk is used in this fragrance is truly unique. It begins with fruity notes of blackberry, mandarin orange, and plum before revealing a heart of osmanthus, white rose, and Tiare flower. The base is heady and rich with cashmere wood, musk, and vanilla. There is nothing that you could compare this to.
This perfume is light and delicate and has an intimate sillage for moments when you don’t want to create a stir but ignite the attention of those nearby.
17. Velvet Haze by Byredo
Coming in the flacon that is synonymous with the Byredo brand, you know that you will be getting a luxurious and high-quality fragrance. Velvet Haze is an Oriental Woody fragrance for men and women with a unique edge that puts it as a firm musk favorite.
It starts with coconut, bergamot, and hibiscus before the heart comes through. Here, we find patchouli, tuberose, and osmanthus. At the base, there is intoxicating musk and patchouli.
This is a clean and powdery scent that would do well as a signature. It is undoubtedly one of a kind.
While this is a unique scent, it is versatile enough to wear for all occasions. It is intoxicating and alluring and guaranteed to grab attention. Wherever you go, a heady trail will follow.
18. Musc Noble by Guerlain
This fragrance is part of Les Absolus D’Orient collection and comes in a beautiful burgundy bottle that is exotic and classy. It is an ideal fragrance for wearing during the cold months of winter. It is warm and rich and sure to seduce.
If you are looking for a musk fragrance that embodies the scent’s raw and animalistic nature, then you have found it right here. This is not a scent that will shy away; it is unapologetic and strong.
The unisex perfume is best worn for evening wear, but if you want to create a stir during the day, then this would be the scent to do it with. It blends aldehydes, saffron, and pink pepper at the head with a heart of musk and rose. Once dry, the base reveals notes of white musk, leather, and labdanum – truly sensual and sexy.
19. Lovely Sarah by Jessica Parker
One of the most iconic fragrances of recent times is Lovely, by name and by nature. It was released in 2005 and came in a simple bottle that would look divine on the vanity unit.
This is a floral woody musk fragrance for women that is genuinely pretty and feminine. It is ideal as a daytime scent, for a lunch with friends or for a day out with the kids.
It would suit a classy yet sexy woman, sophisticated yet stylish, and someone with a sense of fun.
The fragrance begins with earthy lavender, martini, and bergamot before revealing a heart of orchid and patchouli. The base blends musk, amber, and cedar for a dry down that is elegant and rich yet subtle.
20. Glossier You
This is a floral woody musk perfume for men and women that is rich and creamy. However, it is not a scent to wear if you want to stand out. It is intimate and subtle. This makes it perfect for wearing during the day and a great scent for the office if you do not want to draw attention.
It comes in a beautiful yet simple bottle with a flash of color in the red lid. The fragrance is sparkling and clean with accords of musk, iris, and powdery notes. It keeps things simple but is anything but bland. This youthful fragrance would suit a modern person who is carefree and fun.
Perfect for wearing during the fall for a comforting and clean feeling that reminds you of home.
How To Choose Your Musky Perfume
If you are looking to purchase a musk fragrance, it is important to remember that musk is a strong and distinct scent. However, there are some light musk perfumes on the market that are ideal for daytime wear when you want a gentle perfume.
These lighter musk perfumes tend to be floral fragrances. You will often find notes of jasmine and rose, both of which complement musk well thanks to their own sweet, musky aroma.
But if you want to embrace the rich, warm nature of musk, you might go for an Oriental Vanilla perfume. These scents are often sweet and indulgent, ideal for colder weather.
There are also several woody musk fragrances that blend the scent with sandalwood, cedar, and oud. This type of combination delivers an intoxicating and intense fragrance that typically works well for formal or evening wear.
You should also consider that musk is a very long-lasting scent. There is a rumor that dropping a few drops of musk oil onto a piece of cloth would leave it fragrant for forty years. We don’t know how true this claim is, but we do know that musk doesn’t fade easily. If you are going to opt for this scent, a little goes a long way.
Full Guide On Perfumes With Musk
Musk comes from the musk deer, which is found in Tibet. The scent was originally cultivated from a gland that the deer uses to secrete a brown substance that has a pungent aroma. This is used to attract a mate, and scientists now believe that it is similar to the scent of testosterone. That would explain why people find musk to be such a seductive scent. It is also considered to be an aphrodisiac.
However, owing to the threatened nature of the deer, in 1979 it became a protected species, and rightly so. In modern perfume creations, a synthetic version of musk is used that closely matches the original. When the deer were used, it could take as many as 140 animals to get just a kilo of fragrance oil.
Owing to its origins, musk is a visceral and raw scent that feels primal and takes you back to your roots. Many people use this as a fragrance to seduce, making it perfect for things like a first date or at your wedding.
Musk is used in a lot of perfumes because it is able to balance out the other notes. However, it is more commonly used in floral or woody scents and blends well with things like jasmine, sandalwood, amber, and oud.
The use of musk can be traced back to the 6th century when it was brought to Europe by Greek explorers, all the way from India. But it wasn’t until the Arabs worked with the scent that it was discovered how to use it in perfume properly. After all, the deer secretion has a rather fecal aroma to it. Once it became popular, it was delivered around the world using the silk and spice roads.
Fortunately, musk is a very diverse scent, so whatever your taste, it is likely that you will find a musk perfume that you like. There are fresher scents for daytime and more heady ones for evening wear. The aroma of musk is difficult to describe since it is so unique. However, we believe that words like potent, rich, warm, and earthy all describe it well. But despite being so strong, there are people who are totally unable to detect the scent.
Frequently Asked Questions On Musky Perfumes
Where does musk perfume come from?
Musk’s scent comes from a gland in the musk deer from Tibet. It is a pheromone used for attracting a mate. However, modern perfumers do not use this but instead go for a more ethical, synthetic musk.
What does musk perfume smell like?
Musk is an animalistic and primal scent that is strong and long-lasting. It can be sweet and powdery.
What is a good musky perfume?
There are so many musk perfumes that it is difficult to say which is the best. But a good musky perfume is Perfect by Marc Jacobs. Another popular choice is Mojave Ghost by Byredo.
How to use musk perfume?
Musk is a diverse fragrance, and which perfume you go for will depend on when it should be worn. However, owing to its warm quality, many people use a musk cologne in the colder winter months.
Final Thoughts On Musk Perfume
If you are looking for a scent that can be used in almost any perfume, then musk is a good place to start. This aroma comes from a deer, which you might not think to be very attractive. But once you have been allured by the animal and raw scent of musk, you will likely be a fan for life.