Musk, without deer or petrochemicals

Many (many) years ago, perfumers relied on a musk compound extracted from the glands of the male musk deer for it’s uplifting, fixative qualities. As people became more concerned about animal welfare, it became less ok to use animal derived musk in perfume. Nice, progress.

 

In recent decades, the use of deer musk has all but ceased in the fragrance industry. However, because making perfume without musk is like cooking without butter (quote, unquote Abel Nose Isaac Sinclair). In its place, synthetic musk has become extremely widely used (estimated in more than 99% of perfume on the market). Why are we not happy with this? Synthetic musk is also widely acknowledged as a toxin to humans and the environment (read more here).

 

"Like most petro-chemical derivatives (aka plastics) it doesn’t break down in our ecosystem or bodies. Obviously it’s something to avoid."

So if animal or synthetic musk is not an option to us, what do we use?

We source a natural musk compound isolated from the the amberette seed inside the hibiscus flower. Relatively new science, this plant derived musk compound is superior to synthetic musk in both fragrance profile and environmental and personal impact. Why don’t more companies use it? Because it costs five to ten times as much as its synthetic counterpart. And by cost, we’re talking purely monetary cost (as opposed to the unmeasured environmental cost).

Image: Clary Sage, from which we isolate a natural “ambroxan” compound used in our fragrance. Ambroxan from Clary Sage is a vegan, natural alternative to Ambergris (a waxy secretion of sperm whales) or the synthetic Ambroxan compound or the synthetic version, most widely used. 

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