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Musk in perfume, an animalic and sensual note 

Musk, this mysterious and exhilarating essence, is capable of transporting you to the confines of the Orient. Of animal origin, white musks are nowadays synthetic molecules, present in the composition of several emblematic perfumes at Goutal.

Musk in perfumery through the ages 

Since antiquity, musk has mesmerized with its enveloping and atypical scent. Sometimes used in rituals to ward off negative vibrations or as a medical remedy, musk has crossed civilizations and borders.

If its use varied from one culture to another, the aphrodisiac virtues of musk were recognized by all. This property has its origins in the animal world: during the rutting period, the musk-horse secretes an odorous liquid that bewitches females.

From the 8th to the 13th century, animal musk was used to perfume clothes and interiors. It was not until the 12th century that this substance arrived in Western Europe. The appeal of the warm, sensual scent of musk reached its peak in the 1960s and 1970s, and it has now become an essential component in perfumery and cosmetics.

From animal musk to synthetic musk  

Musk originally came from the muskrat, a mammal living in the high mountains of Central Asia. The much sought after ingredient is found in the abdominal gland of these animals. Due to its cruel and intensive extraction, strict regulations were put in place in the 1970s to protect the species and stop the use of this animal musk.

However, as interest in this scent has grown, alternatives have emerged. Thus, the musk of animal origin was replaced by the synthetic musk, also called "white musk". Since the 1970s and 1980s, this term refers to a set of synthetic molecules used today in perfumes and cosmetics.

Perfumers use about fifteen of them, two of which are of natural origin: ambrettolide, which comes from the seed of hibiscus, and exaltolide, which is found in angelica. They each bring different scents. The nose's job will be to compose a combination of musks within this palette, in order to obtain a musky perfume that reflects its creative idea.

Contrary to the smell of animal musk, which is heavier and more full-bodied, the term "white musk" evokes the scent of clean laundry, comfort and well-being.

What does musk bring to a perfume?

A feeling of softness and comfort... Musk is a true source of inspiration for noses. Musk fragrance is appreciated for its soft and reassuring scent. This olfactory family is both addictive and comforting: people who wear a perfume containing musk often feel a sense of serenity, as if they were in a cocoon.

A long-lasting trail: in the composition of a perfume, the molecules containing white musk, play the role of fixers, which makes it possible to prolong the trail of perfumes. The musky notes become binders between the various elements of the agreement and bring roundness and sensuality.

The musk in our perfumes 


There are different molecules of synthetic musk: about fifteen in the perfumer's palette, each bringing a different scent.

At Goutal, they are selected and assembled with the greatest know-how to obtain the exact scent and evocation desired. For the Eau de Parfum Musc Nomade, Camille Goutal and Isabelle Doyen worked with a White Musk composed from Angelica. They have created a perfume that takes us into the world of the Thousand and One Nights. To do this, the sweet scents of white musk and tonka bean are faceted by the more assertive and mysterious side of ambrette, patchouli and labdanum.

The musks also enter the composition of the Eau de toilette Chat Perché. Fresh and luminous, this perfume based on white musk evokes a scent of clean linen. Its trail also contains notes of lemon tree flowers, nasturtium and sweet pea. It offers a reassuring sensation reminiscent of the scent of baby care products.



Popular in both women's and mixed fragrances, musk is often used in the base notes of compositions for its properties and exhilarating character.  As in the iconic Eau d'Hadrien, our signature fragrance. This fresh and elegant signature has become legendary, delivering a loving vision of sunny Tuscany. A citrusy fragrance with notes of Musk & bright citrus.

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