Musk perfumes are loved because they wrap the wearer in a blanket of sensuality and mystery. These perfumes have an alluring quality that simply can’t be matched by any other scent profile. It’s a very animalistic or earthy scent that’s perfect for evenings out on the town or cold winter days. Unfortunately, it’s also a scent profile that’s often done poorly by some design houses. And that’s why we’ve decided to find out which of these perfumes were the best, so our readers can find musky perfumes that fit their sense of style and one that isn’t too strong or overpowering.
Best Musky Perfumes
10. Lucky You EDT Spray For Women
This perfume from Liz Clairborne was first released in 2000, and it seems like it becomes more popular every year since then. That’s probably because its an interesting scent profile that’s properly built from the ground up. This perfume starts with sensual base notes of amber, musk, and sandalwood, and then begins stacking floral, fruity, and green notes on top of that. It has heart notes of star jasmine, blue poppy, and peony flowers, and also has top notes that include the scents of hyacinth, grapefruit, and green leaves. That makes it a sensual, fruity, and floral scent that any woman can enjoy wearing.
9. Versace Yellow Diamond EDT Spray
Although Versace Yellow Diamond was only released in 2011, it’s based on several other popular fragrances by Versace such as Crystal Noir and Bright Crystals. It’s a scent profile that has fruity top notes, floral heart notes, and earthier base notes. At its top, this perfume starts with the subtle fragrances of lemons, bergamot, and pears. It then moves into its floral heart that contains notes of mimosa, freesia, lilies, and orange flowers. After it settles for a while, it then creeps into its base with the pungent notes of musk, amber and wood overtones. And all of these notes make this perfume not only a feminine scent but also an empowering one, too.
8. Thierry Mugler Angel Parfum Spray
When musk is perfectly balanced with fruity notes, then it can create something truly special, and no perfume proves that point more than this one. This perfume is an Oriental fragrance that was originally launched during the early 1990s but continues to be a very popular musk based fragrance to this day. It contains exotic top notes of bergamot, coconut, pineapple, melon and Mandarin oranges; floral middle notes of jasmine, orchids, lilies, roses, and honey. It also has bottom notes that not only include musk but also include the sensual fragrances of chocolate, amber, caramel, patchouli, vanilla, and tonka bean, too.
7. Cabotine Women EDT Spray
Of all of the scents released during the 1990s, this one has to be one of the best. That’s because it combines a youthful intensity with elegance and confidence. Its base is a combination of nine sensual fragrances, and it’s top is a combination of several fruity notes. These two opposites sandwich the heart notes of these perfumes and create something that extremely complex and exotic. At its top, this perfume has notes of peaches, plums, tangerines, and black currants. Its middle notes are a combination of floral scents such as hyacinth, jasmine, iris, and carnations. And at its base, this perfume has notes of musk, civet, amber, sandalwood, tonka bean, cedar, and vanilla.
6. Rihanna Nude Eau de Parfum Spray
Rihanna has released several different perfumes under her name, but this one has to be the most sensual and alluring of all of her fragrance offerings. When it’s applied to the skin, it immediately pops with the exotic scents of guava, Mandarin oranges, and pears. It then slowly slides into its heart notes, notes that include the scents of orange blossoms, jasmine, and gardenia flowers. When it finally settles into its base, the earthier notes of this fragrance then slowly begin to emerge. These scents include not only musk but also orchid and sandalwood. It’s a scent that’s meant to convey a sense of intimacy, and it accomplishes that task quite well.
5. Purr By Katy Perry Parfum Spray
Although this perfume has musk at its base, it’s not the typical musky perfume. That’s because this fragrance takes those darker, warmer musk notes and then mixes them with floral and fruity notes that lighten it up quite a bit. That gives this perfume an unexpectedly alluring pop appeal. Its top notes include red apples, peaches, bamboo and gardenia flowers. Its middle notes contain jasmine, rose and freesia scents, all while it’s bottom notes combine musk, sandalwood, amber, coconut, orchids, and vanilla into one interesting scent profile. Its bottle may convey a certain teen sensibility, but the scent contained within it is mature and exotic.
4. Dolce & Gabbana The One Perfume
This perfume was conceived as a fragrance for the modern woman. A scent that not only told the world that the wearer was beautiful and feminine but also a scent that tells the world who’s in charge. It’s a perfume that’s designed for women who are graceful, have poise and don’t mind attracting a bit of attention. Dolce & Gabbana used a cacophony of different scents to relay this complex vibe, and it all begins with subtle musk, vanilla and amber base notes. The perfume then expands on those notes by infusing in the fragrances of plums, litchi, Lillies, peaches, Mandarin oranges, and jasmine.
3. Elizabeth Taylor Gardenia Perfume
Elizabeth Taylor was not only an icon back in her day but continues to be an icon nowadays as well. She was not the only representative of the golden age of Hollywood but was also a representative of pure femininity and class, so any perfume that bears her name has to have all of those characteristics. Fortunately, this perfume does have all of those characteristics and a lot more. This fragrance starts with base notes of carnations and musk, then works its way through heart notes gardenias and peony flowers, and top notes of lilies and green leaves. It’s a scent that’s sensual, alluring, and feminine at the same time.
2. Jovan Black Musk Perfume
Jovan Black Musk is a pure distillation of musk that’s slightly mixed with slight floral notes. Even though that might make it a little bit overpowering for some people, those who are adventurous enough to try it will feel like it wraps them in a blanket of sensuality and warmth. This perfume has moderate sillage and longevity, too, so the wearer won’t feel like it begins to fade halfway through the day. And since it’s a warm scent profile, this perfume is not only suitable for wearing at night or during the autumn season but is also a good perfume for winter wear as well.
1. Michael Kors For Women Parfum Spray
Michael Kors For Women Parfume is a fragrance that was released in early 2000 and is a musky perfume that’s loved to this day. That’s because it’s based on a fragrance profile that has musk, cashmere, and vetiver as its base, and then uses the strengths of these three scents to build an exception scent pyramid. This fragrance has top notes of freesia, incense, and osmanthus that’s balanced with the heart notes of several floral fragrances. These floral fragrances include peony, lily, iris, tuberose, and orris root. All of this makes this product a musky, floral perfume that’s going to make the wearer stand out from the crowd.
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A Guide To Musky Perfumes
Regardless of whether you love them or hate ’em, musky perfumes sure do make an impression. They’re earthy, animalistic and provide a sensual sensation that few other perfumes are capable of achieving. Unfortunately, this scent is often misunderstood and is often seen as a nuisance scent. A scent that’s too strong and too overpowering. Although this bad reputation is mostly due to people using the product incorrectly, it’s still one that has to be addressed.
In this guide, we want to address the concerns that people have about musky perfumes and talk about the ones that are worth trying out. Having said that, we think that all of our readers will benefit from reading this guide and venturing deep into the world of musk and the perfumes that use it.
What Is Musk?
Musk is an aromatic substance that’s harvested from the glandular secretions of animals, such as the musk deer, and is commonly used as a base note in perfumes and colognes. It takes its name from the musk deer, and musk was derived by killing this deer and removing the sac that the animal used to attract mates. This sac was then dried to produce what was known as a musk pod. The glandular secretions inside this pod would be powdery and it was known as having a scent that was very similar to urine. However, when it was mixed with alcohol, it changed from its characteristic urine smell to that of the musk smell that we know today.
With that being said, however, musk is no longer obtained from the musk deer because this animal was all but driven to the point of extinction. Instead, musk is obtained from other sources, including synthetic and plant-based ingredients that can be synthesized into a musky fragrance.
Some Other Great Musky Perfumes
Although we did pick out ten of the best musky perfumes for our list above this guide, some people may be curious about what other musky perfumes exist, so we decided to do a section on this topic. So without further ado, we hope that all of our readers will enjoy the following musky perfumes that we think do a pretty good job of representing this fragrance niche.
Fuel For Life Summer
This perfume comes in a fluorescent pink bottle and was originally launched for the summer of 2010. It’s a wonderful concoction of musk that’s mixed with black currant and anise notes to create a sensual summer scent that will capture anyone’s attention. This perfume has a moderate sillage, but good longevity as well.
Victoria’s Secret Sexy Sparkle Hot Berry
This perfume comes in a pink square bottle and was originally released in 2007. This perfume’s main appeal is that it combines musk with a fruity blend of notes that makes it stand out. This combination makes it a youthful addition to this or any other perfume list. The two main notes that can be found in this perfume include raspberry, and of course, musk.
Versace For Women Metal Jeans
Although the name of this perfume is a little bit strange, the fragrance contained within its unique bottle is more than worth the price of admission. This scent was released in 2001, and it has a 21st-century vibe to it that many women are going to love. Some of the notes that can be found in this musky perfume include neroli, lilac, freesia, rose, nutmeg, vanilla, and musk.
Jovan White Musk
Even though we think Jovan Black Musk is superior to Jovan White Musk, it’s still a fragrance that deserves a spot on this list. This fragrance is feminine, warm and sensual and is a perfect addition to any perfume collection. Some of the notes that can be found in this delightful perfume include musk, amber, honeysuckle, jasmine, ylang-ylang, and woody notes.
Lovely Sarah Jessica Parker
This fragrance was created by the actress Sarah Jessica Parker, with the help of Coty, and is intended as a homage to the actresses’ mother. It’s a soft and powdery scent that supported by a light musky and woodsy base. Some of the notes that the wearer will notice in this musky perfume includes rosewood, bergamot, Mandarin orange, lavender, orchid, patchouli, martini, amber, cedar, and musk.
Kiehl’s Original Musk
Launched in 2004, this musky perfume combines the sensuality of musk with some fruity/floral notes. Some of the notes found in this perfume include orange blossom, bergamot, lily, rose, neroli, ylang-ylang, patchouli, musk, and Tonka Bean.