Perfume Musk

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When making a perfume, master perfumers must carefully consider the scent notes they want to incorporate to create the image they desire for the smell. They spend hours each day over the course of weeks or months trying to perfectly capture elusive concepts. For Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue, for example, it was Italian summer that Olivier Crespin was after.

However, once it was blended, Crespin still had the problem of how to set the scent. Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue was going to be marketed for casual wear for men, meaning that the scent had to age gracefully over the course of 6 – 10 hours. With a male hormonal base, the conflicting pheromones and sweat could be troublesome without the right fixing agent.

Although he could have used artificial means, what he opted to use was musk. Cheap drugstore perfumes can use alcohol, but for an upscale perfume light Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue, only the most expensive product in the world would do. Crespin went for the musk.

Musk sounds like a sultry fixative agent, but it actually one of the more controversial natural scent elements. Used as a fixative for other smells since ancient times, it needs to be harvested from a gland on the male musk deer. The gland excretes scent normally, but can overproduce when the animals are frightened. Animal rights activists have claimed that the musk deer are frequently mistreated and campaigned for alternatives to musk in perfumes.

However, the ancients were on to something when they chose musk as their primary preservation agent. Since it is essentially a sweaty, glandular production, it mirrors some of the hormonal elements of a sweaty, glandular human. This allows the scent to age along with the body in harmony, rather than developing jarring notes or an off-putting odor.

In recent years, scientists have isolated the compounds necessary to make synthetic musk, but it doesn’t always work quite as well as top perfumers would like. When they have been hired to create designer fragrances that will be a walking embodiment of a fashion house, they simply can’t take the risk of a badly aging scent. As a result, Olivier Crespin and the design team for Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue opted to stick with a very natural and earthy product that would authentically capture the scent of Italian summer on the body for a day. They went for the real deer musk.

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Perfume Musk
Perfume Musk

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