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musk,odorous substance secreted by an abdominal gland of the musk deermusk deer,
small, antlerless deer, Moschus moschiferus, found in wet mountain forests from Siberia and Korea to the Himalayas. In summer it ranges up to 8,000 ft (2,400 m). It is from 20 to 24 in.
..... Click the link for more information. , used in perfumeperfume,
aroma produced by the essential oils of plants and by synthetic aromatics. The burning of incense that accompanied the religious rites of ancient China, Palestine, and Egypt led gradually to the personal use of perfume.
..... Click the link for more information. as a scent and fixative. The gland, found only in males, grows to the size of a hen's egg; the secretion is reddish-brown, with a honeylike consistency and a strong odor that may function in the animal as a sexual attractant. After the pouch is cut the secretion hardens, assumes a blackish-brown color, and when dry becomes granular. In commerce the musk pouches are called "musk pods," and the dried secretion "musk grains." Usually a tincture of alcohol is made from the grains; this is then added to expensive perfumes. The chief constituent that gives musk its odor is the organic compound muscone. Musklike substances are also obtained from the muskratmuskrat,
North American aquatic rodent. The common muskrats, species of the genus Ondatra, are sometimes called by their Native American name, musquash. They are found in marshes, quiet streams, and ponds through most of North America N of Mexico, but are absent from the
..... Click the link for more information. and the civet. Some plants yield oils which resemble musk; these include the seed of ambrette (Hibiscus abelmoschos) and the sumbul root (Ferula sumbul) of central Asia and Turkistan. A number of synthetic musklike products are now also used.
a fragrant substance of plant or animal origin with valuable properties as a perfume and a perfume fixative.
Animal musk, secreted by the musk glands of some mammals, such as the musk deer, musk-ox and desman, is a grainy or greasy brown substance with an odor characteristic of the animal species from which it originates. Macrocyclic ketones constitute the aromatic principle of animal musk. Among others, these include muscone (about 1 percent in musk from the glands of musk deer), civetone (from the glands of a civet cat), and dihy-drocivetone (from the glands of a muskrat). Animal musk also consists of proteins, fats, cholesterol, and a variety of salts. Musk in animals functions as a chemical signal to stake out a territory against other individuals of the same species. In aquatic mammals, for example, the desman, muskrat, and beaver, musk also serves as a grease that prevents the fur from becoming soaked. Some macrocyclic lactones, such as tibetolide (present in the roots of garden angelica) and ambrettolide (in the oil of hibiscus seeds), constitute the aromatic principle of plant musk.
Many synthetic substances with different chemical structures have the odor of musk. They are used in industry instead of the costly and scarce natural musks. These include some macrocyclic lactones and oxalactones, nitromusks (musk-ketone, musk ambrette, musk-xylol), some substituted tetrahydronaphthalenes (for example, versalide), and some indan derivatives, such as phantolid.
O. L. ROSSOLIMO and V. N. FROSIN