Description and usage notes:
Muscone is perhaps the best known musk, having been identified in the natural extract of deer musk as early as 1906. This product, synthesised by Firmenich, is one of the finest musks available to the modern perfumer.
This product is the racemic form, sometimes called dl-Muscone, as distinct from laevo-Muscone.
Description from Firmenich: “Odor: A very soft, sweet, musky odor with a warm animal tonality, reminiscent of the natural Tonkin musk. Use: It can be used to give elegant and warm animal notes and adds lift and diffusion to any perfume. Important for the reconstitution of natural musk.”
According to Arcadi Boix Camps it “has a smooth, brilliant aroma, not overly animal-like and very beautiful. It is perceptible in very small amounts and its fixation is so extreme that it seems incredible. Although it doesn’t substitute completely for the natural product, it is equal to it on the lasting properties. We can consider it outstanding and it imparts great elegance”.
Arctander has quite a bit to say about it – here are some extracts:
“Very soft, sweet and extremely tenacious, musky, but not animal, odor. The power is only fully realized when the material is diluted. An alcoholic solution containing 0.1% Muscone smells strongly of the material, not of alcohol. This is typical of the truly superior fixatives, including Exaltolide and Ambrettolide, and several of the new Oxalactone-musks.”
“Although Muscone is non-existing in many perfume laboratories, it is used discretely in a large number of fine perfumes. It takes considerable experimenting and time-consuming study of the finished (functional) products to fully estimate the effect of Muscone in a fragrance. It performs best when the perfumed product is applied to the human skin, and is therefore mainly found in luxury perfumes, powder perfumes, creme perfumes, etc., but rarely in bathoils, etc.”
“The human nose is notoriously poor in judging strength of powerful musks, and in discriminating between closely related macrocyclic musks. The synthetic Muscone is considered almost equal to the natural (laevo-) Muscone with respect to strength and performance.”