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What is Kasturi?

The Mellow Yet Mighty Musk

Everybody thinks of musk as manly or too strong of a fragrance, but you’ll be surprised that it’s actually soft and nuanced! Musk, common ingredient and a favorite among perfumers, is quintessentially animalic and yet uniquely individualistic to the wearer. It’s a great fixative, or in layman’s terms, a great stabilizer of sorts to hold the fragrance composition together and make it last longer. Why is musk such a special fragrance and what’s the mystery behind it?

Musk, also known as kasturi or deer musk, is an attar that’s originally derived from a male deer belonging to the Moschidae family. Characterized by their fang-like saber teeth, they are predominantly native to parts of Tibet, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Siberia, Mongolia and North Vietnam. These deer have a musk pod (gland) located in the abdomen area, used to attract their mates. Originally, kasturi was extracted by killing, but due to extensive poaching and a need for a sustainable and vegan alternative, today we only create synthetic and plant-based kasturi attars.

Kasturi is an aroma with contradicting attributes. The fragrance ranges from being sweet and powdery to rich and leather-like to even woody and spicy. Most notably when mixed in perfumes, its animalic nuance keeps oscillating until the volatile parts evaporate, and then reveals the final sensual and warm notes that are truly musky! In Islam, kasturi attar has also been a favorite of the Prophet as recorded in Hadith, and back in the ancient days, it was also generously sprinkled to the mortared walls of mosques during construction. Apart from being a memorable fragrance, kasturi attar was also used for its medicinal benefits in different cultures.

So, whether you’re a connoisseur of perfumes or not, you probably have one musk based fragrance in your collection. If not, you may browse through our collections here: Attar Set