Musk Essential Oil: Side Effects, Contraindications And Benefits

Musk oil has a strong aroma and naturally comes from animal and vegetable sources, although for the care and protection that is given to musk-producing animals, there is synthetic musk.

It is used in very small amounts, this because its fragrance is strong and produces a great impact on the senses when diluted. It is widely used in aromatic, cosmetic and personal use products, as well as in perfumes, incenses, candles, among others.

The species in charge of providing the musky fragrance belong to both flora and fauna; However, in this sense, few are indicated for the extraction of musk or Musk.

Regarding the vegetal area, the producers of this fragrance are very scarce and in some plants, musk belongs to the ethereal oils, where the best known are those of angelica (Archangelica officinalis) and those of ambrette grains (Hibiscus Abelmoschus).

As for animals, certain species are responsible for producing substances that contain musk in their glands, or in other organs, as well as in the body’s humors, where the effect of this aroma is to attract the opposite sex, sometimes, This musky substance is secreted at moments that represent danger to the animal or to repel the enemy.

What is musk oil?

The genuine musk or Musk, is the secretion or odorous substance, which is found in the preputial follicles of the  Moschus moschiferus , a species of deer, larger than a goat, which is native to central Asia.

This secreted substance contains pheromones from animals, which are responsible for attracting the opposite sex, in the mating season.

The organ that contains it is a bag, long, approximately 9 to 10 cm, located under the male’s belly, very close to the genital parts (foreskin), whose product that contains it is a greasy, black-brownish humor.

The bags containing musk are exported, placed in sealed lead layers, in order to preserve their odoriferous properties.

It is highly treasured in the world of perfumery, for the properties and aroma it provides.

Musk has been used since ancient times, motivated by its aphrodisiac action and malleability when mixing with other aromas.

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Origin of musk oil or musk

Quality musk oil is of animal or chemical origin. Some characteristic animals produce this musk substance, which can be extracted.

However, the high cost and the protection of animal rights have contributed to the fact that musk oil of animal origin is characterized as a very rare product.

Most commercial musk oils are synthetically made based on chemical products, which reduces costs, and in turn, prevents excessive hunting of these animals.

Musk fragrances can be obtained from a variety of plants, but they do not have the strong, long-lasting, and binding components of animal-derived and chemical musks.

What are other names for musk oil?

Musk, Musk-bearer, Musk-bearer, Siberian-musk-bearer, Musk deer, Moschus moschiferus, Musk, Siberian-musk-bearer, Tonquin musk.

Musk oil characteristics

Musk oil is characterized by being a brown, volatile, bitter substance extracted from an excretory gland of the musk deer, it does not have a strong odor.

It can be used as a deodorant, it eliminates the smell of sweat and any other body odor, leaving a pleasant and floral fragrance.

Egyptian musk oil has a unique characteristic; it is strengthened by body heat, so that the body exudes it, releases more body heat, making it stronger and longer lasting, which is why it is said to be a slow release perfume.

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Structure and chemical composition of musk oil

Musk contains a large number of aromatic compounds, which makes it unique, difficult to recreate. It contains phenols, acids, aliphatic alcohols and waxes, the most important chemical compound in musk is Muscone , which is responsible for giving Musk its “musky” aroma, it contains 20% natural musk of muscona.

When distilled, musk produces the principles of muscona, muskone (0.3% to 2%), and normuscone. Muscone or 3-methylcyclopentadecanone, 1 is the key component of musk flavor, two androstane alkaloids were isolated from M. moschiferus musk and the structures revealed by two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance analysis. The structures were 3α-ureido-androst-4-en-17-one and 3α-ureido-androst-4-en-17β-ol.

Other compounds present in musk include steroids, paraffins, triglycerides, waxes, mucopyridine, nitrogenous substances, and fatty acids. Cyclopentadecanone is a synthetic compound that differs from muscone only in the absence of a methyl group.

How is musk oil extracted?

There are two methods of obtaining musk. In the first method, the trapped deer is killed in late winter or early spring and the gland is removed. Alternately, musk is collected from captive-bred deer. Musk is removed from the gland of immobilized animals, with the help of a special spoon, it is collected once or twice a year.

The whole dried gland (known as the pod) or the dried glandular secretions inside (musk grains) are used commercially as a perfume. Although traditionally derived from deer that had been slaughtered for the express purpose of musk gathering, the material today is largely sourced from deer specifically bred for musk production.

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Benefits and properties of musk oil

1. Emollient

Inside the Egyptian caves, there are images of figures of Egyptian women rubbing the oil all over the body; from what scientists have theorized, that musk oil helps keep skin hydrated and beautiful; so it is given antiseptic and cosmetic properties.

2. Insect and pest repellent

Musk oil, which can be used as an insect repellent, helps keep most insects, pests and flies away.

3. Anointing oil

The use of Egyptian musk oil for anointing purposes, is effective for massages, combined with other oils, it will provide relaxing and stimulating benefits, as well as therapeutic to heal wounds.

Properties of musk oil or Musk:

  • Due to its vitamin A content, the use of musk oil promotes cell regeneration.
  • Helps treat acne, fatty acids lock the moisture in the skin, keeping it hydrated and nourished, free of impurities, revitalizing it, giving it an even skin tone, with a smooth and supple appearance.
  • Alpha linolenic and linoleic acid help prevent signs of premature aging, fine lines, age spots and wrinkles, while preserving the elasticity of the skin.
  • It renews cells and penetrates the skin, thus helping to clear up scars, stretch marks and signs of burns.
  • Increases urine production and promotes the elimination of toxins, and salts deposited in the body, maintains good liver health.
  • The vitamin C content is beneficial in case of cold.
  • Relieves muscle, stomach and intestinal spasms, and in case of indigestion.
  • It is analgesic and promotes blood circulation, acts against joint pain, swelling and rheumatism.
  • Due to its magnesium content, it supports the immune system.
  • It has psychological effects, relieves anxiety states, regulates emotions; It is said to activate the seven chakras of the spine, when inhaled. Increases concentration and awareness.

Traditionally, musk has been used for many medicinal formulations in the ancient Indian medicinal system called Ayurveda , which is why it is mentioned in medicines such as Kasturi Bhairav ​​Ras to relieve fever, cough, mental problems, diseases of the cardiovascular system and nervous disorders.

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Musk oil uses

There are three kinds of musk: From China, which comes from Tibet and Tongking, From Siberia near the polar zone and From Bengal, a humid zone in the Indian jungle.

The one from Tibet and Tongking is the best; It is used in food due to its erotic properties, due to its pheromone content by the sexual glands that produce it.

In the west and east, musk is used in the production of perfumes.

However, Egyptian musk oil can be used as a flavoring for the home, as well as products for personal use such as soaps, shampoo, hand antibacterial, body cream, night creams, lotions.

In foods, musk is often used with nut, caramel, and fruit flavors.

In the Kama Sutra, the fragrance of musk is associated with the ideal, erotic and sensual woman.

In Muslim countries, women used to use synthetic musk, in order to perfume the house, clothes and the body; in the places where money was kept it was applied to disinfect and as a charm of prosperity.

The main function of musk or Musk oil is to act as a fragrance fixative in perfumes, due to this, it is very common to find it in the notes, which prolong its duration.

Musk oil or Musk in homeopathy

The use of musk oil in homeopathy would be indicated as a treatment against crisis of hysteria, obstinacy, effects that are very common in women and that lead to sexual repression, this oil will return that lost sexual impetus.

In the case of men, their action will be to eliminate that fear or dramatic fear, product of vague fears of an unwanted pregnancy, sexual disease or genital infection.

Musk oil or Musk in esotericism

Musk oil has been esoterically classified as a magical protector against negativity, because, according to ancient beliefs, it was believed to form a protective layer on the skin.

It is a highly valued substance to attract love and strengthen romantic relationships. so it is associated with the attraction between women and men and is widely used in love rituals.

Use of musk oil or musk during pregnancy

Among the compounds found in musk oil, derived from musk deer, they turn out to be highly lipophilic, causing accumulation of fat and mother’s milk; Although the use of musk oil is topically, its use should be cautious during pregnancy and lactation, since there are no proven toxicity effects.

Aromatherapy and musk oil

Musk oil has several aromatic components such as phenols, acids, aliphatic alcohols and waxes, the most important being Muscone, responsible for giving the aroma to musk.

Its use in aromatherapy is in  tantric rituals  (sexual yoga), it acts as a great sensory stimulant, which causes states of ecstasy and erotic desire.

It can be said that it is the perfume that has the greatest attractive and erotic action, its aroma is so penetrating, that 1 ounce of musk keeps its olfactory essence for dozens of years and one gram fills a room with that intense and penetrating aroma that you It takes days to evaporate, sometimes generating allergic reactions.

In ancient medicine it was used as a stimulant in episodes of weakness.

The nasal vomeric organ is an olfactory area in the nose, essential in sexual arousal, it is said to be associated with pheromones, which is why it supposes an intense action of musk (musk) in these areas.

The Egyptians, founders of aromatherapy, were the first to find a way to transform energy with oils.

Enjoying the fragrance that this oil emanates, directly from the bottle, or placing a few drops on a cotton cloth to use as steam, will promote a state of relaxation.

In aromatherapy, musk oil is a great help between spiritual practices, such as yoga and meditation, it can be diffused into the air with a vaporizer.

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How to make homemade musk oil?

The procedure for making musk or musk oil is very simple. The selection of essential oil is made according to the individual fragrance, so these are the required oils:



  1. A special glass container for perfume is required, approximately 8 oz.
  2. Add 4oz of jojoba oil and 1oz of ambrette seed oil (yields the fragrance of musk), it works as a base for the perfume.
  3. Place 5 drops of patchouli, rose, cedarwood and amber essential oil.
  4. Then add 10 drops of myrrh and frankincense essential oil.
  5. This combination allows Egyptian musk oil to have a fragrance with hints of frankincense, patchouli and rose add floral scent, and cedar essential oil adds a woody scent.

Contraindications of musk oil or musk

Direct topical application of musk or musk oil, due to its naturally derived compounds, can cause a skin hypersensitivity reaction, such as pigmented dermatitis or photoallergic contact dermatitis, with the use of fragrances containing musk.

Egyptian musk oil is classified as a safe perfume for adults, however, it should be noted that the products sold are made of synthetic musk or white musk, of which there are three types:

  • Aromatic Nitro Musk Compounds
  • Polycyclic Musk Compounds
  • Macrocyclic Musk Compounds

The above two types of synthetic musk oil compounds can be potential carcinogens. Therefore, it is recommended to use musk products made from Macrocyclic musk compounds .

Synthetic musk oil has been shown to be photosensitive and even neurotoxic (nitro-musks), and is believed to cause great damage to the body, by accumulation and in the environment due to polycyclic musks.

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Nutritional and medicinal value of musk oil

Musk obtained from the musk glands of the Himalayan musk deer, mentioned in Ayurveda; It is used to relieve fever and treat cardiovascular conditions.

In Unani medicine (western medeval medicine), musk is used to treat coughs and rapid heartbeat.

Musk can be used as a cardiotonic, neuroprotective, antitussive and anti-inflammatory.

As a nutritional value that musk oil has is its action on the psychological area, because it calms anxiety and stress, favors the nervous system.

Musk oil datasheet

  • Common name: Musk oil or Musk.
  • Chemical composition: Phenols, acids, aliphatic alcohols and waxes, Muscone , responsible for giving Musk its “musky” aroma, natural musk 20% muscona, muskone (0.3% to 2%) and normuscone. Muscone or 3-methylcyclopentadecanone, vitamin A, C.
  • Part of where it is extracted: Animal origin, bag located between the deer genitalia.
  • Characteristics: brown, bitter, volatile substance with a characteristic aroma
  • Uses: Cosmetic, perfumery, medicinal, aromatherapy, culinary in certain cases.
  • Contraindications: Those made based on nitro musk and polycyclic musk compounds can be carcinogenic; photosensitivity, neurotoxic.
  • Precautions: It is recommended to use caution during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

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Musk-secreting animals

Among the animals that produce Musk we find:

  • The ox or bison of Canada.
  • Musk’s Gazelle.
  • The turtle of Canada.
  • A type of wild cat called the Ethiopian Civet.
  • The Musk-Rat that lives in the backwaters of North America.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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