Here's the answer: White musk is actually a name for a family of synthetic (organically synthesized) aromas that have a musk-like smell. Less expensive than natural musks, and less of a threat to the animals who produce traditional musks, man-made musks like fixolide, habanolide, galaxolide and ambrettolide (we need a scenteurolide) are increasing in popularity in everything from fragrances to cleaning products. Wikipedia writes: "It was obtained by Baur in 1888 by condensing toluene with isobutyl bromide in the presence of aluminium chloride, and nitrating the product. It is a symtrinitro-butyl (?) toluene. Many similar preparations have been made, and it appears that the odour depends upon the symmetry of the three nitro groups."
For me, white musk is one of my favorite notes due to the soothing, smooth, second-skin quality. It seems fitting that these chemicals are "white" as the resulting imagery (to MY nose/brain anyhow) is "clean" and "soapy". Quite often, white musk notes are paired with soft florals to create an airy composition. Generally it is these musks that extend a scent's longevity.
Some of my favorite White Musk scents include:
- Comptoir Sud Pacifique Musc Alize (Cristalle de Musc)
- Calvin Klein Truth
- Emporio Armani White He
- Jil Sander Man Pure
- L'Eau d'Issey pour Femme
- L'Artisan Passage d'Enfer
- Mugler Cologne
Why is White Musk, white? Any idea?
Information courtesy of Osmoz.com and Wikipedia.com