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What is Musk Deodorant?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 21, 2024
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Musk perfumes and colognes were originally made from animal products, with the main ingredient taken from glands of musk deer, musk rats, musk ox, and others. The process requires killing the animals, so scents used to make cologne, perfume, and musk deodorant today, tend to be plant-based or more commonly, synthetic. These products may be referred to as “white musk.” While musk oil is very strong, sometimes overpowering, the subtler musk fragrances tend to be more popular. Some musk cologne and perfume brands also offer musk deodorant.

Deodorant, different from antiperspirant in the way it works, comes in a variety of formulas and scents. Generally, deodorant kills bacteria that can create odor, while also offering a pleasant fragrance. While some people are apprehensive about using antiperspirants and deodorants, it is simple to check the label to ensure that a product doesn’t contain ingredients that may be cause for concern.

When it comes to deodorant scents, musk deodorant is quite popular, as many people are drawn to the musk fragrance. It tends to work well with many types of body chemistry. Due to its animal nature, or gamey scent, musk is considered by some to have an erotic or sensual quality. Others just find a light musk scent more appealing than some of the other strong or flowery aromas that are available. While it may not be made from natural products any more, musk deodorant tends to have a natural scent instead of a fake or chemical smell.

Musk deodorant is available in solid, stick, spray deodorant, and roll-on formulas. It comes in many brands, sizes, and price ranges. It is offered by top of the line perfumeries as well as drugstore in-house brands, so there is an option for nearly every lifestyle and budget.

Popular brands of men’s and woman’s deodorants alike offer their products in a musk fragrance. In fact, gift sets can be purchased that combine perfume or cologne, aftershave or lotion, body spray or body wash, and scented deodorant. Instead of mixing many scents, using a number of personal care items that share the same scent can provide a more subtle aroma.

As with myriad products today, there is some controversy over synthetic musks found in colognes, perfumes, and musk deodorant. There may be allergic reactions to some compounds. While such controversies may create concern, each consumer should do some research and make his or her own informed decision.

BeautyAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By runner101 — On Dec 03, 2011

I personally have smelled some men’s musk deodorants that smell awesome, whereas the women’s musk deodorants smell not as wonderful to me.

I guess what makes the women's musk deodorant smell worse to me is that it seems like they add other/different fragrances that mask the musk smell, and,in my opinion, clash with the musk smell.

I love the smell of musk so much that I have a car air freshener that smells like a man with a lot of musk deodorant and/or cologne is in the car with me. This smell kind of makes me smell safe and strong, I don't really know why, I guess because it seems more masculine than feminine.

I would love if they would make more musky women's deodorant. I would just use the men's musky deodorant, but most men's deodorant feels strange on my hairless armpits.

By aLFredo — On Dec 03, 2011

I have not tried a musk deodorant before. I have mostly stuck with the "original clean" scent. The one thing I have yet to find is a deodorant that truly kills the bacteria that leaves the gross odor.

This being said:

Does anyone know of a deodorant and/or antiperspirant or musk deodorant and/or antiperspirant that truly kills the bacteria that leaves the gross odor? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am to the point I almost want to go to the doctor about it, but I would rather hear from you all first. Thank you for your time in this pressing matter.

Happy smells to you all!

By geekish — On Dec 02, 2011

That is pretty awful that all those musk animals used to be killed just for their scent. It is also weird that their glands secreted something so appealing to humans.

I think with humans’ favoring the scent of other animals and going to extent to kill for it, goes to show how greedy some humans were. It also goes to show how wasteful we were. I mean if the animal was being killed for nourishment and other reasons, then that is one thing, but for something as unnecessary as smelling “good”, that is ridiculous.

This also goes to show that a lot of us probably like a lot of things just because they seem unattainable. Once we get them, the value, to most of us, drops considerably, and we are onto the next materialistic thing to fight over/strive for.

For instance, I get excited every time I buy stuff from the store, but a few minutes after getting home with the items, my excitement usually dies. Not everyone is like this, but some of us are.

By Mykol — On Dec 02, 2011

@John57 - I am not familiar with some of the newer scents, but have worn Aviance night musk for many years.

It never fails that I will get compliments on how good I smell when I wear this scent. It has a warm, sexy scent that I never get tired of wearing.

I wish they also made a deodorant that would match the scent, but I have never been able to find one.

Sometimes I think the scent of your deodorant can clash with your perfume, so I like to wear a musk scented deodorant when I wear musk perfume.

The musk deodorants are not quite as easy to find. Fortunately the same company makes a deodorant in a different musk scent, and I like to use that since it doesn't take away from the scent of the musk perfume.

By John57 — On Dec 01, 2011

I have always loved the smell of a light musk, and am surprised that it smells so good when you think about where the original scent comes from.

How can something that comes from the glands of musk deer, musk rats and ox smell so good?

In the past I have always preferred the slightly sweet smell of Jovan musk. This has been around for quite a while, and I am looking for a different musk scent.

I know that there is a wide variation of the type of musk scents you can get. Does anyone have any recommendations for other musk scents they like?

By lonelygod — On Nov 30, 2011

I have the Dolce and Gabbanna Light Blue for men and I find it to have a lighter musk scent than the women's perfume. I am not sure if that is just me, but I definitely like matching it with the Dolce and Gabbana deodorant. The Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue for men line has a number of products, so you don't have to worry about choosing the wrong scent.

Also, if you don't want to wear cologne, or an entire matching line, there is also the great Jovan musk deodorant you can get, which provides enough scent for an entire day. I find it best for when I am just going to work and want a hint of musk.

By Sara007 — On Nov 30, 2011

@manykitties2 - I have the Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue perfume and it is great. For me the fruity and flowery scent really sticks out the most, though the hint of musk is still there.

If I were you, I would stick with unscented bath products and deodorant, as I find mixing too much stuff together really messes up the scent of the perfume. I don't have allergies to perfumes, but too much of a good thing still makes me sneeze. I think when you are paying a lot for a quality perfume you shouldn't try and match other things with it, just let it stand alone.

By manykitties2 — On Nov 29, 2011

Has anyone tried the Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue for women?

I have been looking at different perfumes, but as I already use a musk deodorant spray I don't want to go for scent overkill. Nothing is worse I think than having everyone sneeze around you.

The Dolce and Gabbana perfume appeals to me because of the hint of granny smith apple in it and the undertone of musk. I really like the mix of scents and would be willing to switch to other non-scented products if you thought layering scents would be too much. It is hard to tell myself, as I love strong scents.

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