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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Musc by Guerlain c1800s

Musc by Guerlain: launched in the mid 1800s.

Fragrance Composition:

We do not know Guerlain's actual formula for their Musc perfume, but I have provided some antique recipes from the same era to give you an idea.

Essence of Musk

Tincture of musk, of various strengths. The formula given above (tincture of musk) is that of the Dublin Pharmacopoeia, 1826. Guibourt directs 1 part of musk to 12 of proof spirit. Other authorities direct a smaller quantity of musk. A French work gives the following: Musk in the bag, cut small 6 oz., civet 1 oz., tincture of musk seed 7 pints; digest in the sun, or in a warm place for 2 months.

Common Essence of Musk
  • 3/4 ounce grain-musk
  • 1 quart rectified spirit (95 per cent.)
  • 2 fluid ounces finest essence of ambergris
Digest as before. Excellent; but greatly inferior to the others. Essence of musk is an agreeable and powerful perfume, and is greatly esteemed in the fashionable world. Its odor is so durable that articles scented with it will retain the fragrance for years.

Fine Essence of Musk

  • 1/4 ounce finest grain-musk
  • 1 drachm civet 
  • 1 drachm ambergris 
  • 1/2 pin strongest essence d'ambrette
 Instead of the ambergris, 1 to 1 1/2 fluid ounces of essence of ambergris may be added after decantation. The quantity of civet ordered should on no account be exceeded. This produces the finest quality of the Paris houses.

The product of each of the above is of very fine quality; but that of above is the very finest that is made, and such as is seldom sold, except by the high-class perfumers, who obtain for it a very high price. It is powerfully and deliciously fragrance.

Other recipes had floral notes thrown in the mix:

Extrait de Musc

  • 2 pints extract of rose
  • 1 pint tincture of musk
  • 1/4 pint tincture of civet
  • 1/4 pint tincture of ambergris
  • 1/4 pint tincture of ambrette
  • 1 oz tincture of storax
  • 4 oz rosewater, triple

Tincture of Musk.

Rub 1/2 ounce musk in a warm mortar with a little sugar; macerate for a month in 7 ounces alcohol containing 1 ounce each tincture of ambergris and tincture of vanilla. Filter thoroughly and then add a few drops of attar of roses.


The extrait was housed in the carre flacon.

Fate of the Fragrance:

The fragrance was discontinued sometimes in the early 1900s.

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