Name for the dried, powdery secretion from the gland between navel and penis of the male musk deer (musk deer). It is possibly derived from the ancient Indian term "muskah" (testicles). The substance has structural similarities to pheromones (sexual scents), which is why it is said to have an aphrodisiac effect. Mainly responsible for the slightly sweet, animal aroma is the oily substance Muscon with a share of up to 2%. However, the term "musk" is also used for glandular secretions of other animals (musk ox, musk ram, muskrat, musk duck) and plant juices (from musk juggler flower, musk mallow) with a similar odour, although it is "false musk". Today, musk is mostly produced synthetically and used in the perfume and cosmetics industry.
Musk is a typical aroma in wines aged in French Allier oak or American oak. The term used to describe wines is musqué (musky). The grape varieties Muscatel and Traminer have this tone. Some are called "musqué mutation" or have "musqué" in their name. These are Chasselas Blanc Musqué (Mutation Chasselas), Muscat Précoce de Saumur and Chardonnay Musqué (Mutation Chardonnay). The Italian DOCG red wine Brachetto d'Acqui from Piedmont is also said to have a musky aroma.
Musk used to be a general term for strongly aromatic substances, which also leads to confusion. Among other things, musk is sometimes equated with muscatel. This is also encouraged by the fact that nutmeg is derived from the Latin term "nux muscata", which means "musk-scented nut". The two notes can also occur together, especially in the so-called bouquet varieties. See also under aroma substances.