There are some great sources of information about musk from many of the blogs of people involved in this project that is being put on by the Natural Perfumers Guild. One of the main people orchestrating this is Elena at Perfume Shrine. Besides having a tremendous amount or articles about musk she has also written much about Aloeswood and Oud and is, in general, just a tremendous storehouse of information about perfumes and scents, all of which are well written and oh so well researched.
Be sure to check out the blogs of the various perfumers(at the Perfume Shrine link above), many who have writings on their journeys with the use of musks. Ambrosia Jones come to mind. If you have not read Avery Gilbert’s blog, or better yet, read his book “What the Nose Knows” you are missing a great resource on scents written from the science side. Very real, with tongue firmly in cheek, lots of humor and backed up with real world knowledge. Something of a rare combination in this very PR driven field of perfumes and scents in general. Anya McCoy ‘s blog has tons of information and much about the behind the scenes fight to save the use of the basic building blocks of perfume from way too many assorted government agency’s. She is also the guiding light of the Guild and has a tremendous amount of information on natural perfumes.
I am hoping to get together a listing of musk scented incense early next week (of which there are many) that range in price from the very reasonable to the not at all reasonable. One thing about musk in incense that I have found is that it really depends as to what else it is mixed with as to how it’s going to affect the overall scent of the incense. Pretty much all the classic kneaded styles from ancient Japan used musk as an ingredient, but given the different proportions in each formula that might not be obvious. Also many of the high end sticks of today imitate (to a degree) those older scents. So the musk can act as a fixative or base to anchor all the other scents or it might be used in such a way as to take center stage. I am not at all sure how it works in the Tibetan style incenses, but I do know it’s in some and hopefully Mike and Steve will chime in. Oh yes, real musk, and pretty much anything that has that quality of scent is expensive. So it can add a lot to the price of incense. This means that while, yes indeed, you are paying for that oh so nice Kyara/Aloeswood scent in the mix, you are also paying for the addition of musk or perhaps ambergris and a few other olfactory gems. All of which are getting harder to source as old stocks run out. Price goes up.
OK, back to sitting in the sun at the ORS High Altitude Mobile Research Station here in Lake Tahoe. Now, if I could just remember where I left the BBQ sauce….Ross