What is Musk?

musk |məsk|noun 

1 a strong-smelling reddish-brown substance that is secreted by the male musk deer for scent-marking and is an important ingredient in perfumery.• a similar secretion of another animal : civets habitually deposit tiny amounts of musk.

2 (also musk plant or musk flower) a relative of the monkey flower that was formerly cultivated for its musky perfume, which has been lost in the  development of modern varieties. • Genus Mimulus, familyScrophulariaceae: several species, in particular M. moschatus.

ORIGIN late Middle English : from late Latin muscus, from Persianmušk, perhaps from Sanskrit muṣka ‘scrotum’ (because of the similarity in shape of a musk deer’s musk bag).

 

Antonio Aresco

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