Maria Zofia Walczak, Angelika Ziaja, Magdalena Nowak

Natural musk and synthetic musk analogues

Introduction. As far back as ancient times, musk was a prized fragrance raw material, eagerly used in cosmetics, providing products with a distinctive and unique scent. Natural musk extracted from male musk deer (Moschus berezovskii, Moschus sifanicus, Moschus moschiferus) was an important ingredient in recipes of traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine. Descriptions of musk as an ingredient in compound preparations used for resuscitation, improving blood circulation and relieving pain are found in surviving formulas. Due to the protection of musk deer species, synthetic musk analogues have been introduced to the perfume market, which exhibit similar fragrance properties to natural musks at significantly lower production costs. Currently, galaxolide, tonalide and musk T are most commonly used in the cosmetics industry.

Objective. The purpose of this study is to characterize natural musk and synthetic musk analogues in terms of assessing the safety of these compounds and their effects on the human body and the environment.

Research Methodology. The paper reviewed scientific databases such as Scopus, PubMed, PubChem, Google Scholar, Wiley Online Library, Web of Science using keywords such as natural musk, synthetic musk analogues, muscone, galaxolide, tonalide, musk T, safety profile, environment, adverse effects, pharmacological effects, GHS classification. Nitro, polycyclic, macrocyclic and alicyclic compounds were selected as synthetic musk analogues.

Results. Synthetic musk analogues differ in physicochemical properties, persistence, bioaccumulation capacity in the human body and the environment, and safety profile.

Conclusions. Given the widespread use of synthetic musk analogues in many cosmetic and household products, physicochemical properties, ability to bioaccumulate in adipose tissue and human milk, and the long time required for degradation in the environment, synthetic musk analogues should be the subject of advanced research, especially for safety assessment.

Keywords: natural musk; synthetic musk analogues; safety; toxicology; environment.

© Farm Pol, 2024, 80(2): 91–100

Natural musk and synthetic musk analogues

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