Deer musk is a substance with a persistent odor, obtained from the caudal glands of the male musk deer.
Although more commonly referred to as “musk”. That term itself is often used to describe a wide variety of “musky” substances from other animals such as the African civet (“civet musk”) or various synthetic musks whose compound exhibits some character of deer musk.
The etymology of the name musk, originating from Indian Sanskrit मुस्कस् muṣká, (‘“small testicle”) via Middle Persian مشک mušk, Late Greek μόσχος (moskhos), Late Latin muscus, Middle French musc and Middle English muske, hints at its trade route.
Musk deer—more commonly known as Kasturi in India—of the Himalayas is one of the most endangered species in the region. Scent glands from these deer can fetch thousands of rupees and are used for manufacturing perfume and traditional medicine.