Great to hear from you, and thanks for your post.
For me it is often beneficial to determine what something is not
which makes clear what it is
Unfortunately the term 'musk' has long been convoluted by the fragrance industry and now it is regularly accepted that such things as 'white musk,' 'black musk' and 'red musk' exist which are in reality musk profiles and not actual musk. So as a general rule whenever fancy adjectives are added to the musk you can assume they're either 100% synthetic or have been adulterated.
In the industry now, 'natural musk' can mean the 'musk' from the civet cat, or even the hyrax... There's 'Egyptian Musk' 'African Musk' and many many others. But just like the mainstream designers have 'vetiver' perfumes that don't contain any vetiver, and 'oudh' perfumes that don't contain any oud, so to is the market rife with 'musks' that don't contain any real deer musk and are instead produced from the many alternatives that are said to resemble musk.
So unfortunately nowadays the term musk is most often referring to synthetics and 'musk' scents made with civet or the like and not real musk.
One indication for spotting fake granules or at least fake pods is their shape. They should be oblong and flat, not spherical.
They should look like this:
Not like this
(the balls next to this bottle are supposedly musk pods)
View attachment 1144
Not like this:
Personally if a source uses images like the later two above I automatically disqualify them as a reliable source as they are using fake pods in there images, and likely in their 'musk' products themselves.
Ensar has talked about the quota of Siberian musk deer in his video "Deer Musk, Smell or spell
" that the Russian government allows for annually, and I believe it's around 17,000 so there is a window of opportunity to source genuine granules.
I would speculate that the best chance is earlier in the year around April after the winter hunting season before the Perfume Houses buy it all up.