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March 21, 2011


breathe 31

Loved Chowards candies/gums as a kid! Do they still make them? As a tea lover I am always on the lookout for floral scented teas. To date I have tried jasmine pearls, cherry blossom green, honeysuckle white and orchid oolong. I was very excited to see that Mandy Aftel sells fragrant teas on her website! Also, lavender infused chocolate I have tried, which is divine! Looking forward to more reviews like this one! (and as an aside: thanks Anne for introducing me to Sonoma Scent Studio-I'm in heaven and will be ordering samples soon!)


I got interested by the idea on #fumechat the other day so it's great to now read how they taste like. :)


A new definition of gourmand scents...


Hi rednails. Ha, it's true! Literally gourmand...


Hi Ines. I wish the musk Lifesavers were available in the States. (They're interesting!) You can get them online, but shipping is expensive, and they're usually only available in bulk. Not exactly conducive to experimenting...


Hi breathe31. Choward's candies are still available! You can get them online, and in some stores. I've seen them around, and have tasted them because I randomly found them somewhere. I'm going to review them soon. And yes, fragrant teas are a wonderful way to drink perfume, being perfume-like themselves. I bet Mandy's teas are great.


That. Is. Bizarre.

Okay, FINE, I like fragrant teas. And no objection to Choward's, or to nasturtium flowers in my watercress sandwiches or rose petals on my cake. But I draw the line at musk candies.

I think Vegemite tastes like what you'd have left after putting a big pot of beer through a reduction stage. Not a fan of that, either.

I'm in awe of you, eating musk and posting about it!!

Anna in Edinburgh

You've woken a dormant memory of kewra (screw-pine) essence, which is heavenly. I had a bottle a while back; you could dilute a measure and drink it, and it was blissfully refreshing on a hot day when I used sparkling chilled water.

I may not need it to combat the heat here but you've reminded me to seek it out again purely for the scent/flavour pleasure.

cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh


Oh, cmon, Mals. You could eat these! We're not talking about chocolate-covered scorpions here. ;-)


Wow, Anna. That sounds intense! Now I'm going to be off looking for screw-pine essence! It sounds, um...interesting. :-)


Oh amazing! As an Aussie I lived on Musk Sticks when I was a kid, and the experience also informed my understanding of musk in perfume!! So the likes of 'dirty' Musc Kublai Khan just blew my socks off (not in a particularly 'good' way mind you!) ... I always had this idea of sweet pastel sugar when I thought 'musk'.
Now we are going back, way back, about four decades...I know the Lifesavers are still recognisable; I wonder about the musk sticks (they are in the bargain basement packaging shown). I comment on a couple of blogs, and I sometimes think about adding something about musk lollies when the topic turns to musk...I had no idea they were limited to the far outposts!!


Marion, That is so fascinating to me, that your introduction to musk was through candy, so it was weird for you to smell it in perfume!

Some people are revolted by the idea of eating musk candy for precisely the opposite reason, because of the associations they have with perfume. (And even though the musk in the candy is synthetic, as it is in most modern perfumes, I'm sure some people don't like the idea of eating something that — even synthetically — replicates the smell of an animal's sexual glands.)

So I'm so curious — since you associated musk with candy, what was your first impression of MKK? That your childhood candy smell shouldn't be so "dirty?" Or...? (That's one of my favorite perfumes, by the way.)

Also, are there other brands of Musk Sticks? Please don't say yes, because now I'm going to have to get them for comparison. (I already fell down the perfume rabbit hole, now there's another!)

Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Id love to hear the answer re: MKK...


Another Aussie here! I learned just recently that musk sticks are not a worldwide phenomenon, so this post is very strange to me. While i'm yet to smell a perfume that reminds me at all of that lolly-musk scent, i'd love to find one! Thats a gourmand i could sink my teeth into...


Michele, Thanks for commenting! I think the cultural relativity of tastes is so fascinating. I grew up eating "strange" or "exotic" things because my family is from Vietnam, so there's almost nothing I won't try, taste-wise. (It's when we get into things like innards — tripe, brains, tongue, etc. — that I balk. Or the idea of eating insects or animals some people consider pets.)

But musk candies? BRING IT!

As for musk that smells like your lollies, maybe Jovan Musk or a drugstore musk? I mean, the candies use a pretty unsophisticated musk, like cheap incense almost.

Anna in Edinburgh

Just an update: you might find screw-pine listed as pandan or kewra or kevra flower essence or flower water, and it'll be found in Asian/Oriental grocery stores.

It is *very* fragrant. You might've experienced it already, on a steaming hot face cloth at the end of the meal in an Indian restaurant, perhaps? That distinctive fresh and floral cologne scent?

Now, If I could only recall where I bought mine, online, before ...

And are those Musk Candies suitable for vegetarians?? Might be calling to me too if they are!

cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh


Hi Anna, I did look it up (thank you!) and I'm going to go to an Indian food market and see if I can find it. It sounds amazing. (One site had a drink that combined real coconut water with this. Wow!) As for the Musk Lifesavers, there wasn't a list of ingredients, but I would venture to guess, as is the case with the Musk Sticks, it's just artificial flavor. I mean, nice perfume these days doesn't have real musk, I doubt a kid's candy will, so have at it. Are they available in Scotland?

Anna in Edinburgh

Hello there!

Sadly I don't think the Musk Candies will be readily available here, but I'll look!
Concerning the ingredients, I was wondering more about gelatine or other non-veggie ingredients being used in the sweeties because The Powers That Be just do that sort of thing to us veggie folk:-)

I'm sure you'll find lots to like in an Indian food market even if you draw a blank with kewra. (Eat before you go, to better enable you to resist temptation!)

cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

Fred Collinsworth

Yummy! Oh I can't help but crave for it. But is it safe for our teeth? I mean "the musk" word seems intriguing to me. But anyway, candy lovers like me should have our dentist by our side regularly to avoid cavities from penetrating. Remember, it's sweeter to eat with clean teeth!

Kat Black

I'm Aussie and grew up loving musk sticks and musk cachous (also called mini-musks, on which the lifesavers are based).

My Grandmother told me a story about musk flavour when I was a kid and asked her what it came from. She said that when she was a girl in the early 1900's, there was a flower that smelled and tasted like those lollies and that's when they first made musk cachous. She claimed that once cars became commonplace, the flower lost it smell and the flavour had to be produced synthetically.

It seems like a very bizarre story and I have never managed to find any other reference to it, but the Aussie "musk" flavour certainly does smell and taste more floral than animal-scent like musk-perfume.

She was a very keen gardener and knew the scientific name of every plant, so perhaps there was some basis to her story?

Kat Black

PS re vegetarian status, the chewy Musk Sticks often have gelatin, but the hard cachous, aka mini-musks don't. You should be able to buy them on eBay. Looks like the lifesavers don't have gelatin either, according to Nestle's site: http://www.nestle.com.au/OurProducts/Cat/Confectionery/Life_Savers/Sugar_Lollies/Musk.aspx - although who knows what the "flavour" is made from since it's such a mystery what it's meant to be :)


Hi Kat! Thanks for the interesting anecdote from your grandmother. I found something on the so-called musk flower on good ol Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musk_flower I wonder if this is the flower she was talking about? I don't know about cars taking the scent away from flowers - although that's an intriguing theory! - but I have heard people complain about breeding practices that take away a flowers potency. For example, I've read that certain American carnations no longer have the spicy, clovey notes that characterize true carnations because of certain cross-breeding practices. As for musk candies, I'm still impressed that Aussies eat musk candies! Seems very exotic to me. Thanks for stopping by!



what an exciting post! I am definitely going to get some of those musk candies to test. Australia, here I come..

To continue the series, I'd like to recommend you to try next some tar candies popular in Finland. Yes, I really do mean tar, that poisonous black goo used to waterproof boats, roofs and the likes. I don't really know what differentiates the bad stuff from the kind that can be eaten, but surely there is a difference, as tar scented products are both safe and popular up here in the North. We've got many brands of tar candies, tar maple suryp, tar soaps, shampoos, candles, room and sauna scents. To name but a few.

If you're interested, they can be ordered via the web:


Because tar is such a familiar scent to me, I recognise it in, for example, Knize Ten and Creed Epicea. :)

Great theme, I'm looking forward on reading more!



Thanks for the link, tuittumurmeli! Perhaps perfume has done a number on my head, but tar candy actually sounds kinda interesting if not good to me! :-)


I'm Australian, and I often enjoyed musk Life Savers and musk sticks as a kid.

If it weren't for the Internet, I probably would never have realised that musk-flavoured confectionery was something largely peculiar to us Aussies. As you say, it's a normal flavour in confectionery for us, and I would never have thought of it in terms as exotic as "eating perfume".

Something else apparently unique to Australia that might interest you: a blue heaven milkshake. You'll find a few relevant pictures by searching for "blue heaven milkshake" on Google Images. It's a deliciously distinct flavour that I've heard someone describe as "scenty". However, I wouldn't be surprised if people's perception of the blue heaven flavour were influenced by their expectations of how "blue" should taste.

It's summer here in Australia at the moment, and one of my favourite cooling drinks is to blend up a smoothie based on low-fat/low-sugar vanilla yoghurt, flavoured with some rosewater, and tinted with some blue food colouring (although the smoothie doesn't taste like a blue heaven milkshake). So, all I need now is some musk Life Savers to have with the rosewater smoothie, and I can enjoy both eating perfume and drinking flowers.

I suppose lotus-eating would be the next step...


Mark, a Blue Heaven Milkshake sounds heavenly! Im convinced you Aussies are just adventurous and fun. I read an article about your food scene (I cant remember which city), and it just made me want to go. Ive never been. Thanks for stopping by and I hope youre continuing to eat musky candies and drink blue milkshakes!

Linda Lund

Hi Michelle go to the body shop, they have a great variety of musk scents in Australia. In fact that was the first place I ever smelt musk as a perfume and loved it.
Musk lollies remind me of my mother, she always had a packet of musk life savers in her bag.


Thanks, Linda! I still think its exotic and cool that Aussies suck on musk lollies as children!

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