Castoreum Comes From Beaver Butts And Goes Into Perfume

Beavers spray castoreum from their castor sacs when they're marking their territory. Humans, however, use the secretion in a different way: they harvest it as a perfume ingredient. Castoreum has a pleasant scent that many describe as musky, leathery, and similar to vanilla. Historically, the substance has also been used as food additives, though this practice is now rare.

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Companies have been using castoreum from beavers' castor sacs as flavoring for more than 80 years. 00:23

  2. To harvest castoreum, people capture beavers and milk their castor glands. 01:08

  3. About 300 lbs (136 kg) of castoreum are consumed each year in America. 01:23

Written by Curiosity Staff November 30, 2015

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