Castoreum Comes From Beaver Butts And Goes Into Perfume

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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.


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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