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.
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Key Facts In This Video
Companies have been using castoreum from beavers' castor sacs as flavoring for more than 80 years. (0:23)
To harvest castoreum, people capture beavers and milk their castor glands. (1:08)
About 300 lbs (136 kg) of castoreum are consumed each year in America. (1:23)