For qualitative and quantitative analysis of musk ambrette and 4 other nitromusk compounds (musk ketone, moskene, musk tibetine, musk xylene) thin layer chromatography (TLC) and high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) techniques were developed. By TLC a reasonable separation was obtained and the limit of detection was 2-5 x 10(-7) g. By HPLC the separation was even better and the limit of detection for musk ambrette was 2 x 10(-9) g. The correlation between the amount of musk ambrette/ketone and the HPLC peak was linear. The TLC and HPLC techniques were used to demonstrate the presence of nitromusks in several commercial products, mainly aftershave lotions and eau-de-toilettes preparations. By ultraviolet spectrophotometry, absorption spectra were studied for the nitromusk compounds. The absorption maximum for musk ambrette was at 264 nm, that for moskene at 253 nm. Photopatch testing was carried out in 13 patients photoallergic to musk ambrette. Only 3 patients also reacted to other nitromusks. Photoallergey to musk ketone and musk tibetine is reported for the first time.