Sometimes the ageing classics get overlooked. It dawned on me that there is one perfume that I have been wearing for at least twenty five years and yet I haven’t reviewed it yet.
I first came across Body Shop White Musk at the glorious and much pined for (by me) Perfume Bar that every Body Shop used to have years ago. For those who have youth on their side and cannot remember this wonderful creation, please indulge me as I go down Memory Lane.
In the 80s and 90s, each Body Shop had a Perfume Bar consisting of large glass jars with narrow necks, and long glass dipping sticks in each one. The jars would be on a circular stand, surrounded by eager customers, sniffing and testing. The happy customer (i.e a younger me) would dip, dab and sniff until finding a scent she or he could not live without. The nice ladies at the counter would then fill a little plastic refillable bottle for you to take home, for a very reasonable price.
For many years I had tiny plastic 15ml and 30ml bottles of such much missed gems as Japanese Musk, Mostly Musk, and White Musk (sensing a theme?). I was not alone. My mother loved “Annie” and always carried it in her handbag, and “Dewberry” was practically The Smell of the 80s.
Sadly all but a tiny few are discontinued, but if the Body Shop were ever to create this mirage of happiness again, I would be their most loyal customer. How I wish they would bring it back.
This review is for White Musk Oil. You will see that it is not for the White Musk EDT, Sheer spray, or for any of its flankers such as Libertine. I find them all too light and fleeting. White Musk Oil has a particular staying power that I have not encountered with the EDT or flankers, or in fact any of today’s Body Shop fragrances. A dab of White Musk Oil on the neck, crook of elbow and wrist and you are set up for an entire day.
It’s subtle enough not to offend in a small office, and lasting enough not to have to top up in the day. One of my favourite things about this oil is that a 30ml bottle lasts me a year. The Body Shop website often has half price offers on, which can make this even more of a bargain.
So what of the fragrance itself? Well according to the Body Shop website, this has notes of Lily, Iris, Rose and Vanilla. Personally I get Musk and maybe a very faint background of Lily, but no Rose or Vanilla and no cold hearted Iris.
I am shameless about never having grown out of it. Many people see it as student perfume they have left behind, but I have had more misty eyed compliments about this than about any other perfume I have ever worn.
I often forget I’m wearing it and spray another fragrance over the top, but I find this just makes both fragrances smell even better. It’s close to skin: people will get a waft when you hug them or lean over them, but they won’t faint like dominoes when you get in the lift.
You may well find a man sniffing nostalgically to himself and remembering his first girlfriend though.
This is proof, if proof were needed, that you don’t need big bucks to smell good.