Tag Archives: Body Shop White Musk

National Fragrance Day: A Round up of the best Nostalgia Scents

#smellfie
#smellfie

Today is National Fragrance Day! I hope you’re all wearing something that makes you feel fabulous. I can’t make my mind up and have about five on each arm. Check out my #smellfie! Jolly hard without a selfie stick.

National Fragrance Day is the perfect time to look at the role that our sense of smell plays throughout our lives. Carrying on the theme of scent memory, I have rounded up ten of what I feel are the most evocative and triggering scents around. Smelling the fragrances below is like using a time machine. If ten scents could tell my life story, it would be these.

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1. Library of Fragrance Baby Powder

Although I never used baby powder on my children, the smell of this brought back what I fondly call The Wet Wipe Years. Little peachy baby bottoms and those chubby hands that gripped my finger- all brought back in an instant. They were the most magical years of my life. I have forgotten the torture of sleeplessness. All I remember is how entranced I was with everything they did. And yes, I was a crashing baby bore and I don’t care.

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2. What I Did On My Holidays 4160 Tuesdays

This fragrance from Sarah McCartney captures the smell of peppermint rock, sun lotion and the unique vinyl smell that says “seventies caravan interior”. Despite it’s playfulness, it’s worth taking seriously. However, it definitely wouldn’t be a bad thing to accessorize this with a Kiss Me Quick hat.

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3. Library of Fragrance Grass

I once described this as smelling like fairytale grass. This is the opulent green grass that was coveted by the The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Sweet, juicy and green, this is a knockout on a hot day. An honourable mention must go to Library of Fragrance Tomato which took me back to my late grandfather’s greenhouse faster than a TARDIS.


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4. Christian Dior Poison

Although I never wore this myself, one sniff transports me back to the sixth form common room in 1987 when Poison was still new and much beloved of my fellow sixth form girls. It was indisputably iconic and despite me not liking it at the time, one sniff today sends me into raptures that make think of Alexis Carrington Colby Dexter. More than any other fragrance around at the time, Poison WAS the Eighties.

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5. Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey

In a similar vein the Nineties could be summed up by one fragrance. Most of my friends smelled of it and I can never smell  L’Eau D’Issey without thinking of those carefree years in London. I wore Chanel Cristalle unwaveringly during this era, but I remember what my friends smell like more than what I smelled like. No responsibilities, very few mobile phones and dog eared copies of Time Out to get my social life in order.

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6. Library of Fragrance Salt Air

This is a magical fragrance that does exactly what it promises. This is the salty air of the harbour in Tenby, without the fish. It has that unique tang of sea spray and seasides. Refreshing and addictive, Salt Air will take you back. And make you fancy a bag of chips from the paper.

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7. Cacharel LouLou

There I was, arriving at Exeter University in October 1988, having marinated myself in LouLou to tell this new world I was coming. You couldn’t miss me. It’s ironic that I thought Poison was too strong, but wore half a gallon of LouLou to breakfast. Belated apologies to my fellow diners.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Rex Features (1350527r) Anita Roddick of the Body Shop Various
Photo by Rex Features

8.The Body Shop White Musk

This is another Eighties scent I wore, which along with Dewberry, scented every bus, train, home, school and High Street throughout the decade. I yearn for the long gone Body Shop Perfume Bar. Huge bell jars of perfume oils with long glass dipping sticks. Sit and sniff and then go up and get a little plastic bottle filled from the counter. Sadly there are no plans to ever bring it back, but think how popular it would be if someone did! (hint, hint). Out of every perfume I have ever worn, this gets the most misty eyed comments.

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9. Miller Harris Jardin D’Enfance Collection

A beautiful capsule collection of three scents inspired by childhood memories of gardens. It’s spot on too: in Cassis D’un Feuille there’s earthy tomato and blackcurrant and fern. In Coeur de Jardin there’s pear, flower petals and moss. Poirier d’un Soir is very, very pear indeed, and has a lovely innocence about it.

19/10/2012 Product photography for Local Morsels web magazine which showcases local products and suppliers in the Bradford on Avon and Bath area.

10. Christmas

And finally, let’s not forget Christmas. For a trip right back to the Christmases of childhood, Serge Lutens Arabie is a rich gourmand that is saturated with rich dried fruit like my mother’s whisky drenched Christmas cake. It also smells very much like Nigella’s Black Cake, in which the fruit is so drunk it has to spend a night in the cells. If you can’t get hold of any, then Library of Fragrance Gingerbread or Fireplace will give you that fireside moment that says “is it cooked yet Mum? I don’t mind it warm.”

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Stockists:

All Library of Fragrance scents are available from the Library of Fragrance website. Prices range from £9.99-£15.00. 4160 Tuesdays What I Did on My Holidays is available from the 4160 Tuesdays website. Christian Dior Poison is available from Debenhams, Amazon UK and John Lewis. Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey is available from allbeauty.com, Boots and John Lewis. Cacharel LouLou is available from Boots and allbeauty.com to name but a few. The Body Shop White Musk is available from The Body Shop. The Miller Harris Jardin D’Enfance range is available from the Miller Harris website.  Serge Lutens Arabie is available from allbeauty.com and Escentual.

Photo credits: Smellfie and photo of me and Leo- my own. Photo of misshapen lollies by Alison Oddy for World of Oddy. Photo of Christmas cake from www.localmorsels.co.uk. Photo of green grass from ravishingraw.com.  Photo of Three Billy Goats Gruff from Goodreads.com. Photo of Anita Roddick by Rex Features. Photo of sea- my own. Photo of Alexis Carrington www.der-denver-clan.de.

Estee Lauder Knowing: A Glorious Chypre Hiding on the High Street

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Many moons ago, when I was at university, a fellow student wore Estee Lauder Knowing.  She was also eighteen like me, and I felt it was wayyy too old for her. My Mum also wore it at the time and she was ancient- forty years old! (Three years younger than I am now).  I remember thinking it was OK for Mum to wear as she was “old” but not for my eighteen year old friend to wear it.

Fast forward 25 years and I am wearing Knowing today.  It’s a whole different story. I have a bit of a thing for greeny  retro chypres and Knowing doesn’t disappoint.  It opens with a full on blast of aldehydes that I initially thought nobody should be subjected to before cocktail hour.  However, after an hour, this becomes a wearable daytime chypre and it’s still there ten hours later.

Knowing makes its presence felt immediately: there is bergamot, aldehydes and green notes in the opening.  However thankfully, I could find none of the melon described (phew!).  It’s the base notes that are a real treat: patchouli, oakmoss and vetiver. In fact, all my favourites are in today, “Hello at the back!”

It’s almost as if Knowing was made with me in mind.  Not only greeny aldehydes, but then oakmoss and  a musty,  woody finish.  I adore it and despite its wide availability, it knocks hundreds of other High Street scents into a cocked hat.

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As for my fellow student back in 1988 (the year of its launch), she was way ahead of her time and really Imageonto something, whilst little old me was still wafting round in either LouLou or  Body Shop White Musk (which I still do sometimes, just for old times sake).

Stockists

Estee Lauder Knowing is widely available on the High Street and online.  Try  allbeauty.com for the best price ( at time of posting).

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Alyssa Ashley Musk: A Pocket Money Perfume

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 Alyssa Ashley Musk  has been around since cavemen, or so it feels.  Cavemen knew a thing or two about the attraction of scent. Musk is so classic it’s almost a cliché, and Alyssa Ashley Musk is no exception.

This is a delightful and rather simple musk.  It’s warm on the skin, and has a clean innocence: there’s nothing dirty or civety to see here; this is no Worth Courtesan (that stuff is filthy!).

I may be trying to compensate for reviewing a £300 bottle of perfume earlier today (Marc Jacobs Ivy £299 a bottle). Maybe that’s why I am singing the praises of this happy drugstore classic that remains eminently affordable and, I am reliably informed, pretty much the same as it ever was. Many a happy hippie smelled of this during the 70s, and I’m all for a bit of nostalgia.

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So what makes this different from other musks?  Well it’s less honeysuckle than Jovan White Musk, which is honey-sweet.  It’s a little similar to The Body Shop White Musk, but smells thinner. It’s not as floral or high pitched as Avon Soft Musk, and it smells a million times better than Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan, which smells of  old roll up cigarettes in a dirty ashtray. (See my review . Phew!).

Alyssa Ashley Musk is currently available for only £8.99 for a 100ml Eau parfumee cologen spray on Allbeauty.com (formerly Cheap Smells, and one of my favourite scent sites). There is always room in my bag for a drugstore classic.

What’s your favourite drugstore classic? Or Cheapie from the Chemist (if you’re in the UK)?

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Avon Week: Avon Soft Musk

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Avon Soft Musk was created in the 80s and is a rare thing indeed: a perfume that is good quality, popular and excellent value for money.

Every perfume wardrobe should have a Musk. There are many to choose from, varying in quality and price, with the cheapest not necessarily being the worst by a long shot. Before Sarah Jessica Parker created the excellent Lovely, she layered Comme Des Garcons Avignon with an Egyptian perfume oil bought from a street vendor, and  an El Cheapo Bonne Bell Musk from a drugstore. If cheap Musk is good enough for her, it’s certainly good enough for me. I should imagine the end result  was  intoxicating in all the right ways.

 Avon Soft Musk holds many memories for me. So many people I know have worn it since its inception. I can say, hand on heart, that it is both dirt cheap and very good indeed. In my current (now well thumbed) Avon brochure, it retails for £5 for 50ml. You can be sure I will be snaffling me a bottle of that. (online prices vary from the brochure)

It’s often hard to review a Musk perfume without being repetitive, but the more I smell the more differences I can ascertain. Body Shop White Musk has White Flowers in it, at least to my nose, whereas with Jovan White Musk, the honeysuckle is pronounced. Avon Soft Musk is more on the Musk and Rose spectrum, but only barely there, since the Musk dominates.  There are powdery notes too, making this cosy and unthreatening. The powder is more Baby than Face.  Despite being marketed as a “Sexy and Deep” Musk perfume, I actually find it very chaste and respectable. It fits the bill for meeting in laws, job interviews and any occasion when you need to persuade people that you are a nice girl that won’t be any trouble.

Soft Musk is a reliable and good value Musk perfume that currently has several layering accessories to accompany it such as talc, lotion and body spray. It would suit any age from eighteen to eighty  and I will not be turning my nose up at my five quid bottle of scent any time soon.

Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean: Oops A Daisy!

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Call me superficial but I was drawn to this by the beautiful blue glass and silver lid and tempting advertising campaign. For design and marketing, Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean gets ten out of ten. The image alone makes me imagine freshly sliced oranges, bougainvillea, sunshine and sea spray.

I was therefore hoping for a fragrance that matched those expectations. For example, I love bitter orange  or lemon in a scent and love how a citrus note can cut though the heat on a hot day.  Ô de Lancome  is a perfect example. However, I was very disappointed with Mediterranean and here’s why:

It’s as if they nearly had a fresh, pretty scent for a summer’s day but then added Musk and Peaches. Still feminine but a little on the sweet side, decisions were being made on the final formula when someone split a  cup of Latte over their wrist as they were smelling it. “That’s good, let’s keep that in” they said, and so it was.

What we have now is a musky, peachy, sweet and fluffy perfume with a hint of milky coffee in it. Not at all what I was expecting or hoping for.  Longevity is every poor too. On me it was half an hour. After mingling with the long lasting hoi polloi this week (waving across the room to Coromandel and Cuir Mauresque, see previous reviews)), poor longevity makes me feel cheated, even at this very reasonable price. Look at Body Shop White Musk Oil for instance. It’s currently £11 for 30ml of oil, lasts twelve hours on me and the bottle itself lasts me over six months. Longevity can be had at low prices.

They had the name, they had the packaging, they had the image, but the actual fragrance was lost in a big messy old mess.

Turns out I can forgive Elizabeth Arden though, as they created Blue Grass. Arden is an affordable High Street brand, but I am getting disappointed more frequently by their more modern offerings. This is one of them.  High hopes dashed.  Sorry Meditteranean, I’ll pass.

Coty L’Aimant Fleur de Rose: Get it While You Still Can

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 Coty L’Aimant has been around since 1927. I have a particular fondness for it as it was the signature scent of my much missed and beloved late grandmother.  On me, it’s no great shakes, but on her it was wonderful.  I almost can’t bear to buy it or smell it, so evocative are the memories. I never underestimate the power of scent. It can take you back you in time more powerfully than any photograph.

When I saw that Coty had made a flanker called L’Aimant Fleur de Rose, I was curious enough to buy it, since I thought a bit more flora would make me like the L’Aimant scent more. To me, L’Aimant is too synthetic and powdery: In fact I am not the first person to say it reminds me of Chanel No 5. If you are a fan of Chanel No 5 and budget won’t permit a purchase, then affordable Coty L’Aimant is a close second.

Fleur de Rose however, keeps a muted shadow of the L’Aimant scent but has softened it with Peony, Rose , Musk  and Freesia. It smells like a very feminine White Floral Musk. Imagine if you used a Rose scented body lotion, then layered Body Shop White Musk over a classic white flower scent, say Anais Anais, followed by a light dusting of baby talc :  Voilà! you have L’Aimant Fleur de Rose.

This fragrance really grew on me, but what makes it even more appealing is that I bought my 30ml bottle for £3.99 from Home Bargains. I have recently seen 15ml bottles in Bodycare for £1.99 and bought some as stocking fillers last Christmas.

Judging by the low price, the availability in bargain shops, and the fact it is absent from Fragrantica listings, I can only conclude that this has been discontinued. If you see it, buy it. Actually, buy two. I’ve a feeling this beauty won’t be around much longer.

Jovan White Musk: Get Your Coat, You’ve Pulled.

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Jovan really wants you to hook up with someone. If you are single, they will do their darnedest to put it right. Take a look at the website– a close up of two mouths about to slobber over each other. If you are a Kath and Kim fan then you’ll know what I mean by a Kath’n’Kel French kiss. They repeat  that their perfumes will attract the opposite sex. Let’s hear that again- their perfumes will attract the opposite sex. All you need is a bottle of Jovan anything and a large butterfly net. In fact Sex Appeal by Jovan is categorically designed to attract the opposite sex.  They’re not even subtle about it. It says on the websiteThis provocative, stimulating blend of rare spices and herbs was created by men for the sole purpose of attracting women” See? Shameless.

 So should Jovan be relegated to the nudge, nudge wink, wink slightly dated era of blind pheromone traps? Or should it be taken seriously as an affordable fragrance worth buying?

Well I am married and have no need to attract men (well, maybe just the one), but I can report that Jovan White Musk for Women is rather pretty and will certainly “do”. The Body Shop’s White Musk has long been a favourite of mine, maybe for twenty years now, and with good reason. It’s a flagship product that Body Shop customers just wouldn’t ever let them discontinue. I wondered if Jovan was up there with the Body Shop, so decided to seek out a bottle.  So just for a change and because the act of buying perfume is like a drug to me., (Whoops, tried not to actually say that aloud to myself) I picked up a bottle of this from my local High Street toiletries store (Okay it was Bodycare if you must know). In exchange for £6.15 I got a 59ml bottle of Jovan White Musk. It’s a “concentrated cologne” which makes me wonder what the difference is between an eau de toilette and a “concentrated cologne”. Not much I’ll wager.

When first sprayed, this is quite tangy with honeysuckle and jasmine and really smells best when it beds down a bit. The flowers warm it up and make it sweet rather than cold, but the best  bit comes in the drydown. Emitting a subtle soft musk waft as you move, this is an ideal office or daytime perfume. It’s cosy and feminine and cheap enough to carry around in your handbag to make up for its non fantastic longevity.

Its also great to use if you like layering scents. If something woody is too harsh, this can soften it. If Amber is too much for daytime use, you could back it up and calm it down with a spray of White Musk.

I can promise it will make you smell nice, but I can’t promise it will bag you a man. Still for £6.15, maybe it’s worth a shot for all you adorable singletons out there. (I feel I should play you a love song now). Please wear Jovan responsibly. You might have adventures.

Stockists

You can buy Jovan White Musk from allbeauty.com or Amazon UK. It’s well under a tenner. Bargain.