The Cheap and Chic Icon – The Body Shop White Musk Perfume Oil Perfume Review

Christian Dior Fall 2010
Christian Dior Fall 2010 – Chic and Iconic but not Cheap…

Picture this: You’re tasked with buying a 30ml bottle of perfume. It has to be something that  smells good, isn’t tacky or some horrible celebuscent, and could be classed as a classic due to its unfailing longevity and popularity. Oh and you cannot spend more than £11! That’s doable right?

You may be thinking that you have been set an impossible task, and you would not be blamed for thinking so, after all there are good cheapies on the market but £11 is VERY cheap. But I am very happy to say that you do not have to blow the big bucks to find a decent bottle of perfume, all you need to do is head down to The Body Shop and pick up a bottle of White Musk Perfume Oil.

White Musk is The Body Shop’s flagship fragrance and was released way back in 1981. The Body Shop describe White Musk as “iconic” [1] and I have to agree, it’s one of those fragrances that everybody knows. It is instantly recognisable and has stood the test of time where other, lesser scents have fallen by the wayside. White Musk may sing a simple little ditty but it is its pleasant simplicity that has secured its well-earned status as a perfume icon.

White Musk Perfume Oil
White Musk Perfume Oil

The Notes

Top: Lily, Ylang-Ylang, Galbanum and Basil
Heart: Jasmine, Rose, Peach and Iris
Base: White Musk, Vanilla, Amber, Moss and Woodsy Notes [1]

How Does it Smell?

I said above that White Musk sings a simple ditty, and this is completely true for its Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette incarnations, but not so much for the Perfume Oil. I hadn’t really paid that much attention to the Perfume Oil up until very recently, mainly because I’m not overly keen on oils (I like big, diffusive sillage) but also because I am very familiar with White Musk so I don’t spend too much time thinking about it. It just so happens that I picked up a bottle of the Perfume Oil in my local Body Shop a couple of weeks ago for the first time, and I was blown away by how marvellously complex and beautiful it is.

White Musk Perfume Oil starts incredibly earthy and rich. It has this wonderful dark, mushroom-y quality to it that makes me think of the warm, damp floor of an ancient forest. What’s clever about it is that it manages to do ‘earthy’ and dank without being dense, this  is possibly due to the mixture of sweet flowers (lily, ylang, jasmine and rose) that lighten things up slightly, as if just a tiny beam of sunlight is peeking through the trees.

Iris plays a strong part throughout the Perfume Oil’s lifespan and whilst it may not be of the super-high quality and artistry of many iris fragrances it is put to good use by ramping up those rooty, earthy notes and taming the animalics. Speaking of animalic notes, it would be fair to say that White Musk (in all concentrations) is not a beastly musk, and I don’t think it is trying to be. There is a faint whiff of something dirty, but it is more damp and stale smelling than anything attributed to an animal.

The Perfume Oil, as expected, is relatively linear – what you put on at the beginning is pretty much what you are left with after a good number of hours, and I do mean a good number of hours, the longevity is excellent and it lasted through 24 hours and a shower on my skin. But as it melds in with the skin (it is one of those “your skin, but better” scents) more of the warm, amber-y and vanilla tones come through, making for a rather cosy finale to a surprisingly complex fragrance.

Did I mention that it’s only £11?


White Musk Perfume Oil is available 30ml size for £11. An Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and range of matching body products are also available.

Join the Discussion!

What are your favourite cheapie scents? – Please leave your answers in the comments box below!


Image 1 Image 2 [1] [2]