How often do you hear of a female fragrance that contains absolutely no floral notes? Pretty flippin’ rarely. And it’s the floral notes that I get sick of in other fragrances, so this brand new bold blend of musk and spice is so far up my street it’s practically knocking at my front door.
Red Musk starts with a sharp bite of spicy pepper upon spraying, followed by a warm heart of aphrodisiac cinnamon that provides just a hint of sweetness. The base is the real star, though – tobacco accord. Almost exclusively used in male fragrance (even last year’s White Musk Smoky Rose used tobacco flower, a different note altogether), it’s a bit of a contemporary classic and I’m thrilled to see it playing such a pivotal role in a female fragrance. Smoky, woody and blends perfectly with The Body Shop’s signature synthetic cruelty-free musk.
Due to the (rather brilliant) absence of overtly feminine floral notes, Red Musk can actually work brilliantly as a unisex fragrance. I didn’t catch Colin in the act of craftily spritzing it on, but I definitely smelled it on him as we left for work the other morning. One of my (male) colleagues is a massive fragrance snob and probably hasn’t spent less than £100 on a single bottle of scent in 20 years, but I had a feeling he’d really like Red Musk. I sprayed a bit on some card, invited him to sniff and, after exclaiming how much he liked it, he promptly almost fell off his chair when I told him it was from The Body Shop. Red Musk is honestly more like something you’d find for three figures in a niche fragrance house, not in the high street’s most beloved bath and body store.
Words are not something I usually struggle with, but I’m having a really hard time finding the best ones to describe The Body Shop Red Musk. Alluring? Sexy? Smouldering? Mysterious? Unusual? I don’t know, nothing seems to convey it properly or do it justice, but it’s just bloody amazing and you need to try it out for yourself. It might have even pipped White Musk Smoky Rose to my top fragrance spot, I love it that much.
You’ll find it in store and online from 4th November, in the form of a 60ml Eau de Parfum for £20, 100ml for £30, and a 30ml alcohol-free Perfume Oil for £16. Seriously – bloody well done, TBS!