A few years ago, before my perfumista days, I stopped in The Body Shop at a large airport where my significant other and I were in transit to visit his family for the Christmas holidays. I sniffed Red Musk, which they were promoting at the time. It had the signature base of White Musk with a darker, more sensual dimension. For reasons I can’t remember or fathom now, I fell in love with it on the spot and bought myself the gift set.
Maybe that was an early manifestation of my insatiable quest for newness and nostalgia at the same time.
The infatuation wore off quickly, though, and Red Musk was relegated to a “spare” perfume that I kept in my office desk drawer. I remember at least once when, sweaty from rushing in after taking public transport and then from the anxiety of having to deliver part of a new business pitch in a couple of hours, sneaking my bottle into the restrooms and spritzing it with abandon for whatever it was worth. More often, I would spray it surreptitiously around my desk when my coworkers weren’t around to mask the malodors they had created (usually, the case being that they had gone for the day and I was still stuck working late).
Red Musk stayed in my drawer for several months after the office closed for the pandemic in the spring of 2020, and I didn’t miss it. When the building reopened for voluntary access in the fall, I rescued it and brought it home, but it doesn’t serve much purpose except to flank White Musk and provide some color contrast.
It is a warm, creamy, spicy fragrance, and lives up to its name. Main notes are listed as pepper, cinnamon, tobacco, and musk. Red Musk delivers the comfort of familiarity, but without the sentimentality that would make it indispensable in a time capsule. Can live with it, can live without it. Would pair nicely with a hot mug of spiced cocoa, though!
I suppose the fairest conclusion is that I’ve outgrown this perfume, as well as some of the more fresh-faced attitudes I had back then especially related to work, for better or worse.
Speaking of outgrowing, this furry sweetheart gets bigger every time we visit him. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to last Christmas, but hopefully we will this year.