The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom and White Musk ~ fragrance review

The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom and White Musk

At my mall, The Body Shop is down just a few storefronts from Bath and Body Works. The store is much smaller than the Bath and Body Works and focuses more on cosmetics and skin care. Once in the store I saw a row of perfume oils that reminded me of my college days, but around the corner was a small display of Eaux de Toilette.

The sales associate who helped me said that Japanese Cherry Blossom — cherry blossom again! — and White Musk were their two biggest sellers. She quickly told me that their musk was "cruelty free" and not from real deer musk. I smiled as if this were news.

The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom (The Body Shop website cites top notes of Fuji apple, Chinese magnolia, and osmanthus flower; heart of star jasmine, Japanese cherry blossom, and Japanese persimmon; base notes of sandalwood, hinoki wood, and fruity musk) is a good deal lighter than the Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom. It takes cold flowers, a pinch of powder, and a hint of fruit, and creates an apple-tinged floral with a sweet wood base.

I see why Japanese Cherry Blossom is so popular. It is light, clean, pretty, and not in the least offensive. It is fine for a 12-year old or a matron, and it wouldn't ruffle noses at the office. It would make a nice soap for the guest powder room. To me, that isn't much of a recommendation for a fragrance. Plus, it lasts an hour tops on my skin. Japanese Cherry Blossom is the Pat Boone of perfume. Before he hit his metal phase, that is.

The other fragrance the sales associate said was popular, White Musk, has top notes of velvety musk, floral lily, and sensual ylang ylang; a heart of velvety musk, oriental jasmine, floral lily, and rose; and base notes of — yep — velvety musk, oriental jasmine, floral lily, iris, rose, and sweet vanilla. It's a huge favorite on Makeupalley, and it's easy to see why. For the price, someone wanting a sweet, warm musk could do a lot worse.

I compared White Musk Eau de Toilette to Serge Lutens Clair de Musc, which I always considered a baseline soft white musk. Suddenly Clair de Musc took on a whole new personality. I could smell its juicy iris and the light-as-a-breeze way it lofts musk through its body. In comparison, the Body Shop White Musk felt compressed and dull. But White Musk is less than a quarter of the price of Clair de Musc, and if the comfort and sexiness of a clean, soft musk for daily wear is what you're after, it would be wrong not to give it a try.

The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Eau de Toilette is $25 for 50 ml. White Musk Eau de Toilette is $17.50 for 30 ml and $26 for 60 ml. These fragrances are available at The Body Shop boutiques and online store.

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106 Comments

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  1. asuperlongusername says:

    There is a sillage wall around my local Body Shop with about a 15ft radius of an evil orange-ish fragrance that hits me right in the gut. The shop is on the third level and I can smell it from the second. So, I must confess, I haven’t been in there in a good long time. Sounds like I’m not missing much, though I bet there are a good few things hidden in drawers that nobody except us perfumistas even know exist. I’ll have to come back when there are more comments.

    • Andrea D says:

      I think it’s the essential oils that they tend to burn in those little brass bowls. I notice that when the votive goes out, the scent dies down dramatically, but I can’t totally see why you would stay away. :)

      The heady scent of fruit and fake flowers is why I avoid Bath and Body works like the plague, even though they have some really excellent skin care lines that I enjoy.

      • Angela says:

        I wonder if they have special filtration systems at BBW like they do to clear cigarette smoke from bars?

      • asuperlongusername says:

        It seems mean to burn perfume oils anywhere other than one’s home. And this is coming from the man who’s been wearing Shalimar extrait this boiling summer.

        I actually find BBW rather non-scented. Blessedly, I infer.

        • Angela says:

          I agree with you on that one.

          • Andrea D says:

            For reals? The ones in the Seattle area can be smelled from the other side of the Cascades. If I ever find an unscented BBW, I will be THERE.

        • Rachel says:

          My local B&BW is pretty much unscented…until Christmas. Then it’s a cacophony of scents all topped off with a cinnamon haze. It’s like Dante for perfumistas.

          • Angela says:

            Paradiso or Inferno?

          • Joe says:

            From the tone, I assumed Inferno: 19th Circle.

          • Daisy says:

            19th ??? that is bad.

          • Angela says:

            I think in the 8th circle you’re walking in excrement. Maybe it’s that one.

          • Daisy says:

            walking in excrement….that’s not a level of hell….that’s my neighbor’s yard…but that’s only because the Mastif across the street considers crossing the street a reasonable walk to use the “facilities”….oh, is that not what you meant?

          • Angela says:

            Daisy, you slay me.

    • Angela says:

      I bet it is those perfume oils. Really, there wasn’t a lot of perfume in the Body Shop I visited.

      • miss kitty v. says:

        I love their body butters. I’ve learned the hard way to leave the perfume alone. Everything I’ve bought there I’ve given away. I just get bored too fast with single-note scents. Which isn’t to say they’re bad…just not for me.

        • Angela says:

          And the body butters don’t give you a rash?

          • miss kitty v. says:

            Not the shea butter or brazil nut butter, no. I haven’t tried any of the floofy scents, just because I know better.

        • alltheprettythings says:

          The body butters are amazing… I used to wear Nut which was sadly discontinued, then Sesame, also dc’ed. My husband got me Coconut, which I wear on legs only, because I’m not crazy about it. I slather it on our son, who loves it.

          • Angela says:

            Nut sounds nice. I’d be afraid that Coconut would be overwhelming.

  2. Jill says:

    My brother’s girlfriend gave me the White Musk as a birthday gift last year (it was part of a set which included a couple other Body Shop products). I didn’t expect to like it, but I do. It’s as you described it — a clean comfort scent, for me. I don’t like actually going in the Body Shop because the one nearest me has very hovery salespeople!

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I don’t like sales people who hover, either.

      • Joe says:

        The Body Shop we used to have in town had only about 12 square feet of floor space. The sales assistants couldn’t HELP hovering!

  3. Rappleyea says:

    Angela, while I can’t say you’ve enticed me to buy any of your mall finds, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about them. I’m still laughing over this latest post. Love your wit!

    • Angela says:

      I’m glad you’re enjoying them! I was afraid they might be boring without exciting perfume to light them up.

  4. paddysmum says:

    do you have LUSH stores in the States? I have to walk past them covering my nose AND mouth and holding my breath — the pungent pongs catch you in the throat, making you cough and splutter (and making your eyes water too) Harsh isn’t in it. God knows how anyone can actually step inside. As for buying anything — gack. Body shop isn’t nearly so bad. (although still not great) I like their foot files tho.

    • Tama says:

      mmmm – LUSH. I have been seeing ads for people to work in them, and you know, as much as I need a job and love LUSH I don’t think I could be in there all day.

      • Angela says:

        It might kind of burn you out on scent!

    • Angela says:

      I know of one LUSH store, but it gives out into the street, so it isn’t too bad (I don’t think).

    • Bunny says:

      It’s funny in one mall I can barely smell Lush and in another mall it funks up a whole quadrant!

      • Angela says:

        That’s strange! It must have to do with ventilation.

        • Bunny says:

          or maybe it’s just the popcorn kiosk overwhelming the Lush odors lol

          • Angela says:

            Yeah, or that cinnamon bun place.

      • Daisy says:

        I wonder if it has to do with who is managing/working in a particular store. I think some places have lots of containers with the sole purpose of perfuming the area–like it will draw people in. And others seems to keep things capped. In our local mall there’s a BBW and a Crabtree &Evelyn—C&E never seems offensive. But sometimes the BBW is not bad, other days it’s overpowering.

    • pyramus says:

      There’s a LUSH in the Toronto airport, more or less next to a restaurant and more or less across from another food place, and the stench is just beyond belief. (And I say this as someone who likes a few of the products.) We’ve actually had to ask the airport management to get the store to close its doors so we could eat. I don’t understand why they’re even allowed to contaminate such a confined space. It’s things like that that lead to bans on perfume in public places.

      • Bunny says:

        lol good thing I can’t afford to travel… Lush is stenchin’ up PIA!

        • Bunny says:

          or YYZ if your a fan of airport codes ;)

      • Angela says:

        I like my perfume, too, but I’m surprised people haven’t complained and shut it down.

    • thesleepingsea says:

      We do have LUSH in the States! Oh, how I love the collective smell of LUSH. Sometimes I want to get a job there so it can seep into my clothes and hair…other times, I wish they would magic up a solid perfume that would smell like the store in general.

      • Angela says:

        It seems like working there isn’t an insurmountable goal. Just saying…

  5. Tama says:

    All of the Body Shop essential oils become too cloying on me really fast, even if I like the top. I am a total fiend for their Satsuma line, though, especially as body and hand washes. The lotion and body butter can smell a little Pezzy but still have some tang (and I don’t mean Tang).

    I have a bit of White Musk I got in a mixed bag o’ stuff during a sale (they have GREAT sales) and it is fine. I think I am just not much of a musk person.

    • Angela says:

      I bet the White Musk is a good layering agent to musk-ify something that needs it.

      • Jill says:

        Good idea!

      • Joe says:

        I think ‘muskify’ makes a great verb.

        • Daisy says:

          absolutely! we should add it to the perfumista lexicon.
          Of course that’s exactly why I love SL Clair de Musk and I do use it mainly to ‘muskify’ other scents. The White Musk might have saved me a bundle. ….but I really like the SL CdM.

          • Angela says:

            Comparing it with White Musk, which I liked just fine, really made me appreciate CdM’s beauty.

    • Bunny says:

      haha I bought the satsuma candle because I thought it smelled like pez!

      • Angela says:

        Now I’m hungry for pez.

    • boojum says:

      Love the Satsuma too. I bought a gift set for my 13 yo for her birthday, then grabbed a hand soap for us while I was at it.

      • Angela says:

        Sounds like Satsuma is where it’s at!

  6. ockeghem says:

    Does anyone know if the White Musk smells anything like the old White Musk soap they used to carry? I used the soap one summer long, long ago living in Europe and it’s one of those scents that can automatically bring me back to that time & place. A few years ago I went in there thinking I might pick up a bar of the soap just for the occasional scent memory, but seems they’ve discontinued it…wondering if the EdT would be a substitute.

    • Angela says:

      I think it’s definitely worth a try! And it’s not awfully expensive. I hope it works for you!

  7. Yonahleyah says:

    “I smiled as if this were news.” Ha.

    1. I used to love White Musk, I recommended it to a girl on MUA, and then went in to smell it after she said she didn’t like it. Booo! I believe it’s been reformulated since 1998! Anyone else?

    2. Lush makes this algae colored patchouli monster called Tramp – I LOVE it. In the body wash form, not sure how else it comes. Woodsy and not at all shy, this is one of those scents I wish my sheets were made of.

    • Angela says:

      Wow! If you wish your sheets were made of it, then I definitely need to smell it. Besides, anything called Tramp begs to be sniffed.

      • Joe says:

        That’s hilarious! I agree anything called Tramp needs to be sampled. And I’m wondering if it’s “algae-colored” as in blue-green or more of a kelp color….

        • Angela says:

          There’s one way to find out…

  8. Prudietwoshoes says:

    I appreciate all the hard work you are doing letting us know what’s out there! I have loved The Body Shop since way back when I used to order from the catalog (cause no store was within 1000 miles of me) and I had to borrow my Mom’s checkbook. They used to have really great frag oils, Woody Sandalwood, Jasmine, etc., not sure how many of these they carry now. I personally loved the scents Of A Woman (a soft oriental) and Marinis (which smelled the the ocean) neither of which they carry anymore. Needless to say, I haven[t bought perfume there for awhile. Ever since they became more widely known and available it seems like they’ve really dumbed down their frags, it’s pretty disappointing.

    • Angela says:

      I don’t know the Body Shop of the olden days, but it seems like these shops do morph, and sometimes not for the best.

    • pyramus says:

      Oh, Body Shop perfume oils. I loved Woody Sandalwood back in the day. They also had a fantastic scent called Moss, which wasn’t oakmoss but a sort of dark-green soapy scent, and another called Chypre which wasn’t exactly a chypre but was very sweet (VERY sweet) yet also dark and earthy. God, I really wish they still made those. I mean, exactly as they were back then and not reformulated.

      • pyramus says:

        I forgot to add that they had two other perfume oils, Tea Rose and Vetiver, and if you mixed them half and half, the blend smelled astoundingly like Estee Lauder White Linen.

        • TwoPeasInAPod says:

          Oh, that brings back memories! I loved, loved, loved “Annie”, “Samarkhand”, and “Herb”. Still have a few huge bottles of Annie and Samarkhand that I bought on clearance when they were d/c’d around 1990.

          • Angela says:

            Good names!

          • sarcon says:

            ooh, I loved Samarkand! actually, those early men’s scents were all very good.

            They had a feminine scent called Chamomella that was lovely. a soft green floral that was warm and easy to wear. I worked at a Body Shop many years ago.

          • jodie_nicholson92 says:

            hey im desperately tryin to get a hold of a bottle of Annie for my mums christmas..
            is there any chance you are selling or giving away a bottle for cheap??

          • young_and_sweet says:

            hey would there be any way of buying a bottle of annie perfume of you? My mum has been searching for it for years and i would love to get her it for her birthday ? xxxx

        • Angela says:

          You could be your own perfumer!

      • Angela says:

        It’s pretty amazing, really, that they even named something Chypre, even if it wasn’t very much like one.

      • Royal says:

        On the topic of Body Shop perfume oils, the reason they don’t carry them anymore is because it was a different Body Shop that sold them. The original Body Shop sold their name to the current Body Shop. THe original one is now known as Body Time. http://www.bodytimeproducts.com/14ozpeoi.html

        There’s many of your old favourite perfume oils, ready for purchase.

        • T-Rex says:

          Don’t know about the other folks, but I shopped with the English company, after the name was purchased. The Satsuma, Tobacco Flower, Oceanus, and many of the other frags mentioned here are from the post 1987 Body Shop, too.

          Body Time looks nice, though.

          • Angela says:

            It’s confusing, all these name and ownership changes!

          • T-Rex says:

            Angela, I didn’t see a button to reply directly to you.

            Yes! To make it even more confusing, there is a mall clothing chain called The Body Shop. I thought perhaps they had all shut down around the time that the cosmetic company called The Body Shop became popular. However, I’ve been seeing them around lately. If there are any malls that have both, I’ll bet it gets really confusing.

        • Tama says:

          I used to shop at The Body Shop (original) in Berkeley on my SF trips before I lived here. I got this Honeydew lotion once that was wonderful. After the name change to Body Time I shopped at a store here in town but that one is gone. I rarely go to Berkeley – I need to just go. It’s bloody hard to park. But there is a store called the Berkeley Bowl that has some of the best array of produce ever.

        • Angela says:

          Interesting! I thought they were bought out by L’Oreal.

        • Aylin says:

          Thank you very much. I have been trying to track down Samarkand, I wonder if they have anything like it ?

  9. Joe says:

    Wow! $17.50 for 30ml? I may need to get a bit of that White Musk just for the heck of it. A damn sight more affordable than Clair de Musc. And hey, not from real musk deer either, oh thank goodness!

    I haven’t been to TBS in a long time but used to love some of their oils and things you could have scented there in the shop. Also their hair products (sigh, when I had hair). The founder, Anita Roddick, was a pretty amazing woman and philanthropist and spoke at the school here a few times because she kept a home here. She died quite young just a couple years ago, and had previously sold the company to L’Oreal, I believe. Took a bit of flack for that because that kind of conglomerate was a bit far from the humble and socially-conscious origins, but that’s the way these things go.

    • TwoPeasInAPod says:

      I remember that. L’Oreal is owned by Nestlé & and lots of folks still boycott Nestlé over ethical breeches in their marketing of infant formula and feminine hygiene products, in thirld-world countries. They get back on track & then lapse again, it seems.

      • Joe says:

        I believe Nestlé only owns about a 30% share of L’Oreal. And I actually have some optimism that acquisition of firms like Body Shop can help change the corporate ethics of the larger company (they don’t want to acquire a brand and alienate the customer base of that brand). But I wonder how Body Shop is doing now, three years after the acquisition. A sales report on the L’O site makes it look like sales are flat or slightly down. I don’t know how many doors they have worldwide either. Anyway, it’s all sort of interesting, but also the type of big business wheeling-dealing that I only have limited interest in.

        • Angela says:

          I remember hearing a little of the hubbub, too, when L’Oreal bought into the Body Shop. Whatever it is now–and I really can’t speak to that at all since I don’t know a lick about it–it seems that the store started out with a solid ethic.

  10. barb says:

    i sniffed the cherry blossom at my local body shop (they are everywhere on my island) and it’s nice.. but not remarkable i guess..

    • Angela says:

      That’s pretty much how I felt.

  11. Absolute Scentualist says:

    Oh Satsuma is wonderful stuff! I used the entire line of products (shower gel, hand soap, perfume oil and so on) to help me stay awake after my youngest was born. The smell is just so invigorating and it was really perky aromatherapy when I needed it at three in the morning. :) I haven’t tried their take on JCB, though they had a Cassis Rose that was quite a lovely, if generic, floral.

    I’ve been shopping TBS for about ten or so years, but my buying has gotten less frequent since they got rid of Marinus, Oceanus, Japanese Musk, Tea Rose, Fuzzy Peach, and what used to be a delicious Vanilla perfume oil before they reformulated the hell out of it. Their White Musk is lovely, though. I have both the EDT and perfume oil, and love pouring a bit of the latter into unscented bath oil. It’s just gorgeous gently wafting up in the steam while you soak.

    The only really heady shop in our mall is the Victoria’s Secret Beauty, while BBW isn’t nearly as bad. Though it’s a contest between the Yankee Candle on the first floor located right beside a Wilson’s Leather shop for store sillage, which is kind of scary if you try to imagine how the smell of leather can so permeate such a large space. Sometimes if you stand just in the right spot, the leather with a tiny touch of cinnamon and vanilla is just intoxicating.

    • Joe says:

      For some reason I assumed Marinus and Oceanus were huge sellers. I guess not? Or maybe back in the day they were, but no longer after a certain point? Who knows…

      • alltheprettythings says:

        Oh, I loved Oceanus!

      • Bunny says:

        yeah I thought Oceanus was a big seller… I know I received Oceanus stuff for gifts on quite a few occasions.

    • Angela says:

      You really know your Body Shop!

      Maybe you should do an olfactory map of the mall.

  12. T-Rex says:

    I bought a few things from The Body Shop back around ’91 or ’92. White Musk and Dewberry were my favorites at the time.

    I remember being very impressed with Anita Roddick’s practice of using The Body Shop to be a force for good in the world. She was ahead of the trend on that score. I used to fantasize about opening up a franchise in my college town. The cost, and my lack of experience at the time, kind of derailed that idea.

    I also remember a story about how Anita’s first store didn’t get much traffic at first, so she took a bottle of strawberry scented oil and dripped little drops up the sidewalk leading to her front door. And it worked. Too bad that initial idea has morphed into something evil and sneeze inducing in our modern malls and airports.

    • miss kitty v. says:

      Oh, Dewberry! I had forgotten about Dewberry! I actually liked that one quite a bit. And Fuzzy Peach was pretty darn good, too. Wow, I can’t believe I forgot about those. I’m going to choose to believe that it’s because my mind if full of a myriad of other fragrances from over the years, and not that I am suffering from early onset dementia.

      • Angela says:

        Dewberry sounds awfully familiar. I’m sure I must have experienced it firsthand at some point.

        • T-Rex says:

          It is (was?) very tangy. Made my mouth water whenever I smelled it.

      • T-Rex says:

        Oh, I’ve forgotten more than I currently know by now, too. I remembered the scent, but had to google the name. I just remembered that it was tangy and tart, and had “berry” in the name.

        • Angela says:

          Well, I suppose it’s better to forget things about the Body Shop, for instance, and remember them about physics or proper roasting temperatures for the turkey (for another random for instance).

    • Angela says:

      Just like Estee Lauder and Youth Dew! (Or was it Coty and Chypre?)

      • T-Rex says:

        Do you mean the drip trick? That’s awesome. Well, there is nothing new under the sun, really, so I’m not surprised. That may be where Anita got her inspiration.

        • Angela says:

          Exactly. The perfect marketing ploy.

  13. alltheprettythings says:

    My fave fragrance oil is Tobacco Flower, gives off a wonderful throw… I stock up at Sales and keep a bottle in just about every room … a calming, subtly spicy scent…

    • Angela says:

      I love the smell of real tobacco flower. If the oil is half as nice, it would be great.

      • alltheprettythings says:

        I’d say it’s more than half, but it’s been a while since I smelled the real thing.

  14. 2scents says:

    Angela, I love your comment about “dumbing down” for the sales associate (re: ‘cruelty free’ musk). Just this week I eluded being sprayed with the new Juicy Couture stuff by claiming to prefer Oreintals, only to be shown Kenzo’s Flower Oriental(“This is our MOST oriental fragrance”) by an SA at Nordstrom’s. “Really?” I said, smiling pleasantly.

    • Angela says:

      Really, what else can you do?

  15. marko says:

    Angela –

    All this talk about Body Shop’s White Musk has me nostalgic this morning. I first discovered White Musk when I moved to Seattle in 1990 (it was only in oil at that time) and I used to LOVE to layer it with the only other scent I owned – Hermes’ Bel Ami. The woody, smokey, leatheriness of Bel Ami mixed with the clean, musky floral of White Musk was heaven to me. Maybe I’ll do a little layering this morning (after coffee, of course) and see if the combo is still as fascinating as I remember.

    Thanks for the nudge down memory lane,

    Marko

    • Angela says:

      I still have a few drops of the musk–I’ll have to try that combo, too.

  16. margot says:

    Thanks for this review and discussion of The Body Shop.
    I have only bought TBS body butters, with Mango a summer favorite – not too sweet, just a delicious natural mango scent.
    I have to try White musk, and also,Tobacco Flower essential oil.
    In North Carolina, the tobacco fields are in full growth, and will soon be ready for harvesting and curing. The intoxicating scent of the curing barns could lift you off your feet!

    • Angela says:

      That sounds marvelous!

  17. NamonNST says:

    Everytime I wear Body Shop White Musk, I sense whiffs of my mom all day long. She wears BBW Moonlight Path body splash by the bucket, and it is just lovely. Isn’t it odd how someone’s natural chemistry can make an otherwise plain fragrance absolutely fantastic? Anyway, veering back to my point, I personally love BS White Musk. For the price, it’s pretty darn good.

    • Angela says:

      I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to respond to this comment–I don’t know how I missed it! But, yes, white musk is a good deal, and I’ve been tempted to buy a bottle myself. Sometimes nothing but a soft musk will do.

  18. Ammy says:

    I actually use the Body Shop’s Japanese Cherry Blossom. It’s nothing original and doesn’t have an edge, but it’s nothing something I get tired of or something thats too strong for every day use. I actually prefer it over Miss Dior Cherie even though it’s not a high -end perfume.

    What other perfumes feature cherry blossom notes aside from Bath & Works

  19. young_and_sweet says:

    Hi does anyone still have any bottles of “Annie” for sale. I have been looking for it for yeard and would love to buy it ? xxxx

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