Best in Show Best in Show: The Body Shop (2017)

Best in Show: The Body Shop (2017)

03/05/17 08:39:11 (56 comments)

by: Jodi Battershell, Elena Vosnaki, Yi Shang, Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison, Rouu Abd El-Latif

An assortment of Body Shop fragrances lined up in a row

The Body Shop has been making the world a better place AND a better-smelling place since 1976. Its founder, the late Dame Anita Roddick, was a force of nature, shaking up the cosmetics industry with her commitments to fair trade, sustainable sourcing, truth in advertising and opposition to animal testing—long before the terms "green beauty" and "cruelty-free beauty" were coined and predating the ethical consumerism trend by more than a decade. By the time Roddick sold the company to L'Oreal in 2006, The Body Shop had grown into a global presence with stores in more than 50 countries around the world. Under L'Oreal, the brand expanded its footprint and today employs more than 22,000 people in more than 60 countries around the world, continuing Roddick's legacy in the 21st century with its Enrich Not Exploit™ manifesto.

Street view of The Body Shop storefront in Darmstadt

With 108 fragrances listed here on Fragrantica, The Body Shop has given us some great-smelling products over the years, many of which remain staples in the brand's catalog. White Musk for women and for men and Japanese Cherry Blossom are enduring classics that continue to grace the pulse points of fragrance fanatics around the world. The brand was a pioneer in the custom-blending concept with its now discontinued (and highly sought-after) Invent Your Scent collection from 2007. Some Fragrantica members have been wearing the brand for 30+ years and recall with fondness the Dewberry perfume oil of their youth. Many scents have come and gone, but The Body Shop continues to offer delightful, affordable fragrances that you can easily find at your local shopping mall and feel good about purchasing. Fragrantica contributors from around the world share some of their favorites below.

PINK GRAPEFRUIT

The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit

By: Jodi Battershell, editor and columnist of Fragrantica in English

Grapefruit fragrances supposedly make a female wearer "smell" younger to men, according to an oft-cited 2005 study from The Smell and Taste Institute of Chicago. (2005? I didn't realize the study was so old. If any scientists are reading, please know that fragrance culture has changed so much in 12 years that it's probably time to take another look at the subject.) Personally, I don't give a damn...but I won't judge you if such a perception is important to you.

However, I can tell you that finding a good, true, pure grapefruit aroma is no small feat. Far too many have a prominent sulfur overtone. Many others veer sharply into cat-pee territory or fade away into a typical white musk dry-down. You can spend a lot of time and money seeking a decent grapefruit perfume, or you can cut to the chase and go for The Body Shop's Pink Grapefruit, which is one of the best out there and highly affordable, too. 

Pink Grapefruit is not complex. It has no other notes and is linear on the skin. Citruses are notoriously fleeting and this one won't get you through the whole workday, but for those three to four hours that it lasts, it's pure magic. Clean, fresh, never offensive, always office appropriate, Pink Grapefruit is joyous sunshine in a bottle. You can punch up the sillage and longevity by layering it with The Body Shop's bath and body care products in the same scent. (Some folks also swear the body mist lasts longer than the EDT.) Your mileage may vary, but at $15 US for a 1 oz. bottle, you can spray as often as you like and still keep your piggybank happy. 

Honorable Mentions: White Musk Libertine, Red Musk, Satsuma, Shea, JavariLove ETC...

 

The Body Shop logo

 

RED MUSK

The Body Shop Red Musk fragrance

By Elena Vosnaki, editor of Fragrantica in Greek

When I first discovered The Body Shop I was a teenager. This also happened to be a time when the company was run by its founder, Anita Roddick, and not by the conglomerate that is L'Oreal. It gave a wholesomeness to the concept which I sorely miss. I also miss (sorely!) some of those fabulous, early perfume oils with imaginative and totally incongruent names: Japanese Musk, Azmaria, Ananya and Woody Sandalwood (the latter was a huge hit on my crush!). These are no more... Thankfully, in an array of mainstream and much more forgettable scents that get discontinued at seemingly lighting speed, there are still a couple The Body Shop fragrances that manage to capture my interest. The latest has been Red Musk.

I discovered Red Musk on the recommendation of a friend from Fragrantica and I thank her for it. I bought the perfume oil on the spot and didn't regret it. The advertising copy insists this is a spicy and unconventional fragrance for fiery situations, but what I get is the cozy core of the original White Musk powdery scent drydown, ornamented with the lushest tobacco and dried fruits overlay. In a way it's like a lighter, subtler Burberry London for Men, a very fetching scent in its own right. Red Musk is like a fluffy terry robe that a handsome man who smokes pipe tobacco with apricot flavor has worn for a few days; it has that soft, enveloping lived-in feeling that is both a consolation and a longing, and I happen to be a total sucker for this kind of scents. Maybe you are, too?

Honorable Mentions: English Dawn White GardeniaIndian Night JasmineWhite Musk perfume oil.

The Body Shop logo

 

ATLAS MOUNTAIN ROSE

The Body Shop Atlas Mountain Rose fragrance

By: Sofia Shang editor of Fragrantica in Chinese

Somehow, natural rose scent has became a staple olfactory treat to me as I go right past people’s rose gardens every day when I walk my dog. However, perhaps due to the familiarity factor of roses in my daily life, I can be overly picky about rose-themed scent at times. All those could’ve, should’ve, and cost-effective analyses occupied my cerebral cortex. This was until one day I sprayed a bit of The Body Shop’s Atlas Mountain Rose on when stocking up on some bath products. Without too much critical analysis, this rose perfume reminds me the joy of simply wearing something floral, soft, feminine, and the enjoyment of living in the moment by stopping and smelling the roses.

Despite being a scent from a bath and body brand, Atlas Mountain Rose exudes quality and fine perfume depth. The sweet and fresh citrusy opening gives the otherwise dewy and fresh morning rose a bit of vibrant boost. Soon, a powdery veil wraps around the rose scent nicely. This feminine vibe reminds me of rose water, cosmetic powder and things that could be on Marie Antoinette’s dressing table. Amber brings mouth-watering sour and savoury tinge and a bit of musk hint, making the ending rather tantalizing. Like a warmer cousin of Sa Majeste la Rose, or a less bourgeois sister of Bvlgari’s Rose Essentielle, Atlas Mountain Rose is a lovely fresh rose scent with a cozy heart. Just like most TBS scents, you can easily wear this on a daily basis, just to feel prettily clothed in scent.

Honorable Mentions: White Musk, Kistna, Japanese Cherry Blossom, Coconut

The Body Shop logo

 

ACTIVIST

The Body Shop Activist EDT

By: Marlen Elliot Harrison, co-editor of Fragrantica in English

Opening with a green, citrus burst, the topnotes immediately give way to the warm sandalwood and amber heart. Remember the sweetness of Opium pour Homme? Activist is quite similar with an almost root beer like vibe! Remember the wonderful woods of Egoiste? Activist has them too, albeit more subtly! I also detect hints of patchouli and cinnamon in subtle doses. In fact I'm quite sure that Activist was The Body Shop's answer to the Burberry and Zino paradigm of sweet, rich, woody aromas of the late 80s/early 90s.

In its original formulation, Activist offered outstanding longevity and powerful sillage and though the current formula is almost exact, the longevity seems to have suffered a bit. Still, for the price (around $28 USD for a 100ml EDT), it's hard to beat the ambery goodness of Activist. Though no longer the powerhouse it once was, if looking for something that alludes to these other masterpieces but is also budget-friendly, you'd be hard-pressed to find something as suitable as Activist.

Honorable Mentions: Of a ManBeleaf, Oceanus, Moringa, Fuji Green Tea, Satsuma, Midnight Bakula

The Body Shop logo

 

INDIAN NIGHT JASMINE

The Body Shop Indian Night Jasmine EDT

By: Rouu Abd El-Latifeditor of Fragrantica in Arabic

Although it has been discontinued; the beautiful Neroli Jasmin is still one of the best scents ever made among The Body Shop fragrance collection. The sparkly smell of jasmine is smoothed over with the sweetness of a soft vanilla, slightly blurring the expected floral theme; this is no heady floral nor creamy jasmine. On my skin this is a bright, crisp and subtly delicious, slightly sweet floral scent. Neroli Jasmine evolves through floral accords ending with a sunny sandalwood accord. This scent could bring up your mood upon first spray.

And although it's gone, it could very likely be replaced by the more recent Indian Night Jasmine which isn’t identical, but similar enough that it vibrates at the same frequency. A little warmer? More ambery? It might be less greener? Yes, I think it is. As a fan of old The Body Shop Neroli Jasmin  I found Indian Night Jasmine to be a lighter version that still warrants attention. Moderate sillage and quite impressive longevity +5 hrs when layered over body mist or body lotion.

Affordable and a complement-getter without being obtrusive; a little detail that may make your day…

Honorable Mentions: White Musk, Amorito, English Dawn White Gardenia, British Rose, Moroccan Rose, Lychee Blossom

 

And now, over to you, dear readers. What are your favorites from The Body Shop? What discontinued fragrance would you like to see The Body Shop bring back?

 



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katja blue
katja blue

I like Polynesian Island Tiare and Fuji Green Tea

Apr
08
2017
Ahhhhhuh
Ahhhhhuh

Please bring back Mostly Musk Oil. It is the only fragrance I've ever worn that I was constantly and consistently complimented on each and every time I wore it!

Apr
08
2017
Dorange Sense
Dorange Sense

To me, discontinuation is like some corporation's middlefinger in your face.

I loved ALTARO so much.
Now I like WHITE MUSC for men.

Apr
07
2017
Krysykins
Krysykins

I loved Spirit of Moonflower!! Still the best. I also liked these limited travel sprays they had I was given one in virtual cherry, it was amazing!!

Apr
07
2017
Suzybee
Suzybee

The Body Shop!!! I love The Body Shop!!

Rose: British Rose, Atlas Mountain Rose, Smoky Rose

White/Yellow/Pink Flowers: Honeymania, White Gardenia, Moringa, Japanese Cherry Blossom, Fijian Water Lotus, Indian Night Jasmine

Fruity: Mango, Satsuma, Pink Grapefruit, Italian Summer Fig

Musk: Black Musk, Smoky Poppy

My only complaint with TBS is the longevity of their scents. Wish they lasted longer than 1-2 hours. Other than that, I am a long time fan.

Apr
06
2017
viridian
viridian

It wasn't a scent as in a spray or oil you could apply, but I loved the smell of their Milk Bath that came in the white cotton drawstring bag. For those who miss Tobacco Flower, I have noticed an element of it in Red Musk which is a really nice scent. Another vote for Leap! - I would love to smell it again for nostalgia's sake. Finally, their Woody Sandalwood oil - a lovely, clean woody scent. Lots of memories thinking back to when these were available.

Apr
06
2017
Greensprite
Greensprite

Cosmic range (lemon sherbet, cherry and apple) they were a limited edition range of body sprays and pen sprays in about 2002. Also fuzzy peach and some of the invent your scents...beleaf, minteva, zestini,aztique

Apr
06
2017
hafidzummc
hafidzummc

pls bring back tobacco flower

Mar
12
2017
shannis75
shannis75

I used to love Body Shop's Tea Rose Perfume oil. I still have the last bottle I bought, but sadly it went bad years ago. It's still sitting at the back of my perfume drawer, as I haven't had the heart to throw it away.


Nowadays I probably wouldn't wear Tea Rose as often as I did in my early twenties, but I'd still love to own a bottle for old times' sake.

Mar
11
2017
MissLola
MissLola

Please bring back the original vanilla!! And the old white musk from the 90's!

Mar
08
2017
Olotitan
Olotitan

Omg loved the body shop!
Ananya, Dewberry, Oceanus, Indian Gardenia!
I would love if they were to bring back these especially Dewberry what fond memories we have together!

Mar
08
2017
Brandi1975
Brandi1975

I worked for the body shop in the late 90's to early 2000's so I got to enjoy all of the iconic scents. For me it was original vanilla, I just about cried when it was discontinued

Mar
08
2017
janjanjan
janjanjan

Way back in the day they had a mix-your-own-scent bar. I was a wee teen and was too intimidated to try it, but as an adult perfumista would dig that today. Perhaps too imaginative for their new owners

Mar
08
2017
Konga5000
Konga5000

I have the Grapefruit body wash and it's so strong I dab it on my neck and wrists as a "semi-sold" perfume!

Mar
08
2017
app9
app9

OCEANUS! Please.

Ananya was good, too.

Mar
07
2017
kapted
kapted

Of a woman. The best fragrance to have ever come from The Body Shop. I wore incessantly for three years and has 4 bottles.

Mar
07
2017
fyrewoman
fyrewoman

Woody Sandalwood (although we must save these endangered trees), Dewberry, Ananya, Oceanus and Fuzzy Peach i truly miss.
Currently enjoying Italian Fig, Fiji Lotus, White Musk, Coconut and Shea of their more recent editions.

Mar
06
2017
maralilly
maralilly

PLEASE BRING BACK DEWBERRY!!!!!!!!DEWBERRY!!!!!DEWBERRY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mar
06
2017
amusedarcher
amusedarcher

I really miss The Spirit of Moonflower, Oceanus, Neroli Jasmin, Love etc and the Invent Your Scent range. Please bring them back TBS.

Mar
06
2017
Aafridi
Aafridi

Wonderful article! I love Midnight Bakula, Amber Oud and Rose Oud. Please bring them back.

Mar
06
2017
Marmoris
Marmoris

Red Musk for me too :)

Mar
06
2017
nexangelus
nexangelus

My favourites are discontinued ones mostly: Amorito, Zinzibar, Zestini, Amber Oud, Tobacco Flower, Midnight Bakula and honourable mention to Moroccan Rose and Cassis Rose. I wish they would bring back Amorito. Fo sho!

Mar
06
2017
matty64
matty64

I agree, the oils they offered in large glass dispensers to decant into small vials was very nice. Oceanus was my favorite also.

Mar
06
2017
JustJess5
JustJess5

I have 5 that I love! White Musk Smoky Rose, Moringa, Black Musk, Red Musk and Indian Night Jasmine

Mar
06
2017
ranchorita
ranchorita

Thank you for the skinny on grapefruit fragrances, Jodi. I have wondered if wearing grapefruit accords is okay for people who are not supposed to drink grapefruit juice due to medication interactions? These include some blood pressure medications like Metformin, I believe. I say this because I know someone who can't eat grapefruit because he is on Metformin, and won't even try foods or drinks with grapefruit in the list of ingredients.

Good on TBS, though, for formulating a true accord of Pink Grapefruit, though. It's nice to find an evocative likeness of an accord that is an undiluted pleasure.

Mar
06
2017
kosma
kosma

I love TBS.
My favorites are 'Black Musk','Coconut' and 'Italian Fig'

Mar
06
2017
Frayja
Frayja

Oh...there are so many.....
From now,I love Moringa,Tiare,White Musk as always,Tobacco Flower,Satsuma.
They are nice enough but I adore the creations of the past and wish to have them back,Ananya,Japanese Musk,Neroli and Jasmin Oil, White Musk Hot Summer, Moistly Musk and Cotton (not in database) and the amazing,completely amazing home fragrance (oil) Ambre Doree and Frosted Plum from their Xmas Edition.

Mar
06
2017
kristenboris1997
kristenboris1997

Oh I wish they'd bring back fuzzy peach, vanilla and strawberry. I can't really think of any others off the top of my head but it is annoying that they have narrowed down the selection of perfumes. Now I know what is wrong with this company, Loreal have taken over. I hate Loreal products.

Mar
06
2017
Nil3
Nil3

White musk oil and the edp.
Both my signature combo for 20 years.

A cuddly 24 hour sillage and projection.

Mar
06
2017
samlovefragrance
samlovefragrance

The Body Shop is my favourite wallet-friendly perfume brand:) I love Red musk, Atlas mountain rose, Amazon water lily and the gorgeous Italian summer fig.

Mar
06
2017
lovingthealien
lovingthealien

I'm personally a huge fan of Smoky Poppy.

Mar
05
2017
Angelica 000
Angelica 000

I would say Moringia, Summer Fig & Smoky Poppy are my favourites, but there have been m any contenders!

Mar
05
2017
CobraRose
CobraRose

Mango! So realistic a yellow jacket stung me.

Mar
05
2017
jillian.brown
jillian.brown

I miss Spirit of Moonflower.

Mar
05
2017
veda
veda

@MiniMudPie:You want Ananya?Try Honeymania.It is the same essence with Ananya ;)
Ah, so many...bring back the Leap!
Add Tobacco Flower to your data Fragrantica!

Mar
05
2017
akawanis
akawanis

Great article! Adored this place since I was a teenager. :-) While they're not EDP sprays, the 2 scents that I'd love to see brought back are:

- Passion Fruit Face Gel: This face wash smelled *divine*, and I've written to their HQ asking them to bottle it as a frag.

- Seaweed-loofah soap. Ohhh that unforgettable oceanic scent!

Mar
05
2017
MiniMudPie
MiniMudPie

Ananya.I have 5Ml of oil left that I treasure. Simply amazing.

Mar
05
2017
eirenelisa
eirenelisa

Cassis Rose

Mar
05
2017
Milathewriter
Milathewriter

I am a White Musk fan from way back when I was in college. The only reason I gave it up is because my SO doesn't like the smell of musk unfortunately.

Mar
05
2017
drugstore classics
drugstore classics

I missed out on almost all the most exciting ones, having not even discovered The Body Shop until long after L'Oreal's takeover. My fate, hehe.

But I will say that Moringa is a lovely floral, white musk and cherry blossom make safe gifts, and Satsuma is a juicy mandarin orange scent with better longevity than many a citrus. (It's also quite happy and sunny - perfect for a drab winter day.)

I'd like to say their oud was lovely, but how would I know when the salesperson (who couldn't pronounce or understand even the word 'oud') finally said it wasn't available at this location!!!!

Smoky Poppy, I admit, is pretty good for a new-ish release. Nice for a person who wants a lighter type of Opium. :)

Mar
05
2017
Lizardbreath
Lizardbreath

I loved OCEANUS and MOROCCAN ROSE, but my introduction was a simple Lavender lotion I picked up in an airport in 1996. Their DIVINE CALM massage oil comes close to that scent, but not quite. So good!

Mar
05
2017
katja blue
katja blue

I like Fuji Green Tea

Mar
05
2017
WhiteCity
WhiteCity

By far, I recall and treasure my beloved Beleaf.
I will never get over it....

Secondly, the Tobacco flower....

So many good perfumes driven to oblivion!

Mar
05
2017
Penelope_z
Penelope_z

Oceanus, and White Musk of course. And those amazing oils, I had Vanilla and Ananya, probably still do actually, in a drawer somewhere.

Mar
05
2017
njn
njn

Moringa is the best, and I love Chai Vanilla and British Rose as scents and many other products as well. My first visit to Body Shop was in London back in the 80's, one of the higlights during that family holiday. And I was so happy when their store finally opened in Helsinki.

Mar
05
2017
katerinka
katerinka

Moringa !

Mar
05
2017
LouPoetka
LouPoetka

Italian Summer Fig is my personal favourite, but I too loved Red Musk.

Mar
05
2017
NebraskaLovesScent
NebraskaLovesScent

Another one I recall liking in the 1990s was The Body Shop Marinis.

(Was it possibly the same scent as Oceanus? I couldn't find much about the Marinis scent on the internet.)

Mar
05
2017
the big totoro
the big totoro

Smoky Poppy!

Mar
05
2017
catherine82
catherine82

They should really bring back Midnight Bakula & Madagascan Vanilla Flower.

Mar
05
2017
ysatis
ysatis

Moringa!! My skin is eating it as honey

Mar
05
2017
helirium
helirium

Definitely the old Vanilla EdT and oil. They should bring it back.

Mar
05
2017
UnearthlyApothecary
UnearthlyApothecary

I absolutely love Red Musk, it is probably my favorite musk scent ever.

Mar
05
2017
ong
ong

No debate ,since I was young.

Mar
05
2017
katemax
katemax

Amorito, oceanus and woody sandalwood they should bring back

Mar
05
2017
iamoir
iamoir

Red musk oud impressed me a lot.

Mar
05
2017

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