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Taking their name from the musky perfume their preferred to wear, the muscadins were recognizable by their tight breeches and long tailcoats with black collars mourning the deceased King Louis XVI. Several of them spoke in a rough or lisping voice, had tangled haircuts and were armed with weighted canes referred to as "constitutions".
The muscadins often consisted of the relatives of nobles or merchants killed during the Reign of Terror by the Jacobins and sans-culottes. As the Jacobins fell during the Thermidorian Reaction to a more conservative government, the muscadins took the chance to hunt down and kill the remaining Jacobins and sans-culottes. After the last of the sans-culottes were hunted down however, the muscadins became a threat to the new regime and soon fell out of favor.