Friday, 20 February 2015

Gorilla Perfumes and More: Lots Going On at LUSH

With their roots planted firmly in the 1970's, UK cosmetic outfitters LUSH are today a globally recognised brand. Perhaps first known for their eye-catching soaps sold by the pound, LUSH have since expanded their inventory to include (amongst other things) exciting handmade cosmetics, innovative hair-care products, jiggly shower jellies and precious perfume oils.
Seriously people! In 2015, no fully-fledged perfumisto should be recoiling from LUSH shopfronts, deterred by the pungent odours that spill from the door! In fact, any serious fragophile worth their salt might actually like to spend a little time in there.

Gorilla Perfume is an arm of the company that produces blended perfume oils sourced from all corners of the earth. In 2010, Sorcery of Scent blogged about Icon - a scent which truly won me over, but alas, was discontinued shortly thereafter. As it turns out, Icon was only one of a number of Gorilla Perfumes that enjoyed its 15 minutes of glory before being retired forever. In that regard, Gorilla Perfumes feels a bit renegade - a bit non-conformist... releasing perfumes in finite little 'volumes'... a "get-it-while-its-hot" approach to perfumery. This in itself can prove both frustrating and exhilarating: favourites can be suddenly pulled, but new editions come that beg to be explored.

In recent 'Volumes', yours truly has been swept away by two scents in particular; namely Sikkim Girls and Hellstone. The former is wanton blend of tuberose, frangipani, tea and jasmine... it feels devoutly heady and carnal, and is (at the time of posting) still a mainstay in the line. The latter, Hellstone, is a punchy, brawny blend of earthy vetiver, resinous opoponax and animalic cumin... it resides in a register of gruff masculine virility, and challenges the nose much in the same way other cumin-laiden favourites like Rochas Femme might. Alas, the latter has recently been retired, but not before yours truly panic-bought a bunch of bottles! The magic that ensues when this pair is layered must be experienced to be believed... we're talking Va-va-voom! With many perfumes to explore (and seemingly endless layering combinations), even a novice perfumista would find much to love in the current Gorilla Perfume inventory.

But the fun doesn't end with the perfume oils. LUSH, I've discovered, are being incredibly crafty with their product lines, creating perfumed products that truly innovate: chewable toothpaste tabs in a cornucopia of flavours, bronzing bars that you rub on skin, and shampoo solids for your hair. Perhaps one of my most favourite products to date is the fascinating "Copperhead" solid shampoo... a macaroon-sized disc that - if it weren't for its tremendously appealing perfume of earthy, smokey vetiver - might look a bit like a puck-sized cowpat. Its magic however, lies in it's composition... a blend of melted henna, arabica coffee grounds,vanilla absolute and roasted cocoa extract. These ingredients work together to produce a surprisingly generous lather, and add conditioning and lustre to the hair. With each disc lasting approximately 80 washes, I've resigned myself to buying a handful of these as gifts to give to friends.

Throwback time: I distinctly recall the first time I ever walked into a LUSH store... it was in Piraeus, Greece circa 1998 and Mrs Sorcery of Scent and I were lured through the doors the smell of soap cartwheeling on the air. Back then the store inventory comprised chiefly of their soaps - enormous rounds of the stuff that looked like iced cakes and amethyst stones and frozen water from the Aegean. Today, LUSH still produce exceptional handmade soaps, and my my most recent sample was their zesty "Sexy Peel" soap... a sun-coloured slice that smells of limoncello and citrus sorbet... arguably THE most appropriate thing to use in the heart of the West Australian summer. After rinsing with it, I found the top layer of peel acted as a gentle exfoliant, and my skin stayed perfumed with the pleasing odours of a delectable lemon curd or scrummy marmalade jam.

Suffice to say, LUSH are making quite a flutter. I can't help but tip my hat at a company that are pushing the limits of convention, and are offering a range of products that span from vegan to those that are ethically sourced. In this day and age, its refreshing to see a global entity return to time-honoured values whilst still staying relevant today.

LUSH have stores in most major cities and a comprehensive online presence. Visitors in Australia can visit or drop into a local Lush boutique. (If you're in Perth, the team in Plaza Arcade in the central CBD are knowledgable, genuine and attentive). For international visitors, visit:


rich schulman said...

I appreciate your info. Christ you rock my scents.

Aer Click said...

Lush is an amazing brand. I have tried their soaps. The fragrance is so great that you actually feel like having bath like twice a day. Seriously!

Anonymous said...

What I love about Lush perfumes is their artistry and their stories. Stylistically they are drastically different to any other perfume brand, and you just know their perfumes are great quality with a high proportion of their ingredients being absolutes and essential oils. And you're right - it's not just their fragrances: simply being in a Lush shop in itself is a wonderful olfactory experience.