LUSH Cosmetics is known for its minimalist packaging, ethical campaigns and delightful handmade soaps, cosmetics and scents. Now the company is creating some of the most intriguing fragrances ever concocted with dynamic British perfume kings Mark and Simon Constantine. From Devil’s Nightcap to Voice of Reason, which was inspired by the courage of the Beat poets, the dynamic father/son duo creates scents based on art, music, people and feelings. Unlike many perfumes on the market today, which are all about the elaborate packaging, Gorilla Perfume is completely about delivering a top shelf scent. The fragrances range from $14.95 to $174.95 providing options for every budget.
“We don’t have any particular interest in what is happening in the wider market when it comes to fragrance,” said Simon Constantine, LUSH Cosmetics Head Perfumer and Head Of Ethical Buying for LUSH UK. “Our criteria for creation are very different to other companies. We have more emphasis on delivering quality ingredients to the customer and use more expensive materials in our products. We avoid using cheaper synthetic blends of natural materials and opt for using good quality naturals where it is applicable.”
Completely ignoring trends is another unorthodox approach that makes Gorilla Perfumes a pleasant departure from mainstream scents. “At LUSH we tend not to follow any particular pattern or trend for the fragrances,” Constantine said. “Sometimes they are simple blends of essential oils whilst others are more advanced compounds using natural materials and synthetics. LUSH is pretty unusual in that we make all our own fragrances to go into our products. Very often the fragrance is not just in a product just for the smell, it will have a role to play in the product.”
Take The Bug, for instance. This perfume is an invigorating blend of black pepper, sandalwood and tonka. It’s influenced by hackers and secret surveillance cameras of the modern age and designed to shake society from complacency. “Inspiration can come from anywhere,” Constantine added. “I travel a lot and that often provides inspiration either in the products they produce there, the smells of the food or the use of natural materials. Other times I’m asked to produce a blend customers are interested in or an idea that one of the creative team are involved in.”
Erica Vega is part of that team in America. As North American Product Trainer at LUSH Cosmetics, she explains it could take months or even years to work out a perfume or as little as 25 minutes and 43 seconds. “Our lime and tonka perfume 25:43 takes its name from the amount of time it took to whip it up,” Vega described. “Sometimes, like the best songs ever written, they come into existence rather quickly!
While most perfumes are either geared toward women or men, Gorilla Perfume’s selections don’t need to be defined. “I tend not to look at particular notes as feminine or masculine. Because the skin is so varied florals can smell masculine or smoky notes feminine,” Constantine explained. “For us, the use of Jasmine absolute has been popular through our product range and fine fragrances and our Vanillary and Karma ranges have been really successful”
Vega encourages the curious to try it all and see what grabs you.“Getting a perfume onto the skin is key when choosing a scent,” Vega added. “ You'll often be surprised at what speaks to you if you throw convention out of the window and try them based on what intrigues you instinctually. Gorilla Perfumes are often quite complex too, Breath of God is a perfect example. It is a blend two perfumes, one feminine (Inhale), having wispy, crispy melony notes, and masculine (Exhale), which is reminiscent of woodfire and temples full of incense. Together as Breath of God, it is a landscape of a journey to Tibet, which can be worn by anyone.”
And if you thought traveling to Tibet via a simple bottle wasn’t enough, it’s still not the most popular scent in the Gorilla perfume line—Karma is. “It has layers and layers of scent, ebbing and unfolding as the hours go by,” Vega said. “It's a hippy patchouli, but much richer and deeper and with notes of lemongrass, orange and lavendin. People are very devoted to it. We've also recently unveiled a whole new album of perfumes, where The Sun is a big hit. It's reminiscent of tearing into a ripe orange, inspired by a road trip across America listening to Simon and Garfunkel.”
For more on Gorilla Perfumes visit Lushusa.com.
Contact Joanie Cox-Henry at email@example.com or follow her tweets @joaniecox.