Lush is one of my favorite places in the world. If I'm having a bad day, I take a trip to Lush and smell pretty things until I'm no longer on the verge of a panic attack. While they already had quite an array of exciting smelling treats, they've really outdone themselves with the new line of Gorilla perfumes. This exclusive range of scents is only being carried in about 15 stores, including the 14th street location in New York where I was lucky enough to obtain one.
This fragrance range by father and son team Mark and Simon Constantine is inspired by "art, music, memories, people, and stories" and each scent is accompanied by a one-panel cartoon. They're very intent on not just selling you the scented oil, but the whole sensory experience.
The Lush staff had me close my eyes and imagine a few little scenarios while sampling each vial. They were asking me to picture something peaceful and majestic, such as sitting on a hill at sunrise, but the heavy sandalwood smell of "The Voice of Reason" had me reminiscing about being 16, with my dad yelling over The Pixies to put the incense out before I burnt the house down.
I've always been a pretty big fan of anything that smells like church as a general rule, which is ironic since I went to Catholic school and was not even remotely a fan of actually going to church. It might be like a Stockholm Syndrome thing.
This oil was supposedly inspired by The Beat Generation and the likes of William Burroughs and Leonard Cohen. I would think that meant it smelled like depression and festering severed finger wounds but apparently it's meant to remind you of claustrophobic French coffee shops.
This one is the obvious choice for me because I practically live at coffee shops and I'm kind of French. And by kind of French I mean, "I don't brush my hair a lot and love Charlotte Gainsbourg in an unhealthy way." It's a really great smoky base for any sort of woody scent. I like to pair it with my TokyoMilk Dark Excess spray perfume because that shit smells amazing but does not last.
This line is sort of expensive starting around $25 and hitting the $175 mark depending on the size of the bottle and the scent. That hurt me, it really did. I finally decided this was a worthy investment to skip a meal or two for because it lasts all day and it was "for work" so I had to buy it.
Besides, I've given up processed sugars and there's no real joy in eating things without sugar anyway. This is how logic works.
While the rest of the collection didn't speak to me personally as much as "The Voice of Reason" (because I didn't have enough money to let it), I think there's something here for everyone. They pretty much cover all grounds from floral to woody to citrus. They're equal parts sophisticated hippy and metalhead with names like "Jasmine Revolution," "Hellstone," and "Devil's Nightcap."
If I weren't so monogamous with perfumes and intent on having a "signature," I would happily try them all. OK, with the exception of "The Sun" which was supposedly inspired by Mark Constantine's disdain for winter. I'm totally on board with this concept and would like nothing more than to just skip the entire month of March in favor of some warmth, this just smelled like green NyQuil cough syrup to me.
I love that when I search for photos of this, Google helpfully suggests "NyQuil cough syrup high" like getting high would be worth drinking a whole bottle of that stuff. No, thanks. It's composed of orange, tangerine, and sandalwood -- all things I love but this scent just upset me. I did have a hard time choosing between the others, though.
My advice is to actually try them on first because they really do seem to smell differently on each person. This is true for all perfumes to some extent, but especially this line.
What really sealed the deal for me was the super cute packaging because I'm a sucker. It comes in this cute little Gorilla Perfumes tube, with this book containing all of the previously mentioned cartoons. I was in a rush to leave Lush and avoid buying anything else, so I didn't even realize how nice it was until I pulled it out to show someone.
I was filled with the overwhelming feeling of "I'm so glad I bought this!" which is really the most you can hope for after any purchase. If you're a perfume enthusiast, you really must check these out.
What about you, readers? What do you smell like today? (There really is no way to make that not sound creepy, sorry.)
Kristine Rose smells like incense and broken dreams on twitter: @prtoftheprob.
*All photos by Mark Raker*