Don’t let the name of the collection put you off – behind the deliberately provocative façade an array of beautiful and heartfelt fragrances by the maverick scented Lush offshoot, Gorilla Perfume, awaits…
Father and son team Mark and Simon Constantine believe that ‘Scent can be evocative, alarming, confusing and gratifying – it stimulates all of our senses.’ The collection was first unveiled at an exhibition in London last year, at which The Perfume Society was invited to make a little film of the show – watch it here. Previously only available from their standalone Gorilla Perfumes shop in Islington, or ordered directly from Lush’s website, would-be sniffers can now get their hands (and noses) on the most poignant collection yet.
Each collection (or ‘Volume’) of Gorilla fragrances is based around a central inspiration, with ‘Death, Decay and Renewal’ being the theme of Volume 3. Drawing on intensely personal experiences, each scent has a story to tell, and as the names suggest take us on a fragrant exploration of the various forms of loss. Far from focusing on the sadness, the emphasis is on the ‘Renewal’ of the title, with every perfumed tale having a happy ending. Three of our favourites are:
Death and Decay
Lush says: ‘After a tough year during which Mark and Simon were both forced to face the mortality of loved ones, Mark decided to create a perfume that would be “surprisingly pleasant when you’re expecting something awful”. The message of the fragrance is one of meditation, acceptance and optimism.’
Personally, we rather adore the idea of telling people the name of this perfume when they ask ‘what is that beautiful fragrance you’re wearing, darling…?’ The gentle floral is heartily enriched with indole, adding a pungent, narcotic headiness to the pure floral scent of true lily. Overly ripe at first, it dries down to a lightly powdered prettiness that belies the label.
£10 for solid perfume
£30 for 30ml bottle
All Good Things
Lush says: ‘The cyclical nature of life is reflected in our connections with other humans. People slip in and out of our orbits, bringing ideas and inspirations into our hemispheres and the joy of collaboration and shared passions. When they must move on and leave us, the sadness of the parting of ways is tempered as doors open to new possibilities, opportunities and fresh ideas in their absence.’
Going on to describe this as ‘… a sweet, boozy stumble down a basement staircase in a cloud of candyfloss and black pepper’, Mark and Simon have created a wonderfully comforting waft of youthful memories to wear at any age. A lightly spiced, piquant perfume with notes of rose, cedar, cade oil and rich with almond-scented tonk a beans, All Good Things is redolent of bittersweet kisses and stolen moments of bliss.
£10 for solid perfume
£20 for 10ml bottle
£40 for 30ml bottle
Lush say: ‘Cycling home from work, Mark often spots violets growing through cracks in pavements and kerbs, and jumps off his bike for a quick smell. Influenced by chance encounters on the street that spark a fleeting interest… it’s a reminder to look out for the tiny revolution growing through the cracks of a concrete jungle near you.’
Capturing this delicate and transitory smell, Kerbside Violet puts us in mind of sweeties from our childhood, though this perfume has pleasingly green undertones to match the vivid colour of the juice itself. Dry and powdery, an instantaneously happy smell of rain-washed foliage and dew-sprinkled grass, this is a lovely little pick-me-up to remind you of inner strength when faced with seemingly impossible challenges (just like the little violets struggling through the concrete!)
£9 for solid perfume
£18 for 10ml bottle
£36 for 30ml bottle
Explore the full collection of Gorilla Perfume Volume 3 fragrances, now available in Lush shops nationwide
Written by Suzy Nightingale