Lush Fragrances is a unique concept inspired by the idea of family memories. ParfumPlus talks toMiche Whitehouse, Regional Retail Manager for LUSH MENA to get a greater insight into the brand and its way of working
What does perfume mean to you?
“Just as music is art for the ear and painting is art for the eye, perfume is art for the nose.” Scent is the strongest sense linked to memory and this is where Lush founder Mark Constantine and his son Simon found inspiration to create their line. The Gorilla perfume range is inspired by their own family memories and they were able to bring them to life through these scents.
What inspired you to get into the domain of perfumery?
Mark and Simon saw the beauty in perfumery as an art form, and the freedom of endless possibilities that exist within it to create meaningful scents. We use high quality, natural ingredients and explore how we can combine them to make the most dynamic and beautiful fragrances that are unique to each wearer and how they perceive it.
Each Gorilla Perfume is inspired by a unique memory, drawing on personal stories, people, and places. For us, perfumery is a manifestation of art and we couldn’t wait to create profoundly honest and deep perfumes.
What differentiates Lush fragrances from the other perfumes in its category?
For LUSH, fine fragrances are works of art. They are deeply personal, drawing on memory, anecdotes, people, places, and the senses other than just smell.
Perfumery today has very much been turned into a commercial vehicle, so the freedom of creating fragrances as a form of expression is rare. No one is really using fragrance in this way as Lush does. This is introduced through pop-up perfume galleries. We launched the Gorilla Perfume range with a guerrilla event whereby customers were taken on a unique experience to truly immerse themselves with the story behind the scent.
Please share a few interesting stories associated with some of the popular Lush fragrances.
Mark Constantine never got to know his father because he left the family home when Mark was a young boy. Years later, Mark created the perfume Dear John, as an ode to his own father representing the idea of how he smelled. It is a perfume that recreates the burying of your in clothing to get the smell of a person. Dear John is a perfume born from conflicting feelings of love and abandonment that Mark developed and perfected over a long period of time. Its mix of citrus, woods, and spices allows you to experience the fragrance and fill your head with a memory of the familiar.
Sun is fragrance that captures the simple beauty of finding happiness. It was when Mark was having a glum and unhappy winter when he would daydream about driving listening to his playlist for the journey that cheered him up and reminded him of warm, sunny climates and the joy of sharing adventures with loved ones. It has been made for those moments when you need to lift your spirits with a ray of sunshine. Its fizzy, sweet orange and mimosa burst over sandalwood can put a smile on your face.
Tell us a little about the ethical buying concept that you use to procure the ingredients for the fragrances?
Ethical buying is one of our core values and we believe that what we buy should have a positive impact on the community from which our ingredients are harvested. Our buyers travel worldwide, personally visiting our suppliers to trace the ingredients, to meet the growers and producers, and ensure care for the environment and fair conditions for workers. This involves sourcing the finest essential oils and absolutes, highest quality natural raw materials, safe synthetics, and 100% recycled packaging. Lush is a big supporter of Fair Trade and Community Trade initiatives and we ensure that worker’s rights (fair pay, working hours, discrimination, and no child labor), the environment, no animal testing of ingredients, and transportation is met before buying ingredients.
Which is your favourite creation and why?
It’s so hard to pick just one. I love All Good Things which is a perfume inspired by the bittersweet ending, relating to the phrase “all good things must come to an end.” This is an ode to the post-celebration, or aftermath when we reflect on the positive moments and celebrate the end of something great. It reflects on those memories that can last forever.
Besides the sentiment behind the perfume, the fragrance is bitter and sweet, representing a parting of ways and celebrating new beginnings. Its rich, smoky and sweet smell blends all the good things.
What is your opinion about the evolution in the taste of perfume lovers in Middle East?
Perfume has always been a strong part of the culture in the Middle East and that goes hand in hand with Lush being a fragrance company. Just as the Middle East understands how smell and fragrance is an integral part in daily life, our perfumers link fragrance to trigger memories bound up with our emotions.
While the Middle East appreciates the scent of rich oils and strong complementary earthy scents, Lush’s revolutionary fine fragrances bring the luxurious and beautiful ingredients through aromatic and deeply personal and dynamic perfumes. What’s great about fragrance is that everyone perceives it differently and what we’ve created for this region are fragrances that go beyond just the scent.