Lush’s retro revival: original, hip

Lush’s retro revival: original, hip

By Ashley Kowalewski

Woodstock-era style has become a way of life for 20- and 30something generations embracing the old-is-new mentality. Riding the retro wave comes a new Gorilla fragrance collection from Lush that speaks to a vinyl-toting, hippie-dressing, peace-loving following.

Father and son company founders, Mark and Simon Constantine, were inspired by the British countryside, where they live and work, for this nine-scent collection. They tapped into the heritage, music, emotions and literary past to create a perfume lineup that is “an antidote to boring mass-market scents.” Their mission: To get people excited about perfume again, good-quality perfume.

The opinionated, old-meets-new fragrance range, infused with essential oils and vegan goodness, is impressive. It even got the official stamp of approval from renowned perfumers and scent experts Luca Turn and Tania Sanchez (co-authors of the Perfumes: The A-Z Guide) on Twitter.

Turin tweeted “Great perfumery lives: Gorilla Perfumes’ “Sikkim Girls” and “The Voice of Reason” are proof. @lucaturn

And from Sanchez: “Latest from @Gperfume totally delightful. Proving you can still make real good perfume from real good stuff.”

With warm citrus notes of orange, tangerine and sandalwood, Sun is like a summertime road trip, with windows rolled down and sunshine warming your skin.

Euphoria was inspired by Mark’s love of healing scents, using clary sage, grapefruit, lime and neroli for a mood-boosting and soul-restoring aromatic adventure.

With its notes of sage, thyme, geranium and blackcurrant, Flower’s Barrow is earthy and deep, recalling the lush and rich smells one experiences after a heavy rain.

Furze, a hardy British plant that can flower even in winter, has a warm, floral scent. It’s said to ward off hexes and curses. The Constantine’s mixed this essence with sweet coconut and vanilla notes.

Another earthy fragrance, Hellstone, aims to capture the dark richness of plant roots and fresh-turned earth. The spritz combines vetiver, cumin and beeswax for a sweet and spicy olfactory experience.

The Voice of Reason comes inspired by literary figures, the written word and secret society meetings held in dark coffee shops. Laden with notes of cigarettes and espresso, sandalwood and tonka bean, this scent is strong as a hot cup of brew.

If a protest scent were ever created, The Bug would be just that: Meant to resist Big Brother in perfume form, galbanum and black pepper create a feisty blend worthy of any well-read opposition.

Strong as stone describes Devil’s Nightcap, with a hint of green (oak moss, clary sage and ylang ylang) that can only be found from rocks that have spent an eternity in a lush meadow.

Sensual in an unconventional way, frangipani, vanilla and tuberose meld together in Sikkim Girls, named for the young women whose powers of seduction were irresistible: a subtle sway of their hips and you are history.

A huge collection, indeed—each of the nine scents comes in six sizes, each breaking with typical fragrance-flask design. Even the Lush labels reflect the Constantines’ ’70s inspiration with album cover-inspired illustrations and adornments.

Original and ultra hip. $15-$150 (1 ml-90 ml),

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Ash is a writer and editor based in Toronto. She loves testing out all the latest beauty products and is currently working her way through a 27-fragrance rotation and has more pink lipsticks, neon Post-its and daily cups of coffee than the average human. When she’s not wading through the beauty aisles of her local Shoppers, you can catch her at a yoga class or watching endless hours of Netflix.