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In late 2011, the Lush forum released a number of limited edition fragrances that were available for one weekend only as part of the ‘forum party’. As this was my first ‘forum party’ as a member of the forum, I decided to go ahead and purchase some of these limited edition scents: American Cream, Twilight and Snow Showers. This review discusses my experience of the Snow Showers fragrance.
***What is Lush?*** Lush is a store that makes toiletries and cosmetics, using natural and organic ingredients where possible and minimising packaging where they can. It started out as a mail order company called Cosmetics to Go, but this failed and the new store, Lush, opened in Poole, Dorset. Later branches of the shop opened in London and beyond, and there are now Lush stores all over the world. As well as in store, you can also buy products from the website, www.lush.co.uk. There are similar websites for many different countries including the USA, Japan and Germany.
Lush buy ingredients only from companies that do not test on animals. All of their products are suitable for vegetarians and many are suitable for vegans.
Lush say: “We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud. “We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and in the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again.”
***What’s the Lush forum?*** The Lush forum is a series of message boards where Lush fans can register and talk about Lush products. In order to register you have to give your email address and password, and supposedly wait for an activation email: although based on my experience and that of others (from the forum and Lush’s Facebook page) this email never materialises, and you simply have to try logging in after a week or so to see if it works.
I’ve never actually posted on the Lush forum. Partly this is because I don’t really have the time, and partly it’s because I’d heard that regular and longstanding forum members can be very rude to new people. I must admit I haven’t seen much evidence of this: everyone seems very friendly, and if I had more time I’d probably start posting there.
New products and plans for the store are announced on the forum before anywhere else, although someone invariably ‘leaks’ this information to Facebook anyway within a day or two. The main reason I joined is so that I could take part in ‘forum parties’. Basically, these parties involve fun and games on the forum itself, with quizzes, photos and other fun things to pass the time. A number of limited edition items are available to buy, normally via telephone order only. Sometimes these are shower gels or jellies, sometimes they are massage bars or body lotions – and sometimes they have fragrance-only parties.
At the last party, the available fragrances were released for purchase on the website for one weekend only. This was handy for me as I hate using the phone and wasn’t looking forward to having to ring up! I bought the perfumes and received them in the post in the usual cardboard box.
***Lush Does Fragrance*** Lush has always made a few fragrances – Karma and Vanillary are two that have been around for ages, and the Retro range contained Ginger and Icon from the Lush of old – but recently they have expanded this part of the business under the Gorilla Perfumes umbrella. They are available to buy on the Lush site and as well as the fragrances mentioned above it is possible to purchase some that used to be part of B Never Too Busy to be Beautiful (Lush’s cosmetic store which closed a while ago) and some brand new fragrances. Some of these are available in mini tester pots and some are available in store. I have tried several with varying results: I like most of them and love some.
Some of these perfumes are unique scents, but some (including Karma and Vanillary) are designed to smell like other products in the Lush range. This is the idea that helped to create the limited edition forum fragrances: they were each designed to smell like other products Lush sell. For instance, the American Cream perfume smells like the American Cream conditioner, and The Olive Branch fragrance (which I didn’t buy) smells like The Olive Branch shower gel. Members of the Lush forum voted on which scents they would like to see turned into a perfume, and the most popular (taking into account availability of ingredients and whether it was in fact possible to turn a particular scent into a liquid perfume) were chosen to be made.
***Pricing*** I think Lush fragrances are very reasonably priced at around £20-£30 for a 27g bottle. This particular fragrance cost £22 which I was happy to pay. Most perfumes come in smaller 10g spritzers, mini sample bottles and solids, but the forum specials only come in the full size.
***Packaging*** The perfume comes in the usual Gorilla Perfume bottle. This isn’t particularly exciting, but it fits in with Lush’s aim of making perfume about the scent not about the packaging. Also, the minimalist packaging is better for the environment and the bottles are made from recycled materials.
The bottle is black and tapered out towards the top with a plain black lid. The black and white label reads: “Gorilla Perfume Forum Special” and has the name of the perfume and an ingredients list. The bottle seems opaque but if you hold it up to the light you can see how much liquid you have left inside.
The bottles aren’t foolproof: a number of customers complained that their perfume bottles had been leaking. I haven’t had any problems with mine as the seal around the lid was securely attached. Lush will replace any damaged or leaking bottles, but obviously it would be better if the problem never occurred at all.
My understanding is that these bottles are an improvement on the glass ones the perfumes previously came in, so that’s something!
***Snow Showers Fragrance*** The Snow Showers fragrance was designed to smell like several other products from Lush past and present. The Snow Showers Shower Jelly was a festive product from several years ago that came back this year as part of the Retro range. The Golden Wonder Ballistic was a brand new product for Christmas 2011, and the Celebrate Lip Tint was a pale pink tint that was also part of the 2011 festive range. These products have a fruity, alcoholic scent and the perfume is designed to be worn to parties.
The key elements in this fragrance are cognac, sweet orange and lime. These combine to create a citrusy, sharp, boozy scent that is refreshing and cheering. I don’t normally copy large lists of ingredients into my reviews, but this one is short enough to do so:
***Using the fragrance*** I found the Snow Showers fragrance to be a sharp, light, refreshing scent. It didn’t smell like toilet cleaner like the Golden Wonder ballistic, which was what I was afraid of! It smelled similar to the Celebrate Lip Tint, though the fragrance is sharper whereas the tint is sweeter and has more of a fruity scent. I thought the scent most closely resembled that of the Snow Showers Shower Jelly. It was sharp, citrusy, and most definitely reminds me of the Bucks Fizz I was drinking on Christmas Day. It’s a lovely refreshing scent, and despite the alcoholic tang it isn’t at all cloying. It’s a little light for evening wear, but is ideal for daytime celebrations such as a lunch out.
The scent doesn’t really have layers to it – the different elements of the scent all blend together to create one citrusy, boozy fragrance. Of the three forum fragrances I purchased, this is the one with the least staying power. It starts to fade after a couple of hours and is almost gone completely after four or five. Having said that, it lasts on clothes much better – if I spray it on my scarf, for example, I can still smell it the next day.
Altogether I think this is a lovely fragrance. It is very delicate and the Snow Showers name suits it. I think it’s more of a fragrance for winter, which is strange as normally I associate deeper and heavier scents with the colder months – but this is a nice change. I do really like it, but I’m deducting a star because it doesn’t last very long.
Pictures of Lush Gorilla Perfume Snowshowers Fragrance