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Jun 06.13

Gorilla Perfumes: Meet our Perfume Panel

Posted In: LUSH Life >> Gorilla Perfume

We might as well face it: we’re addicted to perfume. But can you blame us, when our work environments are so delightfully scented?

LUSH employees have ready access to some of the finest, most artful blends on the planet--so our habits are fed easily. We asked several renowned perfume lovers from around our business to spritz us with their favorite scents and tell us what they mean to them.

Let’s meet our Perfume Panel: Who are you and how many perfumes are in your collection?

Emily Burke, Manufacturing Training: “I probably own about 20 different perfumes!”

Mandy Kirscher, Public Relations: “I own upwards of 20 perfumes! (Being a former beauty editor had its perks!)”

Erica Vega, Training: “Oh, goodness, well over 40, LUSH and non-LUSH.”

Julia Hamfelt, LUSH Times Editor: “Ballpark number? I probably have 20-25 different scents on the go right now.”

Jessi Leahy, Retail Support: “I currently own 37 different perfumes. (yikes…scary when I count them all)”

Vincenza Moscato, Retail Support: “The count is now over 150. I know that sounds excessive – and probably is – however I love and collect perfumes and have for years.”

Loranda Vazquez, LUSH Times and Content Writer: “I own five perfumes. A small amount, but I love each one of them.”

perfume collections

What draws you to certain ones? Tell us more about your perfume treasures:

Emily: Most of them are LUSH … I also have some from different companies – Black Afgano by Nasomatto, Tokyo Milk, Vetivero by Dyptique, and a few non-named from overseas: a Sandalwood one from Grasse, France, an Oud and a Jasmine oil from Qatar… I'm all about the apothecary look! Sometimes if I find interesting bottles in thrift stores, I'll decant perfumes into them just to shake up the appearance a bit.

Mandy: I’m not really a perfume snob and wear mass market stuff right alongside higher-end, artisan perfumes. Some of my favorites have notes of rose, vanilla, tea or citrus—but not necessarily all in one fragrance. I remember when I was in middle school, being completely taken by L’Eau D’Issey by Issey Miyake. I own that scent and the bottle is so unique and different, but I can’t wear it. It just doesn’t feel right on me anymore.

Erica: The more I have learned about LUSH perfumes, the more I have become entranced with the world of perfume in general, and I am redefining myself with it each day. I like to collect them from my travels and my studies on perfume, but there are a couple that are dug deep into my nostalgia, and can’t be worn without getting a bit melancholy. There is one that just HAUNTS me; I can hear it whispering to me when I smell it.

Julia: Most of them are LUSH fragrances, but I also wear: Daisy by Marc Jacobs, Dot by Marc Jacobs, Pure Poison by Dior and L'Air by Nina Ricci. My all-time favorite LUSH perfumes are Icon, Ginger, Sikkim Girls, Breath of God and Vanillary.

Loranda: All five are LUSH; the first two perfumes are from a limited edition round we did a few years ago, Twilight and Rose Jam. Twilight is my comfort perfume, for grey days, to make me feel cozy and warm. Rose Jam is the perfume I wear when I go out in the evening. The other three perfumes are from the latest Gorilla Perfume release, Sikkim Girls, Furze and my all-time favorite, Flower’s Barrow.

Jessi: About a third of these are from LUSH; the others are from all kinds of different places. Interestingly most of them are in pretty non-descript packaging…odd for me because I like shiny, sparkly things. It seems with my perfume I care more about what's on the inside.

Vinny: One of my first paychecks was spent on perfume. My older sister proposed we share a collection since we both loved perfumes so much. If we both bought different ones, we could have double the amount we would have by collecting alone. Years later (she is married and has her own home) we have backtracked a bit on our “deal”. Since we no longer live together, we have built our own collections up; my sister refers to it as the “empire”. To this day we still do perfume trades although we tend to have lots of the same. I store my perfumes in a very old wooden cabinet that was my grandmother’s bookshelf (see photo, top right) Some have stayed in perfect condition for years, so – if kept well, perfumes can definitely last longer than most people think. The collection ranges from LUSH (I have almost every one I can get my hands on) to blended oils to roll-ons, purse sprays, solids, limited edition, etcetera. Tucked neatly away, but still on display.

LUSH perfumes and fragrances

Describe what draws you to your perfumes?

Emily: Once I get to know how a perfume smells on me, I'll choose one for the day based on how I'd like to feel. For example, when I need to have a bit of courage for tough conversations, I put on some Breath of God or The Voice of Reason! Makes my back a little stronger and gives me a bit more self-confidence.

Mandy: I also love men’s scents and will sometimes wear my husband’s Bond No. 9 New Haarlem EDP. It has beautiful notes of coffee and vanilla but done in a way that doesn’t feel too “gourmand.” My go-to is Stella by Stella McCartney; it has a strong rose note but is a little deeper and mysterious, thanks to the amber. My favorite LUSH fragrance isn’t a true fragrance at all! I adore the heady, jasmine fragrance of R&B. Oh, and it’s also great for conditioning my hair, too.

Erica: I wear perfume everyday, but for different reasons. To me, going out without perfume is like going out missing a shoe. I’ll wear perfume usually for what I am wearing, but also for when I am writing (like the leathery tobacco one I’m wearing now), depending on what kind of book I am reading, who I am meeting, what music I am listening to, what city I am in, am I on a work trip where people know the LUSH perfumes.... If I am going on a date with my husband, I might wear one that I know he likes, but otherwise I wear them to project myself outward rather than to attract someone towards me. Stories also really draw me to a perfume when I am getting to know one. I love to hear the romance, the tragedy, the dream. It endears me to a perfume, because it creates the story for me and I carry that story with me when I wear it.

Julia: I wear Icon when I'm feeling…Magical. Mystical. Curious about Nature. I've dabbed it behind my ears before walks beneath the full moon and candlelit ceremonies by the ocean. I'm a huge lover of incense, so the sandalwood and myrrh notes grab me every time! I used to wear Pure Poison by Dior as a teenager because it made me feel powerful, womanly and reckless. With its heady jasmine top notes, I knew it was too mature for me. But that's what I liked about it. I stopped wearing it two or three years ago but recently became reacquainted after being gifted a bottle this past Christmas. Ironically, it now reminds me of my youth and feels like a guilty pleasure to wear. It's definitely my signature evening scent. All my girlfriends expect this perfume on me when we go out dancing!

Loranda: Flower’s Barrow. My scent. This is the perfume I wear every day. Before it was released in North America I had a friend buy it for me in the U.K. I just couldn’t wait; I needed it in my life. It comes out very herbal and rosy on me, soft and mysterious. It is at once comforting and familiar, and yet haunting and complex. Since the first time I smelled it, I haven’t been able to forget it. I keep it at my desk at work, along with my lip gloss. I call them my beauty essentials.

Jessi: I have three favorites… The first I bought from a small Parisian perfume house in New York City. The smell is intoxicating…very feminine, sensual and romantic and a little more robust than normal fragrances I wear. It has beautiful amber notes as well as some rose and jasmine, and something else I can't put my finger on. I wore it on my wedding day and honeymoon, and though I was tempted to wear it before, I kept it safely tucked away. Now whenever I wear it I remember my wedding day and the amount of love I could feel that entire weekend. My second favorite is a very light and 'pretty' perfume with lots of flowers and a more lighthearted feeling. I bought it as an impulse at the airport in Mexico, and it reminds me of fun in the sun in the Riviera Maya! The third fave is 25:43. I don't know why but I am OBSESSED. It is so perfect, and so simple. I just love it.

Vinny: I have been wearing perfume since I was quite young. I was the only kid in grade 4 that was wearing Youth Dew perfume, or even knew about Chanel No. 5. My grandmother purchased my sister and I perfumes as gifts. The aesthetic of a beautiful bottle or fragrance as a little bit of art is fascinating to me. I also think that it adds to the experience of putting fragrance on. My collection is like the “décor” in the room so I consider it wearable furnishings! Certain scents remind me of my grandmother, mother, a vacation, etc… so it can be a powerful and sometimes quick way to draw emotion. I was like this as a child. I used to love the smell of my mom’s clothes and would walk around with a garment –sniffing it. I am very particular about what scents I wear for special events as I will usually associate that fragrance with the situation for a long time after. There are even some fragrances I cannot wear anymore if I associate it with an unpleasant situation. I am a wild and free creature of scent – I do not tie myself down to one.

Of Gorilla’s Album Two perfumes, is there one that really moves you?

Erica: I’ll gloat a little that my friend Jeff and I were the first to get onto the Gorilla Perfume Bus at LUSHFest 2012! We waited for hours leaning against the bus like groupies (or wet rats) in a muddy tent while listening to the Sound Bath being performed. I bought one of just about everything. I was most excited about the pendants, small little vials of perfume on necklaces.

Loranda: I bought Sikkim Girls because it is the first perfume I’ve ever come across that has a true plumeria fragrance. It reminds me of wandering under the plumeria trees in Maui. I’ve only ever come across that scent while I’m on vacation there, so when I smell Sikkim Girls, it takes me away to the place where I fell in love with my husband.

Jessi: I love Euphoria because of the way it was presented. It is a moment of peace, a stopping point, an opportunity to collect yourself and feel happier than you did before you put it on the skin. It is simple and lovely. This one should be worn by everyone when there is a gloomy day, a sad moment, or when people are unsure of themselves. This one flips you back into a good space. I love it!

Vinny: I have almost all of the perfumes, all except 2 ….I am not sure why I didn’t get them, I think I was trying to be conservative! The Sun make me feel happy and alive! It reminds me of Christmas Dinner and being with my family. We always have a huge fruit platter after dinner … The scent reminds me of how my hands and fingers smell as the citrus oils linger on my skin after peeling them. Happy times!

favorite perfumes at LUSH

When you travel, do you pack perfume? If so, how do you choose what comes with you, and how do you pack it?

Emily: I definitely bring perfume when I travel! I'll choose them based on the event I'm going to. I like to buy perfumes of wherever I go – because I switch up what I wear all the time, whenever I choose my perfume for the day it’s a nice reminder of my travels!

Mandy: I’m really cautious to choose fragrances that aren’t too overwhelming, since when I travel I tend to be very on-the-go (I just don’t do the whole relaxing/beach thing), so don’t want something that will become overpowering when my body temperature heats up from running around a new city. If I’m not wearing a perfume, I like to use scented body or hair care so that I have some scent on me.

Erica: Always. I choose them based on my outfits, so it’s the last thing to get packed. I’ll pick fresh happy or green ones for when I am training, like B Scent or Flower’s Barrow, and darker ones for going out at night. I usually bring 2 or 3 for the trip, and there is always Smell of Weather Turning and B Scent in my purse no matter what. I am obsessed with boxes and wraps, so I usually keep them in my jewelry bag or wrapped in vintage handkerchiefs if they are larger. When I leave, I always douse myself in my husband’s perfume to keep him with me for a while.

Julia: I actually don't pack perfume when I travel because I love 'collecting' scents wherever I go. For me, bringing home an olfactory reminder of my trip is more important than taking pictures. It may not always be in the form of perfume; I've brought back copal incense from Mexico, blue mallow tea from Sweden, eucalyptus oil from Australia, coffee from Costa Rica, Shea butter from Ghana… But each and every time I encounter these scents, I'm immediately transported back to that place.

Jessi: I always have a spray bottle that is packed in my toiletries bag; this is usually 25:43 because I travel for work and I love being able to smell like LUSH on my journey. I also always have two solid perfumes in my carry-on: right now they are Imogen Rose and Icon. I like to use these while I am on the plane, both so I smell delicious but also because they help to make a cloud of lovely around me which blocks out the sometimes unpleasant smell of travelling. Those Solid Perfumes are ALWAYS present - they live in my handbag.

Whether it’s in the bath water we soak in, shampoo we lather through our hair, or that extra dab of scent behind our ears, LUSH products deliver a fragranced touch to our lives - and employees here take full advantage of it. Special thanks to our Perfume Panel and enthusiasts throughout the brand who make working here smell so good.