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The Scent of Creativity

Perfumery at Lush

An abundance of artistic creation exists at Lush. From the formation and manufacturing of products to our innovative customer service, our creativity thrives.

When you first approach a Lush shop, one thing is certain: the scent of our many packaging-free creations is the first thing to hit your senses. We’re a scented garden of bath, body and skincare delights amongst the regular shops; a sensory playground that awakens and arouses the senses. But what makes those scents so obviously and expectedly Lush?

Quite simply, it’s our exquisite and custom-made perfumes.

Handmade cosmetics and fragrances

For nearly every product and perfume we make, we invent new fragrances. The scents for all our products are made at the Ol’Factory—at one time Lush’s first factory—in a secret location in Poole, Dorset, England. It’s where our creators Simon and Mark Constantine began making fragrances for products. Inspired by the work they do for Lush, the world around them, music, or sometimes a simple experience, many of our fragrances start with an idea until they bloom into their signature scents.

For instance, with Karma, Mark was inspired by Clem Snide, Radiohead and Massive Attack, and wanted to make a creamy, layered scent. And then there’s Dear John, a perfume he created for his estranged father who left Mark with a nostalgic spicy, tobacco and great outdoors feeling that became a fragrance and Mark’s ode to fatherhood.

What makes a Lush fragrance so lush?

At the heart of every bath bomb, perfume, moisturizer and even our shaving cream lies the world’s finest essential oils—concentrated liquids containing all the parts of the plants they come from that are most attractive to pollinators and our olfactory senses. They’re the very essence of those plants and can be made from flowers, trees, spices, shrubs and all sorts of other greenery.

You’ll find essential oils or absolutes used in all our products with roughly 200 that we choose from to create our signature scents. Each one is ethically and sustainably sourced by our buying team and are of the highest quality to ensure our products—and your experience with them—are the best they can be.

Where else can you sniff out Fair Trade Vanilla Absolute? We use it across a range of products including Vanillary. We’re the only ones using it in large doses and ensuring our suppliers receive fair trade prices. Vanilla beans, or pods, are the dried unripe fruits of the orchid Vanilla planifolia. It’s thought to have originated in Mexico where indigenous bees sometimes pollinate the flowers, each blossom producing a single bean.

In Uganda, there aren’t enough bees to do the job, so flowers are pollinated by hand using a small needle—a centuries-old method that’s incredibly labor intensive. Vanilla is the second-most expensive crop to grow after saffron, which leads many cosmetics companies to use synthetic vanilla in their products as vanillin molecules can be easily and cheaply reproduced in laboratories.

Or there’s the rose oil you’ll find in so many of our products. Since 2005, we’ve been one of the largest buyers of pure rose oil in the world, purchasing directly from producers in Turkey. More than 3,000 local farmers distill this world-class ingredient from the petals of Damask roses that are picked at dawn by villagers. It’s the best possible rose oil we can get and is one of the main ingredients in our Rose Jam. We also pay a premium for it, which not only supports farmers, but the entire community.

Ready to sniff out even more of our handmade fragrances? Book a personalized virtual consultation with our staff to learn more about our scents or to discover a new one. When it’s safe to do so, visit your local Lush to lose yourself in the scent of creativity or get up close and personal with our most loved creations.