nanaya: A pig wearing tiny wellingtons (cute)
nanaya ([personal profile] nanaya) wrote in [community profile] lushies2011-04-30 10:25 pm

Lush lists: perfume

This is a really big list, because it includes Lush, B & Gorilla perfumes. Over the years, the Constantines have been responsible for rather a lot of fragrances, in a number of different forms. I've covered ones that I have knowledge of, but it's nowhere near exhaustive. I've never managed to get my hands on Big, Jungle, Floreat or Flirt, for starters, so as ever, please chip in with opinions if you've ever used these, or any other Lush-related scents.

American Cream – A forum special which also had a couple of surprise sales & give-aways at Lush stores, this is another liquid perfume which was never on general release and is pretty rare. This has the scent of American Cream conditioner, a sort of heavy vanilla which also contains fresh strawberries, though I can barely make them out. AC has also been available as a solid perfume in a tin. In both incarnations, I find AC to be extremely light & ephemeral, to the point of being barely detectable when on my skin. The perfumes both have a more synthetic quality to them than the conditioner does, which is a shame, but overall they are not unpleasant, just subtle. The liquid perfume is definitely better as, to me, the solid always had a slightly soapy quality to it. I know a lot of people adore AC but I'm just not sure it works that well as a perfume at all. It's much less noticeable, and less edible, a vanilla fragrance than Vanillary is, which I suppose is good for some folk but doesn't work with my hyper-porous skin at all. Really for massive AC fans, who also like their perfume barely-there and have skin which retains scent well. This is no doubt a big part of the reason why it never got a general release.

Amondopondo – oh WOW. This smells like Turkish Delight! The proper stuff I mean, lokum. It's the essence of the bubble bar of the same name, so it's also rose and lemon, but I find it noticeably different as a liquid fragrance. It's not at its best in the bottle, it's a little bit too chemical, too reminiscent of a lemon-scented cleaning product, but when it goes on the skin it's a whole different story. It starts off very lemony, quite sharp, but as it settles, the softness of the rose oil comes to the fore and it's gently tempered, as if with a light dusting of icing sugar. It's towards the sweeter end of the perfumes but not strongly so, and is much less sugary that something like Candy Fluff or even Imogen Rose. It's a sweet smell which also manages to suggest clean and refreshing things, and that's far less common. Sadly, it disappears quite quickly on my skin, even relative to my skin's usual perfume-sucking powers, but I enjoy it greatly nonetheless. This was a forum party special from 2006 and I don't think it's been re-released since, which is a shame as the bubble bar still seems quite popular. Perhaps this is another product Gorilla could be encouraged to remake. Of the current range, Superworldunknown probably comes the closest in style to it, although I'm not convinced they combine well.

Bathos – a rare forum special, this is a violet perfume with approximately the same scent as the bubble bar & liquid bubble bath of that name, although I find the liquid perfume to have a slightly spicier quality than either of those. This works quite well and offers a bit of depth to the violet sweetness, but it's only a light spice so it works fine with the sweetness. I want to say it's cinnamon but it might be something like cardamon. So to me, Bathos is a bit like a cupcake or other decorative but toothsome patisserie of some kind, although if you leave it, the savoury tones will start to reveal themselves after about 10 minutes. A good violet fragrance but it has a slightly odd, almost metallic, lingering quality, not exactly soapy but cold to the nose. This can be a little ticklish to me. I don't really know what to make of it. I think it was released in 2007 but I'm not entirely sure. Odd, to be honest.

Breath Of God – a brilliant success, this is another truly new scent (forged from two old B scents, Inhale & Exhale, now available again online separately as perfume oils: see below for reviews) which really pushes the boundaries. Unisex and complex, BOG smells, to me, like the wonderful smell of church, frankincense mixed with a bite of cold stone and natural wood resins. Religious or not, that's a deeply evocative scent for many, me included, and BOG really captures some of its overpowering wistfulness. I recommend it very highly, even to people who think church smells are typically overbearing, because BOG is both intoxicating and refreshing. Solid & liquid combined means this lingers more effectively. Well done, Gorilla, this is the ticket.

Black Pearl – quite a few people who know me know that I generally can't abide lavender because sets off my allergies. So no Black Pearl for me, right? Weeeeellllllll, happily for me my reaction to lavender has been scaling back a little with my new medication, so I've been slowly trying some of Lush's more imaginative lavender mixes. I liked the Black Pearl ballistic when it was out, but it was really too much for me at the time; I've thoroughly enjoyed the shower gel, so what about the perfume? For me, this is only an intermediate success; unlike the uncannily-precise fragrance blend in the gel, here the lavender really dominates at first, further than my tolerance extends. The lavender does, eventually, calm down and even off, allowing the bergamot-frankincense blend to swell, but as BP doesn't last tremendously well on my skin, for me the window of perfume enjoyment is disappointingly small. BP's nice enough, fabulous for lavender-lovers, but I'm sorry to report that the perfume does not showcase it at its best. I will wear it when I'm able, but it's not going to be one of my top choices. I can't see this becoming available again, Lush are presently promoting Twilight strongly as their lavender option and, well, 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' parts 2 & 3 sucked! If 4 is any better, perhaps Lush might do a Greenwich-themed product...?

B Scent – grapefruit, fennel and jasmine? An odd combination on paper, when smelt this is hard to pinpoint. It's fresh alright, and airy, very reminiscent of a late spring morning on a good day, but none of those scents dominates. It suggests citrus, which it has, and the rose can be made out, just, but the hidden fennel is what seems to give it the fresh kick it clearly possesses. I don't really understand why it's described as “utterly feminine”, but then, most Lush scents are fairly unisex IMHO. This too has that epicene quality to it, and I suspect most men could wear it very well without ever smelling “girly”. Obv, men who don't care about smelling “girly” (hurrah for them) will be fine, but even those who do might find this blend sufficiently snappy to prevent them being overpowered by the rose. You can now buy this in a solid stick online as well, and that might be a preferred option for those wanting a hint of cologne rather than a cloud of fragrance. B is good at not swamping, though.

(Champagne) Snowshowers – OMG my favourite jelly ever in perfume form! How could I resist? Sadly yet inevitably, this rare forum special liquid fades fast on me, but while it's there it does make me happy. It has the Bucks Fizz scent of sweet orange and cognac, with the lovely light topping of elderflower; here in the perfume, the elderflower dies back to leave the orange more prominent. (NB I don't think there's actual elderflower involved, that's just how it comes across to me.) It's a truly gorgeous scent, one I love to pieces, but its faintness makes me sad. I'd love it if Lush brought this back into their main range, or even if it were online-only through Gorilla, but a little more staying power wouldn't hurt. There was also a solid tin perfume of it available from 2007 ('Champagne' was dropped in 2008, for reasons I believe were related to EU control of Appellation Controllée [?] products, of which champagne is one; feta is another), and using that as well does seem to extend its staying power a little. I like the solid but I think the liquid is better overall. That said, the jelly is still probably the best way to experience the aroma. But none of them last on the skin for long, I'm afraid.

Cinders – Another forum party special from late 2010, this had the scent of the Cinders bath ballistics in perfume form and it was really quite a revelation. I like the Cinders ballistics but I love this perfume. To me, this is the ideal way to experience the fragrance, as it lasts much longer than the ballistic. Indeed, on my notoriously absorbent skin, Cinders seems to last longer than most of the other perfumes too. Although it's described as 'cinder toffee', and it does indeed smell of that, the total aroma is sweet yet light, closer to something like Honey I Washed The Kids than to the Candy Fluff genre of scents. It's more complex than I expected, and more adult. Extremely rare, of course, I feel this would actually be a really nice Xmas Special item that Gorilla Perfumes ought to offer for this year's festive season; it could make a lovely gift. Definitely a winner.

Cocktail – a classic fragrance which has previously been available in B (see the Cocktail guest soap as an example), this is much less like a Lush product and much more like a traditional cologne than most of the Lush/Gorilla range. Quite crisp, with a 'yellow' sort of aura to it, Cocktail doesn't really have one dominant element to its scent. It smells of perfume, if that makes sense. Being Gorilla, it's a particularly good example of the modern perfume, very well-balanced and attractive without being overpowering. Not that distinctive in the perfume world, although obviously distinctive in Lush's range, I think this is aimed more at the higher end of Lush's market (ie people who buy prestige products, rather than Lush fans in particular) than many of their scents, which arguably makes the release of the solid stick less necessary, but I happen to feel that more choice is best. Cocktail has quite an epicene quality to it, and would make a perfectly good cologne or after-shave for a man, as it doesn't particularly project “femininity” as a feature.

The Comforter – with the same sweet blackcurrant scent as The Comforter bubble bar, rare forum special shower gel & even-rarer limited edition body lotion, this was available in the now-discontinued solid perfume tins range, and also as a one-off forum special liquid perfume. From my perspective, the liquid perfume and the shower gel tie as the best showcases for The Comforter, which is one of my all-time favourite Lush fragrances. It's sweet, yes, but not sickly, because the fruity tang is almost mouth-watering in its intensity. Some don't like the Ribena quality, but I find the perfume develops and deepens as it lingers. Like I Love Juicy shampoo, it's a fresher-smelling fruit combination than, say, the more synthetic 'fruit punch' of something like Angel Delight soap, and that makes quite a difference to the scent as worn. I regard the perfume as a much better way to wear the scent than the body lotion, not least because the perfume gives more room to the sour, lemonish notes which help balance the aroma. The Comforter has a soft bite, and that's what I like in my scents.

Day Of The Dead – the agave/lime/neroli scent in all of Lush's 2010 Hallowe'en specials was, in my considered opinion, probably the triumph of the year, so putting it out as a forum special limited edition perfume was both wonderful and tragic: wonderful because it's such a deeply beautiful aroma, and tragic because it's so bloody hard to get hold of! I absolutely adore this fragrance and I believe it'll go down in Lush history as one of the true greats – possibly Lush do too, as their Valentine's 2011 forum party contained Calacas shower gel. Clearly the Day Of The Dead products were a success, so possibly repeated attention on this point is the way to get more DOTD-scented products. Oooh, it'd be lovely as a body lotion. And it'd make a wonderful bubble bar, maybe a brightly-coloured painted skull design! I can just see it now...er yeah, so, the perfume...well, the perfume smells like all those things. It's quite punchy but you can really make out the agave notes in the mix. Agave's wonderful stuff, because quite apart from being both vegan and delicious, and of course an essential component of tequila, it affords a rich, slightly buttery sweetness which is impressively non-sickly in nature. The addition of sharp fruity lime and sweet fruity floral neroli makes for a cleverly balanced aroma. Sad that this was such a limited release, but let's hope its popularity means it'll appear elsewhere soon.

Dear John – firmly aimed at men, though it can certainly be worn by women too, this is a dark fragrance which is meant to combine elements of coffee, smoke, citrus and pine. As described, it does initially have a sharp lime burst, then deepens on the skin to a dark, woody sort of scent. Not quite as exciting as its description makes it sound (is any perfume ever that exciting?), it is nevertheless a complex and enticing fragrance which, to me, is best for a bracing climate. Not at all the kind of scent one would wear in a tropical paradise, this is more how your rugged male lead should smell when he pulls off his shirt in front of a roaring open fire. It's actually surprisingly light when worn, though, and warms up to a gentle suggestion of a fragrance rather than a kick in the ribs. It's another one which doesn't really last on me, sadly, but although I enjoy it, it doesn't move me as it does some folk.

Dirty – another old B fragrance revived by Gorilla, this is available not only as liquid & solid perfume but also as a body spray. It has also been put into hair cream, shaving cream & tooth-cleaning tablets. The products are aimed at providing an entire range of men's products in complementary forms of the same basic scent, which is not dissimilar to what Lush previously did with Prince. Here, the key notes of the fragrance are spearmint & herbs. I am generally not a fan of spearmint but it works quite well in Dirty, as the coldness is mellowed a little by the tarragon & thyme. Slightly reminiscent of warm, damp woods after a heavy rain, Dirty is perky without being irritating. I probably wouldn't choose to wear it much myself, but that's not because it isn't gender-flexible; like most of Lush's fragrances, it's very much about how you choose to wear it, and it's not too far away from other outdoorsy scents like The Smell Of Weather Turning. If you've enjoyed gels like Freeze or Aura Suavis, you might want to check out Dirty.

See [personal profile] alextiefling's reviews of the entire Dirty range here.

Exhale: Part 2 of Breath Of God – this perfume oil (available online or in Regent St branch) is the darker half of BOG. Cedarwood & vetivert oils bring the bitter notes, warm, damp & brown like so much crumbling leaf mulch. It's set off with hints of lemon, grapefruit & cade (apparently a kind of juniper, with that same drying sourness) and hints at quite a 'masculine' fragrance. While pleasant, I didn't like this one quite as much as I expected to, perhaps because, like Oudh Heart, it has a biting quality which I find unsoothing. Nevertheless, it's an interesting, captivating sort of perfume, even if it doesn't trump the competition.

Fever – before Lust, there was Fever, a strong and fairly sweet jasmine & rose blend which also found its way into the popular massage bar and is extremely similar to Mirror Mirror neck cream. This is definitely a floral fragrance, not a subtle one but it does cool down on the skin quite quickly. Not as aggressive as Lust, Fever is nevertheless noticeable. It veers over towards the more stereotypically “feminine” fragrances such as the self-consciously retro “Keep It Fluffy”, but the lack of ingredients like mallow and orris make it more adult. Sufficiently versatile to be a good choice for both day and evening wear, Fever had a lot of fans; it was voted to be made as a special liquid perfume for a forum party in 2005, and that's famously hard to find because it was so damn popular. It's not that versatile a scent, I don't feel, and not really a choice for those who prefer something on the dark side, but it definitely has its advantages. Ideal with that vintage cocktail dress.

Fire Tree: Part 1 of The Smell Of Freedom – along with the two halves of Breath Of God (Inhale & Exhale), Gorilla Perfumes has just released the 3 perfume oils which make up The Smell Of Freedom. If, like me, you quite like TSOF but find some of its odder notes unlikeable, you may wish to try out each part separately. Although they will eventually be offered on the permanent website, the way to try them out at present is to head to the Regent St branch which has all the current perfumes available to sample (thanks to [personal profile] tajasel for this heads-up). Fire Tree, the first part, is fresh & fruity, a little reminiscent to me of Champagne Showshowers but more like a sweeter, more floral Avobath. That'll be the lemon myrtle oil, which is very zingy and is softened by the jojoba. It also contains ginger & yes, fire tree oil. I have no idea what the fire tree actually is but I like this very much once it's left to dry out. Its first notes are a little strong for my preference, pleasing but just a little too much like an air freshener at first for perfection; fortunately, it sweetens up and becomes more receptive after about 30 minutes' wearing. I definitely recommend this to people who like Avobath ballistics or Stepping Stone foot scrub, it's a very complementary fragrance for those products. Extremely enlivening, this is vigorous & distinctive.

Flower Market – a very popular old Lush scent which has been discontinued for quite some time in the UK, but was available in the US late 2010 - see here - (and may return? Hard to know; it was in a popular bubble bar too). It took me quite some time to find a bottle and when I did, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. This is not a light or sweet floral, in fact it starts off really quite bitter. This, I think, is the combination of carnation & elemi. The heavily 'green' and 'planty' undertones of the carnation are noticeable – think of the stem and how it smells when you crush it. FM lightens as it lingers, but people who describe it as a “spicy floral” are not far off. I find it quite reminiscent of Skinny Dip without the warmth, or The Smell Of Freedom without the sour citrus uplift. This is not to say that FM is a bad scent, because it's not, but it's more than a little quirky. To me, it's a bit more like a B sort of fragrance, aiming for sophisticated rather than sweet or tasty. It's not a subtle choice and I might wear it if I wanted to make a strong impression. Definitely more of an evening choice IMO. Despite the rather foofy-sounding name, and the tribute to Audrey Hepburn, it's not an especially feminine sort of smell and I think it'd make a striking, bold cologne which could easily be worn in a masculine context. It's got a bit of intrigue about it, which is pleasing, but I don't think it's an immediately appealing scent. It grows on you.

Ginger – a very old pre-Lush scent which was available in B as well, Ginger has also been a soap, a shower gel and is still a Retro body lotion. Don't be fooled by the name, there is ginger in the scent but it's not the main attraction; the words typically used to describe this are “feminine” and “pink” (hmmm). Ginger is not at all intended to be unisex and is aimed squarely at the laydeez as far as I can tell, but despite its use of jasmine, rose and mimosa, it's a complex scent with an interesting bite, rather than a heavy floral – probably best described as “spicy rose” for simplicity. It uplifts rather than swamping. I rather expected not to like Ginger as I generally shy away from “feminine” fragrances, but it confounded my expectations by being good, energetic and interesting. I'd been looking forward to the release of the solid, now out and one of the first things on my shopping list. I'm happy to report that it's a good, sturdy medium for Ginger and is not averse to being mixed with other scents for interesting combinations, as long as you remember that Ginger is quite potent.

Go Green – Once, O Best Beloveds, GG was available in liquid spritzer form. I am not that privileged, however, and have only ever seen it as a solid. Those who like Squeaky Green solid shampoo will recognise the scent, but a little muskier in perfume form. Not too far away from something like Tramp, but slightly more savoury (and without the patchouli), GG smells like a dark pine wood to me, very Northern forest, though I don't actually think it has pine oil in it. It's also a little like Aura Suavis but with an added freshness. The mix of vetivert and bergamot is a little bit smoky and the addition of grapefruit gives it some zip. While I dislike the all-grapefruit Lush items, this is an example, like B Electro gel, of where it can be used as a very effective boost to a fairly herbal fragrance. There's a little bit of earthy incensery going on with the sandalwood (a nostalgic childhood scent for me) and the blend tends to make me feel calm and safe, although I can't really say why. It's excellently uncluttered by gender expectation, and while it veers slightly towards the traditionally “masculine” side of the perfume palette, it can be happily worn by anyone who prefers the fragrance of trees, herbs and fruits to flowers. It does have quite a bold character to it, but tones down reasonably well. Versatility, that's the thing.

Honey I Washed The Kids – previously available in the solid tins, and briefly as a liquid forum special in 2006. HIWTK smells, of course, like the soap, like some past ballistics and like the 2011 Easter release shower gel It's Raining Men, as well as somewhat but not completely like current ballistic Honey Bee. It attempts to replicate the distinctive tangy sweetness of flower honey with a clever mix of cocoa butter, orange oil, bergamot & jojoba, among other bits of scent-mixological wizardry, and overall, it's reasonably successful, although I still feel that IRM gel is the best way to enjoy this fragrance. I never got any of the liquid perfume, though; the solid tin I have is still good despite expiring in 2008, but it has the problems of all the tine solids, notably its fiddliness and the rather frustratingly vague quality of scent it leaves. The hint of 'lime' is noticeable and ensures the whole is not too sweet; I find the perfume disturbingly edible but perhaps not the perfect thing for my skin as it doesn't hang about too long. It's an enduringly popular scent family, HIWTK, but I'm just not sure it's likely to return unless there's a better way of showcasing the perfume. If it could be got to work in a new-style solid stick, that'd be pretty amazing. A strange but intriguing blend when mixed with Superworldunknown. So not vegan.

Icon – another very old perfume which has turned up in bath products and dusting powders as well, Icon was an early choice to evoke churchy fumes. Frequently described as “gothic”, it's less brooding a scent than that makes it sound, because the myrrh, sandalwood and bergamot are brightened up with orange blossom and mandarin. On the skin, Icon uplifts rather than drowning, but it's an aroma with a strong personality and it isn't for everyone. 'Refined' is the word I'd use. Sadly, like many perfumes, it really doesn't last on my skin but I love it and I want more. An Icon body lotion and shower gel as well would be glorious. The lack of an Icon solid stick is a massive fail on Lush's part, if you ask me, but apparently word on the grapevine is that it's on its way, so that's pretty exciting if you ask me.

Imogen Rose – new and hugely expensive, like most of Lush's products made with rose. This isn't a complex scent, it *really* smells of sweet, fresh rose petals. Too floral an aroma for some, I'm sure, but I don't find it cloying as it has hints of other fragrances creating a smooth feel with some darker notes. I think the bergamot and tonka are probably the key to that. There's also orris root, which is definitely responsible for the slight powdery element in the overall fragrance. I can see why this was created for and named after a baby, because it's got a quality which is reminiscent of the nice smells of babies (eg their heads). It's quite a romantic perfume and would make a good Valentine's gift, but it suggests love (particularly parental) rather than lust. Possibly the thing to treat new parents with? Rose is very traditionally feminine and a little childlike, so this perhaps isn't the choice to display sophistication and intrigue, but it's good for an innocent optimism. and feels quite freeing to wear. I'd very much to know how this smells on a man, though, as I don't see why the women & children should have all the fun. I always think of my taste in scents as dark and spicy, maybe a little fruity, and that's true, but IR reminds me that I can enjoy sweeter fragrances too. Not one of my most beloved scents but I find it surprisingly seductive.

Inhale: Part 1 of Breath Of God – this, the lighter side of BOG, was a bit of a revelation. Described as 'fruity' with 'melon notes', this is not inaccurate, though I believe that overlooks its floral qualities of neroli & ylang ylang. The fruity florals may be partly ascribed to the versatile & delightful neroli, but I feel that the presence of sandalwood keeps things practical & grounded. Suitably epicene that it could please most people, and perfect for the current weather, I am extremely pleased with Inhale perfume oil. Regent St Lush staff tell me it's particularly lovely when added to your hair and I can see how that would work.

Karma – the classic. This is beautifully realised in the new ranges, which are much better than those horrid old solid perfume tins, and are ever so slightly less sweet than old Karma liquid perfume – just a whisper. Love love love the stick, and layering with the liquid scent makes for a longer-lasting Karma aura of perfection. Again, I'm guessing most people who've used Lush will have some idea by now whether or not they like Karma, it's a versatile scent which retains its character across a range of products, even while it changes subtly with each one.

Keep It Fluffy – a long-discontinued B perfume, once a forum special, which has since turned up in the Keep It Fluffy ballistics and Love Birds soap, this is one of the few Lush/B/Gorilla scents which really smells “feminine” in perfume form, IMO. In the bath products it tends to be ephemeral, to my nose, and it's soft as a scent too, but as a perfume it's surprisingly enduring. The “powdery, 1950s” qualities (orris root?) come to the fore and it lingers well while never getting annoying, as many “girly” smells do. Much more enjoyable than I ever would have expected; let's hope Gorilla bring it back, eh?

Ladyboy – one of B's unisex perfumes, this has a frankly off-putting name and an eccentric scent blend (yes, there's some banana in there) but is a great deal more attractive than it sounds, although not as clever as it thinks it is. Ladyboy really changes on the skin and becomes less sweet, more woody and a lot more complex, but while I find it interesting, I can't entirely love it. It's almost annoyingly quirky. Kudos to the Constantines for making it work, but I can't see it ever being my favourite. You can now buy this in a solid stick online as well, and having tested this I'm pleased that the solid is a nicely-balanced scent blend which possibly works slightly better than its liquid counterpart. It occurs to me that Ladyboy would actually make a pretty good deodorant. Thoughts?

Love – my favourite new personal perfume cocktail is layering this with Smell Of Weather Turning, because it works so well. The ephemeral summer meadow aura of SOWT is deepened and darkened with Love's bite of green apple and spice. Although Love is actually more floral than spicy as far as its ingredients go, the bergamot and cinnamon mean that on its own, it starts off crisp (the apple sharpened with lemongrass) and warms up on the skin into a thoroughly autumnal fragrance which is not inaccurately described as “apple pie”. I do love Love alone, because apple is one of my favourite things to smell and taste (try putting Love on after a So White bath ballistic!), but in conjunction with SOWT I just can't get enough. It used to be in B, and was once available as a body lotion, but sadly no more. It is, however, newly-released as a solid perfume stick online. Get in there! Overall, I find Love, particularly in solid form, to be really good at combining with other scents. Try it with Fire Tree too.

Lust – a really popular jasmine scent, this is forceful and intimate. Gets right in there, BAM!, but it's not too cloying for me. Develops on the skin into something warm and rich, so I can completely see why it's marketed as the sexy fragrance; it's strongly floral and sweet. It's a very immediate, physical sort of smell and I really enjoy it, even when I'm not the world's biggest jasmine fan. The solid is pure scarlet, like a fuck-me lipstick. Not a subtle choice. Can be a bit much if you're looking for something light & non-intrusive, though. On the upside, it lasts well.

The Olive Branch – formerly available in a solid tin and once as a liquid forum special in 2006, this will be familiar to anyone who's used the shower gel. The liquid and solid perfumes are noticeably different, I feel, as the solid emphasises more of the bitter, plant & sap elements, while the liquid is lighter, sweeter and dwells more on the floral notes. I was not as keen on the solid, which has more of an aftershave quality to it, but find the liquid form to be quite lovely; used together, they are a deep, rich blend which works well, although it offers its own, non-identical take on the shower gel. Like the gel, I generally feel TOB is a grower, a fragrance which doesn't succeed on instant appeal but on forging the bonds of familiarity. I once thought the shower gel dull, until I started using it regularly; while neither of the perfumes can fairly be called dull (though the solid is the 'plainer' of the two), they too succeed not by stunning the senses but by working with them. TOB really needs to be tried on the skin for a true test, I believe, and though it is not a pushy kind of scent, it lingers suggestively in a gentle but tenacious fashion. I'd love to see this come back, but only if Lush can nail down the rounded floral tones of the liquid perfume. The solid is OK, but on its own it's not world-beating. Would make a fantastic scent for a solid deodorant.

Old Delhi Station: Part 2 of The Smell Of Freedom – probably my favourite of the 3, ODS is sweetly spicy without harshness. It is also largely composed of jojoba, but the addition of black pepper, clove, sandalwood & patchouli makes for such a rich, warm blend that it's hard to pick out a single note. Although it initially seems quite biting in the bottle, it smooths out on the skin to leave a soft waft of delicate incense. I adore it. The biggest criticism I can make is that it's not sufficiently long-lasting for my tastes, which is a perennial problem for many perfumes, but I'd still recommend it strongly. Lush staff like to encourage you to put the perfume oils in your hair if they don't stay on your skin. Not my style but this would work very well for that. Gorgeous.

Om – one of the long-discontinued B fragrances which hasn't been revived (yet), Om was briefly available at B in both solid & liquid forms, of which I think the solid version may have been the most effective. Another Orientalist fantasy, of which Oudh Heart is a newer example, Om was another cocoa & shea butter lotion perfume which attempted to suggest a spicy souk, and arguably was a little more suggestive of oud(h) than OH has ended up being. That said, I never felt the fragrance really worked properly. There's something very woody in its aroma, which may be the combination of myrrh & labdanum. I really like those scents, as well as frankincense, fenugreek & tarragon, but the sprigs of greenness it suggests are a little overpowered by the slightly metallic aftertaste, which gives it something of a stale quality. I don't dislike it, but it's not particularly pleasing to wear, and has something of the same problem TSOF has; there's just something a bit too medicinal about it in the end.

Orange Blossom – a light, fruity sweetness pervades “Orange Blossom”, which is not too far away from “1000 Kisses Deep” in terms of smell, although it is a much more straightforward and comprehensible proposition with fewer subtleties. OB is what it says it is, orange blossom with little in the way of frippery to distract from the main event. If you prefer the flowers to the fruit, this is for you; a perfume for warm summer days and relaxed evenings. Floral yet epicene, I think this could be worn by most people and is pretty gender-neutral for a flower-based fragrance. Newly solidified, the stick doesn't smell of much til you get it on the skin, but both solid & liquid are simple & delicate. If you want to wear OB all day, you'll probably need to top it up. Likeably accessible, there's nothing very quirky or odd about it. WYSIWYG.

Oudh Heart: Part 3 of The Smell Of Freedom – this, the final part of TSOF, is, I think, the part which contains the 'soapy' tone which puts me off the final blend. As its name suggests, OH is meant to be reminiscent of oud(h) and it is, a little bit, but for me, it's too bitter. Slightly reminiscent of Om and with a spicy hint of Skinny Dip's clove madness, I find OH a little bit like chewing a twig. It's not appalling but is distinctly quirky, an oddness which doesn't really work for me in all honesty. Some people really love this, but at £15 a bottle, I strongly recommend testing it out first if you're able.

Potion – I only ever smelt this in the solid tin, not in the super-rare liquid version (a forum special from 2005). The same basic scent as Potion body lotion, which is still available on Retro at present. Potion is a light floral blend of which rose & carnation are the main players. Fortunately, although carnation can sometimes be bitter, the solid perfume seems to avoid this somehow (unlike liquid Flower Market, where it can be noticed), which is a worthy achievement. For me, Potion perfume is a pleasing reminder of others products I miss, such as Almond Kisses moisturiser & Mirror Mirror firming cream. It's not identical to either but there are strong similarities. Quite fragile as a scent, I don't find this lasts, which is fine in skin creams but a bit disappointing in a perfume. Some people absolutely adore Potion (hence its reappearance as a body cream in Retro); while I like it fine, it's not one of my favourites as I don't find it distinctive enough.

Sakura – a limited-edition release in liquid form and also previously available in solid tin form, this is the popular Sakura cherry blossom ballistic as a perfume. Like AC, this is really one for massive fans of the existing product, as I'm not sure it's such a distinctive creation that it stands on its own. Then again, I've never been particularly keen on Sakura ballistics. I do like them, and will use one from time to time, but they don't move me greatly. Both forms of Sakura perfume are quite reminiscent of Rub Rub Rub scrubby shower gel, which I do like, and have that uplifting salty orange thing going on. To me, Sakura's a bit of a curate's egg. Do you love mimosa? Then this is for you.

Silky Underwear – still available as a dusting powder, this very light fragrance has been in Lush's range from the early days and was previously available as a solid perfume, now discontinued with the rest of the solid tins. It was briefly available in liquid for as a forum special, but I never got any to compare. A deeply non-oppressive aura, this is very light jasmine & cocoa butter with a hint of vetivert. I'm less keen on the solid perfume than I am on the dusting powder as I find it a little more soapy in quality and with less of a sweet undertone from the cocoa butter, but it wasn't a terrible scent by any means. I really do like SU dusting powder and the solid perfume is OK, but I was never a big fan of the old solids at the best of times, and I think this is an example of why I didn't really get on with them. I still wear mine occasionally, though, so it's not too hefty a criticism.

Skinny Dip – smells just like the long-discontinued shower gel and body lotion. Quite simply summed up as “spicy”, but if one wants to be more specific, a combination of spices which is only barely sweet, noticeably sharp and a tad musky. Although the scent is supposed to be white chocolate & cloves, it's the cloves which dominate; a lot of people apparently can't smell the white chocolate much, and I'm one of them. This is the case with most of Lush's “white chocolate” inclusions, which isn't a slight on them (as they do actually use cocoa butter in lots of things) but an observation that white chocolate is a delicate fragrance, easily swamped by others. Here, I think the hint of sharpness is the cedarwood oil; both it and the cloves tone down quite a bit on the skin to a gentler spicy aura which seems to be boosted by the vetivert. Overall, a thoroughly unisex perfume which is neither too sweet nor too savoury, although it does hint at food much more than things like Candy Fluff, or Jungle. It's roughly in the ballpark of smells hinted at when one says something like, “it smells like a souk”, although what they really mean is a combination of fresh & dried seasonings with some incense. It's a scent one might certainly associate with things like Arabian oud, and if oud is something you enjoy then Skinny Dip is probably your thing. Unfortunately, it was only available as a forum special and all products containing it have now been discontinued. Jerk move, Lush. Possibly, repeated nagging might bear fruit on Retro, but it's been a while now so I wouldn't recommend any breath-holding. Not for clove-haters.

The Smell Of Freedom – a slightly deep, somewhat spicy fragrance perhaps best suited to colder weather, this is one of the least gendered frangrances on offer and I personally feel it would make a very good scent for men without being solely male-oriented. It starts off fairly sharply, with the citrus notes being quite obvious, and with a very strong 'woody' quality which made me instantly visualise the cinnamon bark it features so prominently, but it begins to settle very quickly. As with a lot of the range, the softer notes come out more slowly, and these give it a faintly powdery tinge and a little more sweetness; on the downside, those slow notes can occasionally bring out a slightly soapy element which I'm really not keen on, and I think this becomes more noticeable over time. This is not as overpowering as it seems in the bottle, so you can wear this without demanding as much attention as you might think. TSOF would make a pretty good incense, I think, and a super scented candle, if Lush ever release any more of them.

The Smell Of Weather Turning – an amazing new perfume which screams “outdoors”, this is a roaring success. If you want 'natural' scents, this is like walking along the edge of a lush woodland after a burst of summer rain. It really smells of hay! That's not a bad thing at all, it's lovely. There's nothing sharp or sickly or cloying about his perfume. It has hints of mint and of pine forests and has got to be one of the least 'perfume'-like fragrances I've ever smelt. It's hugely versatile, and would probably suit almost anyone. Plus, it never makes me sneezy. Totally adoring this, have had to stop myself from buying multiple bottles at a time. Can't wait to get the solid for long-lasting layers. If I were to recommend only one fragrance, this would be it.

Snowcake – the same scent as the soap, this is a very light almond fragrance with a soapy undertone to it; odd really, I guess the soap doesn't smell like soap just because it is soap! In many ways, I prefer this as a medium, but do bear in mind that it's extremely delicate. A good perfume choice if you don't want to overpower people, this is fresh without being at all fruity and it's enticingly edible. It was, of course, only available as a forum special, which seems odd when you think how popular Snowcake soap is every year. I like it more than might be expected considering I find Snowcake soap very dull, but I honestly can't say I love it and I'd rarely choose to wear it out of anything other than duty. It's just too soapy and weird for me. This is, to be fair, a feature of almonds themselves – I've never like marzipan either – but although I love the nuts, this quality can stop me liking other almond things and is probably why I've never really got on with the Snowcake family. I've tried but it's just not really me.

Something Wicked This Way Comes – this was a one-off forum special with the scent of the renowned bath melt in liquid form. SWTWC is an intriguing blend of jasmine & ginger, quite sensual but sharp enough to pull the fragrance up and out. This is one of the more traditionally feminine Lush perfumes but it's not a sweet softness like Keep It Fluffy or Imogen Rose, and isn't even as sweet as Ginger. It's floral alright, but floral with a bitter bite which makes it challenging, even confrontational, yet has a winningly sweet element to it, as well as a soothing note (I expect that's the oakmoss). SWTWC veers into vampish territory, but that doesn't mean it isn't also a powerfully enticing perfume on a man. This is one to get you noticed, and it lasts reasonably well, though it will showcase the lighter notes as it lingers. I like this better than Lust for sexy & seductive. Gorilla should be pestered to bring it back.

So White – a very rare forum special, this is, of course, the scent of the So White green apple ballistic in perfume form. A lighter and slightly sweeter apple fragrance than the glorious old apple & cinnamon B scent “Love”, SW has a more buoyant, almost sylph-like aroma. Anyone who thinks two different kind of apple scents is pointless duplication is missing just how charmingly distinctive they both are; to be overly simplistic, “So White” is summer windfalls while “Love” is winter stores, and they suit very different kinds of moods. Sadly, on my porous skin this doesn't last so well, but it smells very enticing while it does. Possibly a more youthful kind of scent than Lush's usual ranges, I'm not going to stop wearing it even if it all gets a bit mutton-dressed-as-lamb. I doubt this'll be released in the regular ranges as Love is already there, but I think that's a shame; Lush could support more than one apple scent.

Sultana Of Fragrance – this very rare forum special is an example of Lush really missing a trick on the naming front. Since, obviously, it bottles the creamy light orange & grape aroma of the popular Sultana Of Soap, alliteration would have been far better served by naming it Sultana Of Scent, surely? No matter, it's recognisably the same fragrance family, and like the soap itself, it's a surprisingly soft scent. This is not a pushy perfume. It doesn't linger long on the skin and needs topping up to be prominent, but makes a pleasing choice if you only want a hint of scent. It's a little more towards sweet than savoury, but is reasonably epicene and can be worn as well as a cologne or aftershave as for simple scent. Citrus blossoms & brown sugar are the key impressions I take away from SOF. It's hard to find and expensive now, so I'd probably only recommend hunting for it if you really love the soap.

Superworld Unknown – touted as sweet but with a strong savoury note to it, this former B perfume is intriguing. It seems to be vaguely within the family of scents that something like Vanilla In The Mist falls into, but much less off-putting (to me) than that is. There's something a bit powdery in there too, but I remain mystified as to why this perfume is marketed with so much pink; I can't visualise it as a pink smell at all, it's much darker than that, probably because of the little hints of chocolate. Maybe a sort of caramel? That would sum up both the sweetness and the bitterness, burnt sugar, but it's more than that. An odd choice, this isn't for everyone by any means but it might well work for people who like that combination. The solid is notably different in tone, arguably a more accessible scent, and the combination of both is rather effective at creating a diverse effect. I definitely recommend trying the solid, as I don't think I appreciated the fragrance properly until I had; the solid gives a little more space to the lime & sandalwood, I think, which keeps the sweetness fresh & a little more tasty. Not for days where you want something light & unobstrusive, this is a good statement perfume with just enough lightness to stop it being overpowering.

Tramp – very rare forum special liquid perfume with the deep patchouli scent of Tramp shower gel. This gets very expensive when I see it for sale at all, and no wonder, since it's an absolutely fantastic perfume. It has the green & plant-like qualities of the shower gel, but seems to develop on the skin into something more sophisticated, closer to a closer to a high-end perfumerie than Lush's more immediately accessible aromas yet still immediately satisfying. Such was the popularity of Tramp shower gel that it returned to Retro almost as soon as it was discontinued from stores; Tramp perfume would almost certainly be a good seller if generally released. Needs a solid stick, it really does.

Tuca Tuca – I've had bad experiences with violet in the past. Specifically, as a child, I used to love Parma Violets, but an incident involving 3 packets consumed rapidly during a very bumpy car journey meant that for YEARS, I only had to think of the smell of violets to find myself retching. Fortunately, I got better, scent trauma associations apparently do fade, just bloody slowly. Still, this makes me cautious around violet as a rule, even though it's a lovely flower. It's not just me, violet can tend towards the sickly for quite a few people (see also jasmine, honeysuckle, geranium, ylang ylang), so its very distinctive aroma needs to be treated with respect. TT manages to offset some of the potentially cloying aspects of violet with sandalwood and vanilla, which in the wrong hands could have led to this being very sickly indeed. Fortunately, it's light enough to avoid that, and mixed-use of the solid & liquid seems quite efficient. I'm not really convinced by releasing a record (of the song, “Tuca Tuca”, of course) to tie in with the perfume, but that's another matter. Gorilla might have done better to ensure Lush re-released Gratuitous Violets soap to keep Tuca Tuca company.

Two Hearts – a former B perfume which hasn't been resurrected, this turned up in other products too, notably the TH bubble bar. Very strong floral, a mix of rose and jasmine. Sounds similar to Fever? It's not a million miles off but, to me, Fever is sweeter and TH a little drier. It has some darker notes which are slightly woody, and a little reminiscent of oud. Very much a Proper Adult Perfume, this (like Keep It Fluffy) is much more in the vein of traditional perfumery than much of Lush's main range. That's not a bad thing at all, but it caters for different tastes. It's somewhere not too far away from Ginger, although it's a little heavier to me, with a few notes which suggest The Smell Of Freedom. It's not really like Lust at all, which is much sweeter. This lingers quite a while on the skin, and has a rather miasmic quality. Can be overpowering in large doses and would be a little sickly without the bitter notes, which I think are mostly from the vetivert and the celery seeds. Here is a review from Fragrantica with user comments, to give a more rounded impression.

V – a very old, very rare Lush perfume, this was an early crack at something violet and was mysteriously but charmingly compared to PJ Harvey! I like PJ Harvey plenty, but I'm not sure the association goes beyond simple fannish positivity. V itself is quite a delicate scent, and doesn't seem to last too long, but it also has depth. It's sweet at first but develops on the skin into a slightly more incensey aura, something which isn't a million miles away from Icon but less overt. I'm not at all surprised that it contains cedarwood, bergamot & clary sage, because these are all quite contemplative essences. Rather dreamlike in its presence, I think V might be my favourite of all Lush's violet creations, but it's also possible that mine is just so old that it's become ephemeral over time, and my V is just the ghost of the more vigorous V which was once there. Still, while some people may find it too cloying for them, I do enjoy it very much as a subtle mood enhancer. More of a cold-weather choice, perhaps, but not oppressive in the warm. Ridiculously hard to find now, I can't see it coming back after all this time.

1000 Kisses Deep – mmm, this B scent is a deliciously light waft of mandarin and gentle florals. I find it quite soothing, if a little on the pale side. Interestingly, it lingered on my skin longer than some of the more pungent fragrances, so that's worth bearing in mind. For me, it starts off quite sharp and citrus-kissed, but settles down fairly quickly into a warm petal mix which is a little reminiscent of a good pot-pourri. There also seems to be a slightly salty undertone to it after a while, both in solid & in liquid form – which might just be my skin, of course, but it's there nonetheless. I'd like to test this out on other people and sniff them experimentally to see how it changes; according to Mark Constantine, “1000 Kisses” was deliberately conceived to be complex and have many layers of scent to reveal over time, so I'd be interested to observe that in action. Some people seem to find this fragrance disappointing, and perhaps it's fair to say that it's probably too subtle if you're looking for bolder scents. I like mandarin oranges though, so I'm inclined to be generous. Try with the new solid stick for more staying power, but bear in mind that the solid smells of very little in the tube. This is another perfume which needs to be worn to be appreciated. Makes me think of spring afternoons.

I haven't given any of these products marks out of 10 as I just feel fragrances are too personal for them to offer much in the way of useful guidance; however, don't let that stop you if you'd like to!