'How sweet I roam'd from field to field, And tasted all the summer's pride,' William Blake
Ever wander past a Lush shop and wonder how that signature Lush smell hits you as if you were frolicking through blossom-filled meadows? It’s because we love flowers and use colossal amounts of distilled flowers throughout our ranges.
We managed to sneak into Lush Perfumer Emma’s lab to ask her about flower power in fragrance, and to share her expertise. Relax, inhale and read on...
How did you get into perfumery?
Through my career at Lush I’ve worked with essential oils, from my time compounding, to setting up a quality control system and then buying raw materials. I used to think I’m not a creative person, I can’t paint or draw but I would think about perfume and wonder, could I do this? Mark heard about
this and invited me to come and help create some perfumes. He would inspire me with music and art. He would randomly pick out a picture and ask me to interpret it by creating a scent. He would bring in other perfumes and ideas to stimulate the creative part of my brain. I’ve been doing it for seven or eight years now, so it worked!
How do you bring your skills from being a buyer to understanding ingredients as a perfumer?
When you see ingredients growing you get to understand how different climates and environments can influence the overall end results of the oil. I am always aware of just how many tonnes of aromatic materials are required to produce a very little amount of oils. They are highly potent and supercharged, and it gives you new respect for them.
Why is it important that we have such high quality essential oils?
Lush doesn't compromise on quality and we always seek out high quality ingredients. If you
are just starting out, and haven't been in the industry, it's easy to buy adulterated oils that have been diluted or mixed with cheaper ones. We have a quality control department that checks these
things, making sure that what we are working with is pure. One of the reasons Lush has such a strong scent is due to the high levels of natural oils that we use in our formulas for product perfumery and fine fragrances.
Does being a perfumer have an impact on your other senses or your sense of smell outside of formulating perfume?
Your sense of smell is one of your most unnoticed senses. As you breathe, you are constantly taking in scent but you're not always aware of it. As a perfumer, when we were touring Florence for example, I can remember the smell of the streets. The sense of smell is primal but it is underused normally. Because I use it a lot, I pick up on smells much quicker. My sense of smell is stimulated constantly.
How do you come up with a new idea for a perfume? Where do you get inspiration from?
I've been inspired by my lockdown walks with my family. We’ve seen lots of native flora and fauna on the south coast that don’t have a scent.
I've been taking pictures of these flowers, researching them, and imagining if they did have a scent, what would that smell like? How can I represent that in a perfume?
Ylang Ylang Oil
Ylang ylang oil is prized in perfumery for its heady, sweet, rich and luminous notes.
Our ylang ylang oil comes from the Comoros, a volcanic archipelago off Africa’s east coast, in the Indian Ocean. The flower travels from field to distillation site and then across the ocean, and into our products.
Our suppliers support the reforestation of native trees as well as cultivating plantations of fast-growing trees that can be used to regenerate island wood supply and stop farmers from cutting their ancient trees.
Find this in... Magical Moringa
Beauty Balm £26.00 EACH
Chamomile Blue Oil
Chamomile blue oil is steam distilled from chamomile flowers and leaves, and its gentle, herbal scent is said to calm and clear the mind.
Over the last few years, our supplier in Hungary has taken many steps to become a carbon neutral company. They provide chamomile blue oil with very high levels of the active component chamazulene. Known for its soothing properties, it appears in key perfumes for Lush such as our Dream Cream formula where it is an active ingredient.
Find this in... Catastrophe Cosmetic
Face Mask £9.00 EACH
A rose by any other name... Rose absolute with its evocative, heavy floral fragrance is thought to be closest to the smell of a fresh rose.
Thanks to a collaborative effort between Pakistani farmers, a Turkish rose grower and Lush, our absolute comes from Damask roses grown in Pakistan without pesticides using permaculture techniques. The rose petals
are picked and go through a solvent extraction process to produce a fragrant paste which is finally transformed into rose absolute in Turkey.
Find this in... Keep It Fluffy
Perfume £80.00 Each
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