Ever since the flagship store first opened its doors back in April of this year, I have been a regular customer - not only because it's actually the easiest and most convenient shop for me to visit, but because the store is more of an experience than simply a faceless retail outlet.
Each and every time I have waltzed through the doors, I have met and conversed with many amazing employees and customers - each of whom are keen to share their Lush stories, and in turn help you to learn even more about certain products, and the company in general. Those that have had the pleasure of visiting the store, will know what I mean when I say that you can lose five hours of your life in that shop. With perfume galleries, product demos and so much more going on at any one time, it's easily done.
Yesterday announced the beginning of a series of cinema screenings being held to a select few people on the lower floor of the flagship store.Three films in particular; Elf, Home Alone, and Mark Constantine's favourite film, High Fidelity, have been picked to run right through to the end of December, with limited seating being available on a first come, first-serve basis.
These events are completely free - with complimentary food and drink being offered during the screening to coincide with the experience, and limited edition perfumes, shower gels, posters and a t-shirt being available to buy afterwards. Even if Lush were to charge £10 for a ticket, I'd still maintain that this was a bargain, and one that needs to be experienced. The fact that it's free is even better, and seems somewhat of a steal!
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to grab a seat to see the first showing of High Fidelity - a film I forget how much I appreciate until I rekindle my love for it every few years. Upon arrival, we were presented with a gorgeous looking cinema ticket and ushered into a quaint room with enough space for sixteen viewers. We were offered retro-looking bags of popcorn and sweets from the wonderful Sunshine Snack Bar, and settled down onto what turned out to be perhaps the comfiest cinema seats I have ever experienced.
Everybody was given a box before the show began, which featured a range of props to coincide with the film. These props had each been fragranced with a particular smell, and viewers were given a leaflet explaining what each perfume was and a little about why that smell had been chosen for that character or scene. Throughout the showing, employees would prompt us to remove one of the items from the box and encourage us to enjoy that smell while a certain scene was going on. This really brought the characters to life, and I was both perplexed and impressed by how well the fragrances complimented certain characters and moments in the film.
Throughout the screening, there were also other fragrances being released into the air, and these really helped to bring the film to life - their subtle scents creating such a beautiful and equally comforting atmosphere, that at times I didn't even realise that a new perfume had been circulating the room at all.
Halfway through the film, employees offered us a Sikkim Girls inspired cocktail, which was perhaps the strangest beverage I have ever had the pleasure of tasting. With lashings of jasmine cordial and gin, alongside other mysterious ingredients, this tipple was a very unique experience, but was definitely in-keeping with the original fragrance.
During the showing, we were also gifted with chocolates that were inspired by particular Lush fragrances - my favourite being a Sonic Death Monkey chocolate that had defined layers of both coffee and lime to make it taste scarily like how you'd imagine the shower gel to do so.
Afterwards, we were ushered into a smaller room and treated to a wonderful display of limited edition perfumes and shower gels that are currently available as part of the experience. These beauties are available to the general public, so you don't have to attend any of the screenings to purchase them, and they should remain on sale for the most part of December.
Currently, Lush are offering Tuca Tuca, Honey I Washed The Kids, Celebrate, Lord Of Misrule and Tramp perfumes; Tramp, Snowcake and Sonic Death Monkey Shower Gel; limited edition posters of all three films; and a Sonic Death Monkey t-shirt to coincide with these events.
In reference to the film, High Fidelity, my top 5 highlights of the evening were as follows:
5. The Sunshine Snack Bar - what's not to like about being given free sweets to enjoy during your film?
4.The scent-inspired chocolates. You'd be hard-pressed to find me a vegan chocolate that I don't like, so to taste chocolates that are inspired by Lush products, is the ideal. They were a wonderful addition to the experience, and I only hope that Lush do more of these in the future.
3. The prop box. While we weren't allowed to keep the items featured, I loved the fact that each and everything inside was scented with one of Lush's perfumes. This not only brought the film to life, but helped me to appreciate some of the fragrances I was least familiar with, as well as discover some amazing combinations - hint: Love and Lust together are spellbinding!
2. The limited edition gels and perfumes. Although I am lucky enough to get most of what I want through the kitchen, I love that Lush have made these perfumes available for the general public. It's not only a great way for existing fans to rekindle their love for a limited edition, but also an opportunity for new fans to taste something from Lush's past. And Tuca Tuca perfume? Yes please!
1. The fact that the whole event was free. Some may argue that the company make more than enough money to hold these free events, but I don't believe that this is the reason why they do so. It is obvious that Mark Constantine, and the entire Lush family, put a lot of thought, energy and emotion into the products they make, and that there is far more history and value behind each and every one of the fragrances that the company bring out. Yesterday gave me a tiny glimpse into the backstory of some of the perfumes, and helped me to appreciate others a little more as well.
I would also like to say a massive thank you to all of the staff who were present as part of the experience, and just those that shared their wisdom and their stories with me before, during and after the event. A particular thank you needs to be given to one particular employee, who went out of her way to offer me some extra goodies that are featured in some of the pictures below. Your gesture was the cherry on top of what was already a fantastic night, and I truly appreciate the generosity that went into it.
I really hope that Lush hold more of these events in the future, as I would be fascinated to learn more about the company and their products through such interesting and unique experiences. While I believe that the rest of the screenings have sold out, it is definitely worth giving the store a call and seeing if any places have been made available - it's an event you really don't want to miss!