31 July 2014

I Should Coco Soap

On paper, I Should Coco sounds like a dream product - a soap made up mostly of creamed coconut infusion and desiccated coconut. It took a lot of will power not to sink my teeth into it and treat it like a block of coconut ice. I cannot deny that I didn't at least give this soap a little lick to test the water, but I did refrain myself from taking a nibble.

As most Lush fans will know and recognise, the company are big on using coconut in their products. Known for it's super softening properties, not to mention it's incredible natural smell, this is an ingredient that is both versatile and highly effective at what it does. Unfortunately, it's also a fragrance that incites a rather strong reaction from most people, and if you're one of those who don't like its smell, I can guarantee that you'll hate this soap.     

I Should Coco, as I touched upon above, visually resembles a piece of coconut ice - with it's white body and pink desiccated coconut shavings on top. Much like the old-fashioned sweet, this soap also has shavings of coconut threaded throughout the entire block, which gives it quite a rough consistency. This texture makes it a rather effective exfoliator - something I'll touch upon later on in the review. 

The soap has a gentle but long-lasting fragrance - a sweet, warming scent that intensifies in the shower and makes for a very comforting experience. The addition of orange oil adds a slightly uplifting, citrus element to the scent, but it definitely doesn't upstage the coconut. There's also a hint of the coriander oil present as well, which I feel almost takes away from the creaminess of the coconut very slightly. 

In the shower, the soap lathers up fairly easily but I was disappointed to find that I Should Coco didn't perform as well as I was expecting. For a soap that is so crammed full of coconut, I was expecting the bar to produce a thick, silky foam that instantly softened my skin - something similar to the consistency of Big Shampoo or Gentle Lentil Shampoo. However, much like Porridge, this soap has so many excess pieces of 'stuff' threaded throughout it's body that it prevents it from lathering up as much as it could do. 

The hundreds of flakes of shredded coconut do make this soap a really effective exfoliator - giving it a rough consistency to scrub and soften without being too harsh on the skin. However, I found that there isn't a good balance between the amount of coconut and the amount of actual soap present. For this reason, I was only able to use this as a body scrub and not for it's intended purpose of cleaning the body. 

While it doesn't perform well as a soap, it does leave you smelling beautiful - showcasing smooth, radiant skin afterwards. It doesn't dry you out and is perfect for those with delicate skin. This is great to use on the face as well as the body as it's quite a gentil scrub so won't irritate or scratch the skin. However, I had to use a shower gel alongside this to clean myself properly with so it's not the most effective soap to use if you're using it by itself.

Overall, I really enjoyed the scent of this and in it's favour, a 100g lasts a lot longer as a scrub than most of Lush's regular body butters. However, I was hoping for a product that could cleanse as well as exfoliate and I didn't feel that this soap did this successfully.     

Quantitative Ingredients: Creamed Coconut Infusion (Cocos nucifera), Sodium Palm Kernelate, Propylene Glycol, Desiccated Coconut (Cocos nucifera), Perfume, Sodium Stearate, Titanium Dioxide, Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis), Coriander Oil (Coriandrum sativum), Vetivert Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides), Glycerine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Editronate,  Limonene,  Linalool, Colour 18050.

Vegan?: Yes.

2016 Price: £4.25 for 100g.

Scent Family:
I Should Coco Soap
Japanese Aid Flag

30 July 2014

The Sun Solid Perfume

They say that cosmetics can't change a person, but I know differently. Ever since I began collecting Lush, I find that I get more pleasure out of deciding what to take on holiday with me than the actual holiday itself. On Sunday, I jetted off to beautiful, sunny Spain and I found far more excitement in choosing the products I was going to share my trip with, than that I was going away for the first time in years.

Knowing that it was going to be scorching, I opted to take a perfume that would accentuate the wonderful heat - The Sun. Originally released as a liquid perfume for the Volume 2 range, Lush have recently brought it out in solid form as well.

There are many reasons why solid perfumes are a good investment. Firstly, they are very easy to transport from place to place. They take up very little space and have no way of leaking, so can be stored in pockets, purses and bags and taken near enough anywhere. Secondly, they are great value for money. This one in particular comes in at £5 for a 12g tub, and while the weight in conjunction with the price may seem rather expensive for perfume, it's far more compact than your typical liquid fragrances so you get a lot more bang for your buck.

Finally, and this is more of personal preference, there's just something really wonderful about the packaging and designs of these solid editions. They're a great little collector's item and when bought in conjunction with others, look rather fantastic on your shelf. 

What I like about The Sun Solid Perfume is that it isn't as acidic-smelling as it's liquid counterpart. When I first tested the liquid perfume, I was a little put-off by how strong it was in the bottle. Luckily it mellows out quite a lot and I grew to love it, but the solid addition doesn't have any of those potent acidic smells to begin with.
Made from a combination of orange, sandalwood and jojoba oil, this perfume is a bright, refreshing and very uplifting fragrance. Straight from the tin it reminds me of freshly peeled oranges - it captures the tartness you experience when peeling back the layer of skin and pith from an actual orange. There's nothing synthetic about this citrus smell as all - it's as natural as you can get.

Underneath this, there is a very subtle but equally warming hint of sandalwood. This gives the orange a base on which to stand so it's not as thin and two-dimensional as you can imagine it being. The sandalwood makes more of an appearance on the skin, where it pads out the zesty scent and grounds the overall aroma. It makes the perfume just slightly more sultry and sophisticated, which I love.

To use solid perfumes, all you have to do is massage your finger over the surface of the perfume and then rub it into key areas of the body. It's much more conservative than liquid perfumes as you don't lose any of the product when you're applying it to your skin - a 12g tub would easily outlive a 100ml bottle in that sense. 

Unfortunately, the one downfall with this solid edition is that the scent is very short-lived. I applied quite a lot to both of my wrists and found that within 10-15 minutes, the smell had all but disappeared. My friends did say that they could detect the perfume on me, but they too said it was a very weak one and not something they could pick up without standing almost on top of me.
While solid perfumes are definitely a unique way to enjoy the wonderful smells of Lush, I don't think that this one will prove as enjoyable as it's liquid cousin. While the fragrance itself is flawless, I will be sticking to the liquid edition in future to get my Sun fix. While I have given it a high rating, this is because of the design, the fragrance and the usability - it's the longevity that lets it down. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Castor Oil (Ricinus communis), Candelillia Wax (Euphorbia cerifera), Brazilian Orange Oil (Citrus sinensis), Perfume, Sandalwood Oil (Santalum austro-caledonicum vieill), Mimosa Absolute (Acacia decurrens), Limonene,  Linalool, Titanium Dioxide, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Tin Oxide.

Vegan?: Yes.  

2015 Price: £5 for 12g.

Year Of Original Release: 2014.

Scent Family:

29 July 2014

Dad's Garden Lemon Tree Body Spray

One of the benefits of not reading up on a product is that you can sometimes get the surprise of your life. While this doesn't always mean for the better, most of the time it does, and it is exciting and rewarding when it happens. This is what I experienced when trying out this body spray for the first time. 

Coinciding with another perfume in the Death, Decay and Renewal collection, Dad's Garden: Lemon Tree Body Spray is one of two scents created to play homage to Mark Constantine's father. While Dad's Garden: Chamomile and Honeysuckle Perfume bottles his ideas of loss and how to move on from tragedy, this body spray is about rediscovery and remembrance of past relationships, and how you can learn from the past to better your future. 

After his father's death, Mark was walking through his father’s garden and realised that it was possible to miss someone that you never really knew. From this revelation, Lush created a fragrance that would play tribute to the memories, thoughts and feelings of the Lush co-founder. And while most Lush fans may not have been there to witness the relationship between father and son, or indeed the trip to the famous garden, we can all appreciate the beautiful perfume that came from the experience. 

Lemon Tree is a rather simple aroma made from a combination of lemon, lime, bergamot and lavender oil. If we were to compare this body spray to the elegant, fresh, floral aroma of Chamomile and Honeysuckle, it would pale in comparison. Yet it is it's simplicity that made me fall in love with it as much as I have done.                                                                                                                                   You only have to spray this on your skin to recognise the strong, zesty notes of both the lemon and lime - a smell that is almost identical to that of the popular Avobath Ballistic. The inclusion of bergamot compliments both of these citrus fruits and helps to cement this body spray as a fresh, sweet and wonderfully uplifting scent - it's like sunshine in a bottle. While you cannot detect the lavender that strongly at first, you do get a very subtle whiff of it when it's on the skin, and this just gives Lemon Tree a delicate herbal finish. 
In it's favour, Lemon Tree is a gorgeously uplifting zesty aroma - one that would work wonders as a 'go to' when you're coming off the beach or getting back from a long and tiring day - when you need a little something to pick you up until you hit the shower. It's bright fragrance instantly improves your mood and leaves you feeling refreshed and clean. 

While I do love the smell that this product showcases, I recognise that it's quite a one-dimensional scent so fans of the more complex fragrances may want to give this one a miss. For this reason, I can see why Lush have chosen to release this as a body spray and not a perfume - it doesn't have enough character to work as a fragrance. 

Disappointingly, this body spray has a really short lifespan and it is this reason, and this reason alone, as to why I have rated it as lowly as I have. I found that I couldn't smell this a mere five minutes after I had sprayed myself and this is rather shocking given its £18 price tag. For this reason, I will continue to enjoy my bottle of Dad's Garden Lemon Tree Body Spray but will not be investing in it again. 

Quantitative Ingredients: DRF Alcohol, Perfume, Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Lime Oil (Citrus aurantifolia), Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia), Lavender Oil (Lavandula angustifolia), Citral, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £15 for 200ml.

Year Of Original Release: 2014.

28 July 2014

Go Green Solid Perfume

I haven't had much experience with solid perfumes - partly because they've never really appealed to me next to their liquid counterparts, but also because the ones I have tried have often been way past their best before and haven't given me the greatest of experiences. However, when I found out that Lush would be releasing this particular solid perfume through the Kitchen, I knew I had to make an exception. 

Go Green was first brought out in 2007, as both a solid perfume and a liquid body spray. Inspired by environmental activist, Rebecca Lush, this perfume plays homage to her keenness for green transportation and recycling. It's for those that need a pick me up whilst cycling too and from work in the busy traffic and commuters that need to freshen up in the sweltering heat of the city. Those of us who have perhaps become accustomed to the hustle and bustle of city life, it's a nice little reminder that there are such things as trees and fields and forests outside of our tower buildings and Starbucks cafes.  

Looking at the ingredients list, it's hard to imagine what this perfume might smell like before you've experienced it for yourself. Some people claim that it shares it's scent with Grass Shower Gel, whilst others name drop x, y and z Lush products that supposedly possess similar aromas.                                                                                     As it happens, this perfume doesn't smell like any other Lush product I have come across. It's definitely a very 'green' smell, that much is true. However, it doesn't smell anything like the aforementioned shower gel, it's far more complex than that. It's grassy, it's herby, it's citrusy and it's damn-well delicious. 

Strangely, in the tub, this perfume seems to partition itself into two completely different smells that both stand out from each other. On the one hand, I can detect that grapefruit, vetivert, neroli and bergamot combination that gives this perfume a naturally, grassy sweetness. This keeps the fragrance quite light and uplifting and I can see why this layer of scent might attract those Grass comparisons. 

Yet on the other hand, there is also a deeper, more sensual herbal note - one that is concocted from the tarragon, oakmoss, fennel and cedar oil. This is dominated by the former ingredient and gives the perfume an almost woody, foresty element. 

Together, Go Green gives off a very natural but quite complex fragrance - one that sides slightly more on the masculine side but could just as easily be worn by females. On the skin, these two different threads of smells come together and offer the wearer a heady, long-lasting fragrance.  

What stood out for me here, is that the solid perfume left a really strong impression on my skin and whereas I would normally have to press my nose against my wrist to detect the fragrance after a few minutes, this one was strong for a good 3-4 hours. The heat of my body also encouraged the perfume to give off little bursts of green every little while and this just made me love the perfume even more.

Go Green is definitely my favourite green smell from Lush and I really hope they bring back the liquid perfume and bath bomb for me to enjoy, as I am keen to extend my experience of this fragrance. This experience has also made me appreciate the solid perfume format and I am keen to try out more variations in the near future. 

Quantitative Ingredients: DRF Alcohol, Perfume, Grapefruit Oil, Vetivert Oil, Bergamot Oil, Tarragon Oil, Thyme Oil, Violet Leaf Absolute, Oakmoss Absolute, Neroli Oil, Indian Sandalwood Oil, Cedar Leaf Oil, Fennel Oil, Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Eugenol, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Famesol, Limonene, Linalool.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £9 for 12g. 

2017 Price: £9 for 12g. 

Scent Family:
Go Green Liquid Body Spray
Go Green Solid Perfume
Green Green Bath Of Foam Bubble Bar
Squeaky Green Solid Shampoo

27 July 2014

Smuggler's Soul Liquid Perfume

Despite investing in the solid edition of this perfume, I knew I had to experience the liquid version as well - both the compacted perfume and the body spray. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the latter product in the Gorilla Shop over the weekend but I was happy to get my greedy mitts on a 10ml bottle of the perfume variety.

When I first heard it's name, Smuggler's Soul evoked quite a number of scent-combinations for me, none of which match up with the one that Lush chose to give it. It's quite an odd name for a perfume and comes from the story of Veerappen - a notorious sandalwood smuggler who killed over a hundred people during his time and was later shot in 2004 - following a long struggle between himself and the government. 

When you read the full extent of the situation, you find yourself asking; 'how can you possibly create a scent that goes with this story?'. Yet, Lush have somehow managed to do this - creating a unique, complex and rather beautiful fragrance unlike anything I've have ever smelt before. 

Much like the solid edition, this liquid perfume features two different types of sandalwood, both of which add a strong, smokey note to the fragrance. In the bottle, this element of the scent is somewhat thwarted by the lemongrass which gives the perfume a sickly and slightly sour citrus element. However, once Smuggler's Soul gets onto your skin, it offers a far richer and more complex woody aroma. 

Alongside the smokiness of the wood, there is a definite layer of both vetivert and tagetes, which combined give this perfume a naturally sweet and slightly floral smell. The sandalwood compliments these two ingredients wonderfully - giving the perfume a far deeper and warmer aroma without being too intoxicating. The lemongrass is still very much present on the skin but it isn't as acidic as it is in the bottle, and instead enriches the perfume with it's fresh, uplifting and slightly grassy-green scent.
                                                                                                                                                           What I love about Smuggler's Soul is that the scent continues to develop long after you've applied it to the skin. Within twenty minutes or so, I noticed that the woody notes had begun to disperse a little whilst the other layers remained vibrant and very much present. Over time, this allows the perfume to mature and when this happened, it reminded me very slightly of Dear John

Lush describe this perfume as being 'deep, dangerous and intoxicating' and claim that it will 'enrapture your heart'. While the fragrance doesn't incite any illegal activity out of me, it has cemented itself as a firm favourite, and here's why; 

Despite the solid variation being a little weak in scent, the liquid version is long-lasting and far more charismatic. It's a wonderfully rich and multi-layered unisex aroma that I can see being signature scents for many people. I found that Smuggler's Soul stayed with me for a good 4-5 hours and continued to offer a light, refreshing yet equally comforting smell that brightened my day up immensely.

This is one of the most expensive Lush perfumes, coming in at £18 for a 10ml bottle. However, you really don't need to use a lot of this each use so it will last you a lot longer than other perfumes. This is a fragrance that just keeps on giving and one you'll want to encase yourself in during those hot, summer days. It's well worth the investment and I will be buying myself an extra-large bottle next time I visit the store.

Quantitative Ingredients: DRF Alcohol, Perfume, Indian Sandalwood Oil (Santalum album), Sandalwood Oil (Santalum austro-caledonicum vieill), Madagascan Vetivert Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides), Tagetes Oil (Tagetes minuta), Lemongrass Oil (Cymbopogon citratus), Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylalte, Citral, Coumarin, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Isoeugenol, Limonene, Linalool, Methyl Ionone. 

26 July 2014

My Two Trips To The New Gorilla Perfume Shop

When I found out that Lush were opening the very first Gorilla Perfume shop in London, my credit card groaned and the sound of screeching tires echoed behind me as I flew head first out of the door. 

When Volume 2 came out, I was still trying to establish myself as a blogger and I had so many products to review that it was a little soul-destroying thinking about having to invest in a whole range of perfumes to add to that list. However,  I am now far more organised with my writing and couldn't wait to pick up all of new scents as well as some of the repackaged older ones. 

I visited the shop on it's opening day and walked away with one each of the new range. However, the itch returned very quickly and I made a second trip on Friday to pick up the body sprays and some of the new solid tins. Unfortunately, they seemed to have sold out of the Smuggler's Soul Body Spray but I managed to get everything else.

The shop is beautifully decorated and holds such a wonderful atmosphere. I've only been in there twice, but the staff were incredibly friendly and helpful. A wonderful employee, who I met both times I went in, even gave me a vinyl of music that has been specially written to coincide with each and every one of the new perfumes. I cannot wait to settle down one evening this week and have a listen and enjoy the fragrances even more. Thank you so much - you made my day!

I already feel third trip coming on but I'm going to try and hold off for as long as possible - I do need money to eat and stuff!

Tuca Tuca Massage Bar

It wasn't until I accidentally purchased the Tuca Tuca Liquid Perfume one day, that I realised that particular fragrances are interlaced with stories and memories of my childhood. Neither did I realise until I fell in love with the perfume, how much I love and pine for violet-scented products, and how this is probably the most prominent scent of my youth. 

When I found out that Lush would be re-releasing their Tuca-scented massage bar, I could not contain myself and I ended up spending a good ten minutes basking in the aroma of the perfume - imagining what it would be like to smear the violet goodness all over myself. 

When this massage bar arrived, I was a little disappointed to discover that it's a lot smaller than every other massage bar I have tried from Lush so far. It's circumference is probably the same size as a face mask pot, with a depth of about 1.5cm. Needless to say, I was less than impressed, especially given the £7.95 price tag. 

However, my heart was soon won over as I lifted the bar from the Lush box and was greeted by a gorgeous, seductive and seriously sexy aroma. This product smells identical to that of it's perfume counterpart, so if you like Tuca Tuca, you'll need to get your greedy mitts on one (or ten) of these. 

Made from a combination of cassie, vanilla, sandalwood, vetivert, violet leaf and ylang ylang oil, this massage bar is a sensual, sweet and flirty fragrance dominated by the vanilla and violet. It smells exactly like the parma violet sweets I used to eat when I was little, except that this fragrance is far more exquisite and complex than that. Laced throughout the fragrance is the sandalwood to pad out the scent and give it depth, ylang ylang and rose to add subtle elements of floral and vanilla absolute to add a warm, comforting and overall musky aroma.

Much like all of Lush's other massage bars, this one has a ton of wonderful ingredients to give your skin a feast; cocoa butter and shea butter are both present to help moisturise and remove dry, scaly skin; oils such as vetivert and sandalwood alter and improve your mood so you can de-stress whilst using the bar. Lush have then chosen a refined, sexy violet scent that will linger on the body long after your massage has ended, ensuring you feel and smell divine throughout the day. 

What I loved about Tuca Tuca is that it offers a balance between being generous with it's oils but not being wasteful with them either. The bar melts fairly easily, so I found it straightforward to use when massaging across my skin, yet it doesn't produce an abundance of oils at any one time so you don't have to worry that you'll overdo it and waste any of the liquid. 

It disperses into your skin fairly quickly so you won't be left with sticky, greasy skin - yet it leaves your arms feeling really nourished and soft. I couldn't stop marvelling at how smooth and radiant my arms and legs felt after using this massage bar. The icing on the cake was the fact that the gorgeous scent stayed on my skin all day and into the night - I didn't have to top up once.

As the bar was perfectly designed, I found that I used very little each time, so despite it's small size, I can see this lasting me almost as long as a normal size massage bar would. I can see me getting a good 10-12 full body massages out of this product and I think that makes it good value for money.

This is one of my favourite massage bars from Lush (as I thought it would be) and I think the company would benefit from making this a regular product. None of Lush's other bars have a scent close to or like Tuca Tuca and I think their range is crying out to feature a product such as this. I hope I don't have to wait another couple of years for it to show it's face again as this is now one of the staple items in my daily routine. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Perfume, Fresh Rose Petal Extract, Cassie Absolute, Vanilla Absolute, Sandalwood Oil, Vetivert Oil, Violet Leaf Absolute, Ylang Ylang Oil, Benzyl Salicylate, Cinnamal, Coumarin, Eugenol, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Farnesol, Limonene, Linalool, Methyl Ionone, Titanium Dioxide, Colour 77019, Colour 77007.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £7.50 each.

Scent Family:
Tuca Tuca Candle
Tuca Tuca Liquid Perfume
Tuca Tuca Massage Bar
Tuca Tuca Solid Perfume

Veerappen Moustache Wax

Despite not owning a moustache (funny that!), I was still intrigued enough by it's description and back-story to purchase one of Lush's newest additions - Veerappen Moustache Wax. Named after an infamous sandalwood smuggler of the same name, this product plays homage to the struggles of buying pure, non-corrupted sources of sandalwood to use in cosmetics.

This is the first of it's kind to come from Lush, but like most of the company's other products, I knew there would be more than one way to use it. Priced at £10 for an 8g tub, this initially seems like a large price tag for such a small product. However, like all of Lush's lip balms and solid perfumes, a tiny tin goes a long way.

What is special about this wax is that it shares it's scent with one of Lush's newest perfumes, Smuggler's Soul. However, I did notice that there was a slight difference between this and both the solid and liquid forms of the aforementioned perfume. Veerappen has a very natural, light woody smell - one that comes alive once the warmth of your fingers have stimulated the different oils. It's a very gentle scent so wearers don't have to be worried that it'll be too overpowering to wear throughout the day.

Packed with beneficial waxes and oils, including castor oil, candelillia wax, Japan wax, rose wax, and two types of sandalwood oil, Veerappen is initially very hard in consistency - it's far more stubborn than other Lush balms so it takes quite an effort to get any from the tin. Whereas the solid perfumes melt underneath the touch of a finger, this moustache wax has more of a rough, sticky feel and it takes a lot of effort to get any out to use.
My male guinea pig tested this out on his facial hair and found that it was very effective at styling his moustache without leaving any greasy residue behind. He commented that once the product had been applied during the styling process, his moustache kept it's shape throughout the whole day. However, he did mention that he found it very difficult to get much of the product out of the tub. He had to rub both his thumb and finger across the surface for a good 40 seconds to retrieve anything, and even then there was barely more than the faintest smear of grease on his finger.

On the positive side, this does mean that the minuscule amount in the tin will last for a very long time - there's no way you could accidentally use too much. It also means that this is very unlikely to melt in your bag, so you can take it on your travels and top up if and when you need to. However, it also means that it can sometimes be a hassle to use, especially if you're short for time.

Lush claim that this wax conditions as well as styles so I decided to use this wax on the few stray hairs that plague the top of my head. Despite my hair being in the best condition of my life, I still have a few short strands that tend to stick up in the heat and cannot be controlled with most other hair products. A tiny massage of this wax on my hair and I found that I was able to tame these annoying strands without covering my entire head in unnecessary wax, mousse or gel. Perfect.

Overall, I think this is a great new product to come from Lush - despite it being one that I wouldn't have immediately thought of if I was asked for ideas - I'm happy to have a more compact and easy to use 'hair tamer' and my male counterpart can style his moustache to his heart's content. Win win all around!

Quantitative Ingredients: Castor Oil, Candelilla Wax, Japan Wax, Carnauba Wax, Stearic Acid, Perfume, Rose Wax, Indian Sandalwood Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Madagascan Vetivert Oil, Tagetes Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Citral, Geraniol, Farnesol, Limonene, Linalool.