As we frantically prepare for our New York gallery event which is due to run from the 22nd through to the 25th of September, we thought it would be nice to share some of the visitor experiences from the London Gallery in Shoreditch. Here they are!
A one of a kind experience; set in the basement of an old building in central London, it was like wandering through underground caves, with a surprise around every corner. The different perfumes had their own themed rooms, where we got told the back-stories for the creation of all the scents, which made it even more special.
The Smell of the Weather Turning was so unique that the room didn’t need elaborate decorations. It was set in total darkness except for the blue glow coming from one of the lamps. Combined with the smell of the rain, the perfume gave the impression that a big thunderstorm was on its way. The room for Imogen Rose was very simple yet perfectly set up. The gorgeous rose induced perfume had been put in a bubble machine so that the bubbles coming from it gave the small space its lovely scent. Orange Blossom could be found in a room where the blossom trees were obviously fake, yet their smell very vivid.
To have a perfume launch like this was brilliant and I hope Gorilla Perfume will consider a likewise exhibition for future launches because it was absolutely fantastic to experience.
My experience at the Lush Preview Event was extraordinary. I travelled alone on my road trip to get to Shoreditch Town Hall armed with my shiny new A-Z. The Tuca Tuca scratch and sniff art in the street attracted my attention and confirmed I was in the right general area. In the basement, with scary-movie mood lighting, I watched the Tuca Tuca dancers perform on a piece of white linoleum. I met other people, passionate about Lush, from other corners of the UK. It seemed like a quest for something, or a pilgrimage.
Parties were taken on in, ten at a time. A voice called, ‘Is anyone travelling alone?’ I shamed myself by jumping up and down and elbowing my way to the front. I felt like the last woman standing. Big took us through the first few rooms, at the bar we were given a Vegan cocktail of The Hairdresser’s Husband perfume. The air was thick with the scent of neroli, oranges and grapefruits. We were walked through other rooms including a teenage bedroom that smelled like ‘teen-spirit’ and Lust. It was intoxicating. Big introduced us to his Three Leading Ladies and talked about the influences they had had on him. We visited the heady atmosphere thick with ‘The Smell of the Weather Turning’, thunder clattered, birds sung. Simon showed us Imogen Rose, the scent for his child, ‘The Smell of Freedom’ and its components and ‘Orange Blossom’ on edible rice paper.
We listened and we heard the stories behind the fragrances. It was a spectacular event. After, we all relaxed from the sensory stimulation in the shop and were able to chat with Hilary and Wesley. Same time next year.
I went to the Gorilla Perfume event in Shoreditch with an open mind. I’d been told this wasn’t your usual opening of a fragrance and I wasn’t disappointed. There’s a lot going on and the word multi sensory doesn’t really cut it for this event. It’s more personal than that. It seems obvious that a perfume company should communicate lifestyle and Gorilla Perfume does just this. They’ve joined with major lifestyle brand Lush and will be selling a selection of products in their stores later this year.
Text seen around the event uses the same branding as Lush and the products certainly adheres to many of the same values. But let’s not be mistaken here, Gorilla Perfume is a brand with its own punch and, for me, the event proved that. There’s plenty of colour and fun with an ‘of the minute’ style that has just the right amount of cool without the pretention. I don’t want to give away too much because I think it’s nicer to approach the event with no expectations, so I’ll just say that whoever put this event together must have had a fantastic time doing it. What a great brand. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
I arrived somewhat early and spent a happy while chatting while waiting for the grand reveal. I couldn’t help but feel somewhat disappointed when there was no kind of Willy Wonka-esque appearance from the creators to set the scene. Where was the razzamatazz? The fact that it was so low key somehow heightened the anticipation. As I carefully made my way through dim passageways, I could only imagine what lay beyond.
The voyage of discovery began and started to unfold with scenes set carefully but oh so casually. The perfumes, results of travels and experiences stood out in stark contrast from their surroundings. We listened to tales of their conception – and what tales! It seemed that each perfume contained a drop or two of its creator’s essence, their loves and discoveries. I revelled in being a part of this innovative perfume journey, hugging the secrets close if only for a little while. How special to have been among the first to experience those fragrant avenues. A perfume launch in the dank basement of Shoreditch Town Hall – genius. Like their creations.
On entering the venue (the basement of Shoreditch Town Hall) I was hit by the smell of violets in the air. It turned out that each room had been set up to showcase a different perfume.
Each room was very different, one a gents toilet, another the middle of a thunderstorm and another was just lit up with pink lights and full of rose scented bubbles. Every room matched the fragrance it was representing perfectly. You certainly left each room with an understanding of the inspiration behind each perfume.
On entering each room we were told about the origins of the perfume and given a tester strip to sniff while listening to each very different story. In two of the rooms we were also given other things to help experience the perfume, one was a strip of flavoured rice paper and one was a very strong cocktail!
The whole time we were in the perfume rooms, we were immersed in fragrance, it was like walking through an art gallery full of perfume. When I left the rooms I was a little spaced out, in a good way, it was certainly an experience that won’t be repeated again soon!
You will be able to register for the New York gallery event soon. Watch this space!