Simon waiting for the show to kick off
Touring with the Gorilla gallery is not too unlike touring with a band. All the equipment and the set have to cross continents and deliver the same experience regardless of location. The team works hard behind the scenes – hectic preparation backstage, nerves, laughter; late nights. It’s all there.
This is fitting since the idea for the brand was born in a conversation Mark and Simon had in Canada – about making a series of new scents, like one might release singles and an album. The music idea never went away and now we’ve even got an actual cover version of the famous Italian pop song playing in Ibiza nightclubs.
Even though North American Lush has its own factory, all the fine fragrances are handmade in Poole, Dorset, UK. Trying to estimate how many are needed is always tricky and shipping everything over in time is scary to say the least. When you think of a perfume factory, your mind probably conjures up images of shining stainless steel vats and production lines. Nothing could be further from the reality of how our perfumes are made. There is a handful of skilled compounders working their little butts off, hand-mixing every single batch of fragrance, hand-filling the bottles and even the tiny samples, sticking on the labels and handling the packing and export, too.
The fact we’ve pulled off such a huge launch seems close to miraculous!
Backstage: condom machine for the Dirty room. That seems awfully seedy...
Charlotte travelled from the UK a couple of days in advance to prep and train the ‘storyteller’ team. Meanwhile, Katie and Jo (the duo behind the gallery exhibit interpretations of Mark and Simon’s perfumes) built the set with the help of our North American Design team.
When the gallery opened its doors to the press on the evening of 22nd of September, we were all excited and hopeful that our efforts would be well received.
And boy, were they! Below is a selection of what visitors from that night had to say:
The sociable and entertaining nature of the event was a good fit for the Lush Gorilla Perfume line, where perfumer Mark Constantine and his son Simon weave their personal stories into the stories of the perfumery raw materials. The result is product images with a remarkable depth and texture. Avery Gilbert, author of What The Nose Knows.
To call Lush’s entrance into the perfume biz grand would not be an overstatement—the handmade cosmetics giant just launched its very own fragrance house with not one, but ten thoughtfully conceived scents. Style.com
NY readers, before you even begin reading this post, I want you to stop what you are doing and run, don’t walk over to 54 Crosby Street in SOHO, where LUSH is throwing one heck of a fragrance party. Kraseybeauty
I was, and still am, pretty much over the moon. The event itself…went down like a museum exhibit of sorts, or like select scenes from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. You know, where the president’s talked about how great water slides and ice cream are? LUSH took on volunteers from within their various stores and taught them the stories behind the perfumes in the line, which the storytellers then repeated for the guests as they came in and out of the thematic rooms of the gallery. My favorite room was the one they set up for a perfume called The Smell of Weather Turning, which was inspired by a witch, a musician, and a dream. This scent is comprised of English peppermint, hay absolute, and new oakwood. It’s intense and amazing. BUST magazine
On the 23rd, we had the lovely Sniffapalooza group join us at 54 Crosby and one of the visitors was the editor of Perfume of Life, another good gathering place for perfumistas. Her full description of the event is a good read. The gallery was open to the public for the first time that day and as Brandi, the NA PR manager predicted, evenings were our busiest time. “New Yorkers go out after work,” she said, and we saw the evidence.
Gallery map front
Gallery map inside
Were you there? What did you think?
Feedback postcards after day 2
The touring perfume gallery will make three more stops. We’re preparing for Japan and Russia next!