“ Brand: Lush „
UPDATE: Since I originally drafted this review, HQ has gone on sale under its original name of 29 High Street, in the Poole store only. It comes in an old-style glass bottle with a pretty picture, and if I ever visit Poole I shall be sure to pick up a bottle!
Over a several month period I've tried numerous fragrances from my favourite store, Lush. I am a member of the online forum and was puzzled a few months ago by repeated references to 'HQ'. Over time I managed to gather that this was a much-coveted, limited edition perfume - the reason it was called HQ was that it was designed to smell like a Lush shop! I absolutely love the smell of the shop when I'm walking down the street, so as soon as I found about this I decided that I really wanted a bottle!
I discovered that there would be some bottles of HQ on sale at the temporary pop-up Gorilla Perfume shop in Shoreditch, east London. I took myself along and was able to obtain a bottle.
The perfume comes in the usual Gorilla Perfume bottle. This isn't particularly exciting, but it fits in with Lush's aim of making perfume about the scent not about the packaging. Also, the minimalist packaging is better for the environment and the bottles are made from recycled materials.
The bottle is black and tapered out towards the top with a plain black lid. The black and white label reads: "Gorilla Perfume Forum Special" and has the name of the perfume and an ingredients list. The bottle seems opaque but if you hold it up to the light you can see how much liquid you have left inside.
The bottles aren't foolproof: a number of customers complained that their perfume bottles had been leaking. I haven't had any problems with mine as the seal around the lid was securely attached. Lush will replace any damaged or leaking bottles, but obviously it would be better if the problem never occurred at all.
My understanding is that these bottles are an improvement on the glass ones the perfumes previously came in, so that's something!
As previously mentioned, HQ is designed to smell like a Lush shop. However, the creators haven't just thrown a load of Lush products into a bucket and mixed them about. I read an article (though I can't remember where, sorry!) by one of the creators who said that she selected the most potent elements of Lush and put them together in an organised way. These include:
Lime oil - a lovely citrus oil with an uplifting scent, this can be found in the Sexy Peel soap, You've Been Mangoed bath melt and Each Peach massage bar.
Lemon oil - another refreshing citrus oil, this uplifting scent can be found in the Dragon's Egg ballistic, Rub Rub Rub shower scrub and I Love Juicy shampoo.
Tonka absolute - this comforting, sweet scent is an important component of the Vanillary range of products, which include the Heavanilli massage bar and Vanilla Fountain ballistic. It can also be found in the Think Pink ballistic and the pink Fun.
Jasmine absolute - this has a rich, floral aroma, meant to be an aphrodisiac and mood improver, and is an essential part of the Flying Fox shower gel, the Lust soap and fragrance, and the Jasmine and Henna Fluff-Eaze hair treatment.
Ylang ylang absolute - this is another sensual floral ingredient, found in the Leap Frog fragrance and the Love and Cocktail perfumes.
Sandalwood oil - This, the base note, is warm, woody and rich and can be found in the Aqua Mirabilis body butter, the Dreamtime bath melt and numerous fragrances, as it works very well as a base note.
The fragrance is suitable for vegans.
I loved this perfume from the first time I smelled it. It had a refreshing citrus aroma, and I could also detect the other aspects to the scent, including the sweet tonka, sensual jasmine and woody sandalwood. It definitely reminds me of a Lush shop! I was worried in case it just smelled like a bit of a mess, but it really is a proper scent that has been designed thoughtfully, with layers. I love the scent - it is pretty strong (but you can't smell it halfway down the street like you can with an actual Lush shop!) and I find it really uplifting.
I was actually complimented on this perfume by a complete stranger - I was at the self-checkout in my local Tesco and the lady next to me asked me what perfume I was using and said it was lovely! This has never happened to me before, so this perfume must really be something special!
***Price and Availability***
HQ costs £27 a bottle, which makes it a little pricier than most Lush perfumes, but not prohibitively so. However, even if you are willing to pay for it, you will find it hard to get hold of. Currently it is only on sale in the Shoreditch shop (near Old Street tube station), and there is limited stock. There are a number of bottles on eBay, but these are on sale for ridiculous prices.
I love this perfume! I'm so glad I headed to the pop-up shop to buy a bottle. I'm going to keep a lookout for its return - it's far too good not to reappear!