Product Type: Lush fragrances
Newest Review: ... a secret 'perfume' recipe. Ambrette seed oil is an ingredient I hadn't previously heard of. The Lush website states: "Ambrette seed o... more
Unusual and dramatic new scent from Lush
Lush Hellstone Perfume
Member Name: AbsintheFairy
Lush Hellstone Perfume
Advantages: Unusual, different, long-lasting
Disadvantages: Expensive, not very wearable
Lush, my favourite store, recently released a number of new fragrances under the Gorilla Perfume name. These look, smell and sound very different to other perfumes from both Lush and other brands, with unusual ingredients and concepts, and I was very intrigued when I heard about them.
To coincide with the launch of the new fragrances, Lush opened a temporary gallery space in east London. I visited this gallery and had a memorable experience. The fragrances were displayed as works of art, with pictures or sets used to represent the perfumes. Simon Constantine, head perfumer at Lush, has stated that he wants to develop the concept of perfume as an art form, like painting or music, and I feel that he has met with success here.
The new perfumes come in bottles of different sizes and shapes, and look like old apothecary bottles displayed in-store. Testers of the perfumes are available, and I've been sampling this Hellstone fragrance, mainly because of the name!
Unlike other Lush perfumes, which come in standardised black bottles, the new fragrances come in clear glass bottles of all different shapes and sizes. I really like these bottles as they are unusual and attractive. The perfume itself is a burnt orange colour which really fits in with the theme of the fragrance. The label bears a picture of the Devil hurling a rock, which is how the fragrance got its name.
Hellstone was inspired by an ancient megalith used as a burial mound 4000 years ago. Legend has it that the Devil threw this stone, and the Hellstone remains an eerie spot to this day.
The list of ingredients is very short and I have reproduced it here:
Jojoba Oil, Perfume, Madagascan Vetivert Oil, Opoponax Oil, Ambrette Seed Oil, Methyl Ionone, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool
Hellstone is the only new fragrance to be made with an oil base - jojoba. This helps the fragrance to last for a long time on the skin. It also contains vetivert which is rooty, spicy cumin and beeswax, as well as a secret 'perfume' recipe. Ambrette seed oil is an ingredient I hadn't previously heard of. The Lush website states: "Ambrette seed oil is distilled from the dried seeds of Abelmoschus moschatus (also known as Hibiscus mochatus, musk mallow and musk seed). This perennial shrub is native to tropical Asia and widely cultivated in other tropical countries."
The first time I tried this fragrance, I wasn't keen - one of the Lush assistants who was showing me the new scents said he thought this one smelled of barbecue sauce, and I agreed! However, when I applied it to my skin, it didn't smell of food at all, luckily!
The scent is completely different to any other perfume I've tried before. It is unisex but I think it might appeal mostly to men. Unlike most fragrances, it doesn't seem to have top, middle and bottom notes. However, it is complex nevertheless.
The fragrance is earthy, outdoorsy and mysterious. I can't detect any of the named individual notes in the perfume - perhaps because I don't know what most of them are meant to smell like - but it is rich and conjures up the sense of walking over a dramatic landscape in the winter, in the aftermath of a storm. I find it rather unsettling: the perfume has a smoky, slightly tangy aspect, like a darker version of the Smell of Weather Turning. 'Hellstone' is a very appropriate name for this fragrance. I don't know whether I 'like' it or not, in the conventional sense, but while I was wearing it I couldn't stop smelling my wrists, so I must have found something compelling in it.
The fragrance has excellent longevity: it lasts on the skin for several hours, and on fabric for several days - I could still smell it on my winter coat for nearly a week after my original application.
***Price and Availability***
Hellstone is widely available in Lush stores and via the website. It comes in a range of sizes ranging from 7g (£18) to 92g (£85). It is by far the most expensive of the new perfumes.
I'm unsure how to rate this perfume. As a work of art, it is a brilliant concept wonderfully executed: evocative, unusual and rather frightening. However, I'm not sure I'd actually wear it on an everyday basis. I love Munch's painting The Scream, for instance, but I don't know if I'd want it staring down at me while I'm trying to watch TV. I prefer my perfumes to be pleasant and luxurious; I'm just not sure if this fragrance is practical.
Overall, I've decided on four stars because it really is a good fragrance - just not incredibly wearable, as well as being very expensive.
Summary: Smoky, unsettling fragrance