“ Brand: Lush „
In late 2012, the Lush forum released a number of limited edition fragrances that were available for one weekend only as part of the 'forum party'. This was my second forum party: I'd purchased perfumes in the past, and decided that I wanted to get some more this time. Of the fragrances on offer, I chose the Rose Jam and Snowcake fragrances. This review discusses my experience of the Snowcake fragrance. ***What is Lush?*** Lush is a store that makes toiletries and cosmetics, using natural and organic ingredients where possible and minimising packaging where they can. It started out as a mail order company called Cosmetics to Go, but this failed and the new store, Lush, opened in Poole, Dorset. Later branches of the shop opened in London and beyond, and there are now Lush stores all over the world. As well as in store, you can also buy products from the website, www.lush.co.uk. There are similar websites for many different countries including the USA, Japan and Germany. Lush buy ingredients only from companies that do not test on animals. All of their products are suitable for vegetarians and many are suitable for vegans. Lush say: "We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud. "We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and in the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again." ***What's the Lush forum?*** The Lush forum is a series of message boards where Lush fans can register and talk about Lush products. In order to register you have to give your email address and password, and supposedly wait for an activation email: although based on my experience and that of others (from the forum and Lush's Facebook page) this email never materialises, and you simply have to try logging in after a week or so to see if it works. I've never actually posted on the Lush forum. Partly this is because I don't really have the time, and partly it's because I'd heard that regular and longstanding forum members can be very rude to new people. I must admit I haven't seen much evidence of this: everyone seems very friendly, and if I had more time I'd probably start posting there. New products and plans for the store are announced on the forum before anywhere else, although someone invariably 'leaks' this information to Facebook anyway within a day or two. The main reason I joined is so that I could take part in 'forum parties'. Basically, these parties involve fun and games on the forum itself, with quizzes, photos and other fun things to pass the time. A number of limited edition items are available to buy, normally via telephone order only. Sometimes these are shower gels or jellies, sometimes they are massage bars or body lotions - and sometimes they have fragrance-only parties. At the last party, the available fragrances were released for purchase on the website for one weekend only. This was handy for me as I hate using the phone and wasn't looking forward to having to ring up! I bought the perfumes and received them in the post in the usual cardboard box. ***Lush Does Fragrance*** Lush has always made a few fragrances - Karma and Vanillary are two that have been around for ages, and the Retro range contained Ginger and Icon from the Lush of old - but recently they have expanded this part of the business under the Gorilla Perfumes umbrella. They are available to buy on the Lush site and as well as the fragrances mentioned above it is possible to purchase some that used to be part of B Never Too Busy to be Beautiful (Lush's cosmetic store which closed a while ago) and some brand new fragrances. Some of these are available in mini tester pots and some are available in store. I have tried several with varying results: I like most of them and love some. ***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! ***The Fragrance*** The Snowcake perfume is designed to smell like the Snowcake soap, which comes back to Lush every Christmas. I adore the almond scent of the soap and was excited about the prospect of sampling the matching fragrance. The perfume is suitable for vegans and contains benzoin resinoid, rose absolute and cassie absolute. These aspects combine to create a scent that is sweet and comforting, sophisticated and warming. ***My Experience*** When I first sprayed the perfume from the bottle I wasn't too impressed. I thought the scent was artificial and a bit like plastic. However, not long after it settled on my skin, the unpleasant aspect of the scent had gone and I liked the rich almond smell. For those who have used the soap, this smell is pretty much identical. It is a lovely almond scent with a warmth and sweetness to it. This fragrance isn't a layered fragrance that changes over time; it smells more or less the same the whole time you are wearing it. At least this means no nasty surprises! I found that the perfume lasted for four to five hours on my skin which I was reasonably impressed with. I kept catching whiffs of the scent all day which was very pleasing, especially in the cold weather! ***Price and Availability*** I think Lush fragrances are very reasonably priced at around £20-£30 for a 27g bottle. Most perfumes come in smaller 10g spritzers, mini sample bottles and solids, but the forum specials only come in the full size. Snowcake is no longer available in fragrance form on the website. However, you may see a bottle coming up on eBay. Snowcake is one of the most popular scent choices for forum party fragrances, so it wouldn't surprise me if it made an appearance again. ***Conclusion*** I really like this Snowcake perfume and I'm glad I bought a bottle. If you like the Snowcake soap I definitely recommend looking out for the fragrance as it has the same delicious almond scent.