My favourite store, Lush, makes beautiful and unusual fragrances under the name Gorilla Perfume. Many of these are available in-store, with some exclusively online. Several are available in sample sizes, and you can also buy two miniature sets each containing eight of the sample size fragrances.
I bought the second set, including many of the perfumes originally called ‘B sides and rarities’. These are scents from Lush past and also from B Never, Lush’s sister company which closed a few years ago. I have sampled all the perfumes in turn and I am going to review them all. The fragrance I am going to review today is The Smell of Weather Turning.
Each fragrance comes in a tiny 2ml glass vial and the bottles are laid out together in a recycled cardboard case. It is also possible to buy the fragrances in the following forms:
- Solid GBP8
- Spritzer GBP18
- Atomiser GBP37
The concentrations are different depending on the form purchased, with the atomiser having the highest concentration. The perfumes come in the standard black packaging which is slightly dull, but fits in with the Gorilla Perfume ethos of concentrating on the perfume rather than the packaging. Some people on the Lush forum have found that perfume can leak from these black bottles, but I haven’t had any problems.
As the name suggests, The Smell of Weather Turning is one of Lush’s most unusual-sounding fragrances. Lush state that it smells like “A walk in the fields after a storm, raindrops drying on grass”. It has an interesting selection of ingredients, including oakwood, hay, beeswax, nettle, English peppermint, mint and Roman chamomile.
I find it really hard to describe this scent, but I will try! On first application I can smell a smoky mint fragrance, unlike anything I’ve ever smelled before. I keep sniffing my wrist to get another whiff! Over time the smell evolves into a smoky, herbal scent that reminds me of hay and warm summer air. It reminds me of nothing so much as Glastonbury festival at night-time, or an outdoor bonfire in the summer.
The perfume continually evolves on the skin, and lasts for several hours. I think this is one which would smell slightly different on each person, so I would certainly recommend trying it before purchasing. It’s one of the most unusual scents I’ve ever smelled and I think it would be suitable for both men and women.
I love this scent! It’s original and unusual, really evocative and reminiscent of the outdoors. Highly recommended.
~x~x~x~ Sick of English Weather ~x~x~x~
Recently I sold some Lush bath bombs which had accumulated in the bathroom, ones I was never going to use that had come in gift sets - I never seem to get time for a bath these days with my demanding toddler, preferring (albeit through necessity) a quick shower with a decent shower gel than spending a holy fortune on single use bath products in Lush. I love Lush shower gels and had thought I'd spend what I earned from the bath bombs on a nice bottle of shower gel, maybe two if my ballistic auctions went as well as I'd hoped - but, after a decent bidding war which left me PayPal-loaded, I fell upon an auction for three Lush fragrance samples and decided to treat myself to those instead after reading a few positive reviews about one of the bundled perfumes.
The name appealed to me - The Smell of Weather Turning. I'd looked into the perfume before buying it and it sounded so different - likened to being in a hay meadow after rain, I love the smell of the countryside and it was the thought of rich grassy scents and joyous greenery that had me making the seller a pretty good offer for three 8ml bottles. My offer was accepted and a few days later the postie bought my perfumes - this was the one I was most looking forward to trying, and was the first bottle I picked up the following morning when I came to apply my perfume.
~x~x~x~ The Weather According To Lush ~x~x~x~
Now, bearing in mind I know nothing about Lush fragrances, I had to check their website to see what the notes were - it's all well and good liking the idea of a perfume, but if it contains something I don't like then it wouldn't have been worth buying. This step was important for me at the time of my purchase as in effect I was buying the perfume blind so I scoured the internet for information, eventually I decided to go for it based on the notes given by Lush as this seems to be a bit of a Marmite fragrance amongst reviewers - but I didn't want to go wholly on that as how attractive a scent is is obviously so subjective.
I was surprised to see they've listed the notes as a list, but having worn The Smell of Weather Turning for over a week now I can see why they've done this as although the notes drift through at different times I wouldn't say they're really distinct enough to be called top, middle and base notes. But I'll come back to this later as first I want to tell you briefly what Lush think of their own perfume, the tagline of 'feels like a walk through the hay after a rainstorm' was the first thing which intrigued me - the list of actual notes struck me as interesting even on paper, although I was well aware of the fact that intellectually interesting notes could easily equate to a downright weird blend on my skin. I really didn't know what to expect.
Oakwood, hay, beeswax, nettle, English peppermint, mint and Roman chamomile are the actual notes listed as being within this fragrance but a quick blimp at the ingredients list reveals other little surprises too - something I was pretty pleased about as I thought I was going mad picking up on a lemon waft here and there when it wasn't given as a specific note!
~x~x~x~ The Weather According To Me ~x~x~x~
This is weird, The Smell of Weather Turning goes against everything I usually like in a perfume - I like sweet fragrances; girly, fruity and flirty perfumes make up the bulk of my collection with just the odd heady name (usually a Dior of some description) for spraying when I'm off somewhere special. With this Lush fragrance even reading the notes makes me think of a masculine scent, there's very little in there to appeal to my femininity and knowing myself as well as I do I can honestly say I shouldn't like the perfume. But I do, it's absolutely stunning - some days I actually think it's the nicest perfume I've ever used and it's so unusual in tone that I've been asked at least a dozen times what I'm wearing despite the fact that I haven't really been using it for very long.
It's predominantly woody, more so than I thought it would be even with oakwood being listed as the number one note. When creating this perfume Lush set themselves a goal to use only 'smells' which would have been commonplace 5000 years ago, this explains the lack of candied and floral scents to a point and also solves (for me) the riddle of why this fragrance has such an earthy aroma overall. It's not a dirty smell at all; we go camping as a family and of course you can't rely on the English summer to keep you dry, but one of the nicest smells on the planet is the richness of any large green space after heavy rain. I'm writing this sitting by the back door, we've just had a pretty heavy shower and I can smell it now - it's the smell of nature and freshness and 'green'. Obviously The Smell of Weather Turning is more concentrated with all the attributes a perfume would have, but the essence really is there and I think they've captured the sensation of being outdoors after summer rain beautifully.
Hay! Hay in a perfume! It's there, I can smell it! Crazy! It's the freshest, most English smell ever - it's not that I spray the perfume and make myself smell of hay, but it's blended with the oakwood to soften the woodiness of the overall fragrance. It works so well, the rich wood tone enveloping the sweeter hay - writing those words feels bizarre, I can't believe I love a perfume so much that has such odd qualities. It's probably the hay that gives the fragrance such a quintessentially English rainy scent, but who cares what note is the magic one when Lush have got the sensation so right?
I can detect mint but without having read the notes I doubt I'd have ever identified it as peppermint; the mint is robust but subtle if you get me, I do get the sensation of there being two distinctly different mints vying for attention but together they're just 'minty' and I can't separate the peppermint from the common or garden mint that's used to create this perfume. I've got to say here that the mint shouldn't be a purchase consideration if you're buying blind as I was - although I can smell mint to a reasonable level it's one of those notes which isn't necessarily apparent for everyone. I know this to be true from a personal level as my sixteen year old daughter loves The Smell of Weather Turning, she has yet to buy herself a bottle (and I'm loathe to let her use mine now it's running out) but has been liberally spritzing herself every time she passes a Lush store. One day soon I think she'll come home with a bottle, but she's adamant she can't detect even a smidgen of mint - online reviewers have said the same, it's a case of some-can-some-can't so if you really want (or maybe want to avoid!) mint then I'd definitely say to sample the perfume before you buy.
Chamomile is evident as an undertone, it gives The Smell of Weather Turning a slightly... buttery (?) fragrance - that's probably the wrong word (I'm pretty sure it is) but I know it's chamomile even though it's not there as a particularly rounded scent. Nettle? Can I smell nettle? I don't know as frankly I wouldn't know what nettle smells of - I suspect part of the earthy green tones are made up of nettle, in the same way I can feel that the beeswax is threaded through the perfume but I could never in a million years point it out. I wouldn't call The Smell of Weather Turning a simple perfume, but there aren't many notes within the fragrance to confuse matters so it's relatively easy to pick out the different fragrances even for a layman like myself.
A light citrus runs through the perfume, I only realised it was lemon when I checked the ingredients list earlier and found Limonene there. The Smell of Weather Turning is by no means a citrus perfume, but the vague lemoniness definitely gives the perfume a sparkle which otherwise I feel would be lacking. I think the lemon is like the mint actually, something that is so delicate as to be hidden beneath the other notes for some people - this is probably why it's not listed as a note in it's own right, I'd have liked it to be a little stronger personally but I suppose this would change the make up of the perfume and I guess Lush have their reasons for keeping the citrus fragrance down.
~x~x~x~ For Whom The Weather Turns ~x~x~x~
This perfume is supposed to be unisex, and the unusual greenly woody fragrance is probably the closest I've ever come to a fragrance that would be suitable for a man or a woman. My own (male) partner wouldn't wear it but that's purely down to the strength of the fragrance, he said he liked the masculine air of the fragrance but also commented that some sections became a little too obviously feminine for his tastes - I suspect he means the freshness of the perfume overall as I can't think of any overly woman-like sections or fragrance, I see it as a ladies fragrance if I'm honest and can't think that many men would want to smell of this countryside style perfume.
As far as age goes I really don't think it matters. The Smell of Weather Turning is somewhat of a statement fragrance in my opinion, so if you feel you have the personality and confidence to carry it off then go for it I say! It's pretty strong and throws itself into the air around you, the fact that it's woody rather than sweet or floral gives it a strength that ensures it lingers around you for ages - a church mouse of a woman wouldn't, I don't think, feel confident wearing The Smell of Weather Turning (or any of the Lush Gorilla fragrances actually) but it's one of those you'll know on first application whether it's for you or not. Personally I don't wear it every day, and wouldn't if I had the full size bottle either. It's slightly too heavy for the school run, but the completely non-sexy fragrance makes it unsuitable as a going out perfume in my opinion - in a memory from my working girl days I'd say it would make a FABULOUS office fragrance, a perfume to really showcase you as the centre of attention and singling you out amongst the usual suspect Armani and JPG wearers.
~x~x~x~ Will I Buy A Full Size Bottle? ~x~x~x~
I'm undecided if I'm honest. The Smell of Weather Turning has been a really lovely perfume to test drive; the novelty of smelling so crazily natural (in a highly fragranced paradoxical kinda way) has been nice, but ultimately it's not one I'd really want to commit myself to. I'm not dismissing making a purchase, or rather I hope my daughter gives in soon (grin!), as I absolutely adore the fragrance but the £37 price tag is a little high in my opinion - The Smell of Weather Turning is a top quality perfume but remains essentially an own brand product, which should be reflected in a lower price. I would, and probably will, buy the smaller Spritzer bottle which is currently selling for £18 on the Lush website and (bizarrely) more on Ebay - I still think eighteen quid is expensive for what is a beautiful but hardly top tier perfume.
I love that it's so different from the norm, the perfume lasts seemingly forever on my skin and it's rare I have to reapply more than once during the day. My perfume spraying time seems to have evolved to 8.30am (five minutes before I leave the house for school), I resprayed at 4pm and it's now 11pm - amazingly I can still detect wafts of fragrance in the air and keep catching sight of myself, in nasal terms. The longevity of The Smell of Weather Turning is superb on my skin, I feel I suit the fragrance itself and also my skin seems to project the perfume really well - my daughter doesn't fare so well and it lasts for a noticeably shorter period of time when she wears it, but then again she has the advantage of the general smell of greenery being more to the fore when it reacts with her skin so it's swings and roundabouts.
Lush is my all-time favourite shop and my favourite thing to buy there is definitely perfume. As perfume is so expensive I love the fact that Lush sell solid perfumes alongside their spray versions as they are significantly cheaper and allow me to be able to try out loads of different perfumes without having to spend a fortune.
The smell of weather turning is a gorgeous smelling perfume from Lush and it is the sort of fragrance that they do really well as all their perfumes are so distinctive without smelling like every other perfume out there. I last bought this from the Lush website alongside a few other perfumes which are no longer available in store. I'm not sure if this is an online exclusive but I do know my local Lush store doesn't stock it.
The notes in this perfume include Oakwood, hay, beeswax, nettle, English peppermint, mint and Roman chamomile.
I love the face that Lush uses such unusual ingredients in their perfume and that is what makes them so different and worth paying the money for them in my opinion. When I bought this I read about the notes and had no idea what to expect but it more than lived up to my expectations.
According to Lush this is supposed to smell like a walk through hay after a rainstorm. Normally I think these descriptions are a little bit ridiculous especially when I am wearing their perfume to pick the kids up from school or go shopping to Tesco but this one actually does give a good feel of what the perfume smells like. It really smells like the outdoors but in a good way obviously. It is very unusual and I don't own anything else that smells like it. It smells quite dark but it also has a freshness and cleanliness to it. It isn't very girly and this could be easily used be shared by couples.
This is a gorgeous smelling perfume but because it is so distinctive I would really recommend that you try it on your skin first before spending money on it as it is so unusual and different from most women's perfumes that you might find it is too different for your tastes. I love it and really appreciate the fact it is so different and unusual and I have had several people ask me what I am wearing as they can't place it and are always surprised when I tell them it is from Lush.
This perfume is available in a solid stick and two spray bottles and the cost is a little more than some of the other perfumes at Lush. The solid perfume that I have costs £8 and the two sprays cost £18 and £37. Normally I only buy the solid perfume and save the sprays for the ones which are my absolute favourites. This might have been one that I bought in a spray as I enjoy using it so much but I find that the solid perfume is actually strong enough that I don't need the spray as I think that if it was any heavier then it might actually be a bit overpowering.
I use the solid stick by slicking it over my pulse points and being a solid stick perfume it is so easy to slip in my bag and carry around with me for top ups whenever I want throughout the day. My body heat really works well with this perfume and actually makes it stronger and brings out both the fresh and the earthy notes in it.
If you are looking for something that isn't flowery and more unusual than most perfumes then you should try this and see what it is like on your skin as I think it is lovely and it definitely gets 5 stars from me. I also absolutely adore the name and think it is the best named perfume that I own.
Lush - The Smell of Weather Turning solid perfume
We are very lucky in Derby because our lovely Lush shop in the Westfield centre has the entire range of Lush perfumes as well as the essential oil elements of some. Lush sells a fairly large range of perfumes now and every scent comes in three or four different forms. There is usually a solid perfume which tends to be the form which has the shortest staying power, the next is a small spray which is less concentrated than the 30ml black bottle which has the strongest concentration. Many of the scents also have a small 2ml sample bottle too which is usually in the same concentration as the mini spray or spritzers which I believe has 8ml in it. The solid perfumes weigh 12g so they are not huge but I rather like them to carry in my handbag as there is never a danger of any leakage and you can quickly pop a little on your pulse points without spritzing others in the bargain.
The perfume I am reviewing here is the solid version of 'The Smell of Weather Turning'. The solid version costs £8.00 while the small spritzers are £17, the large 30ml version is £35 and the 2ml sample sells for £3.50. I think the solid version offers good value as the 2ml wouldn't give me many uses and one of the solid ones gave me plenty of use over the time I was away in the last month or so and I still have plenty left. You don't need a lot to get a pretty decent aroma but you do have to be careful if it is very hot weather as it does melt very easily. I would also suggest that keeping it in the fridge may affect the scent so would not advise that.
THE STORY BEHIND THE CREATION
I love hearing the inspiration behind the creation of the different Lush scents. They are all so different and rather like poetry but of smell rather than words. This one is no different. I really admire Mark Constantine and his philosophy and the fact that he does things he really believes in. His story about how this perfume came to be is another great, rather poetic sort of story.
""The story of how this fragrance was born is quite convoluted. Initially, the smell of weather turning was a concept that was described to us by a girl who works for us, who is also a witch. She brought her magic books and we talked about the smell of weather turning. It's a very surreal concept, so we tried all sorts of angles on it.
Then we did some work with musician Simon Emmerson, who is also a bard and part of a druid order. He did some pieces of music, which reminded me of staying in Finland at a place where the lady had decided to make it, as it would have been back in the Iron Age. She fed us nettles and dark rye bread. One morning, I watched a man outside weeding, but it turned out to be our lunch.
One night, all of this combined in a dream and I woke up knowing that I wanted to do The Smell of Weather Turning with old materials - materials that would have been available 5,000 years ago. At that time, it was also 2 degrees Celsius warmer in Britain - similar to how the weather is predicted to be here in 50 years' time - so The Smell of Weather Turning developed an angle of climate change."
What does this smell like? In my view it does really smell of how the world smells after the rain. The smell you get as the first drops of rain fall of the warm grass, roads and trees. On the Lush site it describes it as "a walk through hay after a rainstorm."
It is earthy and deep but then you get that light smell when the mint comes through but very quickly the earthy aroma comes back. It is really a very unusual scent but one I love as I am drawn to myrrh, oak moss, patchouli and those sort of deep earthy smells.
It reminds me of walking in an English wood after the rain when all the real smells are so much headier, alive and fresh. Like the smell you get when working in a damp garden, someone's gardening shed with the mix of earth and leather and herbs drying from the ceiling and so on. It is not that it smells like a garden shed but it brings to mind these comforting images.
WHAT HAVE THEY HIDDEN IN THIS ONE
Mark wanted to create this with no modern ingredients as he wanted to use things that would have been around 5,000 years ago. This was real challenge according to Simon (Mark's son and fellow perfume creator). Initially their creation was too muddy but then they found hay and oak absolutes which they used as a base and built the rest from there. The top notes also caused some tension but eventually they agreed on using mint, both English mint and old fashioned peppermint.
So we have a combination of these main notes Oakwood, hay, beeswax, nettle, English peppermint, mint, Roman chamomile. I can almost smell each individual ingredient but they just work perfectly together to create one of my favourite perfumes.
WHAT DO I THINK
If someone had said the top notes are mint you will live it I am not sure I would have gone for it but once I sniffed this in the shop I just had to have it. It is actually quite hard to smell different perfumes in the Lush shop as there are so many smells going on in there. What I usually do is put the perfume on using the samples there. I then go off and do my shopping. I do one perfume at a time. If I like it still after I have finished my shopping it then does on my 'Wish List'.
I have to admit I do buy a lot on Ebay as you can often get them cheaper there. I just look for which are on there and bid to a certain amount. I miss out on loads but I decide what I am prepared to pay and stick to it. I also ask for them for gifts from the family too and that is how I have built up my collection.
I have the solid perfume in this and I was also given a small sample sized version by one of the lovely ladies in Lush who shares my excitement for the Lush perfumes and tells me the tales of how they were created.
I like both and find both work well on my skin. Both last pretty much all day but if I was going out in the evening I would refresh what I was wearing a little. I love the way the solid perfume lasts behind my ears and down my cleavage as I can smell the aroma rising as my body heat helps it dissipate.
Although I know it lasts all day I do find that I start to not be able to smell the perfume on myself after a while however my husband often says you smell nice later on in the day when we have a hug or a quick cuddle when preparing the meal other people comment on the perfume I am wearing so I know it does last.
I can smell a real mixture in this one and although I know the top not is mint because it combines with the deeper more earthy notes it changes to a more subtle minty aroma.
This has to be one of my favourites. I like lots of different scents but I am often drawn to the earthy notes, musk, myrrh, patchouli, vertivert, oakamoss and so on so this is just such a great evocative smell I could happily sit and sniff it all day.
The nice thing about a solid perfume is that you can put it exactly where you want it. It is also very handy for the handbag as it NEVER leaks unless the weather turns very hot. It isn't a good idea for example to leave it in a car as the sun will cause it to melt. I had to be very careful when we were on holiday recently in the USA and I kept my solid perfumes in our cold bag with all our cold stuff when we were travelling from place to place. I also left them in the hotel rather than in my handbag as it was over 35°C most days and that was enough to make them very soft when in my bag.
The solid perfumes usually have a use buy date about a year after they were made. I have not had any that I have had last longer than a year so I am not sure how the scent lasts should you have one over the use by date. I like mine too much to have them last that long as I use mine daily.
Another good thing about these little solid perfume tubes is that when you finish them these little tubes or pots count as one container to recycle so if you take five back to Lush you can choose a FREE fresh face mask or fresh hair mask so even the container is worth something.
If you are lucky enough to have a Lush store like the one in Derby with a full range of perfumes I recommend you to give them a try. They are not to everyone's taste as they are quite strong and a lot of them have quite deep strong and more heavy notes but I love them and spend ages listening to the stories as to the inspiration behind their creation.
To me perfumes are a sort of experience that is more than just the smell. They are a bit like fine wines and single malt whiskeys in that there is poetry and art in their creation. These to me are all part of the perfume, the inspiration, the poetry and the images that are created by you in your head as you first sniff the perfume as well as the effect you have on the scent, the way it changes on you and your own skin. It is all part of the magic to me.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.