Lush/Gorilla Perfume Breath of God, 2010

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Perfumer Simon Constantine

Gorilla Perfume’s Breath of God gets the sweet/savory balance that TV food competition shows have made a the part of contemporary lexicon. This sort of comment is an example of the unearned authenticity that is the logical outcome of distressed denim. Reality TV has left us spring-loaded with such vocabulary. Opinion is mistaken for experience and simply watching others leads us to accept an entirely unfounded belief in our own expertise. Of course I write about perfume with no training or education in perfumery, so who am I to throw stones?

But Breath of God gets kudos. Prada Candy, with it’s talk of benzoin, would convince us that it is a salted caramel, and therefore stakes a claim to salty/sweet sophistication. Breath of God reaches for more and gives us an oyster and melon raw bar, completing the triangle with mint. It’s ingenious, and makes a refreshing sense.

The accord is appealing and distinctive but the end product is slightly blurred, restrained. Breath of God could use what my grandmother called ‘a friendly hand’ to bring out the sweet/salty juxtaposition and the emphasize the wonderful oddity of the concept. Another solution might be to use it as scenting for personal care products.  Another Lush/Gorilla product, Dirty, is better in hair paste than as a stand-alone perfume.

Lush doesn’t pose as haute perfumery. It’s an Etat Libre d’Orange-style alternative to the Body Shop. It would be easy to dismiss the line as simply quirky if you don’t look closely, but give it a bit of consideration, and it’ll change your point of view.

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