Meet Simon and Mark Constantine, the Gorilla Perfumers, and venture into their scent-sory world...
Lush is a fragrance company. We create fragrances for nearly every new product we make, and it is often those fragrances that make a best seller, or not.
"That is exactly the point. If you take a Lush bath, you could be bathing in pure rose otto," explains Gorilla co-founder and perfumer Mark Constantine. "Really, for the last, I don't know how many, 100 years, no-one has done that. No-one has ever given you those sorts of raw materials to bathe in."
But we do. And it's not just our bath, body and hair care that feature Lush-ious fragrances. Inspired by the work they do for Lush, but wanting to push themselves to the bounds of their creativity in perfumery, Simon and Mark founded Gorilla Perfume as the artistic expression of a perfumer father and his perfumer son using scent as a tool to interpret the world around them.
The scents for all our products are made above 29 High Street. Mark and Simon share a workbench and cupboards full of essential oils and work across from each other.
Mark is a self-taught perfumer. When Lush began there was no money to pay perfume houses for ready-made formulas so he quickly learned the art of blending and creating fragrances. One of those first formulas was Karma, which is still one of our best selling fragrances. Simon started in the business as a compounder, and learnt perfumery alongside his father as well as an old colleague Jeff Brown.
Simon is Head Buyer for Lush as well as our Head Perfumer. His work takes him all over the world and some of these research and buying trips can be a little bit off the beaten track. But he always makes sure he brings back the finest, and fairest, ingredients to work with. The result of his work in Ethical Buying infuses Gorilla Perfume with a deep knowledge and respect for materials we use in our perfumery ensuring they are ultimately the very best. At the age of twenty-six, he made Breath of God based on his travels in Tibet. This was his first five star perfume, as rated by Tania Sanchez, co-author of Perfumes: The A-Z Guide.
Taking inspiration from music, we release albums of fragrance, with each perfume a song on that album – that’s why there is such a great deal of variety in our fine fragrances. Most fragrance houses only launch one perfume every twelve to eighteen months; in our new collection of perfumes alone, we have 12 fragrances.
The first fragrance the duo worked on together was Dear John, an ode to Mark's own father. "If you're into expression as a form of perfumery then I'd be proud about a lot of my work. As a method of expression I like it," says Mark.
For us, fragrance is about expression. Whether capturing a wistful memory, taking influence from a musical muse or creating a scent for a certain magical moment, our perfumers use fragrance to express themselves. Their craft, creativity and artistic expression flows through our shops, into our customer’s bathrooms and bedrooms and onto the skin, the most wonderful of canvases to cover in glorious perfume.
"If you take a Lush bath, you could be bathing in pure rose otto."