Thursday, 26 September 2013

Am I being reasonable?

Winter is coming. Not my favourite time of year, with some exceptions: Ginger bread, stews, soups and other heavy food, Christmas trees and hot baths. I assume I'll find the ginger bread when I go to Lidl this week and the hot baths season has already started. I like all kinds of fragrant oils and bubbly soaps in the bath and Lush does some fun things that are sometimes just the ticket. Many people hate Lush for what they describe as olfactory noise, stinking up shopping malls and high streets. I was always fairly tolerant to the nasal onslaught, but still, the idea of going perfume shopping at Lush never occurred to me. Just too much goes on on there, screaming at your nostrils. Well, you read this book and that blog and live to learn that Lush has a decent perfume range. Opinions about quality differ, but it certainly got me intrigued. The first thing I tried in the shop was called The Voice of Reason. Cool name.

 "It's dedicated to the written word, like, you know, ideas... and that time in Paris when people were sitting in bars and smoking cigarettes." O-tone from the very, very enthusiastic and very, very young shop assistant. I felt positively ancient because I can remember people smoking in bars and used to do that myself, sometimes even in Paris. Philosophy and smoking go well together, visually. And olfactory? An ashtray smell is not everyones cup of tea, but if well done even that can be a vital ingredient to a wonderful perfume. Balance is everything. So, is this Voice of Reason reasonable?

My visual interpretation of The Voice of Reason, Lush

Of course it isn't. Where would be the fun in that. This perfume smells of all things unhealthy. Smoke, cold ashtrays, hot ashtrays, booze in various forms and colours, strong coffee, liquorice, sweat, flesh. Not one for delicate natures. When I open the little bottle (they do a 5 ml version) it actually reeks. But it's totally bewitching at the same time and I want to smell more of it to see what happens. On skin it develops slowly, the smokiness gets softer and drier, and sweeter and gentler notes make themselves heard, but it's still quite a beast of a perfume. I'll use that one sparingly, but it stays close to the skin. Many people will hate it, I think it's great. It's the fragrance version of all things that your parents ever warned you about. I'm soon hitting menopause and still find that cool, so make of that what you will.

Edit: A few days after I wrote this review I got felled by a really bad cold. Not being able to smell anything is quite annoying (and I am bored) so I tried a few perfumes by sniffing at their bottles. VoR is incredible. Not only can I actually smell it through my blocked nose, it feels like it crept out of the bottle like some living creature, a djinny, and it still stays with me after half an hour although I didn't put it anywhere on my skin or clothes. (And no, I don't have a fever.)

How and where to wear:
Well, what can I say? A bar? In Paris? Wearing a black turtleneck? 
Who am I to tell you how to wear your perfume anyway? 

  Beatnik image via flickr from Dunechaser, some rights reserved


  1. you are very brave to enter a Lush shop! Great writing too!

  2. Thank you. But I actually like Lush things, so can't claim points for bravery.

  3. Well, you've made me want to smell it, that's for sure! Very intriguing...

  4. I can certainly provide a sniffing opportunity.

  5. I never pass up on a sniffing opportunity.