The winter selection of limited edition products at Lush has been revealed. Now I can also tell you a little bit more about what I've been up to!
We started working on Christmas products back in February and finished around May. There's a lot of development that goes on behind the scenes. About one third of the products that get made actually make the final cut. Here's what we ended up with:
Northern Lights soap. Back from last year. Wesley made a gorgeously bright neon soap and I got to make the scent for it. I used lots of cypress and pine and added lime and aldehydes to make it smell cold. There's a a floral hint in there, too, for the multicoloured effect. Overall I was going for "standing in a freezing Finnish forest, looking up at the nothern lights." I made sure to use some antibacterial and antifungal materials so the product should be good for problem skins and as a kitchen soap. The scent can be divisive because of associations with pine and citrus to cleaning products but I find this a really great one to use in the morning shower when feeling knackered in the depths of midwinter. Last year this became one of our best-sellers.
North Pole soap. This was created by Michelle in the creative team. I happened to have created two scents inspired by peppermint bark chocolates and one of the perfumes went into the white part and the other into the pink. One of them is like mint chocolate candy and the other is a woody mint fragrance. I think they came out just on the right side of sweet and the woody part makes the scent a little less edible and more like a soap. Will be interesting to see how this does.
Mr. Punch soap. One morning I chatted with Noriko about an idea I'd had for a Pimm's type scent; I really wanted to capture that cucumber/lemon/mint/orange/strawberry/gin thing in a perfume. Noriko said that she was just about to start working on a new soap but wasn't sure what to do yet. We plotted together that day and Noriko went into her lab and I went into mine and she made this beautiful punch soap with all those gorgeous fruity pieces and real juniperberries. I made a boozy punch fragrance. It was originally going to be a summer soap but Mark pinched it for the Christmas range (and I suppose it makes sense since a lot of Lush countries have Christmas during summer!). Simon altered the fragrance slightly by adding more fruit to it. The end result is very yummy indeed. I also experimented with the original scent as a cologne and tried it this summer. It's very green at first and dries down to the smell you end up on your fingers after you've been eating strawberries. I doubt it will ever actually become an actual cologne in the shops but it was a really nice little experiment.
Party Popper bath ballistic. Wesley made a popping, fizzing bath popper using his new soap paper streamers inside (made of melon!). His invention demanded some kind of sparkly scent so I used a dry, sparkling floral theme which to my mind evoked fancy Champagne or a "fizzing" sensation. It's probably likely to appeal to fans of Ginger perfume and anyone who likes non-sweet floral scents. I really enjoy working with ginger as a material and want to do more with it soon. The bath water goes a beautiful dark pink when in use and the water keeps popping for a good while...
Ponche shower gel. There was a sort of accidental booze theme going on... Hannah brought back some really inspiring things from Mexico and one of the things we looked at was a description and photos of Mexican spicy punch with tropical fruits. Wesley made a beautiful shower gel with fruit and spice infusions and I created a boozy citrus fragrance with a hint of spice and tropical fruits. One of the key ingredients in the fragrance is Davana oil which is actually a kind of weed that grows in India. It smells boozy and fruity and adds punch to the Ponche fragrance (terrible puns are Lush bread and butter. I'm so sorry. I'm also partly responsible. As I've said before, I've got an overactive pun gland). I've been using this for a few weeks and it's my favourite product from the whole new range.
Rocket re-usable bubble bar. When I saw the purple rocket ships that had been designed I immediately went into violet and blackberry kind of mode. The rocket became blue in the end though. The first version of this fragrance was quite fruity. Simon made the second version of this fragrance with extra oomph using spicy firetree oil as "rocket fuel". (I warned you about the puns). This should really appeal to people who liked Bathos, Blackberry Bathbomb and Gratuitous Violets. It's not an overly sweet smell but it does have a warm, sweet, fruity quality about it.
Santa's Sack bubble bar. Helen and I were talking about Wesley's concept for this bath product and we started discussing the way red and white Santa colours really came from Coca Cola. I've been telling people about this awesome Finnish Christmas film called "Rare Exports" which is a comedy horror film exploring the pagan roots of Santa. Anyway, when it came to doing the fragrance for this product, I wanted it to be spicy and warming but I also wanted to put in the "joke" about Coca Cola Santa. So the red santa's sack smells like a spicier version of cola. This one is nice and complex and not too candy-store. Hoping it will please fans of spicy scents.
Popcorn lip scrub and Let the Good Times Roll popcorn cleanser. These both have the same fragrance (which actually started as a flavour for the lip scrub!). It smells cookie-dough-ish or like caramel popcorn. Noriko and I ate through almost a whole pot of the lip scrub. For testing purposes. Don't eat the cleanser though. The popcorn theme was quite challenging when I first heard about it so I looked at a sheet of popcorn flavours and chose the one that seemed to go well with the products. I don't think cheese flavoured lip scrub would sell all that well.
Sandy Santa sugar scrub. So, apparently in Brazil, there are sand-Santa competitions on the beach. That inspired our team to create our own sand sculpture. I wanted to use Brazilian materials for the fragrance (Brazilian orange) and the sandalwood is a terrible pun (sand... alwood...). As it happens, I think that orange and sandalwood go really beautifully together. This is a citrus with a subtle, floral/woody backdrop. I am really tempted to dilute some of this scent in alcohol and bottle it.
I've also made the scents for the pink and yellow FUN! Pink has become an instant best-seller in UK (which has a lot to do with the colour - our UK customers do love their pink products!). I do think the scent is quite fun, too; very fruity, a little floral and has a sweet back-drop of benzoin and tonka. I've been using it as a shampoo just so I can sniff the scent in my hair all day (but I must admit that my over-processed bleached hair needs to alternate this with a moisturising shampoo in between). The yellow fun has a vanilla scent which was very tricky to do as vanilla discolours really badly. I fear we may still need to go back to the lab with that one just so we could increase the level of perfume in the product. It leaves a lovely scent on your skin after use.
I am really hoping that these products do well this season so that Mark and Si will let me back in the lab soon! I love making scents so much!
These have now been launched by Lush Online.