Gorilla Perfume at Lush Imogen Rose and B Scent ~ fragrance review

Gorilla Perfume at Lush Imogen RoseGorilla Perfume at Lush B Scent

If you're a long-time Lush customer, you'll recognize some familiar "faces" in the Gorilla Perfume at Lush product line: this Lush-owned company brings together a few fragrances that have been in and out of rotation at Lush, several fragrances originally offered by B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful (the now-defunct cosmetics-and-fragrance offshoot of Lush), and a generous handful of new scent creations, all of them unconventional fragrances blended from largely natural ingredients. When I visited the traveling "fragrance gallery" staged by Gorilla Perfume and began to familiarize myself with the complete line of scents, my usual instincts drew me towards two rose-based compositions.

Imogen Rose is a brand-new fragrance, created as an “eponymous homage to Simon [Constantine's] young daughter"; Gorilla Perfume calls it "a true representation of the Damask rose" with "a hint of baby powder." Its notes are listed as rose, bergamot, vetivert, ambrette seed, tonka, and orris. Imogen Rose opens with an uncannily lifelike rose note, but it's a stemmy, damp, slightly bruised flower, not a cultivated florist-shop bloom. This effect reminds me of something Tania Sanchez once wrote, that fragrances made with natural rose essences somehow tend to smell "part lemon soap, part wine vinegar, part green (as in boiled vegetables)."1 For this initial phase of the fragrance, which lasts twenty minutes to a half hour (or sometimes longer) on my skin, I'm not quite sure what I think about Imogen Rose. Then it surprises me entirely: it softens and dries into a dusky iris-rose accord with a trace of dry sweetness from the tonka bean. An hour or two after application, it's drowsy and dreamy and really not baby-like at all.

B Scent, one of the revived B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful scents, is described as an impression of "rose tempered with crisp citrus" and "Mark [Constantine’s] daydream of what young French girls smell like.” The B Never catalogues used to say that B Scent was partially inspired by Audrey Hepburn in the role of Sabrina, the chauffeur's daughter who spends a year in Paris and returns home as a chic woman dressed in couture. B Scent's notes include lemon, bergamot, fennel, lavender, rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, sandalwood, and musk, and the overall fragrance has a Hepburn-like balance of sophistication and sprightliness. The lemon and grapefruit topnotes are seamlessly meshed with the fennel, and the rose core gives the fragrance a traditional heart, with a brightness that keeps it feeling youthful and fresh. Whereas Imogen Rose is definitely a feminine fragrance, B Scent is more of an equal-opportunity choice for cologne-lovers.

Both fragrances have above-average staying power, thanks to the synthetic ingredients supporting the natural ones. Both are also somewhat unpredictable. They were never quite the same on me on the various days I tested them. They seem to evolve at varying speeds, with different notes emerging more strongly from wearing to wearing; I'm guessing this changeability is due to the high percentage of natural ingredients. In any case, I'd advise purchasing samples of a few scents and experimenting to find out which ones work best for your nose and and your skin, as well as your personal taste.

Gorilla Perfume at Lush product lineup

Gorilla Perfume at Lush Imogen Rose and B Scent are offered in 10 or 30 ml, as well as solid perfume sticks and sample vials; for purchasing information, see the listing for Lush under Perfume Houses.

1. Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez, Perfumes: The Guide, p. 306.

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  1. Dolly2 says:

    OOh! that B scent sounds so good. Must try!

    • ladida says:

      I think I’m going to try B-scent, too. The Guide gives it 4 stars.

      • Jessica says:

        I remember trying a tiny, tiny bit of B Scent back in its B Never days… I like it even more now!

  2. Dolly2 says:

    No Lazy Friday Poll?
    Very sad right now.

    • Tama says:

      Sometimes the polls are on Saturday…

      • Dolly2 says:

        I wasen’t aware of that. I suppose I might have forgotten, but I have had a particularly crummy week@ work and just grateful it’s over.

  3. ladida says:

    It seems like you were lucky enough to get the best from Imogen Rose. This went so wrong on me that I’m afraid to try it again. After the strange first fifteen minutes, it was a beautiful big fruity rose for about an hour. Rapturous!! Then it turned straight to sour flower water on me. So sad. Maybe it was the ambrette seed…I don’t know.

    • Jessica says:

      Oh, no! How strange. Actually, it went sour on me when I first tried it, at the “gallery”… but I may have accidentally layered it over another (clashing) scent? I’ve tried it 5x at home, and got this very different result. Odd!

      • ladida says:

        I think I’ll try Imogen again this weekend in the cooler weather and see how the diva behaves.

  4. maggiecat says:

    Really, really want to try B Scent…where to find a sample?

    • ladida says:

      you can order samples of most of the gorilla fragrances at lushuk.com. they ship anywhere.

      • Jessica says:

        Yes — the new Gorilla scents are available through the US Lush/Gorilla site, but for the revived B Never scents. you’ll have to go through the UK Lush/Gorilla site. Looks like they do offer shipping to other countries, fortunately, as Ladida has pointed out!

  5. dea says:

    I really like the packaging.

    Looking forward to hearing about more from the line.

    • Jessica says:

      I like the matte black packaging, too, and the variety of sizes. Someone has finally heeded our plea for smaller bottles! ;)

  6. malijo789 says:

    I love roses. At work there’s some rose bushes planted outside and I stopped and smelled them one day. One of the roses smelled softer and more plush than the others. It was ivory and pink. Does anyone know what kind of rose that is?

    • Jessica says:

      I don’t know many types of roses by name, but I do like to smell the rosebushes growing in my neighbors’ front yards!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    B Scent is back! I’m so happy! I love it. I went through a decant last year, but never got around to buying a bottle. Now I can! I love the lemon-fennel accord. Now, that’s my kind of gourmand!

    • Jessica says:

      E, thinking back… I might have received that original B Scent sample from you! So, thanks again. It really is a nice one!

  8. Flowerbomb says:

    I’m a massve fan of the Gorilla/B Never perfumes and B Scent is one of my favourites. I think the fennel is a stroke of genius, it really makes B Scent become something very special.

    • Jessica says:

      It’s one of my favorites so far, too — although I havnen’t tried all of them yet. I remember liking Cocktail, when I owned a small bottle a few years ago. Love was another one I enjoyed testing. In the new line, I’ve also liked Smell of Freedom and Orange Blossom… and the Dirty hair gel!

  9. freskagirl says:

    Nice reviews, J–these sound very “you”! None of the new Gorilla scent descriptions appeal particularly to me (which is just as well!). I always wonder why Lush doesn’t put the Silky Underwear and Snowcake scents into the permanent lineup. They seem to be hugely popular. I am lucky enough to have scored bottles of both when they’ve done reissues and love them.

    I’m intrigued about the addition of candles to the Lush line!

    • Jessica says:

      I wonder that about Snowcake and Silky Underwear, too. The whole limited-edition forum-vote thing is odd, to me. Those two scents are perennial favorites!
      I’ve seen the candles, and they look great — big and chunky and simple — but haven’t purchased one (yet).

  10. 50_Roses says:

    I love the idea of solid perfume sticks. It sounds so convenient and easy to use. The main reason that I have never used solid perfumes very much is that they are in tins or compacts and you have to use your fingers to apply them, resulting in greasy fingers and perfume under the fingernails.

    • Na says:

      I agree. Solid perfume sticks are smart! =)

      • Jessica says:

        I agree, too. I like the CrazyLibellule “crazy-stick” solid perfumes for the same reason!

  11. Na says:

    I never felt attracted to Lush stores because the whole store smells very strong. But your review of Imogen rose is so beautiful that I would actually have to walk into Lush and try it!

    • Jessica says:

      Na, I hope you will try it! The smell of the entire Lush store can be a little overwhelming, but there are some lovely items there once you find what you like.

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