Thursday 21 May 2020

SAPPHO and NERO by Lush

It’s not unusual to see numerous fragrance releases from a company in a single year. After all, it’s all about keeping their customers engaged. However, to launch an additional collection of five in one go is a little less usual. It doesn’t happen often because the amount of planning and execution that is required is immense, and it’s also a very risky decision. It takes a brand that isn’t afraid of a little hard work, and that company is LUSH. Their new Florence Collection is a series of five scents that are designed to realign the body's humours. The question is, how would this translate to contemporary fragrance?

LUSH are probably still most famous for the bath-bomb. This fizzy, highly perfumed, and usually pimped with petals, bathing delight is a staple of any birthday or Christmas list. The vibrancy of the colours and the boldness of the fragrance was always what struck anyone that walked past one of their shops, and so it comes as little surprise that their perfumes follow the same direction. They stretch back to the beginning of the brand in 1994 and famously includes 29 High Street, which was created by perfumer Pia Long to conjure up the scent of the original boutique.

The Florence Collection has been created by the new in-house perfumer, Emma Dick, in conjunction with Mark Constantine, the owner of LUSH. Originally planned as an exclusive for their Florence boutique, the series was soon incorporated into a new Renaissance spa treatment that concentrates on rebalancing the body’s humours. This meant that the collection has now became available worldwide,. The five fragrances are Confetti, Frangipani, Fresh As, Nero, and Sapho. There were two standouts for me which, whilst working wonderfully on their own, were incredible when combined. So, I’d like to introduce you to Nero and Sappho.

Nero is an exciting take on the traditional cologne style of fragrance but manages to add a texture and density that is often missing in this category of scent. It opens with a mouth-wateringly zesty hit of bergamot and almost immediately feels as if the slightly metallic neroli is also pulled right to the front. You then start to get an herbaceous quality, reminiscent of lavender, but it never gets in the way of this citrus beginning. A delicately woody note is added with the petitgrain and, alongside a touch of black pepper, a final whisper of tonka bean completes a wonderfully contemporary unisex cologne. It's the perfect summertime refresher.

Sappho is another story altogether and dives straight into the heart of the fragrance, bypassing the regular transient citrus notes altogether. You are enveloped in a classic oriental accord of powdery iris, which also throws out a note of violet, along with a rich tonka bean and vanilla pairing. Add in the smooth woody quality from the sandalwood and you begin to feel decidedly decadent. What is added to this though is a peppered, tobacco pouch quality that is given a floral aspect thanks to a dark jasmine note. It is a rich fragrance which, whilst it works perfectly on its own, is the perfect base for those that also love their colognes.

The whole Florence Collection is available from the LUSH website at priced at either £60 or £70 for 30ml. [Samples provided by Sue Busto]

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