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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Lush Gorilla Perfumes: The Smell of Freedom in Three Parts, Fire Tree, Old Delhi Station and Oudh Heart

The latest fragrances in the new Gorilla Perfume range from Lush were inspired by stories of freedom from around the world. Created by founder Mark Constantine's son, Simon Constantine.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Lush Smell of Freedom perfume Oudh Heart By Vicky Fallon
The Smell of Freedom (Oudh Heart) by Vicky Fallon.

Love perfumes? Love Lush? Or know someone who does? Then how about these three new fragrances for potential stocking fillas?

The Smell of Freedom comes in three different parts which were inspired by Simon Constantine‘s travels. Combined, they create a heady fragrance that claims to be an ‘amalgamation of souls‘. The Smell of Freedom comes in a selection of different sizes, including a sample and a solid. Since together The Smell of Freedom smells a bit too much like soapy incense on my skin (I prefer fresh or more obviously spicey scents) I asked to be sent the three constituent parts to sample – they are also available to buy separately. My favourite by far is Fire Tree, with a fresh, tangy smell that features lemon myrtle, lemongrass and ginger. But one of the others might be more up your street, so why not let the illustrations do the talking? Introducing Fire Tree, Old Delhi Station and Oudh Heart – accompanied by in depth descriptions that describe the individual journeys towards freedom that inspired their creation. Naturally all ingredients are sustainably sourced from the local regions that inspired the stories.

Lush Smell of Freedom perfume Fire Tree by Catherine Stone
The Smell of Freedom (Fire Tree) by Catherine Stone.

Part 1 – Fire Tree.
‘I have been in love with Aboriginal culture and art since my school days. Having taken several trips to Australia, I had begun to get disillusioned with the way such a rich and mystical culture could be so decimated by Western living.

On my last visit to Australia I was fortunate enough to have time to visit the Warmun art centre. In a remote community on the eastern edge of the Kimberely range, the art centre is a modern yet modest facility for the local artists in the Aboriginal community of the Gija people. One particular painting of a solitary baobab tree left a lasting impression on me. It was inspired by 7 Gija people who lost their lives there. Thought to have stolen cattle from the ranch where they had been settled, the suspects were taken to the creek and shot. Now the baobab tree stands as a memorial to the event and a small plaque has been added to commemorate the sad loss of life.

Later that same day I meet a lady at a community gathering. To all intents and purposes she was a young aboriginal lady. When we talked, I realised that not only was she remarkably young-looking for her age but that she had led an incredible life. She had travelled extensively through Europe and South-East Asia as an artist before settling with a French duke in Darwin to have children. Nowadays, she has moved back to her home and lives a mixture of both bush tucker and modern life.

It struck me that the seeds of recovery had been sown there. It was good to see that such a rich and rewarding life could be led by a person who a generation ago would have been actively ‘bred out’ and whose culture still struggles to survive.’

Lush Smell of Freedom perfume old delhi station by kathryn corlett
The Smell of Freedom (Old Delhi Station) by Kathryn Corlett.

Part 2 – Old Delhi Station.
‘A short but powerful man beckons us. His name is the Venerable Ngawang Woebar and he’s a Tibetan monk and leader of an NGO group who rehome and look after political prisoners – Tibetans who have managed to make it out of Tibet to Dharamsala to give them a bit of a respite. He welcomes us into the small room of his office and asks what it is we want. I struggle to explain that we are looking for a way to help Tibetans in their plight. We have travelled all the way to Mcleod Ganj in Dharamsala to ask this question. I now feel a bit awkward.

He takes us outside onto the balcony overlooking the pines. He describes how he came to be in Mcleod Ganj. As he talks, sweet ginger, lemon and honey tea is laid on the table and he quietly unravels the tale of his epic journey from Tibet to India.

Lush Smell of Freedom Old Delhi Perfume by Mimi Illustration
The Smell of Freedom (Old Delhi) by Mimi Illustration.

When he was a young man he became an activist in Tibet, protesting for rights of Tibetans and supporting the Dalai Lama. The Chinese authorities imprisoned him for handing out leaflets and waving the Tibetan flag. After four months without trial and suffering interrogation and abuse throughout this time, he was released. Being further victimized and expelled from his monastery he decided to leave.

Without a passport or permission he had to take the treacherous route to Nepal. The three-week journey was a tough one, travelling 30miles a day across the Himalayas, carrying all the supplies he needed. The day before his group reached Nepal they ran out of food. They resorted to eating rolled balls of snow with salt sprinkled on top. Barely sustained until he arrived at the Nepalese sanctuary he was deported to India where he joined the many thousands of desperate Tibetans who had to flee their homeland.

What was so endearing and powerful about his story was his delivery. Calm and warm, he smiled as he recounted the torture that he had been through. A look of quiet resilience that his experiences and his faith had endowed him with was the most moving thing of all.

As we arrived back in to Old Delhi station the fragrance of spices mixed with the smell of humanity were indelibly imprinted in my memory of meeting Ngawang and hearing his amazing story.’

Lush Smell of Freedom perfume Oudh Heart by Jacqueline Valencia
The Smell of Freedom (Oudh Heart) by Jacqueline Valencia.

Part 3 – Oudh Heart.
‘Lush has worked with Human Rights charity Reprieve over the last few years to campaign for the right to a fair trial for those held in Guantanamo Bay. One such prisoner was Sami Al-Hajj, who was on hunger strike and being force fed by tube daily.

Political pressure mounted and Lush itself came under fire for getting involved in events that were ‘none of our business’. Then the news came that Sami would be coming home, no charge, free to go. Frail and 55 pounds lighter than the he was when he was captured, but he would be returning. The wife and son he hadn’t seen for seven years were waiting for him as he struggled off the plane.

The news was received with great emotion at Lush as we had all become very attached to the plight of Sami, who at the time of his illegal imprisonment was an Aljazeeran cameraman travelling to Afghanistan with a legitimate visa. I was nervous and excited about being invited to meet him, the man whose photo we had all become so familiar with.

On meeting him he looked healthier again as he shook our hands and smiled widely. Sami had made a remarkable recovery in the few months after his release. As we sat down he gave a great speech to us. He was resolute in his commitment that what had happened wouldn’t overshadow his future. He wanted to create something positive from his ordeal and to move forward. He appreciated the thoughts and support from people all over the world and he took strength from the fact people had acted for him throughout his imprisonment.’

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