I want to love you, Gorilla Perfumes. I want to support your whimsical bottles and your fair-trade policies. I tried my hardest to “succumb to this rich, sensual and smoky blend of all good things”, as ordered. And I do think that All Good Things is the best of the four new Gorilla Perfumes just released to the U.S. All Good Things is just a little too much of a good thing. There’s a lot of birch tar, and a lot of vanilla, and neither has any intention of backing down. It’s the sweetest smoky fragrance I’ve ever tried, and more than a little overpowering. Gorilla Perfumes’ own Vanillary handles the ratio of sweet to smoky much more smoothly, I think.
Not sure whether to file this under praise or warning, but the remarkable lasting power is definitely worth pointing out. Most fragrances last about an hour on my skin. Two hours is what I consider good lasting power. All Good Things was still going strong when I fell asleep a good eight hours after spraying it on. One spray! I cautiously applaud you, Gorilla Perfumes.
Out of the nine Volume 2 Gorilla Perfumes released in 2013, only two are continuing on in the hopes of becoming America’s Next Top Model. Sun and Sikkim Girls are joining the main Gorilla Perfume lineup, while the others have been called home to The Great Lush Bathtub In The Sky. So what makes these two scents worthy of the adorable new Gorilla Perfume packaging? Your intrepid girl reporter investigates.
Sun is the obvious crowd pleaser, a cheerful, candied orange scent. It’s completely unchanging/linear; think Gorilla Perfumes Karma or L de Lolita Lempicka without any base notes. Sikkim Girls is a little more complicated. Let’s get this on the table: I hate jasmine and I rarely enjoy tuberose, and Sikkim Girls has plenty of both. Sikkim Girls is a thick, natural-smelling tuberose scent, with the realistic rubbery quality of a true tuberose note. “Thick” is actually generous; I find Sikkim Girls muddled, but it’s important to note that I was only able to test the solid formulation. It’s kind of hard to imagine such a strong white floral being as widely popular as Sikkim Girls has become. Your intrepid girl reporter wonders just how many shoppers are more taken with the “exotic” Sikkim Girls name and illustration than with the scent itself, but your intrepid girl reporter might just be grumpy because she misses Gorilla Perfume Furze.
Out of all of the nine new Gorilla Perfumes, Furze was probably the one I was least excited to try. I’d never heard of a furze plant before, and the notes (vanilla and coconut) sounded a little Bath & Body Works. I was more interested in the darker-sounding perfumes, like Voice of Reason and Hellstone. But when I finally had the chance to try all nine scents last week, Furze immediately emerged as the standout of the collection.
I’m not sure how useful my description of Furze will be, as it appears to smell very different to different noses. The Candy Perfume Boy described it as “incredibly crisp and green” in his review
, while a Basenotes commenter called
it “a gorgeous mimosa scent.” For me, Furze has that luminous sweetness that I typically associate with heliotrope scents, only without the powdery aspect that heliotrope often has. The Muse in Wooden Shoes once described
the smell of her heliotrope plants as “jam-filled donuts”, and I think that’s a perfect description for Furze. Although I would love to smell The Candy Perfume Boy’s crisp and green version, Furze never deviates from sweet and creamy on my skin.
In addition to being one of the most enjoyable new Gorilla Perfumes, Furze also happens to be the cheapest. The smallest size is $14.95, and the largest size (3.1 oz/91 ml) is only $44.95! As usual for Lush fragrances, Furze has excellent lasting power. Even though Lush isn’t making it easy for you to try Furze (it’s only being sold in 15 out of Lush’s hundreds of North America stores), it’s definitely worth seeking out.
I know that here at Scents of Self, we sometimes give Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez (the authors of Perfume: The Guide) a bit of a hard time. It’s all in good fun, of course, but I have to say that they make it fairly easy for me by always being wrong. Take their review of Superworld Unknown, which would have you believe that this fragrance is a “classical oriental descended from Emeraude.” Really? Huh. Because I could have sworn that it smelled like gummy bears. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This is a solidly three-star fragrance. But it is most certainly not classical or oriental, unless I’ve been eating the wrong kinds of gummy bears.
So what is Superworld Unknown, besides the most ridiculously named perfume since Mariah Carey’s Lollipop Bling? It’s a sweet gourmand fragrance with an absolutely beautiful orange blossom note. This is probably the most I’ve ever liked orange blossom in a perfume, which means that true orange blossom lovers should stay far away from it. I almost never like orange blossom fragrances because I usually find them entirely too syrupy. Unfortunately, this lovely orange blossom does not combine particularly well with the strong lime note that follows. There’s some nice sandalwood in the drydown. It smells a little like being in the bath bomb section of a Lush store (the bath bombs give off a lot of powder).
Like many of Lush’s Gorilla Perfume line, Superworld Unknown is sometimes pretty and sometimes merely odd. Despite the otherworldly name, I don’t find Superworld Unknown to be as evocative or transportive as some of Lush’s other fragrances. To be honest, I mostly wrote this review just so that none of you poor perfumistas would buy Superworld Unknown under the mistaken belief that it was the Second Coming of Emeraude. Oh, Luca and Tania, you crazy kids.
My mother does not wear perfume. She and my father are (allegedly) allergic to it. When I excitedly showed her my new bottle of L’Artisan Safran Troublant last month, her only comment was “It’s not terrible.” (You don’t even want to know what she said about L’Heure Bleue.) My mother has only really connected with my love of fragrances on one occasion: when I asked her to try a discontinued perfume, Guerlain Meteorites. Upon smelling Meteorites, she gasped and said that it smelled just like a violet-scented doll that she had as a child. She even compared it to Proust’s beloved madeleines.
Tuca Tuca will be practically Proustian for anyone with happy memories of violet-flavored confections like Parma Violets or Choward’s Violet Mints. This gorgeous perfume is as instantly cheerful as its name. Violet fragrances are tricky. They tend to be unbalanced, skewing either too sweet, too powdery, or too green. Tuca Tuca skillfully avoids each of these potential pitfalls. Tuca Tuca is one of the very few perfectly candied violet perfumes, and is no doubt the most easily accessible and inexpensive of the lot. At a criminally cheap $29 an ounce, I consider this a must-try for anyone seeking a sweet violet fragrance.
A word of caution: I like Tuca Tuca best in the solid perfume formulation. The liquid version is a little screechier.