Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Out Of Step

I love the blogsphere. Oh, sure, there are blogs I like and there are blogs I don't, but in general I feel like bloggers are my peeps. My posse, or some such misappropriated 'street' term.

Anyhoo. So every now and then I feel like I'm out of step with this huge diverse community. This 'hood full of my homies. (That's my last one, I swear bitches.) It's kind of hard to tiptoe around the blogsphere these days without someone giving a shout out to how much they love Lush. Maybe it's the blogs I frequent, but I don't think I've ever read a single dissenter. (Sure I mostly read blogs by women and people of the homosexualist persuasion, so it's a skewed sample I agree.)

I can't bring myself to even walk into the store. I will scurry past as fast as I can, I have a Lush Aversion situation happening. Here in Sydney there is a big Lush store in the basement level of The Queen Victoria Building shopping precinct. Here's my issue. It stinks! You can't even walk past this place without wading through a thick fog of various really strong smells. It's so strong that I've even looked to see if they aren't pumping some sort of spray out into the arcade.

Not to mention that the store looks so hectic, music pumping and staffed by young spokesmodels. If I want to buy an anti-wrinkle product I do not want to be made to feel old when I do it. Cut me some slack, like the skin on my neck. Give me an octogenarian saleslady and subtle lighting, preferably.

I think my aversion is fed by the fact that just a few doors away is that temple of calm, that serene edifice to subtle scents and savagely expensive eye creams with stuff like ground up tourmaline in them (That's a gem stone, people. It's like jewellery for your skin!) called Aveda. Sadly no octogenarian salesladies, but you can't have everything, right?

36 comments:

M-H said...

I'm with you. We had this discussion at work the other day, with some people raving about Lush and others wrinking their noses and going "Ewww! Pooh!" I'm a Crabtree and Evelyn grrrl myself; they have the fresh and light scents that I like, being both a woman and of the homosexualist persuasion.

The Other Andrew said...

Good call M-H, I LOVE Crabtree & Evelyn. So refined, right? I used to wear their Mysore Sandalwood fragrance (and spray the pillows when 'special friends' stay over!). They used to do a Lime fragrance too that I loved, but it doesn't seem to be around anymore.

I love L'Occitane too! Esepcially the Lemon Verbena scented stuff.

Michael said...

I still adore Aveda, but you can't say those stores don't REEK as well, can you? Sure it's organic and floral, but still incredibly strong.

I'm a new LUSH acolyte (thanks to Freakgirl), so I've only been in one store so far, in Midtown Manhattan. I didn't find the store's smell overwhelming, but it could be that any scent was a welcome respite from the mystery odors (and fluids) of the street of NY.

Michael said...

PS Buy the Mask of Magnaminty online. That way you can avoid the smell of the store and still get the amazing deeply cleansed and tightened feeling. When I get down there, we'll do each other's backs, darling!

The Other Andrew said...

Ewww, mystery fluids of NYC!

Aveda doesn't reek like Lush here does. I don't know what it is, but the Lush store has an almost acrid stench. It's so strong when you walk past that I really did think they were pumping something out into the arcade...

Maybe it's just that Aveda smells like expensive.

The Other Andrew said...

PS. Who is that masked man?

I loved your line about Katherine Helmond in "Brazil" by the way. Too funny.

Michael said...

Well, I guess I smell expensive then, because I mostly smell like this stuff: http://tinyurl.com/yq8do8

M-H said...

"Refained?" That's me, mate! [insert huge slap on the back]

The Other Andrew said...

I'e been known to smell like this, but at the moment I smell a lot cheaper! :)

M-H, ouch - you hit hard! :)

freakgirl said...

I noticed the LUSH store in London smelled so strong, I could barely stand it. The ones in Toronto and NYC aren't as...pungent. However, I haven't been in a Crabtree & Evelyn in years because I would get splitting headaches from the smells.

I can't argue with you about the music. In fact, when Michael and I were in there the other week, I said to him, "This music is making me angry."

Of course, now I know he barely understood a word I said (apparently I mutter).

freakgirl said...

Oh! Michael, I use the same stuff - Control Paste - on my hair too!

Kris said...

The Snook hates the smell of the shop too, but he actually used some of the Ocean Salt scrub I got him. (The boy has a disturbing tendency to wash his face with the same soap he uses on his ass, and I'm determined to break that habit.) It's all lemony and salty... it's like scrubbing your face with a margarita!

The Other Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Other Andrew said...

"This music is making me angry."

Seinfeld moment!

THIS music is making me ANGRY! This MUSIC is making ME angry! Ah the hilarity that ensues...

Kris, how did I not know that there was a product that was like scrubbing your face with a margarita! That's right up my alley, although I usually prefer the frozen ones - so it would be refreshing too!

Michael said...

I totally bought that Ocean Salt scrub, too! It is just like a margarita. Party on my face, y'all! And I think one use of the Ocean Salt on his ass would cure your husband of his unfortunate habit.

Freakgirl, I understood MORE than half of what you said (but not much more). I think it was a combination of your understated enunciation (not mumbling) and my age-related hearing loss (I am 41). And nerves.

I'm a big homo, but I just can't walk into a Crabtree & Evelyn.

PS I do admit to missing that "This music is making me angry" comment. In my defense, I'm a focused shopper.

amy said...

I'm with ya too. Lush is so 2001.

Michael Guy said...

Based on the LUSH fan-dom wave of late I sashayed into Chicago's LUSH located in the storefront corner of MACY's. Word: pulllease! I, too, was overwhelmed by the wave of conflicting scents and could not single out a particular scent to 'enjoy' because they all merged together for a wall of headache inducing odors. The music was not of my liking. The sales staff was too young to care as they stood grouped like little brown wrens pecking out the club scene from the night before. In & out in under 5 minutes.

Frankly I'll stick with my gal, Aleda, at Neiman Marcus. She could be exiled Iranian royalty as her beauty stops traffic. But I like getting her voice messages at my office: "Mr. Michael, we've the new Arancia Di Capri. I shall send you one? No?! Okay, you call me. Yes!? This is Aleda at Neiman's." See how flawless that exchange is? No public hoi-polloi, bad angry music and exchange of filthy money?

I am old.

Sunshine said...

I used to like Lush - don't mind the strong fragrances so much. But that was before I found out what kind of ingredients they put in their products - especially propylene glycol. *shiver*

Michael said...

I'm curious as to what you use now, Sunshine, considering that propylene glycol makes you shiver.

freakgirl said...

Michael Guy, I love a man who uses the term "hoi polloi."

Therin of Andor said...

I have to admit to really liking several Lush soaps, especially the exotic incensy Karma, and the strongly green minty one covered in a black waxy coating, Demon in the Dark - but maybe only because it's inspired by the Star Trek episode with the mother horta ("The Devil in the Dark")? Warning: "Demon" can really sting sensitive bits in the shower - especially after a curry - but it's excellent when recovering from a hangover.

I used to wonder about how sensible it was when a Lush opened up next to the fast food hall in the CBD's Mid City Centre. I'm sure the other shopkeepers were thrilled when the lease ran out. (I took my Mum and Aunt into that Lush once - although they'd loved the products I'd bought them as gifts the previous Christmas, they both ran from the store holding their noses when confronted with so much fragrance en masse.)

I recall my first ever trip into a Lush: the one in the Queen Victoria Building in about 1999. The shop assistants were happily plunging highly-perfumed bath bombs into cauldons of water, and it was amazing, jockeying for position so you could watch them bubbling away furiously (the bath bombs, that is, not ).

The assistants were really pushing the real chocolate-fragranced massage bars, that first time. The bar looked and smelt exactly like a Cadbury's Top Deck. "Madonna was in just last week and this is what she bought." I did buy a bar for myself, but never used it. It moved house with me, sat curling at the edges, all neglected under the sink in the bathroom - until I actually found it the other day: all off-cream colour, wizened up and chunky, with bits missing around the edges. It was my old chocolate massage bar, or what was left of it! A cockroach had thought it looked and smelt exactly like a Cadbury's Top Deck, too.

Therin of Andor said...

So call me Loquacious of Borg. Sorry, I did go on a bit, eh?

Michael Guy said...

FREAKGIRL: I use 'namby-pamby' often, too!

Maybe my whole concern regarding LUSH products is that I simply don't have the right dude lathering my hole with "sexy peel soap." I'm just saying. My vote could swing.

ANDREW: The debate continues as you sleep, love!

Mikey (The Lovely Ex) said...

OK, being a confirmed homosexualist (hey, why don't we get a confirmation ceremony like all those weird Christian types... we are sooo discriminated against) anyway, back to topic; being a confirmed homosexualist, I can't possibly not weigh in on a post about skincare... First off; I hate Lush. I so agree with TOA. It does reek, it gives me headaches and the sales staff all look like they are just waiting to ask if I "want fries with your scrub" (and of course you know they'd say it without a hint of irony... sigh). Now, I've just lashed out on a new skincare range. I used to be a Clinique man but I've started using "Zirh" (I've no idea how to add a html link). Seems to be French/American brand of mens only stuff. It is so fab as to be unbelievable. They eyecream (Restore) is a thing of cosmetic beauty and the face wash is divine. All with a lemony-verbena smell as well (to satisfy my inner L'Occitane fetish). Get out there and try it. The only downside is that it is stocked by... Myer (shudder) not David Jones (for you OS types, for David Jones, substitiute Harvey Nicks or Barneys (depending on what side of the pond you are on) and for Myer, think Walmart (well, that's a bit harsh but you get the idea)). Of coure, I order mine online and get it delivered... And yes, I can hear myself, here.

Michael said...

Too smelly! Too loud! Too impolite!

Jesus, when did you fags get so delicate and insulated? I guess after all these years in public service, I've become inured to the sights, odors and racket of the unwashed masses (even when they're in a venue stocked with cleansing products). Well, I'll sit over here and continue to love on these freshy-fresh, handmade unctions.

Still, I'm a slut for products, so I'll also be experimenting with all these lines y'all deem superior.

The Other Andrew said...

Hey, wass'up Chatty Cathys!!

"Jesus, when did you fags get so delicate and insulated?"

What, that's a job for the straight guys?... :)

Mikey, (can I just say) you write (almost) exactly how you speak. King of the (often funny, sometimes obscure) aside!

Mikey (The Lovely Ex) said...

Haha! I try... (or am trying, wait, that's another aside...).

Who knew a post on smelly cosmetic products would elicit so many comments.

The Other Andrew said...

You never can tell what's going to touch a nerve or appeal to people. Sometimes there are things I think are really cool (like the blog about homeless people a few days back) that elicit no comments. If I worried about that too much though this would become stilted and artificial - I like to just create it as a stream of consciousness and let the audience decide.

Michael said...

The audience. YOUR audience. ::sits rapt::

The Other Andrew said...

Awwww. Sweetie.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry... any store that sells a product that contains dried apricots in visible chunks that isn't for eating is not one I want to frequent... in fact, looking at the stuff on their website I probably wouldn't go near the place.

Jammies said...

I had no idea Lush was this controversial! I've never been to a store, so I've been spared the headaches. I did fall in love with their bath products (being a total slut for bubble bars), but have pretty much decided to look into Skindecent and others after Lush's recent price hike.

Sadly, I no longer even want a store in Ohio.

Anonymous said...

I'm also among the Less than Enthused via Lush. I visited the store in Toronto and managed all of 20 minutes before I sought the relative fresh air of the city street. The mint soap I bought had a heavy black wax rind that no one explained should be peeled off (and which was not exactly easy to peel). It's kinda "eh" compared to the weird but wonderful Dr. Bronner's.

Crabtree & Evelyn used to have a local store here that I loved because it didn't stink. I prefer to have luscious scents (as most things luscious) stand still and let me come to them rather than run out and snatch me by the sinuses.

Anonymous said...

I'm also among the Less than Enthused via Lush. I visited the store in Toronto and managed all of 20 minutes before I sought the relative fresh air of the city street. The mint soap I bought had a heavy black wax rind that no one explained should be peeled off (and which was not exactly easy to peel). It's kinda "eh" compared to the weird but wonderful Dr. Bronner's.

Crabtree & Evelyn used to have a local store here that I loved because it didn't stink. I prefer to have luscious scents (as most things luscious) stand still and let me come to them rather than run out and snatch me by the sinuses.

Therin of Andor said...

Sherri, as I said higher up, the one with the black waxy coating is "Demon in the Dark". It's very cool! The first few times I bought it, there was no recommendation about peeling off the black rind (but there is now, on the label). It was a bit bewildering after the first few uses that it was indeed a waxy, not a hard soap layer. I guess I was lucky in that I always cut the big block into slices, and the rind just pulls away on a slice after just a few uses.

Hey TOA, is this a record for comments on a TOA blog post?

Anonymous said...

can't stand it, for all the reasons everyone's mentioned. blegh!

had seen a few pieces of Lush a couple of times as gifts and so Ave and I thought we'd go and have a look at the store. I think I lasted about 2 minutes due to a) smell, b) attitude, c) that freakin' music and d) the strange irritating, almost burning sensation of the mouth, eyes and nose. she lasted less - she didn't even want to go inside in the first place.

another friend of ours (Alison) says that the burn and the stink (the stink that isn't fragrance) is the lye in soap that hasn't been properly cured in the soap-making process - because Lush are always banging on about how fresh their stuff is. proper soap is cured for weeks. not sure if that's true, but it explains the eye-watering experience.

love L'Occitane esp the Lemon Verbena and Cinammon Orange smells.

also, a tassie company called Beauty and the Bees. lovely organic stuff.