Gorilla Perfumes is a line carried by Lush. Here in Canada, the Lush stores are only offering Tuca Tuca (a candy violet, from my sniff in the store), but a Twitter pal was nice enough to send me a sample of Exhale from the UK.
Gorilla Perfumes has a cool feature to their website: they list the ingredients of their perfumes, the real ingredients. Exhale contains:
DRF Alcohol, Perfume, Cedarwood Oil (Juniperus virginiana), Vetivert Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides), Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Grapefruit Oil (Citrus paradisi), Cade Oil (Juniperus oxycedrus), *Citral, Coumarin, *Geraniol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Farnesol, *Limonene, *LinaloolAccording to the website, the creator, Simon Constantine, created this accord as the base for another Gorilla perfume, Breath of God, but apparently liked it so much they released it as a separate fragrance. Created after a trip to Tibet, it is supposed to "induce reverence" as smelling incense would.
Exhale starts with a big blast of ashy wood smoke, like starting a fire in a fireplace without remembering to open the chimney flue. After a few minutes that gives way to a strong and persistent woody-amber and musk. It's very linear, and it lasts a loooong time.
On me, it induces nostalgia. The smoke-wood-amber-musk accord reminds me of men. I find it instantly recognizable, unoriginal, and yet I respond to it like Pavlov's dog. Exhale is every manly fragrance from my past. It's the smell of fathers and boyfriends, of stubble rasping my cheek and strong arms and smoke clinging to a sweater.
House: Gorilla Perfumes
Nose: Simon Constantine
Notes: Vetivert, sandalwood, cedarwood, amber, musk.
Photo: Gregory Bastien