I have come to the realisation that I am an incredibly fortunate person. I am gay. I came out at the age of fourteen to a family that shrugged their shoulders, said “big deal” and told me that they loved me. I have always been sure of myself and my sexuality, and having accepted myself at a young age, I have been able to move forward through life with confidence and without shame. Sure, things were a little rocky at school (coming out at 14 isn’t all unicorns and rainbows, I must say) but I encountered nothing I couldn’t handle with a raised middle finger and a simple “fuck you”.
I have found love and because I live in a country with marriage equality, I have been able to make a lifelong commitment to my love and I’m honoured to be able to call him my husband. Sexual orientation is also a protected characteristic under the Equality Act (2010), which means that it would be unlawful for someone to discriminate against me, whether directly or indirectly, due to my sexuality and therefore, I cannot lose my job or be denied a service because I am gay. Most importantly, I live without fear and I live openly with freedom.
This however, is not the case for every LGBT person in the world. Whilst we have been celebrating pride over the weekend and the American Supreme Court’s decision that all states must offer marriage equality, we mustn’t forget that it is still illegal to be gay in 76 countries around the globe. I can live and love freely, but others cannot, and sometimes those that cannot risk, not only imprisonment for their love, but also death. A fact that is astonishing in this day and age. Imagine risking death to be yourself, or love who you want. It’s almost impossible to believe, isn’t it? We take our love for granted, where others have to fight for theirs, or even worse, they have to conceal it.
I took a trip to Lush’s new Oxford Street store last week, and to say I was impressed would be an understatement. If you’re a Lush fan, as I am, then it’s not hard to get excited by three giant floors of Lush-based goodness, but the execution of the store is marvelous in itself, and the sprit of the brand is alive and well within each corner of the space. Particularly impressive is the Gorilla Gallery, which is a sensory feast of fragrance, music and, err, CCTV cameras, that showcases the intriguing olfactory facets, and inspirations, of many of the Gorilla fragrances.
Anyway, I could wax lyrical about the store for a long time, and will perhaps do so in a post sometime (in the meantime, I’d suggest you head over to Manface to read his take on Lush, Oxford Street), but I’m hear to talk you today about something a little different – something that is not a fragrance and is therefore, a little bit off topic for me. The subject of today’s is ‘Fun’, a scented body product by Lush, and one that I discovered during my recent trip.
“Versatile and mouldable, Fun can be soap, shampoo, bubble bath or whatever you want it to be – the only limit is your imagination”
British cosmetics and perfume Company, Lush have launched their first graphic novel (and second novel) entitled “On the Trail of Sandalwood Smugglers.” The novel, written by perfumer Simon Constantine and Buyer, Agnès Gendry, ties in with the launch of the brand’s new fragrance ‘The Smuggler’s Soul‘, which also sees a simultaneous nationwide release.
The novel, which is illustrated by Plastic Crimewave (based in Chicago), tells the true tale of how sandalwood is sourced and how the Company’s team of Buyers travel the earth for ethical and sustainable sources of materials. The brand describe the book as “an essential read for anyone interested in the stories behind the people and ingredients that go into many Lush products“.
“Join Lush Buying’s daring duo, Agnès Gendry and Simon Constantine, on their journey into the nefarious underworld of sandalwood smuggling. This rip-roaring true tale of deceit, duplicity and decapitation stretches the globe as our pair sniff out the real nature of sandalwood … and find more than they bargained for.”
Gorilla Perfumes, the rebellious perfume arm of cosmetics company, Lush has opened its very first standalone store in London. The store is situated within the fashionable Camden Passage in London and will stock the brand’s current offerings; Volume 1 (Lust etc), Volume 2 (Furze and Hellstone etc) and the newly launched Volume 3 (Kerbside Violet et al), as well as the Gorilla B-Sides, which are the fabulous fragrances from the now-defunct B Never too Busy to B Beautiful, such as Breath of God and Ladyboy.
The Gorilla Perfumes store can be found at 3 Camden Passage, London, N1 8EA. Do let me know if you’ve managed to pop in and have a nose!