Discover Gorilla Perfume: Volume III (Death, Decay and Renewal)

Death and decay may seem like strange words to describe a range of perfumes, but step inside the minds of Gorilla perfumers Mark and Simon Constantine and you’ll understand that there’s much more to fragrance than, well, fragrance.

Perfumery is an art form, and deserves recognition as such. That means giving each scent the space to be explored and enjoyed properly using music, light sound and smell.

Rudyard Kipling once said that “Smells are surer than sounds or sights to make your heart-strings crack” meaning they have the power to evoke memories and emotional responses in ways taste, touch, sound and vision can’t. Just a whiff of freshly baked bread can transport you to your grandmother’s kitchen, a french bakery or the supermarket you worked at when you were seventeen. Scent has the power to simultaneously evoke different emotions in all of us with just one note, which is what makes it such a phenomenal medium for expression.

For perfumers Simon and Mark Constantine this couldn’t be more true. Volume III is their way of exploring their personal experiences of death and mourning, and accordingly each perfume has a story behind it.

When the perfumes were first launched guests were able to explore each perfume and the story behind them in an immersive experience at a bespoke pop-up gallery in London. Now the gallery is closed you can discover the Volume’s inspirations below;

Death and Decay

Granted, it’s not the prettiest of names for a perfume. Those two words, death and decay, evoke macabre, even grotesque responses, but, when coupled with the floral, almost sweet scent of lilies, the meaning behind the perfume suddenly becomes clear. It's fresh and beautiful, and as Mark points out, it reminds you of the prosaic side of death; the funereal silences, the reverence of remembering those who have passed.

How it was visualised in the Gorilla Gallery space:

The first perfume audience were met with, Death and Decay sets the tone of the exhibition. The floral fragrance is at odds with the harsh, deathly words, which emphasises the bitter-sweet nature of life.

Dad’s Garden - Lemon Tree

Dad’s Garden is inspired by a walk Mark took in his father’s garden in South Africa following his death. Mark realised that it was possible to miss someone you never really knew, and created a perfume that encapsulated this unfamiliar familiarity using leaves from a lemon tree he collected during the walk.

How it was visualised in the Gorilla Gallery space:

A garden shed hung with men’s suit jackets. Each one is scented with Dear John - a fragrance Mark made as an ode in perfume to a man he hadn’t yet met. Beside the jackets, in a scene reminiscent of of Alice in Wonderland, are three perfume bottles labelled ‘Jo’ ‘Sari’ and “Laura’ - each scent is a portrait in perfume of the three sisters he met after his father’s death.

Dad’s Garden -  Chamomile And Honeysuckle

Symbolic of the passing of tradition from generation to generation, this perfume is Simon Constantine’s own homage to his father’s garden. Inspired by the floral, herbal scents in Mark’s garden, the scent of chamomile and honeysuckle create a warm, comforting fragrance that is reassuringly optimistic. This fragrance tackles the more positive elements of mourning, and signals the process of renewal and moving forwards.

How it was visualised in the Gorilla Gallery space:

This fragrance is purposely exhibited close to Mark’s Dad’s Garden fragrance in order to demonstrate how the two pieces work together. The warm and comforting embrace of Simon’s fragrance hits the audience as they leave  the more sorrowful atmosphere of Mark’s father’s shed. The two pieces poignantly encompass the mourning process - loss, sadness, comfort, remembrance and renewal.

Gorilla Perfume Gallery Volume 3.txt

Each of the perfumes of Volume III has a story to tell.

Comments (6)


about 5 years ago

really disappointed as a member of staff we haven't even been told whats going on, so cant pass on anything to the customers. Plus where have all the other perfumes gone like ginger, superworld unknown ect from the site.


about 5 years ago

I assumed that now that this launch event has happened, the new perfumes would stop being "art" and make their way to actual Lush shops. Just popped into mine to be told that for the next year they will only be available in the random London record store. What the actual feck, Lush?


about 5 years ago

I agree with the last 2 posts - please think about the rest of the country including Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. London always gets the lion's share -always!!

Michelle Duggins

about 5 years ago

Would love to go to this but London is too far. When will the new perfumes be launched on the website and/or in store?


about 5 years ago

as far as i know Saturday!

about 5 years ago

As usual Anyone living outside London is ignored. Why not more central, say the Trafford Centre, manchester
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