Rose oil has an intoxicating and indulgent fragrance, but has something of an innocence about it as well. Roses have long been a symbol of romance, so what better ingredient to focus on for Valentine's Day - the day for celebrating love and affection.
Lush uses rose oil in lots of their products and not just for its beautiful fragrance, rose is also an excellent skin tonic and has an astringent effect on the capillaries. This reduces redness and gives the appearance of diminishing surface thread veins. It is moisturising and hydrating on the skin, and is good for all skin types, especially for rough, aging and irritated skin. This makes it an excellent ingredient for skincare.
They buy their rose oil from Turkey, from a family run business called Sebat. During harvest time, Sebat employ a large proportion of the village and take in Romany Gypsies, who only stay for this duration.
Mark Constantine, Gorilla Perfumer at Lush, comments: "When girls smell rose it creates a wholesome impression, it reminds them of their childhood, they feel reassured and cosseted - almost wrapped in cotton wool. It's not sexy because it's so reassuring, it's chaste ... there's nothing dangerous, alcoholic or drug ridden about rose! Rose is as safe as a strawberry milkshake - it's basically Audrey Hepburn."
Introducing Imogen Rose (£42.00 for 30g perfume bottle / £20.00 for 10g atomiser / £10.00 for solid perfume), a soft, exquisite Damascus rose perfume from the Gorilla Perfumers at Lush. Opening with fresh roses straight from the field using 100% pure rose oil and garden fresh notes of basil. It moves quickly into baby soft talc with tonka and rose absolute producing a warm embracing middle note. Finally the dry down is a sweet amber with vetivert, orris and ambrette seed providing a warm floral finish. A beautiful, romantic, one-of-a-kind perfume, so the perfect choice for Valentine's Day.
Rose oil/absolute can also be found in a large selection of Lush's skincare products, for its regenerative and soothing qualities, ranging from Angels on Bare Skin (£5.50 for 100g) and Ultrabland (£5.75 for 45g or £9.25 for 100g) cleansers to skin toners such as Eau Roma Water (£3.25 for 100g or £6.35 for 250g) and Skin Drink moisturiser (£10.25 for 45g). Tisty Tosty bath ballistic (£2.95) even contains seven actual rose buds, to cast a love spell in the bath.
Rose wax is a bi-product of the solvent extraction process, used to make rose absolute, and they also buy this from Sebat. It's extremely softening and soothing for the skin and we use it in products like our new Ultrabalm (£7.50 for 40g). Ultrabalm is an eco-friendly version of Vaseline and by using rose wax as part of the base, it has allowed Lush to steer clear of petroleum jelly. Blended with candelilla wax and jojoba oil it creates a beautiful, silky soft balm.
Simon Constantine, Gorilla Perfumer and the nose behind Imogen Rose, comments: "I've always loved roses. Ever since I first visited Turkey to see the rose harvest I have been inextricably linked to the Damascus rose. So much so that my fiancé and I named our baby daughter Imogen Rose. I had been desperately trying to capture the fragrance of roses from nature; the aromas of standing in a rose field or as the bags of petals are delivered at the factory. The fragrance is unbeatable. Rich and floral it's the concentrated mass of millions of delicate flowers, handpicked and carefully distilled. I wanted to keep this freshness without creating another 'granny' rose scent. So I tried and tried and eventually realised that I had somehow incorporated a touch of soft baby skin, a puff of talc and wisp of fine baby hair into the finished perfume ... a little homage to my own Imogen Rose".
To pick up these and many more ethical, cruelty free cosmetics visit Lush shops nationwide.