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15 November 2016
Cardamom Coffee Liquid Perfume
Tastes mature, people grow, and this product is a prime example of how my adoration of perfumes has grown and diversified since becoming a regular connoisseur of Lush. Never would I have expected the same girl, who five years ago was gushing over the exquisitity of Snow Fairy, to fall head over heels in love with a fragrance so unique and so far-removed from the simplicity of those early preferences.
Cardamom Coffee is not just simply a perfume to me - it's both an experience in itself, and a memory - one that reverts my mind right back to a time when I was much less accomplished and far more pessimistic. It reminds me of nineties coffee houses and cold Saturday mornings - slurping on a hot chocolate while my mother enjoyed the rare luxury of being able to socialise with a friend or two.
Inspired by Simon Constantine's experiences in a refugee camp in Lebanon, you shouldn't be surprised to find that the main note of this perfume is Cardamom, through and through. This ingredient is very apparent from the start, and dominates a large part of the smell - both when it's in the bottle, and when it's been sprayed on the skin. For those unfamiliar with the key ingredient, cardamom offers this perfume a warm, spicy, aromatic note that is both sweet and subtly smoky at the same time. It's a robust and very intoxicating component, and gives Cardamom Coffee a heaviness that sits with you for the most part of the day.
Alongside this is the inclusion of rose oil, and I found this to be almost as heavy in presence as the cardamom. This ingredient offers a fresh, naturally-sweet and slightly grassy floral aroma. It's quite difficult to compare the rose in this to anything else that Lush have brought out because it's so well intertwined with the aforementioned spice.
The combination of these two ingredients, along with a warm, sultry layer of olive oil absolute (which appears to be more predominant in the bottle than on the skin) creates a perfume of powerful proportions. This is not a fragrance you forget once you've worn it for the first time; this is a product that leaves a lasting impression.
While there's nothing to suggest where these other elements come from, there is a very subtle hint of coffee, although I wonder whether the name of the perfume leads you into believing that there is a note rather than there actually being one. I think it may be the dryness of the cardamom that brings about that impression. Furthermore, there is also an occasional burst of a dark, treacle-like caramel smell, that again comes from the unique pairing of the three main components.
Initially, the smell is fairly potent, and some consumers may even be put off by how strong it is straight from the bottle. However, it soon settles on the skin, and within the first thirty minutes of wearing it, Cardamom Coffee is far mellower and much more rounded than it is coming from the bottle.
I was able to detect this fragrance on my skin for a good 5-6 hours after initial application, and appreciated the way the perfume was elevated by the warmth of my body. This meant that I experienced notes of both the cardamom and the rose at different times - sometimes together, sometimes with a buttery sweetness added in for a much-appreciated extra burst of deliciousness.
It's like a comforting blanket of smell and memory - a rich, decadent fragrance that offers both an exotic twist as well as a well-rounded, complex smell. While it may not be everyone's cup of tea (pun intended), Cardamom Coffee is an exquisite experience that needs to tried and tested by everyone who appreciates a well-rounded, carefully crafted, beautiful aroma.
Quantitative Ingredients: DRF Alcohol, Perfume, Water, Glycerine, Cardamom Oil, Olive Leaf Absolute, Rose Oil, *Anise Alcohol, *Benzyl Alcohol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Benzyl Salicylate, *Cinnamal, *Citral, *Coumarin, *Eugenol, *Citronellol, *Farnesol, *Geraniol, *Limonene, *Linalool.
2016 Price: £50 for 30ml.
Year Of Original Release: 2016.