Lush Dirty, a Very Minty Boy

Undina: Let me introduce to you Narth – the latest addition to this blog’s wonderful (though infrequent) guest writers’ team. Narth used to write for the Australian Perfume Junkies blog (now regretfully defunct), and now she plans to publish regularly her reviews, perfume and travel stories on Undina’s Looking Glass. What is noteworthy: in my estimate, our tastes in perfumes have just a small overlap (approximately 10%). So, it will introduce nice variety.

* * *

The main drag in my city of Melbourne, Australia is like most main drags, a bit of a mess. Buskers, rubbish, bargain shops, fast food… A few years back they closed it off for cars and only trams can travel this strip in the heart of the city. This improved nothing and the pushy chaos continues.

Walking up this street to my favourite dumplings place I can tell how far I have to go by the two smells that are so overpowering you can smell them a block away. One is Subway whose strangely artificial bread smell makes my children gag. The other, god bless them, is Lush. For many years a cult company relying on the addictive powers of cupcake flavoured bath bombs and towering soap piles that look like cool art works Lush has also quietly been creating perfume. I’m late to the Lush perfume game and part of that I blame on the eye watering impact of the smell of a Lush store. Since I’m usually planning a spray and a sniff somewhere when I’m in the city, I have no intention of abrading my nose with Lush’s cacophony of soapiness before I get to the good stuff. And so it’s only been in the last year that I have discovered the wonders of Lush perfumes whose price point is perfect for impulse purchase.


Lush Dirty


Rather than blathering on about the whole range, which has quite a few treasures, I want to talk to you about a beautiful minty masterpiece, Dirty. Spearmint, tarragon, thyme, lavender, sandalwood and oakmoss. So says the Lush website, not given to note pyramids. While refreshing in the heat, Dirty really blooms when it’s a misty cool day. The lavender and mintiness are more edible versions than you’d get in a classic barbershop scent, and the sandalwood is a quiet creamy constant under the sharper notes. And what’s that, an odd herbal accent? The tarragon is light but adds some important herbaceousness to the spearmint, you won’t for one minute be thinking this smells like gum. The drydown brings out a salty note, a fantastic fresh from the beach skin scent. I sprayed this on myself, walked out of the shop, turned around, went straight back in and bought the 100ml. No regrets. It’s been a very hot summer here, and I’ve been wearing this perfume in the intense heat and in the rains that follow. A relative of mine immediately bought a bottle for her partner who wants something fresh to wear at work. Mainstream freshies are more expensive and have annoying synthetic notes while not everyone wants to up their niche game in the freshie department. Lush’s Dirty is a stunner. If you have ever lamented a lack of mint in Perfumeland, I encourage you to brave the soap stacks and try Dirty. The sillage is good, and the lasting power (as it is with most Lush perfumes) is excellent.


Images: my own (Narth)


21 thoughts on “Lush Dirty, a Very Minty Boy

  1. Someone else who can’t stand the smell of Subway!! I have sniffed most of the LUSH range in store; I agree that it’s a challenging visit, besides the smells the SA’s in my store constantly want to give me some kind of hand treatment when I really just want to beeline to the perfumes. I remember liking Dirty! I was already moving toward the no-buy when I first walked in, though, so I didn’t take home anything. Maybe someday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think there’s definitely a club of Subway smell haters, and I’m one of them. I think it smells like wet dog. Funny thing is when I was in high school in the late 90s, my friends and I would hang out after school at the Subway down the street. I don’t remember it smelling bad then.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow all this time I thought it was a family peculiarity, the dislike of that Subway smell. Fresh bread baking should be a great scent right? This is clearly something else! I noticed when I was overseas that the Subways had no smell so I think they don’t all bake (or rather, heat up) the bread in the shops.


    • I do appreciate their friendliness here, which I gather is more over the top elsewhere. I love how the staff are very diverse too, that’s a huge plus for me in a shop. But yeah they want to spread the love, literally, all over you!


  2. I just bought American Cream on impulse. Time was when LUSH had a very small range of Gorilla perfumes (maybe no more than 8) and then it just exploded. Of course the worst is when someone mentions blah blah and you want to rush into the store to find out that it is only available in the UK or some kind of test kitchen. I just bought American Vream in impulse. Time was when LUSH had a very small range of Gorilla perfumes (maybe no more than 8) and then it just exploded. Of course the worst is when someone’s mentions blah blah and you want to rush into the store to find out that it is only available in the UK or some kind of test kitchen lab or some such. Anyway, I always avoided Dirt(y) thinking that it is very jasmine-focused. I will have to sniff it the next time. Anyway, I always avoided Dirt(y) thinking that it is very jasmine-focused. I will have to sniff it the next time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, I saw Turin gave one of them 5 stars but of course this is totally unavailable in my city. I’d be checking them all out if I went to the UK for sure. I do think there’s more than a few that if you packaged them as a pricey niche line they’d be getting a lot of buzz. Some have been very surprising and interesting to me.


  3. Hi Narth. Great article. Makes me want to venture into a Lush again and check them out. I’ve always wondered if all the over-the-top scents I smell on the way to the perfume sort of burns my nostrils out because I’ve always smelled the perfumes and thought… meh. Until someone gave me a dab of Lust away from the store. Wow, I don’t know how I could have missed that one, what a bomb. I immediately bought a solid of it for the price of a latte practically. Makes me wonder what else I might enjoy if I could try them in a quieter (aromatically speaking) ambience.
    Thank you for continuing some of the APJ magic over here Narth and Undina for hosting. I’m looking forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello SonomaVelvet, glad you enjoyed the post! I’ve had to train myself to enter Lush and make my way to the back where the perfumes are without breathing too deeply. I’ve discovered one store in my city that’s quite small and doesn’t have the same level of intensity so I’ve tried to go there. Lust is one of the ones I’ve only smelled with ofactorily compromised. I will try it again! I’ve enjoyed buying some of the 30mls too, and getting to know them better (I wish everyone did 30mls..) I thought Junk was pretty impressive if you like black currant which I unfortunately have trouble wearing. It’s not sweet and closer to Dirty in style. Smuggler’s Soul is a bright little sandalwood I wear a lot. But I must stop myself from accidentally reviewing half a dozen in this comment..


  5. I don’t remember how Subway smells (so, probably it isn’t that bad for me since it hasn’t registered), but I despise the smell of Lush, the Bath & Body Works, Body Shop and other “stinkers.”

    Because of that I’ve been to Lush just twice, back when they had just about 6-7 perfumes in black matte bottles. I blissfully wasn’t aware of either the expansion of the range or change of the packaging.

    Your review got me really close to wishing to smell this perfume, but in addition to my “love” to that type of places, I just can’t imagine wearing perfume with that name (I was keener on trying it while in my head I mixed Lush with Demeter, so I thought that was one of their library of scents perfume :) ). But it is a very compelling review. And a great picture!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you Undina :) There’s some interesting reading on Lush perfumery out there, the founder of Lush Mark Constantine has created quite a few of them. I was moved by the story of the first perfume he created, Dear John. He’d never met his father and Dear John was a perfume of how he imagined a father to smell like. Years after creating it, as a middle aged man he tracked down his father and traveled overseas to meet him. He gave him a bottle of Dear John which his father loved and treasured. There’s a lot of personal interesting stories in Lush perfumery.


  7. Hey Narth,
    So good to read you in your new home.
    There’s an underground LUSH in the QVB in Sydney. I can smell it from the Town Hall train station over 100m away. Up close it is brain function shut down strong and takes me ages to breathe it out of my nostrils. As a consequence I ONLY buy my LUSH products online.
    You make such a good plea for Dirty that I’m going to brave the store today and give it a whirl.
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m starting to feel like I’m almost able to block the soap smell out after I began my project of venturing into Lush to try the perfumes. It’s as if I’ve convinced my brain that it’s olfactory white noise. I still aim to use a smaller store with less soap stacks (they really do look beautiful though..) but I feel like I’ve had a breakthrough that allows me some testing. As to online.. they have fantastic sales that have been quite a source of blind buy fun for me!


  9. I am not a mint fan, but somehow managed to acquire a box of assorted products in the Dirty range. They went to my friend’s teenage son, and he appreciated them! Subway is closed in my town currently due to the virus, so no olfactory issues at the moment. ;)


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