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Lush: It’s a Scentsational Bomb

What Happens in Vegas …

If you’ve never been, Las Vegas is an incredible place. I’ve heard it called ‘a Disney World for adults,’ and I have no real argument with the reference. Contrary to the oft-advised, ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,’ I must admit to the world what I experienced there recently. I took my first bath with a Lush. There, I said it.

That’ll take a little ‘splaining,’ especially if my wife happens by this article. So, let’s move on and tell the story before I get in any deeper.

I was visiting Vegas with one of my daughters for a few days of great food and music. One of the highlights was the Carlos Santana concert at The House of Blues at Mandalay Bay, a very cool venue to see a show. Especially Carlos and his band, who are still fabulous musicians and an electrifying live act.

In our excitement, we’d arrived at Mandalay Bay much too early and needed to kill some time. Around the corner from The House of Blues, we noticed an escalator leading to a shopping mall which connected to another hotel. We took it as a personal invitation to go shopping, one of our favorite pastimes.

While walking up and down the glistening boulevard of endless shopfronts bustling with tourists, I heard a unique, sizzling sound and turned in circles looking for the source. My daughter pointed at a specific store with round and colorful objects in the window that I’d never seen before. Noticing the confused look on my face, she asked, “Are you kidding, Dad, you’ve never heard of Lush?”

Lush – the Founding of Bath Bombs

No, I’d never heard of Lush, and had no clue what they were all about. But I do now, and their discovery was another highlight of our Vegas trip.

We ventured inside the store where I was introduced to the sizzling, swirling, kaleidoscopic world of ‘bath bombs.’ The first thing I learned is these are hardly a new concept, but it was new to me. Better late than never, goes the saying.

Lush was co-founded in 1995 by Elizabeth Weir, a beauty therapist, and Mark Constantine, an herbal trichologist. A what? Another new discovery. Atrichologist is a specialist in the scalp and hair.

A decade earlier, Mo Constantine, Mark’s wife, had invented a new category of soaps called ‘bath bombs.’ Inspired by the success of the U.K-based retailer, The Body Shop, the Constantines and Liz Weir formed a Poole, U.K.-based company to market their natural formulas for a variety of bath and beauty products.

They became close friends with Anita Roddick, the notable founder of The Body Shop, and for a time were her largest supplier. In the early 90s, they agreed to sell their formulas to Roddick, subject to an agreement that prevented them from opening their own retail shop for five years.

After the sale, Constantine and Weir entered the mail order cosmetics business but it didn’t go as well, and the company was eventually sold in a bankruptcy proceeding. In debt and reeling, they would not give up on their dream of big-time success in the cosmetics and personal care industry.

In an interview with David Teather of The Guardian (4-13-07), Constantine said of being broke and stating over, “There wasn’t the scope for all the bullshit. It was much more realistic. If you have got no money there is a constant focus on making a profit, which is so much healthier.”

We’ve heard this same sentiment often from other incredibly successful entrepreneurs, including Randy Hetrick, Mike Michalowicz and Alden Mills.

Start over they did, making their own products and fragrances in earnest, including ‘bath bombs.’ This time, they gained nearly instant popularity with consumers. Soon, they held a contest to name the new company and the brand ‘Lush,’ for ‘fresh, green and verdant,’ was born. The privately-held company hasn’t stopped growing since!

Lush makes a variety of personal care products using only vegetarian or vegan recipes, including body lotions and soaps, hair products, fragrances, scrubs, and makeup. However, they are best known for their ‘bath bombs,’ which I learned about on my adventure in Vegas. When dropped into water, these nearly-living creatures begin to sizzle and burst outward, producing an array of fragrances, colors and sounds, turning an ordinary bath into an hour at a luxury spa.

Changing the Pace of Life

Deciding an occasional bath might be fun, I brought some Lush products home to enjoy. Like many others, taking a bath had become a nearly obsolete exercise in our home, to the extent where we even considered removing the tub altogether. After all, in our busy world who has the time? But all that has changed just by adding this one new twist.

Taking a bath every few days has become an entertaining activity thatI look forward to, and in addition, there’s no doubt it has increased my sense of well-being. Smelling good can do that, I’ve heard.

Really, I believe the ritual has changed the entire pace of my life. On my bath days, I slow down, become more aware, give myself a chance to breathe, decompress and lessen any stress that may have been building. It’s often called “me time.”

Although, I’ll admit I have a pad and pen nearby because a million thoughts start to pour in when I’m at such ease. I guess my mind is still fizzling and swirling along with the bath bombs. But when it does, I’m in a better place, literally.

A Few Favorites

These wonderful little creatures come in every shape, size and color imaginable, and are filled with natural oils, butters and fragrances that provide a new, relaxing and fun experience every time.

A few of my favorites (pictured above) are Sushi, Yuzu and Cocoa, Guardian of the Forest, Butterball, Yellow Submarine, Metamorphosis, Golden Egg and the Big Sleep. One of the many Lush stores is in the Mall nearby, so I’ve reloaded my supply and plan to continue the ritual.

If you haven’t tried Lush bath bombs yet, I suggest you give it a swirl. However, a word of warning – the fizz, the aromas, the colors, the state of mind-once you start, you might become addicted like me.

But why not? This falls into the category of a healthy, life-affirming addiction. Isn’t that what we’re all seeking?