Karma
by Gorilla Perfume [Lush] (originally by Lush)

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Karma information

GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 101 votes)

People and companies

HouseGorilla Perfume [Lush]
Originally byLush
Parent CompanyLush

About Karma

Karma is a citrus fragrance made by those funky funksters at Lush. You'll know if you have a Lush shop in your town as you'll be able to smell it from 5 miles away! As well as the fragrance, the Karma range is complemented by a soap, dusting powder, a bubble bar slice and a bath ballistic.
Karma is enjoyed by top celebs like Michael Stipe (REM) and Alanis Morisette.

Karma fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Karma

My first encounter with Karma was as a soap, given to me at Christmas by a now former in-law as a gift. When I went into a Lush store to replace it, I was delighted to discover that Karma is a full line with a fragrance to boot, although I feel the soap errs closer to being strictly masculine than the perfume. Still, folks who love orange and patchouli from all parts of the gender spectrum can appreciate the simplicity of this. Lush made a name for themselves with this line, and the whole handmade hippie cosmetics aesthetic of the brand finds it's genesis in the way this smells. Karma is the Ur-Lush experience, love it or hate it. It's a head shop in a bottle, Woodstock niche perfume, fragrance for free love, and it makes no claims of refinement or sophistication (like most Lush). The person that will enjoy Karma most is the person that romanticizes hippie counterculture, that appreciates the mood set by nag champa incense, lava lamps, and black lights. That doesn't mean this is for aging baby boomers remembering the Monterrey Pop festival either, as realistically the homespun hippie feel this gives off transcends generations, and is equally appropriate for a vintage deadhead or a younger fan of Ziggy Marley. Lush knew their target with this early effort, and it's become their marquee line as a result.

Karma opens with orange oil and lavender. This isn't the dry mandarin most western perfume prefers either, but a syrupy sweet and almost stifling orange oil note similar to what one finds in Grand Marnier or Cointreau liqueurs, so one must be a fan of sweet to like this citrus. Karma uses the workhorse lavender as a counterpoint note in the top, but that's all there is before a dry down into a pine and lemongrass heart begins, undoubtedly as a slightly greener but still citrusy transition into the real star of Karma: Patchouli. This isn't your dry manly patchouli a la Givenchy Gentleman (1974) or even the benzoin-powered nuclear patchouli of Giorgio Beverly Hills for Men (1984), but a raw, verdant, incense and essential oils grade of patchouli, the kind those "Patchouli Stinks!" bumper stickers are targeting. Karma will truly, madly, deeply test one's proclaimed love for the stuff, especially when that totally unfettered base note hits with wisps of the orange and pine still floating about, acting like resonators for the stuff. If that wasn't severe enough, elemi is the counterpoint to the patchouli, in almost a cruel trick, and further pushes the green on for miles and miles.

Sillage and longevity are out of this world, and either this is everything 1969 one could ever hope for, or quite literally the antithesis of perfume as an art, since there is no reverence for the methods of perfumers past given here, no put-on-airs sense of scruples or class. Hell, this stuff might as well have been composed by a teenager in a tie dye shirt listening to her mom's old Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young records while playing with oils she bought from the legal weed shop in downtown Seattle. It's almost antiestablishment perfumery if not for the fact that the Lush chain has bank rolled their success on it. I do find the stuff cloying on a hot day and totally inappropriate for any occasion outside the weekend day trips, where presentation takes a back seat to having a good time, but if liking something as crude as Karma is one's biggest quirk, then I'd say that person could stand to unbutton a little more anyway. This is equally suitable for fall and spring, plus will carry through winter air with an extra spray or two, but go easy, since it's ingredients show no mercy in any concentration and it happens to be eau de parfum anyway. Also makes a great chaser for smoke to those who take their Cheech & Chong fan status seriously, but you've already guessed as much.
10th March, 2018
Strong synthetic orange and patchouli are the stand out notes for me with the other listed notes adding a bit of mystery and wood...it's not a bad smell for say a bar of soap, but other than that it's too badly constructed in its spray format for me..it come's across as an idea, or concept fragrance that needs refining. Smells ok from a distance. The finished product that has been expertly crafted would be Bvlgari aqua amara.
22nd August, 2017
This is one of my favorite perfumes ever. I have not smelled anything like it before.

It smells like sweet oranges that would have been smoked. It's pretty linear, but it's alright.

It projects far and stays very long.
06th February, 2017
Orange...and more orange...a rich oily juicy orange...all the other ingredients give me a slightly dark side...a piney patch base...In structure it reminds me of Breath of God... the way 2 different accords/fragrances coexist...projects well but pretty linear to my nose...i find it to be mainly an orange scent with some minor accents...more of a novelty fragrance than something i would regularly wear...something i would occassionaly spray sitting around relaxing just for kicks and giggles...A flashback to hanging around an old head shop...
Aromatic Earthy Citrus
10th April, 2016
I love Lush Karma soap. (Reference point: Chandrika Ayurvedic soap is my favorite.) So I bought Karma perfume. However, the same aspect that makes the soap great also makes the perfume difficult to wear. It smells soapy. It projects aggressively. I can only begin to enjoy it after I've had a shower -- which is why the soap is perfect. Fizzy, tingly orange and lemon; bitter, crisp pine; sparkling wafts of aromatic lavender; and a dry cinnamon-ish patchouli base. The notes are all good. I'm just saying, they're much more enjoyable in a soap.
Incidentally, Lush fragrances are not all-natural. Despite the hippie-handmade image, they use substantial amounts of what they call "safe synthetics." In this one: citral and citronellol (think lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit) geraniol (think geranium leaves) eugenol (think cinnamon, clove, bay, basil) and linalool (think lavender, rosewood). These chemicals enable the loooooonnnggg duration. The only essential oil in this formula that rivals their longevity is patchouli oil. The others are top and middle notes, which disappear while the chemicals keep kicking. No big deal, but the whole Gorilla Perfume line makes use of crude mixes of natural and synthetic that come across as homemade.
20th March, 2016
A sort of dirty orange vibe hits me right away. This is an orange that manages to be both dry and sweet at the same time. My husband is reminded of the residue on an orange popsickle stick after the ice itself has fallen off.

The underlying lavender and patchouli manage to smell like no other combination of these two on the planet earth, and that is not a good thing.

Ultimately, the impression one is left with is that of an orange scent that has somehow "gone wrong." Not at all pleasant, but not so awful that I can justify giving it a negative. I'd never wear it, but if you are into orange scents, give it a whirl. Hey, you may like it. And there's always a scrub with good lye soap if you don't.
19th December, 2015

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