The Smell of Bullshit, part 63: crimpage or expansion, who knows?

Way, way back in post 9 in the Bullshit series, we talked about Lush perfume bottles. Customer after customer complained that Lush perfume bottles were leaking, causing the loss of the perfume and in some cases, damage to furniture. After years of denying there was a problem Lush’s answer was that the manufacturing process caused some tiny variations in the dimensions of the bottles, and the crimping machine couldn’t crimp the stoppers properly. They said they’d dealt with it and everything should be fine.

The “Lush kitchen” has just done a new round of perfumes and people are complaining that the 30ml bottles aren’t full. Going by the photos people are posting on the “Lush kitchen” facebook page, the difference in quantity of content is very noticeable. Even the photos on the website show the bottles filled to very different levels.

Lush’s answer to the queries about it is

Hi everyone Apologies for taking a while to jump on this morning. For any concerns about fill levels on the perfumes I hope this reply might answer some of your questions. The machine that we use to fill perfumes is a vaccum filler, which means once a fill level it set, it will let you fill only to the set ml/g and then cut out which means there is very little chance of over or under filling. As it is a vaccum filler, it its also very unlikely that fill levels will alter throghout [sic] the batch. Therefore this leaves a very slim chance of variances on the first bottle filled to the 1000 bottle filled. With regards to variances between each of the perfumes, the machine was set each day with weight checks carried out on each perfume before the batch was run. As mentioned above, the type of machine that we use means they should then all be filled at the same level. There is always a gap left at the top of the bottle for perfumes as the ethanol in perfumes expands and in the past has caused a lot of bottles to leak, so no perfume should be filled completely to the top. As mentioned before the filling machine was set to only fill 30ml, so there was an adequate gap for expansion anyway. I hope the above explains a little more about the fill process of these perfumes. We do our best every day to bring you fresh exclusive cosmetics that you want to see from the Lush Kitchen, but we do still have to use filling machines and as everyone knows, machines don’t always work perfectly 100% of the time We did and continue to do everything in our power to make sure every product that leaves is perfect, and I sincerely apologise if any of you are not happy with your products. Should anyone have any questions or concerns about their products, please just ask or contact our dedicated We care team to discuss solutions.


So, last time the issue was the crimpage on the bottles, this time it’s because they’ve left space for some questionable science. What next? Whichever member of staff has fallen out of favour has been siphoning the perfume off to drink?

If you’ve bought perfume and you’re concerned that the content is short of what it should be, take it to your local Trading Standards officers and get them to check. And then go buy your perfume from a company that actually gives a shit.

ETA: Lush are now trying to say that the perfumes are in 50ml bottles, filled to 30ml. That would be funny if it wasn’t so obviously a nonsense attempt at making excuses. How can bottles of a size which has always been sold as 30ml now be 50ml?/ Have they made the glass much thinner so the internal dimensions are bigger, or are Lush selling perfume in miniature TARDISes?

One dedicated person on the Lush International Forum has gone to the trouble of measuring her perfume with a calibrated pipette, and says it contained 22ml, although sold and labelled as containing 30ml. That’s nearly a third missing. So, like I said, if you think your perfume might be short, don’t believe Lush when they say it’s ok, or when they say it’s actually in a 50ml bottle – take it to Trading Standards (see the website of your local council) and get it checked.


8 thoughts on “The Smell of Bullshit, part 63: crimpage or expansion, who knows?

  1. I suspect that the old faulty black bottles were also underfilled, but it was impossible to tell because you couldn’t see into them.

  2. Funnily enough Estée Lauder never seems to have this expanding gas problem.

  3. Its absolutely ridiculous, and I mean come on people did you see how much they were charging for shipping. I wish people would just stop buying lush so that they go out of business. Lush will have nothing Better to do than to go down on their prices. I dont actually believe what they sell should be that expensive. Its stupid and they are constantly ripping people off.

  4. Someone’s head has definitely expanded, that’s for sure. I always thought Constantine Senior had a big head, in both senses. Not sure it was crammed full of brain or ‘fumes’.

    I saw something one of the offspring (Jack) said on the facebook page the other night. I wasn’t looking at the actual page, someone shared it as they thought it was hilarious. Now if this isn’t an illustration of hot air, I don’t know what is.

    In response to some video they have posted, Jack wrote this:

    “This video is inspired by the #lushtime bath art you’ve all been creating, Lush Digital have taken the tradition of making a Christmas song and video and put together a piece of visual and musical abstract art entitled “The Experimenter”. After the ominous scenes of Black Friday and the emotional hijacking of corporate Christmas adverts we simply wanted to share a colourful, liberating piece of artistic creativity with you all. Merry Christmas!”

    After years of not wanting to sound ‘corporate’ and indeed attacking ‘corporate’ business above, he simply sounds like a mouthpiece for another ‘corporate’ marketing outfit. Hot air, Emperor’s New Clothes, pile of steaming manure, call it what you will. He intended to write an explanation for a weird video (labelled as ‘art’) but what he has managed to do is write 80 odd words that could have been encapsulated in five: bag of old betty swollocks.

    It reads like someone has been browsing the OED whilst sat on the throne, picking out the best words to jumble together into a soundbite. The problem is, it’s not entirely coherent.

    “The emotional hijacking of corporate Christmas adverts”. Now what does that mean? Who has emotionally hijacked the corporate Christmas adverts? Does he mean how the big, bad, nasty corporate companies (of which Lush is now one, whether they like it or not) were using emotive language and evocative imagery, perhaps piggybacking off a real life event in order to garner a visceral response? Is that what they meant? I think they got some word order mixed up there. However, if that is what they meant, then it is something Lush is a master of. Let’s think – now what did Lush do after they were hacked? They wrote a ‘poor us, pity us, we’re victims’ diatribe on their website, that’s what they did. It was all about them them them – emotional hijacking indeed.

    Let’s talk about the phrase ‘ominous scenes of Black Friday’, I wonder if he realises that phrase is meaningless drivel? If he meant that the scenes on television were a frightening image of things to come – normally rational human beings scrambling for cheaply manufactured tat – then he should just say it. And then he needs to remember what happens each year at Lush’s post-Christmas mega sale. Familiar?


    • I enjoyed watching the video of chemical dyes swirling around someones bathwater and I’m sure the person that got in the bath afterwards came out looking like they bathed in m&m’s. To say nothing of how it would leave the bath. There has been more drivel on the staff facebook page recently about how to remove stains from the bath – advice usually includes soaking it in vinegar and scrubbing with something non abrasive but why the hell should people have to do that after a bath? And it can’t be good for your body.

    • And that video of swirling colours injected through water – and therefore not representing lush products or how they work or how they benefit your skin or how to use them – cost around £80,000 to make. Jack told the managers this as he loves quoting big numbers as he thinks it will impress people and it makes him feel big but all the managers just looked shocked that he can waste money in such a way whilst paying below the living wage for hourly paid staff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s