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The LUSH store in Orlando International Airport. - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Shopping

If you walk through the main shopping area of Orlando International Airport your will not fail to smell the delicious aromas wafting out of the LUSH shop – and what an evocative name that is. It can mean so many things – lush as in a rainforest, or lush as in green and verdant, or it can even mean a lady who is inebriated, you can take your pick!

I know that as soon as I enter this area of the airport I can smell all the wonderful fragrances floating on the air, and they draws me in to sample their amazing range of handmade cosmetics.

We first encountered the original LUSH store some years ago in Poole, in Dorset, UK. We had been shopping with the children and wandered out of the Dolphin Centre and down the little narrow streets outside. It was the gorgeous smells drifting on the breeze which we first noticed. This tiny shop with a small factory behind was where Mark and Mo Constantine began making face masks, soaps, bath bombs, bubble bars, hair treatments and hand and body lotions in 1994.

They use all natural products, with absolutely no animal fats. Indeed, all their cosmetics are tested solely on volunteers, rather than animals. All LUSH products are vegetarian, and fewer than 30% contain animal products such as honey, beeswax, lanolin or free range unfertilised eggs. Some products are marked as ‘vegan’ as they contain no animal ingredients at all.

Interestingly, Mark Constantine started his first business in the 1970s to develop recipes for bath and beauty products to sell to other companies – one of which was Anita Roddicks Body Shop. It was much later that LUSH developed, but it has been such a huge success that they now have more than 702 stores in 44 countries. It is still a privately owned company with only a small number of shares available – and this is by invitation only.

So how does LUSH differ from other similar companies? Well, they create solid products to reduce the amount of packaging waste, and to also reduce the need for preservatives, as bacteria require water to breed. The lack of preservatives means that products are hand made in small batches in order to keep them fresh. They do not sell any product which more than 4 months old, and most only have a shelf life of around 14 months.

So there are shampoo bars, hair conditioning bars, solid shower gel, bubble bath bars, and one of my favourites – bath bombs. These dissolve in the bath whilst fizzing and releasing essential oils to both soften the skin and scent the bath. Some also release glitter or flower petals or confetti or seaweed. Customers are sold their chosen product wrapped in paper or in small bags, or they can use their own bags.

If you get the chance, do pop into the LUSH shop in Orlando International Airport. It has a unique range of soaps, for instance, and you can buy them cut from huge blocks, which are then wrapped individually. Even if you don’t end up buying anything you will have fun looking at all the amazing colours and textures of the products. I am sure that you, like me, will enjoy looking round this wonderful shop. I know that I always end up buying some of their great products to take home to friends and family.

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