Le Labo: 8 posts

Le Labo Ylang 49 : Perfume Review

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Andy takes Ylang 49 from Le Labo to task.  

I sprayed on Le Labo’s new Ylang 49 with many expectations. As my first introduction to the Le Labo line, I wasn’t sure what to anticipate. But surely, with a brand name that evokes scientific paraphernalia and sterile-looking packaging to match, I reasoned, this “floral chypre” had to be some kind of cleaned-up, angularly modern twist on the classic genre. As it would turn out, I was pleasantly surprised—instead of whisking me through a laboratory, Ylang 49 took me on a nostalgic walk through a shady, rain-drenched garden on a spring morning.

ylang-le-labo

True to its name, Ylang 49 opens with a glimpse of its namesake note, pairing the spicy floral with a touch of rose and some cool earthiness. I am reminded of the damp scent of a garden after a rainstorm, but as the fragrance warms up on skin, the rose takes center stage, and the damp earth transforms into a hint of warm, slightly mossy patchouli.

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Le Labo Vanille 44 : Perfume Review

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It’s vanilla! It’s expensive! Strike that; it’s very expensive! And it’s very, very good.  Bad news: It’s only occasionally sold in America.  Occasionally means three times in five years*. It’s Le Labo Vanille 44, an ultra-smooth vanilla pod with woody kick from the trendy Le Labo line whose price ($290 for 50 ml; $440 for 100 ml) jumps out because, well, I can’t afford it and neither can any of my friends.  On second thought, maybe one friend can, but he’s a movie producer and can also afford a five-bedroom home in the Malibu Colony.

Le Labo is the dual-citizenship Grasse-New York house that in addition its regular line of perfumes has a set of City Exclusives whose number supposedly mirrors the number of ingredients that enter into the composition and whose fragrances are only available in the cities that bear their name.  These cost more than the regular line. First-class travel always does. To that end, they issued Tubéreuse 40 (New York); Aldehyde 44 (Dallas); Poivre 23 (London); Gaiac 10 (Tokyo); Musc 25 (Los Angeles); Baie Rose 26 (Chicago); and Vanille 44 (Paris).  To celebrate the recent opening of their Paris boutique, Le Labo made Vanille 44 available in the US for one month via their website and Luckyscent, which gave me a chance to sample this perfume.

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Le Labo Santal 33 : Perfume Review

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Santal33

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

My sample of Le Labo Santal 33 has been sitting on my desk alongside several samples of sandalwood oil and synthetic sandalwood materials. For a perfumer, sandalwood is what chocolate is to a pastry chef: a creamy, dark material that can give a sensual, luscious twist to any composition. Sandalwood even behaves similar to chocolate: initially crisp and dense, the warmth of the skin makes it bloom and reveal its milky, sweet richness. Yet, not all sandalwood notes are made equal. Synthetic sandalwood materials, beautiful though some are, have the roughness of raw silk at best and the screech of nylon at worst. Australian sandalwood is medicinal and pungent, missing the delicious rose petals and cream facets of Indian sandalwood.

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Le Labo Another 13, Juliette Has A Gun Not a Perfume and More on Ambrox : Perfume Reviews

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Lelabo13

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Ambrox (or ambroxan), a musky-ambery aroma material with a creamy, woody facet, is suddenly getting an unexpected spotlight on stage. A few years ago, Escentric Molecules launched Escentric 02, which featured ambrox set against a sheer iris and vetiver accord, but today Juliette Has a Gun went further by presenting Not a Perfume, a dilution of ambrox in alcohol. Another ambrox heavy fragrance launched recently is Le Labo Another 13.

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Le Labo Baie Rose 26 : Fragrance Review

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Baierose26

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Like any fragrance house with a large and diverse range, Le Labo has a number of hits and misses in its collection. The generic blandness of fragrances like  Fleur d’Oranger 27 and Neroli 36 exists side by side with the striking renditions of Patchouli 24 and Oud 27. In fact, when Le Labo offers something successful, it is truly memorable and dramatic. Would one have expected Rose 31 to be a dark, moody composition where roses completely melt into the smoky woods? Would one have anticipated Aldehyde 44 to be a vision of edgy glamour? Likewise, Baie Rose 26 is a fragrance I find fascinating, and in a word, addictive.

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