le labo: 11 posts

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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Le Labo Aldehyde 44 : Fragrance Review

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Parismatch06_b3

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

Aldehydes (particularly the aliphatic aldehydes that captivated Chanel’s perfumer Ernest Beaux) are among the most fascinating perfume ingredients. While being harsh and sharp on their own, the effect they can create is quite extraordinary. The crispness of starched linen, the fizz of champagne, the soft glow of morning light… Likewise, the newest fragrance from Le Labo, Aldehyde 44 relies on the sleight of hand magic of aldehydes. Although initially it showers one with snowflakes of metallic powder, the composition warms up and melts like golden honey on the skin. …

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Le Labo Iris 39 : Perfume Review

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Iris_sketch

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

Explaining why I should have liked Le Labo Iris 39 is much easier than describing why it did not appeal to me. Iris is one of the most fascinating notes in its ability to weave floral and woody elements into a fragrance with wonderful complexity and depth. Although usually incorporated as a supporting note, iris has been increasingly treated as a soliflore. The exciting results of such efforts are beautifully demonstrated by fragrances like Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist and The Different Company Bois d’Iris. Another reason to have high hopes for Iris 39 is that Frank Voelkl, the perfumer who created it, is also the nose behind Three As Four, the delicately orchestrated iris and ginger vignette.

Iris 39 is interesting in that it deviates from the conventional cold iris theme by marrying the hot dryness of patchouli with the metallic chill of orris. The floral accord is accented with orange blossom, the sweetness of which is further amplified by the rich musky base. The juxtaposition of notes is reminiscent of the classical red wine and cheese pairing. Just as the tannic dryness serves as a perfect foil for the milky sweetness, the layer of warm patchouli makes the iris note unfold smoothly. …

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