Curious About Le Labo
Words: Polly Gibbs
Photos: Le Labo
“So beautiful a scent I simply had to stop the guy wearing it and ask for its name”
This wasn’t the first time I’d heard of master perfumers Le Labo, I’d admired the simple cardboard paint pot packaging of their scented candles years before in Liberty’s, whilst studying graphic design. But I discovered Santal 33 after catching it in the air at Soho Farmhouse a couple of summers ago. So beautiful a scent I simply had to stop the guy wearing it and ask for its name. Orangey, woody, mysterious, sexy and so intoxicating I could get drunk on its fumes. Once inhaled, not forgotten. “He gets stopped all the time when he wears it” his wife told me as she rolled her eyes. Not many scents can claim that.
It doesn’t have any orange as it goes. It has top notes of Violet Accord and Cardamom, blended with heart notes of Iris, Papyrus and Ambrox, on base notes of Cedarwood, Leather and Sandalwood.
Santal 33 is also a unisex fragrance, though I purchased it especially for my hubby recently so I can fully enjoy the aroma every time he wears it. It already evokes special memories that define our 5th wedding anniversary.
Each bottle is freshly hand-blended upon order and claimed by its technician, along with the date bottled. Truly artisan. The label can be personalised too, which was the perfect touch for the “Extraordinary Mr G”.
Their fifth scent in five years has already achieved cult status among the cool set. Ironic when the intention of it’s creators and Le Labo owners, Fabrice Penot and Edouard Roschi, was to create niche boutique fragrances that were the antithesis of the mass, hype or celebrity fragrance. Success cannot be thwarted when a product is genuinely this good.
Lelabofragrances.com [£120 for 50ml eau de parfum]
Also available at Liberty’s