This is my first introduction to Le Labo, and I am pleased, thus far!
I am reviewing the Rose 31 Oil.
If I had known this was out there, I might have stopped scrambling to find that perfectly fall, but wearable all-season rose. You see, there is something decidedly perfect in this that says "I'm more than a pretty flower". This is why the Tudors and Yorks chose this flower as their symbol - it has a power beyond just a pretty flower. There are thorns, and they can be sharp. There is a dark side to the rose, and a bloody history surrounding it. And it is a demanding plant. God knows, those who cultivate them are crazy! Wonderful people, though, but they must treat these plants as though they were sentient beings if they will them to survive and bloom!
Rose 31 as an oil lays close to one's skin and lasts nearly 16 hours on my skin. A delight to layer, or wear alone. It deserves a place in everyone who says they love rose's wardrobe. Truly.
This one throws a mighty tantrum with an angry blast of cumin before regaining its composure and heading off, cool as custard, to the soirée. Seconds after that seriously niche overdose of cumin, an aldehydic, transparent rose in the classic French manner begins to expand and push the cumin into its place – which is a little corner marked ‘animal’. This tension resolved, Rose 31 gains a formal poise, the rose staying light and floaty, the woody base (quite generic to my nose) adding pleasing warmth, and the spice contained to a level that won’t trouble civilization.
Just when I was thinking that though it’s a thoroughly decent perfume, it somehow lacked the sheen that one expects from this high end and that I’d probably be just as happy with a cheaper designer aldehydic rose, there was a further twist. The soirée a success, this rose decided to give its feet a break and take a back seat, and let a rich combination of sweetly spiced woods take over. This late stage is enticing, almost creamy, and confirmation that Rose 31 is earning its keep.
I have always found rose based scents difficult to pull off. Rose 31 is one of the few scents with prominent rose that I decided to add to my collection.
The gender related ramifications are possible with this fragrance too, but it is also one of the very few instances where the quality and the "feel" of a fragrance are sufficient to override any sort of doubts. It is so addictively beautiful that nothing else matters, really.
The balance of rose and spices here is exceptional. You get both early on, including a generally formidable cumin note, but they create a very unique balance and synergistically enhance each other. One of the few scents that I literally cannot stop going back to wanting to smell over and over...
But as with many other scents, there is also a time and place for Rose 31. I do not see this is as a good choice for a football game at a bar with your mates, but it would be a fine choice for a cool summer evening with a loved one.
Don't let yourself be put off by the worst approach–ever to customers in their boutiques. Although being rude and arrogant in the shops, some of the Le Labo pieces are wonderful and worth it. This one is a masterpiece. I would advise to purchase online because that's the far better experience...
Easily the best wearable rose fragrance for men. I don't get much of the cumin which is a good thing; but I do get the spice, which is a good thing too, because without it, it would just be boring. The rose note is green and "dewy", like roses, mixed with the morning air, after a rainy night.
By far the best rose fragrance I have tried thus far. High quality, natural smelling, long lasting, and somewhat unique. I have yet to find a cheaper alternative though, but the journey continues.