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Le Labo - Les testers...

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Ok, like much of my perfume interest this goes back to McQueen's Kingdom and my search for a non-discontinued alternative scent to love. Moving on... One of the most popular recommendations on a forum of this topic was Le Labo's Rose 31. So I decided to order myself a tester and while there I got carried away and ordered a few more. Here are my first impressions on the first three I've tried...

Baie Rose 26 - So so pretty, very clear very fresh rose. As in barely opened rose bud. I didn't believe it while reading the reviews on this scent but the aldehydes work well, they brighten the rose considerably. I like it but I can't say I'm buying the press release about the prohibition-era speakeasy vibe, the combo of berries and aldehydes is vaguely boozy but in an alcopop kind of way and that's as close as it gets for me. The spice in there is so subtle it seems to be from something 'around' the rose and not really part of the fragrance's heart. Its similarity to my rose salve makes it unlikely I'll ever have use for a full bottle - for a modern clear rose that warms to something lovely musky and inoffensive I have Stella.

Rose 31 - Ok, Rose 31 smells nothing like Kingdom but they do have a similar very modern clean spicy vibe that is very much in common. Rose 31 is MUCH better behaved than Kingdom though, she the cleanest vaguely cumin scented hippie on the block, she lives in a loft full of 50 each pillows, but she's artsy at heart and everyone wants to be her friend. It is very spicy, I can clearly detect cumin, nutmeg, pepper and clove and there's something 'fresh' in there but that mostly takes the spices from Moroccan market territory into a clean earthy vibe. As is often noted the rose plays a background role in this frag, but it is definitely there and comes to the fore in the middle notes and makes this scent perfectly wearable for a woman if you ask me. I love it and it certainly a contender for my inoffensive-Kingdom-replacement scent. I have to say it doesn't much feel like a 'perfume' the way that Kingdom does, its more a gentle cloud of what could be the resulting scent of one's shampoo, lunch, and that incense stick you burned while last doing laundry. Gentle but clearly detectable, office friendly cumin hippie is certainly an achievement Le Labo. Congrats. I declare this FBW.

Oud 27 - Oh dear - this baby has some serious sillage! I've sprayed a good 5 scents in the room and this one is dominating fiercely after 2 light pumps onto the skin. Up close and off the top this stuff is intensely resinous, very sweet, and clear and piercing. I'm sure there are more experienced noses that can liken that to proper ingredients and pick apart the scent - but I'm getting clear and unrelenting sweet urine that's being stored in some sort of sterile medical room. There's a lovely floral waft in there but I think that's the Rose 31 I've got on my wrist. I'm tentatively sniffing from a distance and there's a little more musk and woods but its taken two hours to get to this point and my reaction to the top notes makes me unlikely to wait this long for it - wonderful as it is. I will have to revisit at a later date because frankly, this one just over-whelmed in the beginning and I've been avoiding my own arm for an hour because of it.
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  1. Foustie's Avatar
    I have had great fun with my Le Labo samples too! I have bought Iris 39 which I really enjoy, and I am still getting to know the others.
  2. nustafa's Avatar
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    Updated 14th October 2011 at 11:32 AM by PremierT (SPAM)
  3. PremierT's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Foustie
    I have had great fun with my Le Labo samples too! I have bought Iris 39 which I really enjoy, and I am still getting to know the others.
    Iris39 and Labdanum18 are next on my list and I've read great things about both. I like the line so far, it is more interesting than most mainstream options but I feel perfectly comfortable wearing them. I'm still working up the courage to try Oud 27 again...

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