Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Luctor et Emergo by People of the Labyrinths

Total Reviews: 32
Sweet grass. Fresh mown hay. Vanilla wax candle. Almond milk. Cherry note dances and bounces around all over the place. The cherry isn't super sweet nor is it sour. There are wood notes that seem to keep it in check. Woody notes are not aggressive. They are like oak or maple or at least something other than cedar.

Later the cherry and almond fuse. I want to state that they smell to me like marzipan but, not quite. Someone mentioned Play-Doh. I don't recall how that smells - it's been too long. Anyhow, the latter accord seems fuzzy or blurred, rather meditative, too. Full bottle worthy, for me.
12th January, 2019
Unfortunately the cherry / almond goes wonky and smells of mothballs and playdough on my skin.
15th September, 2017
I remember reading about this time and time again, and never having a major interest in it. Then, on a chilly day in Amsterdam, I noticed that I was passing the shop, and went in for a sniff. I was intending to go across the road to the Skins shop (which has since expanded exponentially and seems to sell just about anything you can think of perfume wise), but didn't so I only had L+E on for the day. It seemed very marzipan sweet in the beginning but soon after I got a lovely hay/woods/cherry almond waft and spent the odd few moments over the following days considering a bottle. I never got back to the shop and that could have been that. Until last year, passing through Amsterdam again, when I popped in and ended up buying the Parfum (which seems to be an EdP really).

I think the sweet almond one I tried first was the EdT, what I have still has the cherry sweetness on top but there seems to be more wood and incense compared to hay in this version. I like it very much, especially as it seems to morph continually, sometimes sweet and boozy, sometimes dry with a thread of incense giving an airy feel. It is as many people say a comforting scent, but not too sugary. I get the play-doh references and have no problem with that facet - as it weaves in and out - but I don't think I'd be as enamoured of it if it was straight up sweet play-doh!
10th July, 2017
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This fragrance is lovely with my skin chemistry. I get the almondy cherry hit in the first 15 minutes of applying, then it turns warm, tobacco-like woody and vanillic. Very sensuous, a little sweet but not overly so. Every so often I'll get a little whiff of a floral, then a little cherry tobacco. At times it even seems a little chocolatey. Very nice. It does seem to last a good while and the sillage is on the soft to moderate side.
16th March, 2013
Smells like cherry cough syrup, mothballs, almond candy and some sort of old fashioned perfume thing I've smelled in other perfumes but don't know the name for...
I hate it, which is good because it's too expensive for me anyway.

fades into tobacco and resin (and nasty cherry cough syrup) after 20 min on oily hot skin- wish it would both start and end this way
23rd October, 2011
Cherry medicinal/ menthol/clovey top note which gives way to a gentle
flowery tobacco with play doh along for the ride
I don't mind wearing this. Buy a bottle? No
It expresses its name well
"I struggle and I emerge"
09th June, 2011
This is quite a unique fragrance! Opening notes were very alcoholic - I was almost reminded of brandy or rum. After half an hour or so, I could really smell the sour cherry and almond notes. Dry-down was mostly vanilla almond on my skin.

My husband said it smelled like baby powder for the first few minutes, but I didn't get that at all. Very sweet and gourmand, but not headache-inducing. I can see this being semi-wearable in the fall & winter..

Mar
01
2009
28th March, 2011
This is quite a unique fragrance! Opening notes were very alcoholic - I was almost reminded of brandy or rum. After half an hour or so, I could really smell the sour cherry and almond notes. Dry-down was mostly vanilla almond on my skin.

My husband said it smelled like baby powder for the first few minutes, but I didn't get that at all. Very sweet and gourmand, but not headache-inducing. I can see this being semi-wearable in the fall & winter..

Mar
01
2009
28th March, 2011
This is an odd one. I can't say I hate it. I definitely can't say I love it, or even like it. No play doh here for me either. What I do get is the cherry cordial, a little almond, and a hefty dose of pipe tabacco. If this was it, then I think I would have to give a thumbs up. However, the urinal cake mentioned by NillaGoon makes this very wierd. I don't get the urine, but there is something very disinfectant about it. Probably the benzoin and spice. Glad I tried it. Would never buy it.
06th April, 2010
BayKAT Show all reviews
United States
I asked for a sample of this becaues Lucky Scent rated it so highly (as a cult favorite). Note to readers: trust perfume boards like this first. This was just a stinker for me, sorry, can't think of a more eloquent way to state it. It goes from nasty harsh, to playdough, to out-dated bottle of vanilla in the spice cabinet.
27th February, 2010
Vive la difference! I'm all for (some) fragrances smelling like Play-Doh. It's a pleasant and evocative odor -- why shouldn't it be in the perfumery repertoire?

Luctor et Emergo opens with a cherry cordial fanfare with a strong undercurrent of spices. I had some trouble identifying specific spices, but clove is definitely in there, perhaps along with cinnamon. It does indeed smell like Play-Doh, and the benzoin note is extremely strong, as lizzie_j notes. The tobacco comes and goes for me, but it's definitely there.

I was enjoying this fragrance until about half an hour in, when I happened to take a direct whiff a couple of inches above the skin and got a nearly perfect rendition of urinal cakes with generous lashings of urine to go with them. The clove and benzoin give the camphoraceous "disinfectant tablet" accord. I think what I'm perceiving as urine may be the smells that others have identified as "old books" or "library". It's the concentrated waft from a toddler's soggy, hour-old diaper.

The composition does smell better from a bit of a distance, but it's hard to stop smelling urine, and a couple of hours in I'm starting to feel nauseated despite a relatively light application. Part of that is probably due to the sickly-sweetness of benzoin.

I have to give this a thumbs down based on my own experience, but I don't know how much of that is specific to my skin. I can see why some people would like this.
03rd November, 2009
The People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo

When reading reviews there are a couple of criticisms that are leveled at scents which are supposed to be withering accusations, that they are synthetic or they smell like Play-Doh. This scent shoulders the burden of having both of these labels applied to it. As one who likes the synthetic notes of Beyond Paradise for Men and has no childhood trauma associated with Play-Doh I was looking forward to wearing this. The top of this starts off with a cherry-almond accord that is subtle, and not too sweet on me, there is something of a plastic quality to it like a supermarket package of cherries and almonds wrapped together which gives the "not quite from nature" feel to the top of this. That synthetic quality takes over in full in the heart as the cherries recede and a stronger deeper note presides, which does bear a similarity to Play Doh, but this is sweeter and along with this artificial note there are some natural notes of woods and incense to keep this grounded. The synthetic note fades to the background in the base and I continue to get hits of it but the woods along with vanilla are more prominent at this point in the development. This is one of those scents that gets put in the interesting category, for me. I won't be reaching for this on a regular basis but there will be days when this combination will seem like just the ticket.
28th February, 2009
I'm with lookinglass on this one. A single puff of delicate sweet incense, delectable vanilla, powdery almond, and even a whisper of pipe tobacco. The edt is what I'm sampling, I find it to be a comforting gourmand. My nose is enjoying the banquet! Dries down to a soft powder which is mild and pleasing. For some reason, in the drydown it brings to mind L'Artisans' Ambre Extreme. Interesting and creative! Nope, no play-doh here.
21st January, 2009
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I find this scent very light, cool, and clean. I didn't get the playdough accord that many mention. I call it (after the dry down) clean, late summer grasses, down wind from a grove of ripe cherry trees. I caught a whiff of far off cherries in a cool, dry early evening meadow. I have experienced this as a child on the farm I grew up on. Large expanses of grassy fields and in the distance there would be apple and cherry trees. I remember running my fingers through dried out grasses as I walked along, smelling hints of the large round hay bales and orchard fruits riping. The sun was settling and it was time to go inside and I would hear my Mother calling me. The air was crisper, cooler as it got darker and the scents around me got more distinct. That's what this reminds me of. The scent of cherries, dry grasses, and cool clean evening wind. For those who call that scent cheap, you may be right. The best things in life are free. I'd be happy to pay for this one though, they managed to bottle a wholesome memory.
17th January, 2009
This is my Desert Island frag. If I could have only one, it would be Luctor et Emergo. I know that many people get Play Doh from this frag, and while I do get a whiff, it certainly isn't the first thing that springs to mind. It's darkly resinous and soft. Sticky preserved cherries and almonds. Dark wooden flooring and cello music playing in a distant room while you read a book during a snowstorm. It's difficult for me not to sink into flowery language talking about this one! Comparisons to different Loukhoum frags confuse me a little - this is slightly gourmand but nowhere near the sweetness and in-your-faceness of, for example, Keiko Mecheri's Loukhoum - it's much drier, with some quiet, mysterious spiciness in there. If this frag were a solid, I'd have a hard time resisting eating it. Or at least getting naked and rolling around in it.
08th January, 2009
I WISH I could get mostly Play-Doh out of this fragrance. Alas, and maybe because I work in a hospital, all I can smell is the benzoin drenched cotton bandages that we use to pack penetrating wounds and drained abscesses! I have tried it many times, hoping to get a whiff of whatever inspires the fanatical cult following this fragrance enjoys, but to no avail. Over time, the bandage smell becomes a little less prominent, and I once briefly enjoyed hints of Play-Doh, cherry and almond, but that's as far as it ever went. In just a few minutes POOF! the pleasing notes were gone, and it was back to the hospital for me. No thanks.
09th June, 2008
For some reason, Luctor et Emergo generates feelings of near hysteria on certain fragrance blogs/boards so it was with a bit of trepidation that I reached for it at Aedes in NYC to try. I had no idea what to expect and upon spraying, was shocked that Luctor et Emergo is basically a girlish almond and cherry blossom scent. It was pleasant enough (I would take this over the intense Pierre Frapin fragrances any day) but I am still puzzled that a grown women would want to smell like this. Maybe for some people, Luctor et Emergo conjures up happier days of eating grandma's homemade cherry pie. Maybe it is the gratuitously weird name that bears no relation to the actual scent. Maybe it is the peculiar beaker bottles that draw one to POTL in general. In any event, Luctor et Emergo was a bit like the "Emperor with no clothes on" to me. Not much there once all was revealed.

From what I've been able to glean online, here are Luctor et Emergo's notes: sweet incense, vanilla, woods, cherry, almonds, marzipan, fresh grasses and white florals.
05th June, 2008 (last edited: 19th June, 2008)
I’m giving away my age but I have no idea what play dough smells like, so I can’t attest to that comparison. I do know what Luctor et Emergo smells like, though, and I find it hardly worth knowing. This is just a powerful, cheap smelling, fruity / almondy … I can’t say “mess” because it isn’t that – it’s quite acceptably structured, purposely balanced … monstrosity? No, it’s not that bad… gourmand! That’s it! …powerful, cheap smelling, fruity / almondy gourmand. There’s something about it that is totally off-putting in its gross sweet, fruity, marzipan way. It’s too vanillany It’s too … It’s too HERE! …Have to wash it off now – it has given me a headache.
14th March, 2008
This scent is at once grassy, resinous and comforting. It is like sitting in a clearing having a picnic of sweet almond cakes at a Pagan gathering. Drying out to a milky skin scent, it is soft yet complex...not too floral, powdery, or sweet, almost like not wearing perfume at all, but only smelling like a delightful time. This scent is perfect for times when you will be close to people and don't want your fragrance to really speak out loud; it is a mysterious whisper.
14th December, 2007
This scent is at once grassy, resinous and comforting. It is like sitting in a clearing having a picnic of sweet almond cakes at a Pagan gathering. Drying out to a milky skin scent, it is soft yet complex...not too floral, powdery, or sweet, almost like not wearing perfume at all, but only smelling like a delightful time. This scent is perfect for times when you will be close to people and don't want your fragrance to really speak out loud; it is a mysterious whisper.
14th December, 2007
Luctor Et Emergo is a fascinating, provocative scent that will leave the wearer with a profound sense of deja vu--"Where have I smelled this before?" you'll ponder "Why is this so nostalgic and comforting?" Some will only smell the salty creaminess of playdoh that unfurls with an almond-cherry opening; however, this striking sensation only lasts for a short time before LeE develops into something far more complex. At that point, it'll remind you more of old libraries, primary school stages, construction paper projects and holiday celebrations (and to some, the smell of cheery-sweet pipe-smoke in old yachting clubs) than lumps of kiddie-dough. You'll suddenly feel contemplative and calm...

This is the smell of stories set in old estates, castles and wooden ships; salty, sweet, incense-smoky, creamy--overall, the velvety nature of LeE will leave a wearer in a heightened state of awareness, without ever really invoking fruit, wood or mineral. Accept that LeE is an "experience" scent, aching to share a legendary story and you'll have an easier ride.

However, all legends aside, "Luctor et Emergo's" robustly eccentric nature doesn't make it any less accessible(and wearable)to both men and women. Luctor et Emergo is a comforting memory for all and appropriate for all occasions and times of day; it's subtle enough for the office but interesting enough to enfold you during an evening out. The essence of dreams and a perfect companion for an evening under the stars--be it midsummer or winter--drink in one gust of this spicy, woodsy potion and suddenly you're Alice, falling down the rabbit hole to Wonderland.

"Curiouser and curiouser..."

Indeed, but all emotional adventures with "Luctor et Emergo" lead safely back to home.
29th October, 2007
Oh, ho! Play-Doh! I love it. This is a comforting fragrance. When I was a child, I used to make clown noses out of Play-Doh so that I could wear them and smell that wonderful aroma. Luctor et Emergo captures that elusive scent, which I had been seeking ever since. Sweet and salty, like bread dough and plastic at the same time. This substance has tempted every child to taste it. It would always be disappointing flavorwise, but the sniffing would continue on and on.
This perfume carries that essence, re-created by substances I can only guess: almond, cinnamon, vanilla, white florals. It is soft and needs body heat to activate. I am grateful that I no longer have to walk around with a blob of red or blue Play-Doh clampted to my nose to smell this hypnotic scent.
20th October, 2007
Quarry Show all reviews
United States
This is Play-doh into which someone has dripped a few drops amber and incense oils.
17th October, 2007
tdi Show all reviews
United States
This is a beautiful unique fragrance. I guess I could agree that it slightly smells of Play-Doh ( which I love the smell of by the way) but I think it is more of a doughy marzipan scent. I don't find it overly sweet and I love the soft powdery floral scent. Maybe it is overated but so are a lot of other things....yes it is pricey but I intend to be the owner of a full bottle ASAP.
20th July, 2007
Before I smelled the real thing I had a cheap perfume oil dupe, and I think it was a good one too, because it only had a stronger cherry note but otherwise captured the odd, not-quite-sweet powderiness of Luctor et Emergo. I think LeE reminds me mostly of Eau des Merveilles, another scent I don't "get". They're both powdery and dry with a sort of stale bitterness I think to many people come off as "salty". The salty/sweet atmosphere is a bit Play-doh-ish, yes. Play-doh or maybe marzipan that's very heavy on the bitter almond and very light on the sugar, but compensates for the lack of sugar with some sweet vanilla. LeE has some green grass thrown in too, and the combination of green notes and powdery sweetness reminds me of Geir. As far as I'm concerned, Geir might be "Luctor et Emergo for him". I'd rather wear Geir.
24th March, 2007
it is very much like play doh

sorry, I'm grown up!
04th August, 2006
This is very warm and inviting. Reminds me of Gaultier 2, except this isn't sweet or balsamic in its drydown. This doesn't have much sillage on me, but seems to last a long time. Not my cup of tea, but I can see how others really enjoy.
04th April, 2006
This is the most incredible perfume I have ever smelled. It is incredible. It's also incredibley expensive. Me and 3 friends split a bottle, we are now all totally obscessed.
20th February, 2006
Tovah Show all reviews
United States
The listing for the name of the fragrance is is incorrect: It's People of the Labyrinths Luctor et Emergo. Luctor et Emergo is the name of the fragrance and the designer is People of the Labyrinths.
18th February, 2006 (last edited: 22nd February, 2006)
Fake cherry scented highway rest-stop lavatory cleaner. In a cost-benefit equation this is below in Angel territory on my skin.
08th February, 2006