Reviews

Positive Reviews of Labdanum 18 / Ciste 18 by Le Labo

This is NOT a labdanum scent in any capacity, yet I’ve always had a soft spot for this one and quite enjoy wearing a ton of it. It’s along the same lines as Helmut Lang’s EdP with its clean, powdery amber-musk, but there’s not much to look at overall. It starts off with a powdered amber and what strikes me as a distant violet (probably my imagination), and then transitions into a coumeric / vanilla dust kind of accord. And that’s pretty much all it does. Zero labdanum (not that that’s a bad thing as labdanum can be hideously acrid) but as far as simple powdery skin-scents go it’s a keeper, even though you can probably get just as much satisfaction from an analogous scent like L’Erbolario’s Ambra Liquida for far less $$$.
13th January, 2015
Labdanum opens with a pleasant, warm, dusty ambery accord, with perhaps patchouli on the very base, aldehydes, a subtle and discreet vanillin-tonka accord and a well-executed heart of civet and musk, animalic and camphoraceous. Boozy-sweet breeze all over. Almost geometrical in its simplicity, but bold and clear, a journey among nostalgic souvenirs of dusty chypres, just "deprived" of any notes except patchouli, animalic accords and amber. Modern, mature, elegant, simple and most important, smelling good, clear, high quality. The evolution is quite linear but I guess it is part of the concept, and being so pleasant, it is surely not a minus. Bravi!

7,5-8/10
23rd June, 2014
for all of those who love musc ravageur but think the opening is too harsh, give this a try. it's basically musc ravageur on training wheels. more powdery,less animolic, a great scent for a night out. although, i do prefer mr
15th August, 2012
Labdanum 18 is yet another fragrance following in the trend of sweet, ambery incense scents.

Animalistic, but a little tame too, Labdanum 18 is beautiful. It has that dirtiness and rawness found in fragrances like Oud 27, Rose 31 and Patchouli 24, however this fragrance is much smoother, more feminine and sensual.

I'm tending to compare Labdanum 18 to Donna Karan's Essence Labdanum, although I find the latter a touch too linear and weak. This fragrance in particular has a deliciously sweet smokiness, which turns to powder towards the drydown.

The scent is minimalist yet effective. From all of Le Labo's oriental offerings, Labdanum 18 is the most feminine and incense-y.

I really loved the progression from the top notes to the heart, however in the drydown, while this fragrance still captivates me, I find it a little too predictable. My only gripe being that it shares many similarities with other incense-based scents.

In regards to longevity, Labdanum 18 does last considerably well. I found this fragrance very enjoyable on the day that I wore it, relishing in its smoothness and its exotic aura.
12th April, 2012
This starts out deep, sweet, smoky & slightly medicinal on my skin, with the animalic growl of castoreum lending it a confident & sexy swagger. Over the first hour it slowly becomes sweeter, more powdery & ambery, but that delightful smokiness remains. 3-4 hours in, there's a sweet, musky vanilla, & 5 hours in it's faded to a very Guerlinade-like skin scent. The sillage is moderate for most of it's duration.
l was compelled to try this after reading the comparisons to Shalimar, & l can see the similarities in the drydown. lt also reminds me of Solange Azagury-Partridge's Stoned, but l think l prefer Stoned; it has more complexity, greater sillage & a much more prominent labdanum note to my nose. l adore the first hour or so of Labdanum 18, but after a promising start it seems to lose it's power; rather like a big cat that turns out to be a little pussycat underneath. lt's a nice comfort scent though, & very cozy to wear on a cold winter's night.
29th January, 2012
Maurice Roucel is a genius. I own his Frederic Malle fragrances, Musc Ravageur and Dans Tes Bras, and they are among the most complex yet delightfully wearable scents I've ever encountered. Labdanum 18 is baby powder for grown-ups. Love it.
11th January, 2012
I ordered 5 samples from Le Labo`s website last week.

I tried Labdanum 18 as the first of them today...

This scent is a true oriental...I fully agree with Mimi Gardenia in that the whole experience feels like a smoother version of Shalimar...beautiful suave experience with lots of vanilla notes...warm cosy scent for autumn/winter days where you are in the mood for coffee, chocolate, reading a book, listening to your favourite music, writing poetry or painting a picture...

Incredible longevity after only 3 tiny spritzs on my chest...and as they say in Le Labo`s website... this scent is personal, delicate and intimate for those who like to perfume themselves for themselves..

Big thumbs up...



11th October, 2011
Kaern Show all reviews
United Kingdom
What do you know -- Le Labo have actually represented pretty well within the fragrance the name on the bottle. That resinous amber note softened by vanilla is very nice indeed. I can't smell a single trace of birch tar either -- it's not a leather scent. Rich and heady -- I love it.
06th September, 2011
Sybarite Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Without a doubt, my absolute favourite Le Labo fragrance. Labdanum 18 is just utter perfection ! ~ It's downright intoxicating and ever soooo smolderingly sexy to me.
I love it's mix of animalic and powder notes over the resinoid base. With the ethereal incense notes gently rising above. Like a shimmering opalescent silk edged with plaited purple & gold velvet. (And even Byzantine drop pearls off the corners). ~ Just a totally gorgeous scent !
It does have a certain feminine quality. But that of a statuesque androgynous deity, more so ! (One who turns into a panther by night).
It's the only powdery scent that I will gladly wear. And I'm a guy ! (Who usually hates powdery notes i frags). Here it just works. Beautifully balanced opulent scent !
13th April, 2011
Cistus labdanum is a classic amber material and has many facets to it. I had hoped that the le Labo minimalist approach would lead to interesting results. Cistus is so rich that even a spare composition using it could have complexity, and cistus can align with so many other materials with beautiful results. Unfortunately, I found Labdanum 18 quite flat and uninteresting. It starts sweet yet without flavor, and travels quickly to a matter-of-fact powdery vanilla amber. I smell a bit of the civet that might add dimension, but it goes nowhere. I can’t say I actively dislike it, but I have no interest in wearing or paying for it.
29th November, 2010 (last edited: 13th January, 2015)

This is a smoother version of Shalimar escpecially in the opening notes- the Barney's fragrance manager agreed with me on this one. There is no sharpness to this scent. It's sexy , subtle and exotic. Quite a broody and dark scent till the drydown .The drydown is pure slightly spicy baby powder on me though.
If you like Shalimar especially the newer formulation, than you will like this one too . Longevity is shorter than I expected - 2 -3 hours on my skin max compared to Patchouli 24 which hummed along nicely for much longer.
Still ,this is great scent if you don't mind the shorter longevity .



22nd September, 2010
I'm a bit anosmic to musks, but from what I do smell, this perfume is softly sweet and sexy! Very pleasing, close wearing too. Probably my favorite of this house so far!
11th March, 2009
jrd4t Show all reviews
United States
Oh I love this. It really reminds me of many of the characteristics I love in Musc Ravageur, but without some of the more pungent spices, less animal notes, and a softer amber. It's wonderful when you want a smoother vanilla amber with hints of incense. It's warm and comforting. I wore it once from a sample, and ordered a whole bottle.
13th February, 2009
If you been waiting for Maurice to release a musky scent geared towards women then L18 is fabulous. His past scents such as Musc Ravageur and Helmut Lang were mainly unisex fragrances. L18 is more feminine and uses finer animalic musk notes such as civet. Love Shalimar? Want something just a little more modern, try L18.
26th August, 2008
A nice musky/spicy/woody oriental, with a slightly rubbery quality, presumably from the birch tar. It is a bit murky or musty, but in a good way imo, that reminds me a bit of S-Perfumes Lust, but more wearable. The downside is it seems to cling very tightly to the skin and fade fast, surprisingly since the character of the scent is rich and spicy.
31st March, 2007