Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Patchouli 24 by Le Labo

Total Reviews: 73
Nice smell of burnt wood softens into something similar to the resin wood panels of a sauna which probably smells better than it sounds. Lovely fragrance that evolves on your skin.
04th March, 2018
iobhai Show all reviews
United States
You're a product consultant and you've just stepped foot into a niche slaughterhouse to critique some liquid smoke products while you try them on some fresh pork. The place is pretty grim and you can hear squealing off in the distance, but you're pretty hyped to taste the bacon. For some reason, though, instead of participating in any taste tests, you're taken down to a grimy, morgue-like dungeon area, where a foul-smelling, ashy cremation of some diseased pigs is going on, bones and all. You didn't ask to be made an involuntary guest on a new exposé helmed by PETA, but here you are. Patchouli 24 by Le Labo.
25th February, 2018
lex Show all reviews
United States
didnt like this at first. test drove this a 3rd time and whalla ...patchouli and burch seems harsh but vanilla infiltrates to add a little softness...
16th February, 2018
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Interesting. I liked the opening at first, but it stays that strong and smokey for much longer than I can take. Others mention barbecued meat; I got an impression of a tin of smoked oysters just opened. Something about the smokiness and oiliness. And sure I like smoked oysters. But that's not how I want to smell. After many hours the dry down becomes powdery, lipsticky, which adds to the impression of oil. And still that canned smoke. Not for me.
24th December, 2017
I very much like this, the initial smoky November bonfire impression, drying down more sweetly to whisky and leathery vanilla. long lasting and inexplicably sexy. Love it. not perhaps for work but on moisturised skill the longevity is a blast.
24th August, 2017
I do not consider myself a parfum expert; however, I know what I like and that which I dislike. I am always reluctant to leave such a negative review 'cause I do not wish to offend. But there are enough positives on this here it is:

In one word: Blecccchhhhh!

Bought this with a few other incense, patchouli, woodsy, rose, floral, etc samples. Was recently re-introduced to Le Labo after staying at a hotel that supplied us with Rose 21 items. So, among Rose 21, I figured I'd sample a few other coveted Le Labo fragrances...

On me, on my husband and on the dog (who gagged), this fragrance was absolutely horrible awful. Burnt motor-oil, hot rubber, smokey ash, dead body...smells like the bottom of an ashtray that someone spit in...just horrible. Cannot imagine walking around smelling like this!

Sadly, the sample is in the trash, never to be inhaled by any of us again...ever...just awful IMHO!
04th July, 2017
Initially I wasn't taken with Patchouli 24 or any of Le Labo's fragrances for that matter. They all had a similar fatty waxy texture to them that I wasn't sure about at first. Turin loved this one, so I kept trying it out. I had samples of the Oud and Vetiver, but I kept coming back to the Patchouli. Like some of my other favorites, it slowly grew on me. Now it's one of my favorites. The vanilla, patchouli, and cinnamon are so well blended. There is also a band aid quality that might drive people away. Some red wines (Pinot Noirs and some Rhone-based wines) have small amounts of Brettanomyces (which I love) and that band aid/barn smell reminds me of that.

I don't get all the roasted meat that folks mention above, but the aldehydes coupled with the vanilla drydown make this slightly gourmand-like for me. I'm still trying to find the right place and situation for this scent.

24th May, 2017
Recently repurchased this and was initially somewhat disappointed. The ferocious birch tar and smoky opening is no longer as overwhelming as it once was when I initially smelled it, and only finally grew to love after some initial apprehension. But on the other hand, the vanilla in the drydown is not as pronounced either, resulting in a smoother, perhaps more versatile fragrance than it used to be. Overall, despite these perceived differences, Patchouli 24 remains a great fragrance, and well worth pursuing for those who like smoky fragrances, as it's still one of the best.
17th February, 2017
It’s true that Patchouli 24 smells like smoking tar pits and the aftermath of a chemical fire in a tire factory, but that doesn’t fully explain why it’s sexy.

I remember the first time I wore this. I had been swimming in a city pool with my husband and young son, and my skin still smelled of chlorine when I sprayed it on. Somehow, the combination of pool chemicals with the burned, smoky “electrical fire” facet of Patchouli 24 and the thin, poisonously sweet slick of vanillin pooled at the base of the scent made me smell like a total badass, like Lisbeth from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, chasing a bad guy down on her motorcycle. Even though I was wearing jeans at the time, one spritz and I felt like I was dressed in a black rubber cat suit and heavy black eye liner.

Patchouli 24 makes me feel like I always thought Piquet’s Bandit would make me feel but didn’t – powerful, but also female. There is a salty-sweet “glazed ham” quality to the smoke note here that just sends me over the top. The dreaded fir balsam (or could it be vetiver?) sweat note makes an unwelcome appearance in the far drydown, but idly enough it’s not the deal breaker it is to me in other scents such as Baccarat Rouge 545 or Encens Flamboyant. The only reason I don’t wear it more often than I do is because every time I am in the car with my family, my husband stops the car to check for an electrical shortage or fire of some sort.
08th December, 2016
A homage to the smoke-filled origins of perfume, Patchouli 24 is truly fine. Well it is, if like me you appreciate the following things and are not averse to wearing their odour – first, great billowing clouds of woodsmoke and heated tar, then the antiseptic smell of hospital corridors, maple-cured bacon, lapsang souchong, peaty whisky, auld leather, split birch bark. Patchouli 24 achieves a union of these strong personalities without sinking under their weight; it won’t march over you in jackboots.
Underneath this wood and smoke fest is a dry and somewhat loamy patchouli (which seems to only inhabit the heart phase), half hidden, just the way I like it, and some equally dried out and sugar-free vanilla. This is everything I expected Menardo’s Black to be but wasn’t: impressively textured and full of character (‘sexy grease monkey’ comes to mind) rather than the somewhat dull mumble of Black.
With the vanilla a bit more to the fore in the deep drydown, Patchouli 24’s final hours are as a tarry amber.

17th June, 2016
I agree with the reviewers here that this smells like smoked meat, but I can't understand how a smell like this amounts to a thumbs up. Aweful.
26th March, 2016
Why is my mouth watering?

I am transported to a barbecue pit, where the scent of too green to be burned birch wood did, however, serve the purpose of smoking the pork tenderloin, which had first been submitted to a mouth-watering marinade. As such this is more gourmand than leather to my nose.

I love the scent of birch tar, going back to such masterpieces as Molyneux's Le Numero Cinq (1925) and both Coty's A Suma and Lelong's Sirocco (both 1934). Here the scent is masterfully placed center stage - smoky, but not harsh at all to my nose - supported by patchouli and vanilla.

I am impressed by the creation, though I don't consider it wearable as a body fragrance, as it would need more blending of other ingredients to make that so for me (as in the vintage classics mentioned above).

Admirable scent, nonetheless!

31st January, 2016
I agree with Houdini's statement on patchouli never being a favorite note but frequently being indispensable as a note, usually a base note, in many favorite fragrances. While I found the dirtiness of Le Labo's Oud 27 to be overwhelming, the dirtiness of Patchouli 24 is instead right about what works for me. The patchouli is present from the start, with a woody resinous character that lasts throughout the fragrance. The vanilla comes in later, and is slight. Usually this imbalance in favor of the earthy/spicy would problematic for me, but even the relative weakness of the vanilla in the dry down isn't prohibitive. The composition is, on the whole, elegant, and this might actually be another bottle that I consider buying from Le Labo, if it continues to work well after a few tries. Also, it's potent, as was Oud 27, strong on projection and longevity.

7 out of 10
03rd December, 2015
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This is a unique take for a patchouli fragrance, as the patchouli really doesn’t seem to surface until later in the wearing. This is smokey and birch tarry at the beginning, but within an hour settles into a very pleasing woody, patchouli and vanilla skin scent. Very nice! Thumbs up!
25th November, 2015
I’m reviewing two scents tonight at the same time. If you are reading the other review, you know the other scent is about as opposite as I could find from this (It’s Falling into the Sea by Imaginary Authors). This scent, however, is on my right hand and by golly this is SEXY. If my husband doesn’t like it on me, I’m buying it for him to wear so I can like it on HIM!

The initial application was a blast of Incense, and I was thinking I may have caught some cinnamon, but not in the brisk “let me garnish that rice pudding” but in the “DAMNIT I just spilled a tablespoon of cinnamon in my oatmeal and now my mouth hurts” sorta way…nobody? Just me? Ok…

I’m briefly reminded of one of my favorite compositions, Blackbird, by HOM. The smell of a campfire is somewhere in here…with some s’mores roasting because there is a hint of chocolate.

I almost catch a whiff of labdanum. Something resinous. It’s good…really good. Not overly sweet, not cloying. Dry and waiting for you to want more.

I don’t smell patchouli in either the headshop nor the essential oil purchased from Eden Botanicals. I don’t know if I’ve missed it, or if I’m not a well-enough trained nose, but no matter, this is going in the FBW category!
23rd August, 2015
There’s a glimpse of patchouli at the point of application, but it’s buried within a smoky slathering of tar. Within about 15 minutes or so, the tar takes the wheel and you’re pretty much at its mercy for the rest of the ride. In typical Le Labo fashion, the name is a curveball: Patchouli 24 actually smells somewhere between road construction, an old leather jacket, and barbecue sauce. It’s an oppressive, chemical explosion that’s as intoxicating as it is toxic. The upshot, though, is that it has limited versatility.

Despite this, it’s still one of the best scents in the line. Think deep, smoldering, slightly rubbery goop and you’ll get the picture. Harsh at first, but with a soft vanilla undertone that cushions much of the brutality. It’s in the same general area as Tribute, Jeke, Bois d’Ascese etc. but with a more synthetic embrace. Good stuff, albeit spendy for what it is, and not for the faint of heart.
13th January, 2015
The opening of Patchouli 24 is rough, dry, dark, tar and smoky, an ultra-dry and sour birch woody accord, quite synthetic in a way (a good way: synthetically "post-industrial"), but at the same time rich, thick and realistic, with a nice and almost ghastly nuance of "smoked meat", like alfarom noted below. I also detect the patchouli note but it's quite understated and restrained, hiding behind this exhaust campfire of black woods, yet creating a nice and elegant contrast between its velvety, dusty, slightly cocoa-earthy feel (the patchouli, I mean) and the woody-ashy overall mood. On the very base, just a thin "rounding" layer of vanilla. Much refined and utterly pleasant with its austere and sophisticated look, just a tad artificial, but nice, a contemporary vision of "black" like Bois d'ascèse or CdG Black. After a while it starts to "warm" and open up, becoming softer and gentler, with a smooth and soft yet dark leather note arising - and at this point, while the similarity with the abovementioned scents becomes weaker, the closeness to La troisième heure by Cartier becomes quite evident. It's exactly the same structure: smoky, mellow, dark leather blended with dusty vanilla. Perhaps there's no leather and it's the birch wood, still that's the smell. Pure class and pleasure for sure, although nothing new. Plus, the patchouli (which was barely detectable at the opening) is completely vanished at this point, so bear this in mind in case you came here mostly for patchouli. Nonetheless, the scent is much good even if the main character is missing: it's pleasant, sophisticated, a bit overpriced and not that unique (the Cartier is not the only "reference", basically any other contemporary leather-vanilla scent would work), but "it works" quite well. I enjoyed wearing it and – for what it's worth – I'd wear it happily if I had a bottle. I wouldn't pay for this, but I'll do my best to have someone buy this for me (lucky me, Christmas is not that far).

15th October, 2014
I got a sample of this frag to try based on some interesting reviews I found here.

I put a small amount on my arm and within seconds thought I had made a HUGE mistake. The chemical/brush fire scent was overwhelming. I scrubbed it off my arm and put it aside.

Several days later I tried it again. This was different.

It is a perfume that doesn't start smelling like it will smell even 20 minutes later. The birch tar really gives it a smokey smell, with a hint of patchouli over the top. It has limited silliage (which for me is great as I work in an office and like to wear scent every day), and incredible staying power. After 20 minutes or so it settles into a smokey vanilla scent that is very reminiscent of exotic incense. Incredible, but takes patience.

I am glad I gave it another chance. I have problems with most perfumes (specifically those containing artificial musks) so I gave it a few days just to make sure I would be able to cope with it. A week later I bought a bottle.

This is a great fall/winter scent. I am not sure how it would work out in the summer (maybe in the evening?)
12th October, 2014
Genre: Leather

The big surprise about Patchouli 24 is that, contrary to normal Le Labo policy, the headline note actually appears in the composition. I’m sure somebody lost their job over this, but in the event Patchouli 24 is still not a straightforward patchouli composition in the manner of say, Etro, Mazzolari, or Montale’s Patchouli Leaves.

Instead it starts out all smoky birch tar, biker’s leather, and tobacco, somewhere along the lines of Tauer’s Lonestar Memories. Animalic labdanum and a sweet patchouli emerge in counterpoint to the campfire accord, and once they do Patchouli 24 runs a linear course for a couple of solid hours.

Unfortunately the drydown, when it arrives, lacks the dark, animalic menace that makes the scent’s heart so compelling. Once the smoke, leather, and patchouli recede, what remains is a very sweet dried fruit and wood accord apparently inspired by (that’s tactful for “lifted directly from”) Arabie, Chaos, or Feminité du Bois. A good idea, but anticlimactic in its execution.
23rd June, 2014
This is a great exercise in how to make a very good warm and dry-smoky scent that manages to stay away from the frankincense church-category. A very dry, warm and multi-facet smoke-scent with a strange barbecue roasted chicken-note, the tarry chimney of a fireplace, that dry spicy-inky of fresh morningpaper, the hot, dry steamy-smokiness of a sauna-scent together with a nice round and smoky patchouli that reminds of a cigarette in a ashtray made of marble, all there...and the dusty, musty smell of old books. Bold and at the same time subtle. The oilyness and warmth in this scent somehow seems to mimic the human skin itself and thats the greatest thing about it. Its smells in a animalic way but doesnt really show does notes. The warmth that this scent radiates till deep in its dry-out is extraordinary, it really seems to heat itself up...
I cannot really call this a perfume and wouldnt wear this myself but its very original stuff- i think this will go down in history as a classic (scent). Annick Menardo truly is the most original and gifted perfumer of our time.
23rd April, 2014 (last edited: 04th May, 2014)
First time when I sniffed this, the smell was very familiar to my nose!
Then I take a look at the perfumer and I saw Annick Menardo! he has done a really great job with a fragrance with the same DNA before and yes, that's Bvlgari Black!
It doesn't smell exactly like that but very close and with the same DNA.
The opening is dark and almost smoky leather scent with some sweetness in the background and also some patchouli but I would say this is not a patchouli based fragrance!
The patchouli is there but sweetened with vanilla and very strong dose of leather that give the scent a very dark aura!
In the mid the leather and vanilla become stronger.
The leather note has a very smoky and dark aroma. maybe like Bvlgari Black almost rubbery but better than that.
The vanilla in this fragrance smell much better and more natural than Bvlgari Black.
The vanilla was synthetic in Bvlgari Black but here is much more sensual and quality.
Still you can smell patchouli but it's in the background.
The scent didn't change that much in the base.
The leather note settled down and vanilla is very strong and sweet and patchouli is still in the background.
While they name it Patchouli 24, I must say that the patchouli is more like a supporting note instead of the main note!
Projection is really good and strong and longevity is excellent.
A very good fragrance. I like it.
16th February, 2014
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The first minutes I get a dark and harsh patchouli, but soon it is as if a cloud of black smoke has descended. It is a harsh, open-fire smoked-ham-with-Oolong note, with transient whiffs of asphalt, and without any Knize-Ten-style petrol on my skin. The beginning has a few touches that indeed remind me if Bvlgari Black's opening. There is clearly a lot of deliciously rough birchwood involved, developing into a rich, intense and edgy leather scent. After about three hours it mellows and is closer to my skin, with a mild vanilla that is never really very sweet on me - the beast is tamed. And a hair-on-the-chest tough beast it is: This is not wearing a tender silk gown like Chanel's Cuir du Russie, and it lacks the fresh elegance of Creed's CdR masterpiece. Le Labo's Patchouli 24 is a brilliant and gutsy exercise in birchwood and leather, with patchouli more an afterthought after the initial blast. Le Labo' names can be a bit like Oxford's Bachelor of Civil Law, which is really not a Bachelor's degree at all. The scent, however, is splendid, with good silage and projection in the first phases and a total longevity of nearly seven hours. Great stuff!
05th February, 2014 (last edited: 04th February, 2014)
Smoke. Just smoke. The sweetness faded, the patchouli was but a faint whisper in the very onset, then just smoke. On me that was the singular and defining note that brought along no other friends to the party. I will admit that I do alter fragrance in rather extreme ways, so this could rock on others but it was a one note disappointment for me. My quest for the perfect patchouli continues.
31st December, 2013
drseid Show all reviews
United States
Patchouli 24 opens with a very earthy, near camphorous patchouli before quickly transitioning to its birch driven heart. During the early heart the earthy patchouli moves to a barely detectable supporting role as a very smoky rugged birch wood driven leather accord quickly emerges and dominates the composition through its entire middle section with hints of the birch's woody nature peeping through at times. During the late dry-down the patchouli completely disappears with the smoky leather softening, as dry slightly powdery vanilla from the base first acts as underlying support before growing into the late focus as the development comes to a close. Projection is excellent and longevity outstanding at well over 15 hours on skin.

As many others have mentioned (and quite typical of Le Labo) the Patchouli name on the bottle is far from a good indicator of what one sniffs. The *real* star of most of the development is the birch wood driven smoky leather. The birch near completely overpowers any traces of the patchouli, and by the time the composition reaches the late dry-down the patchouli appears completely gone. Apart from the addition of the late developing vanilla there really aren't many detectable notes (though the "24" in the name indicates there actually are 24 different ingredients). To me, Patchouli 24 really is a minimalist hard-core leather fragrance through-and-through, and an excellent one at that. The bottom line is the $240 per 100ml bottle Patchouli 24 has a deceptive name and most likely will disappoint those looking for a patchouli-focused composition, but hardcore leather lovers are bound to be pleased with its superior minimalist execution, earning it a "very good" to "excellent" rating of 3.5 to 4 stars out of 5.
29th December, 2013
This fragrance was easy-going on my skin, even with the birch tar and smoke. When it opened I got an impression of smoke, patchouli and cream soda or root beer. I think it was the combination of vanilla, birch and a Lapsong-type tea note, lightly sweetened. It all swam around a roughened earthy, but not really aggressive, patchouli. I should have been offended by the combination but it was kind of comforting.
In the mid note, I smelled more leather, which amped up the sensuality, and was my favorite part of the fragrance. There continued to be a sort of birchy root soda note. These notes weren't welded in place. They were the product of ingredients floating around creating associations, one of which was cream soda. But it shifted to Lapsong tea, styrax, leather, an agreeable earthy patchouli and birchy tar. The dry down had less leather and settled a little more solidly into the earthy patchouli and palely sweetened smokey birch beer note.
I thought this was a comfort fragrance - there were so many associations from my childhood in it. It has a decided birch tar, but I grew up burning birchwood in a wood stove, so this is like being home. It had a fair amount of complexity built into it, what with the way the notes shifted and formed new chords until the dry down. Kind of a neat trick really. Root beer is not my idea of a fragrance note, but I can't help but like it here, wrapped as it is in so many warm smoky, earthy notes. Nice fragrance.
11th December, 2013 (last edited: 07th February, 2014)
A review of le Labo Patchouli 24, a salute to Bvgari Black and, I suppose, a fan letter to Anick Ménardo.

If I find a genre of perfume that I like, I embrace it. I stock up. With Patchouli 24, I’ve cornered the market on the smokey-leather-tea-patchouli-resinous-vanilla genre. I already own two others in the category: Bvlgari Black and Tauer Perfumes Lonestar Memories.

When comparing apples to apples, the small differences carry great weight, and decision making is easy. I wear all three perfumes regularly and never have the least difficulty choosing which one to wear on any given day.

Lonestar, Black and Patch 24 share a number of notes and in fact could look similar on paper. But notes and verbal descriptors have little to do with the experience of wearing these perfumes. Lonestar takes a sense of intention and deliberation to wear and when the stars align wearing Lonestar pays dividends. Bvlgari Black, less rough than Lonestar and more tailored than Patchouli 24, is the star of the three. Lonestar is rugged and Patchouli 24 is dense, but both perfumes result from the blending of their notes. (There was a television ad in the late 1970s for a dog treat that coined the repulsive phrase, “crun-chewy” thereby solving, I suppose, a millenia-long dilemma in the canine world) By this logic the term for Patch 24 and Lonestar's synergy would be “am-birch-tar-y.”

But Black's motivation isn't blend. The notes don't sacrifice their identities to the perfume. Black thrives on difference. The constituent parts complement each other but keep their boundaries intact. Ménardo's model of abstraction, shown in both Patchouli 24 and Black, favors execution over allusion and portrayal. It doesn't create a harmony that smooths the lines between notes. The pleasure I feel wearing Black is like the reassurance of perfectly milled locks and keys. Weighted movement without friction and the satisfying click' of perfect engineering.

I group these three perfumes together not simply for the notes they contain or the leather sub-genre they create. The line that runs through them is an unexpected sweetness. Black’s sweetness is the charm that results from amber, rubber and powder. Inedible, delectable. In Lonestar’s the sharp edge of tar, blanched white florals and and uncut vanilla extract takes you 9/10 of the way to the satisfaction of sweetness and makes you complete the picture for yourself . Patchouli 24’s sweetness is the key to its affability. It triggers perceptions of lushness and the sense of having satisfied a craving, but it never once falls into gourmand territory. This sweetness is the reassurance of safety in a perfume that asks you to be comfortable in threatening territory. It lets you sit at the center of the perfume without fear of either falling into the gourmand trap or of being bitten by the big, bad, tarry wolf.

27th August, 2013 (last edited: 18th May, 2015)
Never mind my original review; after you get past the strange barbecued meat vibe in the beginning, it drys down to a wonderfully smoky smell that reminds me of cookouts in the summertime, yet with a vanilla note that reminds me this is still a perfume.
02nd November, 2012 (last edited: 29th April, 2013)
I can't believe base notes has this as a femme scent. When I went to le labo to complete my rose 31 set I was wearing my royal English leather by creed. The lovely sales associate thought I was wearing this gem which immediately prompted me to test this in the store, love at first sniff. It's smoky and leathery without the citrus that makes a leather scent smell too medicinal IMO. This is my fifth day wearing this in a row rare for a new bottle and there's nothing stopping me from a sixth..
07th September, 2012
Annick Menardo is one of my favorite perfumers, but this scent is just wrong. it smells like a barn yard. it's plain and simple vile. this and montale oud cuir d'arabie have made their way to the "never sniff again" section of the sample filing system
15th August, 2012
surge Show all reviews
United States
From the reviews, I wanted this to be similar to Japon Noir or Borneo 1834 or possibly even Pure Malt (smoke + patchouli + sweetness) but it's really not, unfortunately.

First; the most Le Labo frag's I've tried, it's extremely strong; I would def. call it pungent.
Knocks you out and not in a good way. TBH it smells like a bon fire with bags of dog feces in the middle of the flames, burning one by one and eminating stinkyness along with the backdrop from the burning wood.
Also it smells like someone is BBQ'ing a dead horse carcass marinaded with some kind of sweet and sour sauce in the middle of the fire as well.

Whatever this is, it doesn't work well at all.
So next I'm thinking...OK..where's the patchouli?

I love patchouli scents...A*MEN, Pure Malt, Japon Noir -- awesome, all in my top 20 scents and all great patchouli notes.

It takes a good 30 minutes before you can smell even the slightest hint of patchouli; again leading me to question Le Labo's naming (ie. rose31 is mostly cumin and barely any rose).

The drydown is OK; I get leather moss combined with the burning wood from the beginning which sticks around until the end. Still barely any patchouli.
Don't care for this one...the opening is plain awful and there's barely any patchouli to be found.

Also BTW, at the top this says "feminine" -- If I ever smelled a woman girl wearing this I would run away at lightning fast speeds....if a woman smells of barbecue horse carcass with dog feces and patchouli...that's not a good thing.
13th May, 2012 (last edited: 15th May, 2012)