This Tokyo exclusive is - no surprise here - breathing, living and based upon gaiac wood. To me this was always more of a leaner and greener wood note that rarely is sumptuous enough to be the centrepiece of a scent. Not here, though, this is a supreme, typical, intensive but not heavy gaiac; maybe the best I have come across so far. The second violin is played by a great cedar component, that blends extraordinarily well with he gaiac. That is really the gist of it; I know there are meant to be ten notes overall in this fragrance, but the only additional features I get is a touch of muskiness at times and some olibanum. Of course a complex and multilayered will always entice, but sometimes simplicity combined with supreme quality of the ingredients can also convince and delight me. This is such a case; ingenious simplicity extraordinarily well done. good silage and projection except for the last hour or two, with a very good longevity of eight hours. 4.5/5.
Let me tell you that I am a big Le Labo fan. I have tested all their regular line perfume samplers and fall in love with Rose 31, Iris 39 & Santal 33. So you could tell that I like spicy, floral, non-citrus and softer perfumes.
When I found out that my friend was visiting Tokyo, I asked him to bring me back a bottle of Gaiac 10. It was a blind buy for me and an expensive one that was. (Around $300 for a 50 ml bottle.)
Gaiac 10 doesn't disappoint (as opposed to Le Labo's Another 13, which smells like Lysol sprayed on your face) - it's peaceful, quiet, beautiful and pristine. It smells like burning some very expensive incense without the smokiness. (I guess the exact opposite would be Le Labo Patchouli 24) I feel like I am visiting a brand new Japanese temple, or a bath house, or a Japanese airline waitress has just passed me by.
The downside of Gaiac is that the sillage is not big at all. May be if you get cramped on a subway, the ones around you could enjoy your scents, otherwise, it's a very subtle and solitary fragrance.
Gaiac 10 was a total puzzle to me the first time I tried it, simple, generic, boring. Yawn.
A couple of years later Le labo again launched all of the City exclusives at all of their boutiques, I don't know what propelled me to try it again. This time I was blown away by it. enough to buy the 100ml bottle, a year later, the bottle has been refilled , I have made this my signature scent for work, under a suit. radiant soft woods, spiritual muscs, incense and cedar. something so simple, made into a modern masterpiece by a master nose, meditative, contemplative, with a stealth silage and fantastic longevity.
However, Vanille 44 is having the same effect on me, I acquired a bottle a couple of weeks ago. Le Labo opened a new Paris Boutique and released their Paris exclusive everywhere for a month. I also love the fact that I most likely will never smell these on anyone else, I guess the two can live together.
26th August, 2012 (last edited: 01st May, 2013)
In the same way that Vetiver 46 is modeled on CdG Man 2, this seems like it's Visit, but with higher quality ingredients. I like it a lot, but with a full bottle of Visit on the shelf, it would be redundant to buy this one.
Annick Ménardo's second Le Labo creation, a Tokyo exclusive, is just a little different from her Patchouli 24; read Baudelaire's 'Correspondances' to find what strikes me as a contrasting of the pair.
Gaiac 10 is an uncomplicated, diaphanous scent of woods, olibanum and musks. It is reserved to the point of self-effacement, yet endures for days. While very much in the vein of Mark Buxton's compositions for Comme des Garçons, it is probably closest to Antoine Lie's Wonderwood for the Japanese line – a kind of Wonderwood soaked in milk. It sweetens as it dries, with occasional murmurs of the oily and the floral, and it comes to smell like the sweetly musky halo of a newborn. Tender, affecting, and as innocent as its exclusivity is cruel.
I managed to score a sample of this from the NYC store.
This woody fragrance is somehow watery and dry at the same time. It's sweet, powdery ceder with a tiny bit of pepper to my nose. It's very quiet and kind of fragile, and I have to bring my nose to my wrist to smell it, yet it lasts on my skin for a long time.
I absolutely love it - 5 stars, have been obsessing on it for over 3 months now and want a full bottle of this.
26th December, 2010 (last edited: 07th March, 2011)
To me, Gaiac 10 is a clear and clean wood scent reminiscent of the best of Mark Buxton's wood-heavy fragrances - I adore the fact that the wood notes come through so strongly but also seem rain-drenched somehow, rather than dry. There is also sweet musc at the base that rounds and softens the fragrance. Minimalist in the best sense of the word - nothing extra, but complete in and of itself.
I think this is the longest lasting and lightest fragrance I've tried so far. Nice slightly powdery puffy woods. Also warming. I sprayed my sample on my scarf and went out for shopping. Days later my scarf still smells like woods. Great smell, long lasting and decent sillage makes for a great fragrance.
Le Labo Gaiac 10
If pink is the new black; is gaiac the new sandalwood? I've certainly noticed the use of it has increased in the last half of the year as it seems to be cropping up on note lists all over. Annick Menardo has created a gaiac centered scent for Le Labo's city exclusive line, in late 2008, called Gaiac 10. She is the nose behind Patchouli 24 and Bvlgari Black which are two of my favorite off-beat scents and I was curious to see where the creative process would take her in this case. I've said in other reviews that the essence of clean and fresh for me has been cedar but I think I'm going to have to revise that as gaiac is going to be another note that will conjure that combination for me as well. If the phrase clean and fresh just made you think this is boring, far from it. From the top the gaiac holds the stage and does what a clean note hasn't done for me in the past and also exude a depth. The reason for that I believe is that Ms. Menardo has paired the Gaiac with, according to the notes, four different muscs. These muscs add a depth to the bright intensity of this without overwhelming the sparkle of the gaiac. Truly a skillfully executed balancing act. With the gaiac holding my attention from the start this scent becomes more intense as it develops. As we move into the heart cedar comes into the mix to continue the themes begun at the top and double down on it. I get a hint of what seems like orange here but it isn't listed in the notes. As we head to the base the intensity builds as incense notes combine with the gaiac and cedar to finish this in spectacular fashion. This scent was created to be a city-exclusive for Tokyo and it feels like an Asian aesthetic is at work here. The top is the simplest part of this scent and things add to it and increase the complexity until you are left with a co-mingling of all that has come before. I would not classify this with Ms. Menardo's off-beat creations this is more a testament to how much beauty can be created from simplicity. I have to conclude with how sad I am that due to the marketing decision of Le Labo to charge exorbitant prices and to only be able to buy this in Tokyo many people will not have the opportunity to experience this perfume. I would love to be able to tell everyone who likes fresh and clean to try this scent because I think it elevates it to a new level. The sad part is I can't in good conscience ask people to jump through the hoops Le Labo has put in place.
The best woody/incense fragrance I've ever experienced by far, Gaiac 10 is very subtle and does not project much sillage, but its beauty is in the subtlety and complexity, not its volume. It is fairly linear and is primarily a balance between gaiac wood and olibanum, the entire composition being slightly musky. This is a parfum and just a touch of fragrance (it's definitely a little oily) lasted 12-16 hours. As the first reviewer alluded, this is really a skin scent, and this may not jive with people when they look at the price tag, but I know if I had a few hundred bucks to spend and this (and if I'm ever in Tokyo, the only place it's available), I most certainly would.