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    Somerville Metro Man's avatar

    United States United States

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    Gaiac 10 by Le Labo

    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.

    28 February, 2009