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  1. #1

    Default Le Labo expiry dates

    I'm curious about people's take on those expiry dates. LL is one of my favorite houses, I really like the lab concept, the apothecary-style decor and bottles, the made-to-order principle, and the great products they sell. I met one of the owners once and had a long chat with him about all sort of interesting things. Very nice guy. However, the expiry dates on bottles seems kind of ridiculous to me, and it's probably the only part of the whole LL concept that I have problems with. Surely, niche perfumes in that price range and claiming such high-quality ingredients should be good for more than exactly 12 months after purchase, no? I'm sure we've all had bottles of perfume lasting much longer - I have owned lots that were good even after 4 or 5 years. Of course, perfumes will gradually lose sillage and longevity over time, but that they should downright expire after a year seems strange to me.
    Anyway, I have an FB of Rose31 from Oct. 09 and one of Vetiver46 from March last year, and although I guess they are technically "expired" (by LL's definition, anyway), they're still perfectly fine and have lost little power as far as I can tell.
    The way I see it, the dates are primarily there to motivate customers to use up their bottles as quickly as possible and come back to buy more or have them refilled. If the quality is what LL claims it to be (and it seems to me that it is, although admittedly I have no expert knowledge of such things), the dates must be just a marketing strategy and not an indicator of anything substantial about the product. It bothers me - you either sell high-quality stuff that lasts long enough for a customer to be able to use up his 100 ml bottle at his own reasonable leisure, or you sell stuff that doesn't last and should be used up quickly - in which case you should be charging a very different price for your product. The way I see it, you can't really do both at the same time. consequently, I have chosen to completely ignore the dates pretty much the way you would a price tag that won't come off or soomething like that.
    What do you guys think? Do any of you with LL FBs pay any attention to the date printed on them? I am not impressed with this silly way of trying to stress customers into buying more, faster...
    Last edited by Dane77; 17th July 2011 at 02:43 PM.

  2. #2
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    petruccijc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    It is a bunch of B.S.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    two words: planned obsolescence

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    It is a bunch of B.S.
    I agree.

    I hope it backfires on them.

    And I hope they abandon the silly notion.
    Currently wearing: Augusto by Mazzolari

  5. #5

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    It is a bunch of B.S.

    Exactly what I was going to say!

  6. #6
    slvrbckgorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by Dane77 View Post
    ...the dates are primarily there to motivate customers to use up their bottles as quickly as possible and come back to buy more or have them refilled...
    I agree with the notion above as well as the sentiments of the posters that followed.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Yes, complete rubbish, in much the same way as most expiry dates on food are.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    It would be like Hermes declaring that their Birkin or like Louis Vuittom starting that the Alma would expire X years from purchase. LOL

    A huge bunch of silly marketing.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by gandhajala View Post
    ...in much the same way as most expiry dates on food are.
    Completely and utterly agree with this comment!

  10. #10
    Basenotes Institution N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Frederic Malle does that to all their bottles as well. The only possible reason some of these houses put expiration dates on bottles is to convince him or her to purchase additional bottles in the future. It's probably a marketing idea for these houses to bring in more revenue. Fragrances don't expire and won't go bad unless you do something like leaving a bottle of cologne in your car exposed in heat for 2 years
    Currently wearing: Bois des Îles by Chanel

  11. #11

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    If anything my Rose 31 has gotten better with age , it expired in April of this year btw !

  12. #12

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Yep, I was not pleased to see an expiry date on my bottle of Oud 27 after spending all that money on it.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Andy Tauer does the same.



    This logo is on his packaging, but it says 36M.
    Three years for a perfume with high quality ingredients.
    Shame on you, Andy!

  14. #14
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by Suppressor View Post
    Three years for a perfume with high quality ingredients.
    the quality of ingredients has nothing to do with it whatsoever.

    the notion of an exp date is bullshit, because it all depends on storage. badly stored, a perfume may expire way before that date. an unopened perfume in it's box, stored in a cool place, can last a lifetime.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    It's terrible to hear about this up and coming new trend. It's bad enough we have to contend with ad copy BS, price hikes, discontinuations and reformulations.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    just throwing this out there... is it possible that it's somewhat legit? because commercial large batch mixes include a lot of things like stabilizers and maybe these ones are made up with just the scent chemicals and carrier but they don't put in other junk to stop the colors changing, protect the smell, etc...
    Tom Ford Splits!!!! - Tobacco Vanille, Tuscan Leather, Oud Wood, Noir de Noir - PATCHOULI ABSOLU
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    HARD TO FIND - Lavender Palm, Arabian Wood, and AMBER ABSOLUTE, etc...


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  17. #17
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    what they put in, for preservation, is mainly anti-oxidants and sunscreens. these are vital, and i am very, very glad they're there!

    don't think that niche houses don't do this. everyone does, and rightfully so.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by petruccijc View Post
    It is a bunch of B.S.
    Agreed. It's a marketing gimmick, just like the SAs in lab coats.
    Last edited by Primrose; 18th July 2011 at 04:54 AM.
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
    Currently wearing: Poison by Christian Dior

  19. #19
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    Marketing gimmick, just like the SAs in lab coats.
    it's not even the lab coats, it's the whole theater of a sa mixing the perfume with the alcohol and some water. i can't think of any purpose for this, i see only a downside. the alcohol serves as a preservative, so if they have it around for too long, certain ingredients risk turning bad.

  20. #20

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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Well someone on here must have had a Le Labo bottle for more than a year, is it still good or not?

  21. #21
    Neurosis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    It's so you buy more if you don't use it. Truth is it doesnt matter at all!

  22. #22

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by fitch256 View Post
    Well someone on here must have had a Le Labo bottle for more than a year, is it still good or not?
    All of my Le Labo's are beyond their expiration date: FdO, Oud, Rose, Vetiver, Patchouli, Gaiac, Labdanum, Bergamot, Vanilla. They all smell great!
    Currently looking for Ava Luxe Midnight Violet

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    as long you store it in a cool place and away from sunlight they should be fine, i've seen people store their LL in a fridge/wine cooler too keep them last long, and many of them have their LL for years.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    I honestly wonder how an SA would respond if you said you decided against purchasing a bottle because you don't think it would be used within the year. With visions of a sale evaporating before their eyes, would they try to convince you to buy it and then guilt you into using it up quickly, or come clean and say that it will still be good beyond the expiration date?

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by Tappio View Post
    I honestly wonder how an SA would respond if you said you decided against purchasing a bottle because you don't think it would be used within the year. With visions of a sale evaporating before their eyes, would they try to convince you to buy it and then guilt you into using it up quickly, or come clean and say that it will still be good beyond the expiration date?
    That's a great point. Take them to the edge of the sale and spring that on 'em.

  26. #26
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by Tappio View Post
    I honestly wonder how an SA would respond if you said you decided against purchasing a bottle because you don't think it would be used within the year. With visions of a sale evaporating before their eyes, would they try to convince you to buy it and then guilt you into using it up quickly, or come clean and say that it will still be good beyond the expiration date?
    come on, we know perfume sa's generally have no clue whatsoever. they are often feeded with marketing disinformation even more than the consumers, because they're suppose to spread it.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    It must be hell sweating it out thinking that your fragrance is old after four or five years. Le Labo fragrances are 80-85% synthetic just like 99% of all other modern fragrances, and they'll last fifty years you keep them in a cool, dark, and dry environment. The same goes for the ones made a hundred years ago. Storing them properly will maintain the quality for an extremely long amount of time. I have fragrances fifty years old that smell like new.

    Quality fragrances that are well taken care of (kept cool and dry, with little exposure to light of any kind) will usually last fifty years or more with little damage. Very old fragrances tend to darken and develop a nail-vanish smell which usually fades shortly after putting it on the skin. No one knows more about it than Jean Kerleo, director of the Osmotheque living perfume museum in Versailles, and he recommends temperatures of 50-55f for most perfumes. For pure citruses the ideal temp is closer 40f.
    Last edited by pluran; 18th July 2011 at 09:30 AM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Thanks all for your posts. It seems we nearly all agree that the dates are of no signifance whatsoever. I learned a lot of interesting things from all of you who know more than me, and I do agree with Gido that SAs all too often don't have a clue about what they're selling. They cannot be relied on for in-depth information or basic knowledge. Just the other day, an SA at an Hermes store took it upon herself, quite unsolicited, to enlighten me about the Hermessence line, informing me among other things that vetiver is a plant (fair enough), that Paprika Brasil contains "Brazilian paprika", and that the main note in Ambre Narguille was the smell of amber, "you know, pine resin". Right! Those people don't know a damn thing about perfumery and yet they persist in trying to sound knowledgable, acting all snooty, and what not. It's comical, really.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    come on, we know perfume sa's generally have no clue whatsoever. they are often feeded with marketing disinformation even more than the consumers, because they're suppose to spread it.
    That's true, and the "expiration date" really is the work of their marketing department, not the people in the shops. I guess it would be a bit cruel to take it out on them, especially people who work in department stores that have to rep multiple lines and aren't really experts in any of them.

    I was more thinking people who work in their boutiques who are hopefully better versed in their product. Never visited one of their shops, so I can't really say if they have a mastery of their line or not.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by Tappio View Post
    That's true, and the "expiration date" really is the work of their marketing department, not the people in the shops. I guess it would be a bit cruel to take it out on them, especially people who work in department stores that have to rep multiple lines and aren't really experts in any of them.

    I was more thinking people who work in their boutiques who are hopefully better versed in their product. Never visited one of their shops, so I can't really say if they have a mastery of their line or not.
    Most SAs are there to push products. Wearing a lab coat does not confer any more knowledge or integrity than a makeup SA wearing a Clinique lab coat.
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
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