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  1. #1
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    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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    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
    SmellChaser
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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.

  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
    gandhajala's Avatar
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

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

  8. #8
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    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
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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

  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
    Spoombung's Avatar
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    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
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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
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    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...
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  17. #17
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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 sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  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
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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
    StylinLA'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?
    That's a great point. Take them to the edge of the sale and spring that on 'em.

  26. #26
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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
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    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 sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Also, keep in mind that the majority of the people who will buy their products are NOT like the typical motivated Basenotes poster, who takes the time to educate themself about things like fragrance ingredients and storage. Even if we know it's B.S., the marketing hype will still have its effect on a significant amount of purchasers.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Building on matilda's post.

    The majority of potential Le Labo buyer's are not your typical BNers as rightly said above.
    The common buyer would probably be impressed or find the lab coats & on site preparation comical.

    When you market, you market to the mass/majority which is certainly not us BNers.

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  33. #33

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Even with good scents, I am not impressed with dramatic presentations and costumes, nor manufactured tales of a company's origins.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  34. #34

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    So, can we ask their expired ingredients for free? I'm sure we can help keep their stock fresh.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    So I'm only just under half way through a 50ml bottle of Rose 31 and low and behold, it's 2 months expired now! Trying to mentally analyze any changes, which I'm not sure are real or in my head! I definitely find the fragrance sweeter now and not as "bold".

  36. #36
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by john916 View Post
    two words: planned obsolescence
    @ Duke Hunt - ↑↑↑ seems to be a consideration with Le Labo.

    This House has its shtick of fresh, hand mixing, warranting maceration/maturation processes and expiration dates, wherein the bouquet begins to deteriorate. See, at a minimum, the relevant March 17, 2012 Thread http://www.basenotes.net/threads/297...smell-the-same

  37. #37

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Always thought those expiry dates were strange on that line.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    It's all marketing

  39. #39
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Quote Originally Posted by dollars&scents View Post
    This House has its shtick of fresh, hand mixing, warranting maceration/maturation processes and expiration dates, wherein the bouquet begins to deteriorate. See, at a minimum, the relevant March 17, 2012 Thread http://www.basenotes.net/threads/297...smell-the-same
    In spite of owning not a single Le Labo, d&s is on some weird crusade to prove that they have batch problems or deteriorate quickly. He posts a link to that thread at every opportunity, even though, if you read that thread all the way through, the OP ends up totally satisfied with his bottle. There are a number of people who've reported their decants of Poivre 23 being off (including me), but I have never read a single case of a person thinking their bottle is off (also including me).

    The expiration dates are totally gimmicky and unnecessary. Some people let this bother them to the extent that they refuse to buy their fragrances. I just ignore them and enjoy what seems to be an otherwise well run, thoughtful niche company that has excellent scents and excellent customer service (see thread above). I especially appreciate that Le Labo have a well-edited, focused collection and are not constantly rolling out new perfumes. I have always gotten the impression that they are a company who values quality over quantity, and I say this as someone who now owns six Le Labos.

    Additionally, the expiration dates seem recently to have been upped to two years (either that or Isaac can't do math).

    Last edited by Beranium Chotato; 17th June 2012 at 10:42 PM.

  40. #40
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    agree with Brian.

  41. #41
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    My Jasmine 17 expired May 2008. I still wear it. I tear off mattress tags too.
    Last edited by socalwoman; 18th June 2012 at 03:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    There was a woman on Hoarders whose criterion for throwing anything out of her fridge was that it had to be "puffy." And by puffy, I mean so teeming with bacteria that the container became swollen. As her counselor tried to help her clear out the rotten food, she'd snatch it back while crying, "It's not puffy!"

    My criterion going forward with fragrance is exactly that: if it's not puffy, I'm keeping it.

    Last edited by Beranium Chotato; 17th June 2012 at 07:42 PM.

  43. #43

    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    I wonder how many potential customers decided not to purchase a bottle because they think it'll expire in a couple of years? I find this 'feature' totally self defeating for a brand that exists to sell a product.

    If LeLabo made cars there would be an LCD panel on the dashboard telling you your engine would implode 4 years after purchase.

  44. #44
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Brian, I'm unsure whether you read an old thread of mine regarding an issue I had with Le Labo.

    To put it succinctly

    I'd gone to my local LL boutique (within a larger, very large, perfume store) to have two of my 100ml perfumes refilled as it clearly said on their website thy do refills. Anyways the LL boutique refused to refill so I sent them an email. Some rude obnoxious noob customer rep replied basically saying - too bad , go f*^% yourself.

    I then made it public here on BN and members like kbe and mr.reasonable helped me out with well written responses. In the end I had Eddy, the co-founder, responding with an apology and, after a lot of BN exposure, a peace-offering of a free 50ml bottle. That was another poor decision on their end. I was walking in to refill two 100ml bottles and had plans to buy a third and in the end they offer me a measly 50ml. I said I'd pay the difference between a 50ml and 100ml but he said not to worry about it and sent me a 100ml. Then a few months later I needed a refill of rose 31, they then told me I'd get a call from the London LL. A lovely SA called, took my CC info and billed me for a rose 31 sans approx 15% discount (refill incentive) and I got it 2 days later.

    Sure they screwed up in the beginning but they made it up and continued with good service. I am not hesitant to buy more LLs. Oincidentally tonight I smelled A44 and RB26. Mmmm lovely.

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  45. #45
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    I do remember that, hedonist. It sounds like the Abu Dhabi boutique had a very rough start. I hope it has since gotten sorted because you shouldn't have to call London to get a refill.

    The Bond No. 9 boutique is just a couple block from Le Labo in New York City, and I always find it an interesting contrast to go in one after the other. The Bond store is cavernous and confusing. There is a lot of activity that has nothing to do with helping people who've walked in. It's very easy to get overwhelmed and want to leave. LL on the other hand is inviting and cozy. The SAs are there to help you if you need it but are equally good at being hands-off while you sniff your way down the line. I appreciate that the line is also manageable in size. The prices are on the high side and the expiration dates are silly; aside from those two issues, however, I find everything else about Le Labo to be executed perfectly.

    Incidentally, Atelier Cologne now has a store just a couple doors down from Le Labo in NYC. I would say equally glowing things about them in terms of how they run their business. And their prices are much better. Unfortunately, I just don't care for their fragrances very much.

    I also got to try Baie Rose 26 recently. That one is really nice. Have not tried Aldehyde 44 yet, but I'm intrigued. Also want to try AnOther 13 and Gaiac 10. It seems that in November all the City Exclusives will be available again in the boutiques.

  46. #46
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Expiry dates are a marketing ploy. Thankfully, we have basenotes to lean on. Joe Public will probably fall into the trap of throwing away the bottle for fear of some awful reaction once the product has "expired".

  47. #47
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    Funny this should pop up just now. I was rummaging around in my fragrance closet and found my Labdanum 18 perfuming balm which "expired" on 10/22/2007. If anything, it's gotten even better with age.
    "Mom.now the kitten smells like Chamade!"

  48. #48

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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    I just got a Rose 31 bottle in a swap that has a 2010 date. It still smells great! Wore it today and enjoyed it immensely.

  49. #49
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    I figure that by the time that the expiry date comes the fragrance has settled down and is just about ready to be used.

  50. #50
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    My 5 year old Rose 31 is as good now as the day I bought it.
    Love the idea of buying their soon to expire stock at deep discount.

  51. #51
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    Default Re: Le Labo expiry dates

    I have 3 Le Labo bottles that supposedly expired in 2009; they all smell fine and have not changed as far as I can tell.

    I also recently bought a new one, and it doesn't have an expiration date, now it says "Compounded on [date]".
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

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