Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Le Labo arrives in Holland and I Sniff, Sniff, Sniff

Few things can get me as excited as receiving news that a perfume line which thus far I'd only been able to read about longingly, has finally made it here and is available for sniffing! Le Labo can now be found here, at the fabulous brand new boutique of Skins Amsterdam (basically just next door from the old boutique at Runstraat 11, but bigger, better, fancier). Determined to not give myself olfactory fatigue and deciding there’s no rush to explore everything extensively at once since it is now so close by, I decided to focus on the perfumes I have been most curious about: Iris 39, Labdanum 18 and Ambrette 9. Yes, the road, the good intentions and all that: You can guess what I did next, can’t you? Yes, once inside the shop I actually sprayed the whole collection on blotters. I couldn’t help myself. Could you? Anyway. I was underwhelmed. “Is dat alles?” (Is this all there is?) as the Dutch song goes. I distracted myself with shiny make-up, potions, lotions and miracle-promising pots of this and that to give my nose a break and returned to the Le Labo counter to focus again on the three I originally came to sample, which -to give credit to the official note listing- were the ones that interested me most in the first round of sampling anyway. Ambrette 9 is lovely, powdery and baby soft and I would probably buy a bottle if I could actually smell it a little better. I don’t know if I am anosmic to some of the aromachemicals in the blend or what, but this is one of the very few (the second actually) perfumes to date that I struggle to smell. Yes, I can smell it when I first spray it on. Then I lose it and have to snort really, really close to find it again. There, close-up and personal I rediscover its sweet, soft appeal and I am left longing for more intensity. On me, this is definitely a skin-scent with absolutely no projection. I have to chase after it, always longing for that which I cannot have. It makes me sad and ever so slightly angry. Moving on, Iris 39 is my favorite of the whole lineup. It starts out with unmistakable buttery iris root but soon becomes spicy and intensely animalic. YUM. Super sexy in a buttoned-up, two-piece-and-killer-heels manner, this is a beauty and totally up my street. I really need to explore this further, to see if it is full-bottle-worthy. Finally, Labdanum 18 is beautiful and gorgeous…BUT. It is nothing new. I sprayed this on my skin, sniffed and was able to name its twin instantaneously. I turned to the SA helping me and said: “This is gorgeous but it’s exactly the same as Musc Ravageur by Frederique Malle." She gave me the most stupendously surprised look: “You have a great nose! It was created by the same nose as Musc Ravageur! You recognized his signature.” I smiled politely and nodded, while thinking “What signature? This is the exact same composition! I could hardly fail to recognize that!”. Well, to be perfectly fair, it is not the exact same composition. Labdanum 18 is softer, rounder, cuddlier. I can’t really wear Musc Ravageur (even though I like it a lot), but I would gladly wear Labdanum 18. This however, does not change the fact that the two are twins indeed, with the formula just tweaked enough to be smoother, better blended. With the exception of Iris, I am not sure I am ready to part with my money just yet. But stay tuned, as I look forward to exploring this line more in the near future. And I am keeping my hopes up for the Vanilla Paris exclusive.

PS: I want that Olfactionary, also sold at Skins. Can’t afford it. Bummer.


19 comments:

waftbyCarol said...

AHHH...Maurice Roucel . Yes he's been busy tweaking that formula . I can 't wear Musc Ravageur either . Then along came L by Lempica , an ornamented MR , lovely but tiring for me....then I fell in love with Fleur di Santal by Sinfonia de Note and Christen and I split a bottle .
Then I fell in love with Labdanum 18 and quickly asked Christen what she thought...she said it smells just like Fleur di Santal , without the cinnamon !!
What do you guess Roucel created the Sinfonia too ?
I don't know who created it , just sayin'...
I would gladly own the Labdanum and the FdiS , but not the other two , so go figure ! ( Christen owns three out of those four !!! )
Whew , did that make sense ?

Divina said...

hahaha, yes you are so right, I can see the connection with L de Lempicka and unfortunately I have the same reaction, I do find it tiring, a bit insisting if you will. In the end, I usually have to wash it off. Would be so funny of Roucel had created Fleur de Santal too! *laughs* But I simply have no idea! The Labdanum yes, I probably wouldn't open the wallet for it myself but I would be so glad to receive this as a gift and would wear it! He definitely tweaked in the right direction :)

Divina said...

Sorry, that should have been "if Roucel had created..." not "of" of course. Wish I could edit my own freakin' comments. Sheesh, blogger.

waftbyCarol said...

He also created the Jasmine for Le Labo , Ive not sniffed it...

waftbyCarol said...

Don't even mention the Olfactionary....
Have you sniffed Prada Iris Parfum ? Fell in love at Sniffa , did not buy .
I haven't sniffed Le Labo Iris...love a comparison .

Ines said...

I only tried until now Ambrette, Vetiver and Iris of the Le Labo line, and I have to say Iris jumps out of the crowd for me. Not that I'd wear it (it certainly states loudly enough that it's perfect for a certain image), but it is one of the most interesting scents I tried recently.

Divina said...

Hey Carol :) I have sniffed Prada's Iris but it was too long ago to write coherently about it. Here in the Netherlands the boutique prada perfumes are only sold at a parfumerie in the city of Haarlem and the owner is a MEGA-A$$hole. I am really sorry for the language, but he is, AWFUL. So I went there sniffing once, got treated snootily, gave him a piece of my mind and never returned. I did fall in love with Fleur d'Oranger parfum, which Chaya-angel was kind enough to send me a little sample of. I dab a drop every time I really need some orange flower magic :) Prada's Iris perfume is creamy and LUXURIOUS, really true to iris. Le Labo's is true iris only in the beginning, then it becomes a very complex blend with a beautiful chypre accord, spices and gorgeous animalic notes. Together with Labdanum it is the most animalic 'fume of the line. If you like animalic notes, I do suggest it! The animalic notes are strongly felt but they are not the center of the focus, if you know what I mean. It is trully well blended.

Divina said...

Hi Ines! I definitely agree with your estimation of Le Labo's Iris that it projects a perfection for a certain image. Did it evoke similar images for you as it did for me? (buttoned-up sex appeal, two-piece-killer-heels combo)?? Love to hear your thoughts. Mwah!

sakecat said...

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who sniffed Labdanum 18 and Musc Ravageur and thought "this is pretty much the same stuff." Thankfully - I can wear both. Too bad neither of them are cheap.

BTW - the Jasmine is nice. A sweet jasmine tea - almost honeysuckle thing. I also liked Rose 31 - though it is more challenging to wear.

Ines said...

I actually imagined a strict female professor of 40 wearing glasses and no smile when I first smelled it, but your image fit in with mine - she would be definitely wearing heels and a buttoned up suit (skirt suit to be sure). ;)

waftbyCarol said...

we've all been hit on the nose by an asshole or two whilst sniffing , sorry for your experience !!

Divina said...

Hey hey Sakecat! Will try their jasmine next, love me a good honeyscuckle note, although so few of them are realistic. Yves Rocher is famed for producing realistic florals, but even their Chevrefeulle doesn't come close to the glory of the real thing. Still I've definitely come across some honeysuckle notes I've really really enjoyed so fingers crossed :)

Divina said...

Ines, YEP! It's a skirtsuit ;)

Divina said...

Carol, no problem I give as good as I get hahahahah!

Jenavira13 said...

LOL, I have never really had a desire to try Le Labo, and now i am cracking up over Raucel's signature, I feel very content with my L de Lolita Lempicka.

waftbyCarol said...

Marc Jacobs Blush and L'Artisan Le Haie Fleurie du Hameau capture honeysuckle for me in that melancholy way...

Divina said...

I am getting the desire to re-try L de Lempicka again Jen! My tastes keep evolving after all. Was thinking of you today: I was at a discounter in Amsterdam and found Brit Red body lotion for about 9 euro. My bottle finished a long time ago and applied some for the tester wistfully. Made me think of you since you also share this love of mine. Now I am aching for a bottle again and have been checking out prices on internet briefly (too tired to do a good search). Initial results give me quite high prices for my economic situation right now (splurged on an Matthew Williamson for H&M jacket today and that was pushing it already!). Maybe next month when I have new money in the bank again! LOL!

Divina said...

Carol! Aaaargh! Why don't I know of Le Haie Fleurie du Hameau?! LOL! I've never seen this one. Not sold here I'm afraid. Hope to explore it when I am in Paris in the summer. Off to google it right now!!!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

I'm not familiar with the line- it's too bad you were underwhelmed but still sounded like a great experience! xo