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

Fragrance Bouquet
Posted by Divina

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.

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