Le Labo: Perfumery with Craftsmanship, Soul and Irreverence
For those of us who view perfume as an intimate expression of who we are or aspire to be, Le Labo perfumery delivers artistry and originality in a simple, personalized bottle. Read on for the reasons we adore them.
More Craft, Less Pretention
A Le Labo perfume comes in a simple bottle (that can be reused when you repurchase) and is named after the note used in the highest concentration and the total number of ingredients. Its cost is directly related to its craftsmanship and quality: the time it takes for a renowned perfumer to develop a new composition; the cost of natural oils and raw materials that are harvested by hand or purchased in small batches; and a commitment to hand-make perfumes in their own lab (le labo).
A Bottle with Your Name on It
If you know yourself to be an original, ready to play with and defy expectations, Le Labo offers exquisite detours from the beaten path. Rose 31 is not your grandmother’s rose; it is spicy, woodsy and mysterious. Patchouli 24 leads with smoky wood and leather, balanced by an unexpected hint of creamy vanilla. Once you’ve found the scent that suits and inspires you, its preparation is also a more intimate experience. Whether your perfect Le Labo scent is Santal 33, Lys 41, Ylang 49 or any other of their other compositions, a Le Labo perfume is not compounded and bottled (and labeled with your name) until you order it in the store or online.
A Little Proust and a Little Attitude
Le Labo is like the ideal cocktail party guest: sophisticated, quotably blunt (“We believe it is more humane to test cosmetics on New Yorkers than on animals.”) and a fantastic conversationalist. Their “Proust Questionnaire," which promises that one of the founders will email you back with recommended scents to “match your being,” asks evocative questions like: “What is your strongest olfactive memory?” and “If not yourself, who would you be?”
Time to Smell the Roses
One of Le Labo’s tenets is “We believe we/you should put away our modern tools and take the time to smell the roses along the way.” In fact, Le Labo has come up with an inspired way to encourage just that. In addition to the perfumes they make available worldwide, Le Labo sells nine special scents, inspired by the cities around the world where they have shops (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Paris, London, Tokyo, Moscow and Dubai). These exclusives can only be purchased in person from the Le Labo boutique that inspired them, meaning that to own them, we have to step away from our laptops and experience the sights, smells and sounds of the world around us. Bravo, Le Labo.
If you’d like to make acquiring each of Le Labo’s city exclusives one of your #travelgoals, The James is a very conveniently located home base for the New York and Chicago legs of your journey. Our Soho location is less than a mile from Le Labo’s Nolita boutique and our Chicago location is just half a mile from Barneys, Le Labo’s partner in Chicago.
Photo Credit: LeLaboFragrances.com