A visit to Le Labo in Paris and my sensorial experience this morning

Dear Shaded Viewers,

I spent a magical sensorial morning discovering Le Labo on 203 rue Saint Honore. Le Labo was created in Nolita ,  NYC in 2006 by Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi both had perfume experience but wanted to create something of their own which expressed their passion for perfume and raw materials. Their creations have  a soul are gender fluid and vegan.  Le Labo was eco friendly long before it became a trend, no animal testing here, generic bottles and recycled cardboard packaging so what you end up paying for is the juice. All the raw materials come from Grasse on the French Riviera. They arrive at the store having matured for 4-5 months, why that is important is that normally when you create a perfume it has to mature before you can use it. Each perfume is freshly prepared for you in the shop and since the raw materials have arrived from Grasse matured, once your formula is freshly mixed  you only have to wait, depending on your patience, from 2-3 days to two weeks before you can use it. Once you release the perfume it lasts about two years, not likely that it would be around that long…but at any rate the date that the perfume was  prepared for you is on the label. In the shop there are the 18 classic scents, additional ones are added without any regularity, when they create a new one, it is available. As each location is a fragrance lab you are offered the possibility to smell and touch all the raw materials. Raw material images are above this text.

In addition Le Labo has created a City Exclusive collection of 13  scents based on the cities that they are made for. The 13 cities include Tokyo, Paris, New York, Amsterdam, etc. and normally you can only purchase the City Exclusive collection in the city of their name that means that there are no online sales, no phone orders except once a year from September 1-30 every Labo boutique will sell every city exclusive scent in stores and on line but only for that one month otherwise if you want to try Paris, Tokyo, New York, etc.  then you have to go to Paris or Tokyo or New York or where ever the other 10 locations are in the world.

A line of body, hair, face and grooming products were introduced to the existing line in 2017. In that line  20 different formulas are available in original scents that have nothing to do with the existing eau de parfum. They are all plant based, genderless, cruelty-free just made with the intention to make you feel good while using them. They are crafted in their lab in California.

I tested almost all of the perfumes, each scent has a number after it that indicates how many ingredients are in it. I was undecided between the The Noir 29 , Rose 31, Iris 39, but in the end settled on Patchouli 24 which in fact doesn’t really smell like Patchouli but more like burning wood, with animal and smoky tea notes. If you are still undecided they offer a Discovery Set. So, once you decide on the scent that you want you go to the back of the lovely shop which believes in wabisabi or the beauty of imperfection, you will understand when you see the vintage candles in recycled tin cans that are all hand poured in Mississippi and highly concentrated in oils. The candles can burn between 1-4 hours. Back to the process…first they put the alcohol, then the distilled water, then the matured pure oil. Then it is mixed, poured into your bottle then put on the vortex. Then you have a label which gives the name of your scent, who prepared it, the date it was prepared and your name or a message that you want up to 24 characters. Then it is put in a recycled cardboard box and you are told to be patient for a minimum of 2-3 days or if you can wait…two weeks before you enjoy the scent. I totally enjoyed my visit and I’m sure that you will too.





Diane Pernet

A LEGENDARY FIGURE IN FASHION and a pioneer of blogging, Diane is a respected journalist, critic, curator and talent-hunter based in Paris. During her prolific career, she designed her own successful brand in New York, costume designer, photographer, and filmmaker.