Le Labo has landed! …
There’s not much good news around at the moment, so we’ll take what we can get. And perfume-lovers will be delighted to hear that Le Labo has finally arrived in Ireland – you can now buy the full range from Brown Thomas online.
This New York brand has been around for some 15 years now, and has been a slow-burner. Now owned by Estée Lauder, it’s inevitably come a long way from the small “artisan” brand you could only find at Liberty in London. Back then, I was always drawn to its cool minimal aesthetic and the sheer beauty of Jasmin 18, which remains my favourite, even in the face of stiff competition from fragrances such as Baie 19, inspired by the smell of earth after rain, with gorgeous juniper and patchouli notes; and Santal 33, the one that everyone else loves – and not surprisingly, with its gorgeous blend of smoky woods, cardamom, iris and violet. I wrote about my long obsession with Le Labo here.
Le Labo has been quietly available at Dublin airport for some time now, but since that’s no use to us at the moment, we’re glad to see it online. We did have to double-take at the prices, though – a year ago you’d get 100ml for €157 at the airport; now you’re looking at €237 (though I’ve found it for €222 at other online retailers); or €158 for 50ml. This is quite a jump from the UK price of £189stg for 100ml.
Le Labo are especially good on travel options – which we hope will become useful to us in the near future: a trio of 10ml refills for travelling is €141. The Another 13 kit is particularly smart (€141,10ml perfume and metal travel tube). The range has expanded to include everything from face lotion to shampoo, soap and shower gel, all perfectly unisex both in scent and presentation. The gorgeous leafy Hinoki shower gel (€24) and the lip balm (€14) are the most affordable items.
I keep coming back to the Jasmin, though. We all have our scent weaknesses, the ones we can’t get over, whether for their sheer inherent beauty or for their moment in time. Created by Maurice Roucel, the perfumer behind the equally memorable Musc Ravageur for Frederic Malle, Jasmin 17 has the same seductive qualities, to my nose – never cloying or overly sweet, it has a haunting, cool green and smoky beauty that is timeless. And at the moment, a perfume that can transport me back to the hectic streets of London in the late 1990s – or indeed past the corner shop – well, that’s priceless.
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