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Le Labo

2017 Summer Favorites

in Reviews/Thoughts by

When it comes to wearing fragrance, summer is my favorite season. Maybe it is my taste, or the fact that I live in a hot, dry climate, but when I am out in public under the blazing sun, I’d much, MUCH rather smell summer fragrances. On those days, sweet scents can smell too sticky and gross, and spicy scents can smell like cumin-tinged sweat in the heat. But those summery citruses and florals, oh my… THOSE can be beautiful. Here are some favorites that I’ve been enjoying in Summer 2017: KEEP ON READING

The Smell of Learning: Byredo Bibliothèque & Other Stories

in Lists/Thoughts by

 

Like most people, I love the smell of books. But my search for that book smell in perfume form has proved a problematic and often frustrating one.

Part of the challenge has been figuring out what it is that I want, exactly. Do I want to smell literally like a book? No, as it turns out, I don’t. Perfumes that smell literally like paper or ink are too on-the-nose for me. The best perfumes are those that bring you only 50% of the way, like those mood rings that require body heat for activation. A perfume that does all the heavy lifting for my imagination is no fun at all. KEEP ON READING

Smoke, Woods, & Resins: Top 15 for Fall/Winter

in Lists/Reviews by

 

2016 has been a bad year for celebrity deaths and an even worse one for celebrity presidential elections, so I’ve found myself craving and wearing mostly woody, resinous perfumes that perform like one long howling basenote, working my tired neck muscles like a Russian massage therapist. This year, no roses, no leathers, and no ambers – just a long line of calming, resinous woods that make me feel like I’ve slipped into the Nirvana of a silent forest, isolated from all the problems of the world around me. KEEP ON READING

Singular Summer Soliflores

in Reviews by

Confession: I don’t actually like soliflores. I mean, I don’t like to wear them. I like sniffing them from a sample and I consider them useful to have around as a reference, but wearing them simply wears me down. Soliflores say one thing, and one thing only. I admire the single-mindedness of their message, but as the day goes on, it grates. Flowers must be part of a more complex composition for me to wear them.

I will say this, though, and my apologies if this sounds like a contradiction – there is nothing like a good soliflore to move me to tears. The smell of a Bourbon rose, a tuberose bloom, or newly opened jasmine flowers are so astoundingly beautiful in nature that any successful attempt at recreating their smell in perfume has a similar effect on my senses and emotions. KEEP ON READING

Tea Fragrances for Men and Women

in Thoughts by

I love tea. Whether it is the artisanal blends, supermarket tea bags, or fancy Mariage-Frères sachets, I adore the delicate fragrances of tea and teahouses. Unfortunately, though lots of perfumes in the niche market are considered “tea” fragrances, only a few actually smell like tea or evoke any sort of associations with the drink. Here are my picks for the best of the tea (and tea-like) fragrances that can be worn by both men and women:

Tea fragrances:

By Kilian Imperial Tea: This is the most authentic of the tea fragrances. To me this smells like a high quality Chinese jasmine tea. It wears well, is extremely refreshing, and unisex when worn on the skin. Imperial? Not quite. But it’s certainly Tea. KEEP ON READING

Comme des Garcons Black: Home Fires Burning

in Reviews by
Reaching through the smoke images – Photography images

I left Ireland for Bosnia when I was 22, without so much as a backwards glance. Over the following 16 years when people asked me if I missed home, I would always be startled and say yes – automatically – but it wasn’t quite true. I just never thought of home as being anywhere other than wherever I was right then.

I never realized that the gene for “home” was carried deep within my DNA until one dark night when I stepped out of a snow-stalled car into the deserted crossroads of a tiny village in Bosnia and was hit in the solar plexus by a waft of smoke from a coal fire. KEEP ON READING

Creed’s Royal Mayfair: Nobility, Bottled

in Reviews/Thoughts by

Finally, due to popular demand, Creed has released a new version of Windsor that will be included in their permanent collection. Unfortunately for many, distribution is extremely limited at the moment due to exclusivity arrangements. It’s still difficult to obtain samples, but yours truly has managed to obtain a few samples in order to offer impressions for FragranceDaily. I have now thoroughly tested the fragrance and bring this review to you, dear readers. Enjoy!

“Top note: British Gin, Jamaican Lime and a touch of Scottish Highland Pine
Middle note: Fragrant Duke of Windsor Roses
Base note: Bahamian Orange, Canadian Cedar and Australian Eucalyptus” KEEP ON READING

Let’s Go to the Beach!

in Reviews by

It’s hot outside, summer is here with all the features: sunshine and high temperatures making everybody wanting something to feel cooler even for a few minutes. This is the perfect time for daydreaming about vacation , I’m counting the days until I’ll reach the beach and dip in the sea.

From the perspective of a perfume lover I will not stop today at summer fresh, citrus fragrances neither at the aquatic, sea breeze perfumes like Aria di Mare or Acqua di Sale but I would like to share with you my favorite scents reminding me the beach. All these beachy scents with their big flowers like gardenia, tuberose, tiare or ylang , hints of coconut and juicy fruits have in common the suntan lotion vibe, bringing instantly the smell of vacation. They are sweet, some of them even gourmand, having usually in the base notes amber or vanilla with musk as a memento of  the suntanned skin, saturated of course with bronzing lotions and creams. KEEP ON READING

From Bedroom to Nursery: Three Maurice Roucel Musks

in Reviews by

 

Something Can Be Sympathy by Simon & His Camera Simon & His Camera / Foter / CC BY-ND

Musc Ravageur is a big ole sex musk with a leer on its face. Luca Turin says it’s more flashy than good, and I’d agree, but then again, I don’t think Musc Ravageur takes itself all that seriously to begin with. It’s a musk with bedroom eyes and an Adam’s apple.

The more I wear it, the more I think of it as the male equivalent of Shalimar.  It’s a big-boned oriental at heart, a crude, deconstructed version of the older versions of Shalimar extrait – all rude body musks, thick vanilla, and butter-like tonka. Objectionably rich, and quite pungent in parts. KEEP ON READING

Duchaufour’s Recent Roses: Ann Gerard Rose Cut & L’Artisan Parfumeur Rose Privee

in Reviews by
Flowers & Trees
Withered Peach Rose

I’ve been fascinated by rose scents ever since I started to wear perfume. Therefore you may find various rose fragrances in my perfume cabinet. From the bold and beautiful Frederic Malle Une Rose, the potpourri rose Jo Malone Red Roses and to the memorable woody rose Le Labo Rose 31. However, there isn’t a certain type of rose scent that I am particularly fond of. I can only say potpourri kind of rose is my least favorite.

I am also a fan of the great perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour; not only are his creations all over the niche market today but they always come with surprises. The reviews are on two of his recent creations on roses that I find most interesting and full bottle worthy. The first one is Rose Cut by Ann Gerard. The name Rose Cut refers to an ancient diamond cutting technique that lends the stone a soft radiance. The notes includes: Aldehyde, rum, pink pepper, rose, peony, patchouli, vanilla, oakmoss, benzoin. KEEP ON READING

Here Comes the Sun: Ambre Nuit, Eau du Sud, and Eau Mer

in Reviews/Thoughts by
End Of The World - Dungeness Simon & His Camera / Foter / CC BY-ND

Ambre Nuit by Dior Privee

It’s no rarity in the niche world to have a fragrance name at odds with its contents. Le Labo is legendary for that, as both Rose 31 and Ylang 49 can attest to. Patricia de Nicolai’s recent Amber Oud was patently devoid of either amber or oud. And to many who have worn Ambre Nuit by Dior Privee, the same brush applies: where the hell is the amber?  Well, it’s there, friends, you just have to be patient, and perhaps shift expectations of what an ‘amber’ fragrance is. KEEP ON READING

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