Le Labo

Recently, I read about Le Labo’s alluring unisex fragrance, Santal 33. A mixture of sandalwood, cardamom, and musk, it apparently causes people to stop in their tracks and inquire what perfume perfect strangers are wearing. I love sandalwood, cardamom, and musk, so was very curious to try it! After some quick research, I found that Le Labo has a shop in San Francisco, so I could check Santal 33 out in person.


Le Labo offers a Proust Questionnaire online to help you determine your perfect scent. After answering questions such as “What is your chief characteristic?” “What is your favorite color and flower?” and “When and where are you happiest?” you receive a personalized recommendation from one of Le Labo’s founders, emailed to you within 2 business days. I could not resist!


Armed with my personalized list–Patchouli 24 (for its Birchwood and vanilla), Labdanum 18 (for its Tonka beans and musk) and Santal 33 (for its amber base and vetiver)–I drove across the bridge to Fillmore Street.


The shop has a long line of all the scents, allowing one to sample each and every one. I started with the very lightest, and worked my way down the row.


Friends, I did not like my recommendations! Labdanum 18 was my least favorite – I found it too powdery. Patchouli 24 was too smoky, and Santal 33 was not as dark as I expected.

Instead, I fell for Lys 41,

“an overwhelming white floral – a blend of jasmine, tuberose absolute and lily, bewitching in its noble, warm and sunny approach yet treacherous once one is caught in its web of noble woods, vanilla Madagascar and musks,”

and Ylang 49,

“a chypre floral, where Pua Noa Noa (gardenia from Tahiti) completes the floral voluptuousness of ylang ylang… Patchouli, oakmoss, vetiver, sandalwood and benjoin follow to tip the blend into darker sensual undertones… Ylang 49 is a walk in the woods, a lush floral bouquet in your hand, listening to G. Gould’s well-tempered clavier and realizing that a floral composition can go beyond flowers, in the same way a fugue in D minor goes way beyond the D.”

Although it did not smell to me like ylang ylang (which I adore), it did smell like rose and cloves (a combination I also love).

I bought a sample vial of each, along with Santal 33 – just in case. After all, before making a final decision about a perfume, it is important to try it out on your skin!


How about you? What is your current fragrance obsession? Hope you have a great weekend!


To read more adventures, local and otherwise: Follow me on twitter @shespoised or like She’s Poised on Facebook (and select Get Notifications from the drop down menu).

Categories: Beauty

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