Perfume Review: Le Labo Poivre 23
Poivre 23 is somewhat of a standout in Le Labo line in that, unlike quite a few of their scents (looking at you first and foremost, Tubereuse 40 and Patchouli 24) it does prominently and obvisouly feature the title note declared in the name. It was created by Nathalie Lorson, who is also the author of Lalique's sublime Encre Noir, so we know that she can do wonders with earthy-balsamic notes (she is also the nose behind another of my favorites, Lancôme's dainty Peut-Être, which is...nothing at all like Poivre 23 or Encre Noir, but I digress).
The beginning of Poivre 23 is at once creamy, spicy and mentholated. The contrast of piquant coldness and sweet creaminess is incredibly attractive to me. When I smell Poivre 23 in the first stages of its development, I think of pepper ice-cream served on a sandalwood plate...with incense burning softly in the background. After the ice-cream is gone, we are left with wood and incense, and with a lingering and very pleasant peppery aftertaste. In the base of Poivre 23, patchouli is fairly pronounced, and of course patchouli goes so well with incense and pepper. I couldn't help but compare the new Le Labo to two other of my peppery favorites, Poivre Piquant and Piper Nigrum. Poivre 23 is less sweet and less creamy than Poivre Piquant and much less mentholated than Piper Nigrum. It seems more resinous and overall "darker" than both. As a fan of pepper note rendered in a non-sharp way and a fan of spicy-creamy contrast, I need all three.
Poivre 23 is Le Labo's exclusive to Liberty London. Lucky Londoners!