Pencil Shavings: Le Labo Santal 33
First off, a reminder that Le Labo is supporting Japanese disaster relief by releasing its Tokyo exclusive Gaiac 10 in all of Le Labo stores and online, with all profits going to the Japanese Red Cross.
There is also a new release in Le Labo land: Santal 33.
I admit I do have some issues with Le Labo. The whole mixed-fresh bit is sort of lost on me and the expiration dates I think are just silly. Then there's the maddening idea of the city exclusives, which means that their lovely Aldehyde 44 is in Dallas, where I am almost guaranteed never to set foot. Luckily, the one of that series I like best is the Los Angeles one.
Santal 33 starts out with another hallmark of Le Labo, in that it initially doesn't smell anything of its eponymous ingredient. Instead, I get leather. The Le Labo website has a lot of blather about cowboys and horses and prairie fires and whatnot, but I get more ladies handbag. In a good way mind you, if it's a saddle it's one from Hermes. There's smoke, but it's a Marlboro red, and I swear to god a bit of mint. The drydown is where the titled woods make their appearance and they're very nice. A bit like a pencil, but the nicest pencil you can imagine. Maybe a Hermes pencil to go in your Hermes agenda.
I guess that I'm saying is that it's a lot smoother and elegant than the rough-and-tumble description would lead you to believe. If you really want the hot cowboy and his campfire then I would go for Lonestar Memories. If you want a hot guy named Pierre in designer chaps, then go for this one. There's room in my life for both..
$50 for 1/2 ounces, $145 for 1.7 ounces and $220 for 3.4 ounces at Le Labo boutiques and at Barneys. My sample was from Barneys.