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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Le Labo Lands in LA

By Tom

Le Labo has opened a branch of itself on Los Angeles' trendy West 3rd Street at Orlando Avenue. I stopped in and sampled some of the line that I had previously but had been on the fence about including Labdanum 18 and Vetiver 46 (which answered the questions of my previous review- yes, they do lock in the great opening and the fab drydown after sitting for a while- the small bottle of Vetiver I bought is going to sit for at least a week before I try to use it, as the stores testers must have), enjoyed the fragrance "balm"; a silicone-based alcohol-free version of the scents, and chatted with Fabrice Penot, one of the founders. He was nice enough to tell me that Los Angeles will indeed get an exclusive, which he described as "an Angel, with a core of sin".

I wrote him later:


It was very nice to meet you at the Le Labo store in West Hollywood today, and I was thrilled to hear about the direction that you're taking with the LA specific scent. If you don't mind a little pontificating on my part, there are a few things you could do to get a feeling for LA.

I mentioned driving Mulholland at night from Bel-Air to Hollywood.

Have a drink or two at Musso and Franks on Hollywood Boulevard before catching a revival at the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian.

Buy a hot dog at Pink's and brunch at the Hotel Bel-Air

Tour the Gilmore Adobe at the Grove and the Huntington gardens in San Marino

Take a Sunday and drive Sunset Blvd from seedy Silverlake to Simon-pure Pacific Palisades

LA is a bizarre and wonderful place that pretty much didn't exist 100 years ago; unlike most other cities, it's beauty is kept well hidden from casual observation, hidden in the dark canyons or behind walls of bougainvillea, fragrant, with three inch thorns . It's the over-the-top glitz of the Beverly Hills Hotel a short drive away from the site of the Manson murders- the same tour bus will show you both. It's the Paps stalking Britney outside of Kitson, which sells $98 hoodies emblazoned with the image of the homeless man who dances on rollerskates down the block. It's beauty and madness and the knowledge that we all could be wiped off the map by the "big one" at any second. It is as you said, angelic whiteness with a dark core of sin.

I cannot wait to smell what you do with it..

I'll be pawing at the door to try it when it hits in September

Images courtesy of Fabrice Penot.


Blogger lady jane grey said...

Finally, I "experienced" LeLabo last week in London : they have a "booth" now at Liberty. Somehow I'm still annoyed with their mega-marketing with the fridge and fussy labeling, etc. But the "Rose" wasn't rose on my skin at all and I liked that. And I bought their figue candle which I LOVE (I have to admit, after all...)!

3:20 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love how you encapsulate the bizarre and beautiful sprawl of a city in which you live. One day I might well visit to enjoy the madness for a while...

5:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the city, not a city. Duh-brain.

5:17 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you just wrote their advertising copy for this one...

The vetiver is great, isn't it?

8:05 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am so curious to know what they'll come up with after such a wonderfully complex brief.
Been to LA a few times for either work or flight stop-overs, felt there was a soul somewhere but it escaped me and now that you have captured it so well, am longing to return...

8:18 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Agree w/ Billy D - you've written what should be their copy for this scent. Brilliant! Can't wait to see how the scent turns out. Still waiting to see if they'll do one for Raleigh. Taps fingers, contemplates holding breath...wonders how that would look in obit for cause of death...

10:19 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHA!!! Based on your description alone, I'd move to LA in a heartbeat. I hope you don't love their new creation TOO much... Those city exclusives are demanding some serious cash ;) -Anthony

10:57 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I really like their home fragrances as well.

12:38 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


by all means come and enjoy the madness

12:39 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


If I can get a spiff they can have it//

12:40 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


come back!

12:42 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


they might get there!

12:43 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


my fear is that it will be hyper- expensive

12:45 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never met a Le Labo that worked for me, tho I tried, really tried. Thought maybe the Jasmine or the Patchouli, but in the end they didn't quite fit.

LA ... only been once & have to say it didn't quite fit either. Maybe I met the wrong people, went the wrong places. Next time I'll ask someone who loves LA to give tips abt how to find the spirit & soul so I can feel why some people love it so.

1:23 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


there are so many different parts of LA that have such different feel to them it's easy to stay in say Santa Monica and hate it, without knowing that you'd love West Hollywood or Mar Vista

2:02 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, you make ME want to come live in LA! And I am a diehard Northwesterner!

I hope that theie LA exclusive is a knockout - it will be if they follow your advice!

4:33 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Oh dear, for a minute misread that & thought they were going to do something along the lines of TM Angel. No!

I miss Southern California, so could not bring myself to do more than skim the rest of the post -- waaaaahhhh.

5:52 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


from what he told me I hold high hopes!

7:54 PM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...


it's here awaiting you and it doesn't smell like Angel

7:55 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Yay, you're getting your LA Le Labo scent after all! I hope it lives up to your evocative description.

9:04 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...


7:48 AM EDT  

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