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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

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!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about layering Piper Nigrum with Poivre Piquant ?

12:04 AM EST  
Blogger Esri Rose said...

I love pepper in a perfume.

Hey, I bought Asja by Fendi (because of your description), and it's GREAT, but I don't know how to pronounce it. Anyone? Is the first 'A' like:

Asner, Ed

And is the final syllable 'Yah' or 'Jah'?

1:41 PM EST  
Blogger violetnoir said...

Great minds think alike, again, M! I am wearing Poivre 23 today, and have ordered more of it, I love it so much. Your description is right on! I love the idea of a pepper ice cream. :)


1:48 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may not believe me but my pulse just quickened, I felt my heart do a jiggle, and felt the warm feeling in my stomach of fragrance excitement I get when something sounds fantastic to me. I am a huge fan of contrasting textures and accords and this sounds SO FANTASTIC in that regard. Peppery ice cream? Incense? Patchouli? You have just dialed my number! Thanks for this delightful review! I will have to order a sample of this ASAP!

1:53 PM EST  
Blogger elle said...

I am going to have to watch for more scents from Nathalie Lorson - I adore Encre Noir, very much enjoy Peut-Etre and Poivre 23 is truly a superb pepper scent. My one wish is that it would be in their main line and not a city exclusive scent. :-(

2:38 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Perfumed Court has decants of Poivre 23.

4:15 PM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

Wow, probably not my style but it sounds great! I do love Poivre by Caron but I have not smelled enough of any other pepper scents to know the diffferences between them. Pepper ice cream I can do though!

1:26 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has certainly gotten a lot of love on the blogs lately, and sounds delicious... but I don't want to like it because I could never afford more than a teensy sample! I may cave in and buy 1ml though. Nice review.

3:44 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I hate, hate, hate that I can't get this..

In this economy? Really? Grrrrr....

12:40 AM EDT  

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