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Monday, December 01, 2008

Sweater Girl...Le Labo Musc 25

By Tom

About eight months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Fabrice Penot, one of the creators of the whole Le Labo concept. He then told me that he was working on an LA specific scent, and I contributed my two cents about things he could do to get a taste of LA. In the article in this past weekends LA Times, he mentioned attending Elton John's Oscar party as having been part of the inspiration by what he calls "angelic whiteness with a dark core of sin".

They succeeded in a way that far outstrips my hopes.

Reading the formula (aldehydes, civet, muscone) you would be forgiven for thinking that it's something along the lines of the Dallas exclusive, Aldehyde 44. Musc 25 opens if possible more sparkly and decidedly less creamy than the Dallas scent. The super-sparkly dry opening is joined by a faint rosiness, a whisper of vetiver and although it's not listed, I smell a bare touch of citrus. Angora-soft musk comes in fairly early and stays strong but sly, with enough powder to keep it on the lady-like side.

There's also what the Le Labo people call "ingredient X"- mentioned in The August Times as "a synthesized representation of human semen". I smelled the raw material and, well it does a bit. For those of you were put off by Etat Libre's godawful secretions fear not: it's a hint, and when mixed with the ambergris, smoke and a hint of eucalyptus (also not listed) becomes a "did she or didn't she" hint of sexy bare skin that's gloriously besmirched. It's an ingenue whose lipstick has been kissed off and she's reapplying, humming to herself, her Kool burning away in the ashtray.

Or is it the scent of her driving home through the canyons? I was wearing this driving along Mulholland and had the startling scent mimicry of the exact smell of the trees and the late day air coming off my arm as well as into my open window. Bravo!

While completely modern, the only image I can conjure that perfectly encapsulates it is of a young Lana Turner: Icy white-blond beauty, dark eyes and a darker heart.

Musc 25 is $260 for 50ML and $400 for 100ML. Being a 25% concentration I think that's fair. What's less fair is that it's only available at the Le Labo store on 3rd Street in Los Angeles. Luckily for me that's just a hair over a mile from my hovel, so I can drop in and spritz. If you're in LA, you should make a point of doing so too.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Tom, I'm still quite scared by the "synthesized representation of human semen" !(what a prude European I am...)

3:06 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being totally off aldehydes these days, I thought I dodged a bullet when I heard that Musc 25 was aldehydic. After reading your review, I think I may have a bull's-eye on my back. I'll just have to come to LA to settle this once and for all.

9:15 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Yumm...."a synthesized representation of human semen". That and the Kool's...I used to smoke those:)
Having been a highly innapropriate socialite during my notorious youth I'm already completely intrigued!
Thanks for waking me up this morning Tom:) However, my mother probably rolled over in her grave at the remembrance:)

9:30 AM EST  
Blogger Alyssa said...

Oh, Beth. I wish I had your youth to be nostalgic about.

But I am not scared of Note X, not one bit. Especially when mixed with ambergris, since ambergris tends to remind me of that anyway, in the best and most glorified kind of way...

And I am pleased for you, Tom, that you are happy with your city scent.

10:38 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think it's scarier in the ad copy than in the scent- it just gives it a hint of John Garfield to the icy white Lana-ness

11:31 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


there's a definite bulls-eye on quite a few peopls back I can think of!

11:32 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


one day I want to hear the stories over a nice Dewars..

11:32 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


thanks! I am very pleased!

11:33 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

That's going to be a long, fun evening!
Sooner to be had then later as I will me in LA this winter and hoping that you will take me shopping ;)

11:50 AM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

I think Le Labo might be the first stop!

12:10 PM EST  
Blogger elle said...

OK, I'm definitely intrigued. And praying to a variety of scent gods that I'm not going to be anosmic to this musk. This sounds like something I might really love if I'm not.

12:21 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I'd love to read how you find it!

12:56 PM EST  
Blogger March said...

Yay yay! You were so looking forward to this. It sounds like absolute perfection. And hey -- better synthesized semen than the genuine article, IMHO.

1:31 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

speak for yourself, toots..

(bah-duhm-puhm! He's here all week folks!)

1:56 PM EST  
Blogger Unknown said...

Want, just want want want

2:18 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

you shall get get get I am sure!

2:39 PM EST  
Blogger March said...

.... in my perfume. ;-P

7:14 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...

You opened the door, I just walked in..

10:29 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom, as soon as I heard what their LA scent would be I thought of you! It sound just fantastic - even with the um, unusual accord... :-D

1:12 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


That accord is kept well down unto the subliminal. It just adds an interesting carnality to it.

8:46 PM EST  

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