Rose 31 by Daphne Bugey for Le Labo 2006


Post by Jordan River


In Iran, Iraq, The Middle East, Pakistan and India rose perfumes are an essential part of a man’s fragrance wardrobe.

Rose petals used to be crushed and mixed with oil to obtain a strong perfume which was labour intensive and therefore not easily mass-produced. Harun al-Rashid,  of A Thousand and One Nights fame, sent Charlemagne several gifts of non-distilled rose perfumes, along with the white elephant Abul Abbas, to his court in Aachen (modern-day Germany). The gifts of Charlemagne to Harun al-Rashid were woven woolen garments from Flanders and German hunting dogs.

About 200 years later, a Persian man, born in Bukhara (modern-day Uzbekistan near Afghanistan), called Ibn Sina, perfected the steam distillation of essential oils from plants when he distilled rose petals into a wearable fragrance which could be made in great quantities.

Rose Oil DistillationA distillation plant in Damascus consisting of multiple units for producing rose water – 13th century manuscript

Ibn Sina
Hakim (Doctor/Chemist/Alchemist) Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā, known as Avicenna in the west, took the most beloved flower of Islam, the rose, and made a fragrance which was eagerly worn by men as Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, encouraged the use of perfume ‘if it is available’ as part of the preparation for Friday prayer.

Rose 31 by Le Labo

Rose 31 FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rose, caraway
Heart: Rose, vetiver, cedar
Base: Musk, guaiac wood, olibanum, labdanum, agarwood (oud)

Le Labo gives these featured accords in one line:
Grasse rose, cumin, pepper, clove, nutmeg, ginger, frankincense, cedar, amber, gaiacwood, oud, cistus, vetiver, animalic notes, ISO e-super and 16 unrevealed notes

Le Labo’s Rose 31, so named because it has 31 ingredients, is a modern rose using cumin to create a human scent among the other ingredients. Cumin in perfumery smells like a hint of fresh healthy sweat and when combined with rose is sensual. The warmth of this fragrance comes from ginger which is spiced up with pepper, clove, nutmeg and caraway. You will not smell like a spice rack or a kitchen as the essentials oils blend into a strong masculine scent-wall which is overgrown with Grasse roses and vetiver grass. Overlooking the wall are strong cedars, frankincense bushes and an agarwood tree which further enhance the masculine appeal of this scent.

Rose 31 Frankincense Tree WikiMedia Frankincense Tree Photo Stolen WikiMedia

This was my favourite and only rose scent until I discovered Mohur by Neela Vermeire Creations. Rose 31 is a great everyday fragrance for men. Mohur is more a special occasion scent, although I find that spritzing Mohur as a sleep scent brings the sweetest dreams.
Nathan Branch recommends wearing this with jeans and t-shirt, or a black tux
Mary P Brown from Texas thinks that Rose 31 is like a hot rose conservatory full of sweaty men – but in the nicest possible way
Lucky Scent describes a rose for men destined to be stolen by women

Bottles are mixed on the spot if you happen upon a Le Labo store. Online orders are also freshly blended at the time of order. Rose 31 has become so popular that it is also available as a laundry detergent, a great way to wash 32 loads of your keffiyeh, khameez, khurtas or business shirts.

Further Reading
In-depth analysis – Kafka’s review
Le Labo store – includes alcohol-free options
Le Labo – travel spray

Options & Prices
Sample $US6
Travel Spray $US135
Oil Dropper $US120 – no alcohol
Perfuming Balm $US80 – no alcohol
Massage and Bath Perfuming Oil $US65 – no alcohol
Laundry Detergent $US45 – plant based and biodegradable

15ml $US58
50ml $US145
100ml $US220
500ml $US700

Jordan River

Jordan River

Vetyver 46 by Mark Buxton for Le Labo 2006


Post by Michael


A couple of years ago a decided to try the Le Labo line. None really jumped out and grabbed me and I decided the Le Labo vibe just wasn’t for me. Then, only a few months ago, I found myself craving….

Vetyver 46 by Le Labo 2006

Vetyver 46 Le Labo FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Tahitian vetiver, labdanum, pepper, guaiac wood, cedar, olibanum, amber, bergamot, vanilla and cloves.

The reason I enjoy this fragrance so much is that it’s beautifully balanced. Cedar is a note that I often have trouble with. It can be too “scratchy”, too harsh, too much like pencil shavings. And then, adding pepper to the mix!? Yet these notes are treated with a deft touch and balanced perfectly with the vetiver, labdanum and olibanum. These are what I get though most of the life of Vetyver 46 by Le Labo. They weave together with not one part or nor another standing out too much – always moderately woody, moderately smoky….always in moderation. The fragrance feels full and alive.

Vetiver vetiver.orgPhoto Stolen

The vanilla is always there too, hiding in the base, and becomes more apparent as the fragrance dries down and makes the drydown wonderfully cosy. I remember the first time I wore this fragrance. I was away for work and after a long day I finally made it back to the hotel room. As I climbed into bed and tucked my arm under the pillow to fall asleep I noticed the wonderfully mellow and calming drydown of Vetiver 46. I suppose I should have known back then, that this was going to be a keeper.

Vetiver 46’s sillage is moderate and its longevity strong.

Vetyver 46 Le Labo CedarHillLongHouseArt Thompson Photo Stolen CedarHillLongHouse

Further reading: PerfumeSmellin’Things and TheNonBlonde
Le Labo has an eStore landing page (that delivers to most of the world) starting at 45€/15ml
SurrenderToChance starts at $4/ml

Have there been fragrances that you’ve dismissed only to crave a long time later?
Arabie is another of mine, but I’d love to hear about yours.

Until next time

Aldehyde 44 by Yann Vasnier for Le Labo 2006


Guest Post by Madeleine


Aldehyde 44 by Yann Vasnier for Le Labo 2006

Hello fellow perfume lovers!
I hope you are well and have had a terrifically fragrant time since my last post. Today I want to share my thoughts on Le Labo’s Aldehyde 44. Aldehyde 44 is part of Le Labo’s city exclusives range and is only sold at Barney’s in Dallas, Texas. However, news came out late last month that since the Dallas Barney’s is closing, the fragrance is to be officially discontinued as of March 31.
I find this sad news as this is such a unique and exciting fragrance. The perfume has conjured up so many images and feelings in my mind that, news of its discontinuation aside, I felt compelled to write about it.
Unlike some of the Le Labo offerings, Aldehyde 44 stays true to its name, and if you don’t like aldehydes, this is one to stay clear of. But if you love aldehydes, get your hands on some of this juice before it disappears completely.
Aldehyde 44 Le Labo for women and men
Photo stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Aldehyde, musk, jasmine, tuberose, woodsy notes, narcissus, neroli, vanilla and ambrette (musk mallow)
In contrast to other aldehyde-rich fragrances, such as Chanel no 5, Baghari by Robert Piguet or Serge Lutens La Myrrhe, the aldehydes here aren’t tempered by any floral notes on first whiff. These are aldehydes pure and clear. The effect is more effervescent and glowing than the sparkly, champagne-like effect in the aforementioned fragrances.

The opening is sharp and bright, bringing to mind the effect of dropping an alka seltzer in water and that searing nostril effect you get from the fizzing lozenge as it dissolves.  Images also come to mind of the heat mirages over searing bitumen roads in the outback or the white light-type effect one experiences when entering the bright sunshine on a hot summer’s day from a darkened room: retina piercing, hot, clean and white.

In fact, Aldehyde 44 for me is a story of white. I wore it one weekend recently when Mr M and I went to see a Neo Impressionist exhibition in Melbourne. The Neo Impressionists technique of pure colour juxtaposition and pointillism in their works gave the white on the canvas a distinct luminosity and enhanced optical brightness. The feeling of this perfume on skin is much the same.
All this may make Aldehyde 44 sound a bit quirky, but the fragrance is still supremely elegant. The soft white florals give depth to the composition and add to its overall radiance. The jasmine, tuberose and neroli are so well blended here that it is hard to identify individual notes, but their subtle nuances add a smoother, gentler sensation, akin to that of silk on skin. The drydown is all about musk which rounds out the overall clean glowing feel.
MoschinoAndreCourregesss IntoTheFashion…jpgCourrèges/Moschino Photo Stolen IntoTheFashion
If Chanel No 5 and other aldehyde perfumes speak of the classical elegance of a well-cut black suit or the nipped-in waist of the post- World War Two era, then Aldehyde 44 is all about the modern, fresh take of 1960’s fashion. When wearing it, I’ve been reminded of the Courreges fashion line and its bold, futuristic elegance. The house was all about geometric shapes, new materials such as PVC and rubber, miniskirts and also, a little white dress.
Aldehyde 44 is the perfect olfactory equivalent.
Due to its discontinuation, Luckyscent has Aldehyde 44 stocked until the end of March, starting at US$290/50ml.
Surrender to Chance starts at US$4.99 for 1/2ml.
Have you tried Aldehyde 44? What are your favourites from the Le Labo line?
Until next time!
M x