Taxonomy of Scent
DECONSTRUCTING AN ICONIC PERFUMER
Co-founded by Fabrice Penot and Edouard Roschi, New York based perfumer Le Labo successfully grew from a niche label in 2006 to being located in 26 different countries worldwide today with a fierce and loyal following. The brand Le Labo, French for ‘the lab’, was an early adopter to the hallmark of minimalism we have come to synonymously know today. On each of its signature bottles, the label and its line of bespoke scents are created on-site and personalised with the customer’s name.
Each scent is distinguished by its highest concentrated essence, followed by the number of ingredients used to make it. Their intention was to completely remove any pre-conceived notions or bias attached with names. Instead, opting to not explain any fragrance but to let the scent do the proverbial talking. An irreverent practice against the traditional norms of fragrance marketing, one which has since served brilliantly for the brand.
In all of their boutique ‘labs’, there are no existing stock. Under the direction of Penot and Roschi, each store instead has a ‘lab technician’ that combines and blends the necessary ingredients on demand. Freshly pouring them into clear glass bottles, and neatly wrapping them in minimal eco-friendly brown boxes with customised labels for its base of discerning customers.
The brand’s manifesto is clear as it is simple, they believe in the pursuit of less is more. Launching initially with only ten fragrances in 2006, Le Labo have slowly released only a handful of new scents since, with each release supported strictly with soulful intent. There are now seventeen original perfume blends and a second collection of eleven “city exclusives” scents that can only be found in certain cities around the world.
As a long time follower of Santal 33 in their original series, they recently introduced me to their city exclusives series with a bottle to try. I’ve since fallen in love with Tubereuse 40 (a New York city exclusive) and will continue to appreciate Le Labo for what it represents, the epitome of minimal luxury with a soul for artful fragrances.