August 23 2014

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Liberté, Egalité, Perfumerie


Le Labo is expanding its freshly poured perfume concept. In May, the brand’s co-founder Fabrice Penot teamed up with Strange Invisible Perfumes’ Alexandra Balahoutis to open the “perfume commune,” a.k.a. the Abbot Kinney Boulevard compound the two now share in Venice, California, where their brands and their collective belief that perfumes should be hand-blended and bottled in-house coexist in fragrant harmony. Now comes news that Penot has unveiled his seventh outpost. “The perfume revolution is spreading,” he jokes, referring to the fact that his new shop in Paris’ Saint Germain neighborhood makes Le Labo the alternative perfume brand with the most standalone stores in the world (other cities lucky enough to lay claim to one of its retail destinations include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, and Tokyo). As to why Penot, a French-born New Yorker, decided to finally give the City of Light’s citizens what they want, he was quick to quote Audrey Hepburn. “Because Paris is always a good idea.” Selecting Saint Germain for his 600-square-foot atelier was a similar no-brainer. “It used to be the art and literature area, before fashion stores took over,” he says of the idyllic area on Paris’ Left Bank. “And it’s perfect because our counter at Colette is on the Right Bank.” Being bicoastal—never a bad thing.

Le Labo, 6 Rue de Bourbon-le-Chateau, Paris,

Photo: Courtesy of Le Labo