Le Labo’s Flower Power
Since it opened its doors in Nolita seven years ago, Le Labo has been something of a paradox in the perfumery industry. In an often mass-marketed business, where new launches are almost mandatory in every quarter, the New York–based atelier only deals in freshly made eaux that are hand-poured at the time of purchase; it also rarely releases new scents. Which is why this month’s debut of not one—but two—flacons should not be taken lightly. “The way we work is that we keep creating, modifying, playing endlessly with formulas until magic hits. This time and after so many years of work, we finally got lucky twice with these two perfumes, which happened to mature at about the same time, creating very different kinds of effects and emotions,” the company’s co-founder, Fabrice Penot, explains of Lys 41 and Ylang 49—”imperfect twins,” as he affectionately refers to the two new floral compositions. The latter, a chypre floral that accentuates its titular ylang-ylang note with a strong undertone of Pua Noa Noa (Tahitian gardenia), patchouli, oak moss, vetiver, and sandalwood has a lush, dark richness, while the former, a white floral, blends jasmine, tuberose absolute, and lily with woods, Madagascar vanilla, and musks for an opulent effect that is likely to elicit a visceral response from anyone who gets in its wake (as we are not jasmine fans, that effect registers as a little overpowering to us, but we respect a fragrance that pushes our olfactory limits). As with all Le Labo creations, best to keep these out of the sun and stored in the refrigerator to preserve potency if you plan on wearing them sparingly. Freshly poured means preservative-free, don’t ya know.