Le Labo is a relatively new niche perfumery in New York City. Last week I posted some background on Le Labo along with a list of their fragrances, and today I am wearing one of the offerings for men, Rose 31, by perfumer Daphne Bugey. The fragrance notes are Grasse rose, cumin, pepper, clove, nutmeg, olibanum, cedar, amber, gaïac wood, oudh wood, cistus, vetiver and animalic notes.
Rose 31 is one of my early favorites of the Le Labo line. The list of notes include cumin, so I was fully prepared to hate it (and for that matter, I was prepared to remove it quickly if necessary); instead, I was charmed. It starts with light citrus and strong, dusty spices, and for anyone who is as cumin-phobic as I am, I will say that the cumin is quite noticeable, but the effect is buffered by the other spices — I guessed coriander and maybe cardamom, but as you can see from the notes above I was quite off — and it did not, as cumin often does, remind me of sweat.
The rose itself is subdued, and I tend to notice it more from a distance, especially after the fragrance dries down. Up close, Rose 31 is all deep, dry woods with earthy undertones and soft spices. It has a slight medicinal edge in the early stages, perhaps from the oudh, but that calms nicely. It is a dark scent, more warm than cool, but it is not particularly heavy, and I find it only mildly animalic. It is not too masculine for a woman to wear, but there is nothing at all feminine about it, and certainly it is more likely to appeal to someone who likes spicy woods scents than someone who is looking for a rose soliflore.
Like the other Le Labo fragrances, Rose 31 is an Eau de Parfum, and the lasting power is excellent. The line is priced for the niche market: a travel spray (15 ml) runs $45, a 50 ml bottle is $115. Sizes of up to one liter are available, as are solid fragrances, body lotions, bath oils and home fragrances.
For buying information, see the listing for Le Labo under Perfume Houses.
Tomorrow: Le Labo Bergamote 22