3 perfumes: Le Labo Another 13, Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia, Lust by Gorilla Perfume

Three perfumes — Le Labo Another 13, Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia and Lust by Gorilla Perfume at Lush — in search of a theme. Sorry folks, we have no theme.

Le Labo Another 13

Le Labo Another 13

Le Labo's new Another 13, their limited edition fragrance with AnOther magazine, is one of several recent ambrox-heavy1 scents. Unlike Juliette Has A Gun's Not A Perfume, this one is actually a perfume, that is, someone (in this case, perfumer Nathalie Lorson) took the time to mix the ambrox with other notes (in this case, apple, pear, green citrus and ambrette).

Anyone remember Escentric 02 by Escentric Molecules? That was another ambrox vehicle, and despite the completely different notes (it featured vetiver, muscone, orris, elderflower extract and hedione), they're not as different as they sound. Maybe anything with lots of ambrox is going to end up smelling mostly like ambrox? Mind you, they're far from identical. The Escentric 02 is brighter in the opening, and softer and earthier in the dry down. The Another 13 seems more linear — it mostly smells like ambrox and wood — and frankly, it's loud. Whether or not you'll find it loud in a good way or a bad way depends on your taste. Le Labo, in the ad copy, described an "animal quality that hurts so good"; Stylecaster's reviewer noted that...

We're a little weary of its "animal quality" notes...

Well, there's animalic and then there's animalic. Ambrox does not smell nearly as animalic to me as vintage perfumes with real ambergris. Still, Another 13 is satisfyingly dirty, and although I find the Escentric 02 easier to wear, they both strike me as sexy. The Another 13, though, has the feel of a set piece, and I can see why you might weary of it. I wouldn't mind having a bottle — it's just sort of fun, and I bet it would be good for layering — but I can't imagine wearing it very frequently.

Le Labo Another 13 is a limited edition run of 500 bottles. It will be available at Colette, Le Labo, Barney's and Liberty.

Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia

Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia

I don't love pear or freesia — at least, not in perfume — so I did not expect to love Jo Malone's new English Pear & Freesia. In fact, I mostly expected to hate it. I thought it would smell like shampoo, and not a shampoo I wanted to use. As it turns out, it surprised me: it doesn't really smell like shampoo, and it doesn't have enough personality to have any strong feelings about it either way.

English Pear & Freesia smells like they started with the shampoo, but wanted to darken it up for fall. The obvious suspects for such a job, amber and patchouli, were too dirty, so they cleaned them up as much as you possibly can without being accused of false advertising, and then added a dollop of rose plus some of that laundry detergent musk that I nearly never like. The result is darkish — not dark, mind you, just darkish — but as resolutely clean as you can get while still accomplishing the idea of darkish. It's crisp in the opening, then it's flat and sort of faceless, then it floats away into nothingness. I kept forgetting I was wearing it at all. I probably would have preferred the shampoo.

The reviews at MakeupAlley are largely positive, so pay me no mind and give it a try.

Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia was developed by perfumer Christine Nagel; the notes include pear, freesia, rose, patchouli, amber and white musk. It is available in 30 and 100 ml Cologne Spray.

Lust by Gorilla Perfume at Lush

Lust by Gorilla Perfume at Lush

If you really, really, REALLY like jasmine — as in, Serge Lutens A La Nuit strikes you as a jasmine for sissies — you could always try Norma Kamali's Jazmin or Bruno Acampora's Jasmin. If both of those are about the right amount of jasmine, but they're just not sweet enough for you, you need Lust, from the Gorilla Perfume at Lush line. Lush calls it an "unashamedly carnal jasmine", and maybe it is — it is STRONG, that is for sure. But it's also way too sweet for me, and I wish they'd toned it down a notch, or made the base darker and woodier to compensate. Applied VERY lightly (I'm yelling a lot in this one, aren't I?), by spraying the air about an inch above my arm, I find it pleasant, otherwise, I'm overwhelmed by SWEET.

It really does calm as it dries down. Unfortunately, as it calms, the jasmine fades but the sweetness doesn't. It starts as jasmine candy, indolic and slightly fizzy, and ends as more of a mixed-floral candy, a bit more vanillic, a bit less indolic. It isn't really my cup of tea but I had fun wearing it.

Please note that I tried Lust in the 10 ml spray, which according to Lush is lighter in concentration than the 30 ml spray (15% instead of 20%). Perhaps what I need is the solid (10% concentration).

Lust by Gorilla Perfume at Lush has notes of ylang ylang, rose, vanilla and sandalwood; it's available in 10 or 30 ml, or in a twist-up solid.

 

1. You can find a description of the smell of ambrox in the review of Escentric Molecules' Molecule 02 (scroll down).

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84 Comments

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  1. mals86 says:

    Well. My personal lemming-ometer is firmly set at zero. Ambrox? No thanks. Shampoo? Got it covered. Jasmine? Not a favorite.

    That was easy. Thanks, Robin. And you’re right, no theme.

  2. AnnS says:

    Thanks for the mini reviews. They are helpful – not everything deserves a big one. So much spaghetti not sticking to the wall.

  3. Dolly2 says:

    I do like jasmine, but not in the really, really way. Carnation on the other hand……

    • SuddenlyInexplicably says:

      Favorite carnations?

      • Dolly2 says:

        An excellent idea and yes they are. Maybe you should create this fragrance Suddenly!

    • Robin says:

      Carnation is nice.

  4. ladida says:

    I like Lust. It is sweet and it’s not something I would want to wear every day, but I’ll keep a sample vial around. I think, perhaps, it is better dabbed than sprayed so maybe the solid is the ticket.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, I think I’ll check out the solid. I might buy the B Scent solid too…or maybe I’ll get that one in the travel spray and THIS one in the solid.

      • Dolly2 says:

        I have a thing for solid perfumes too. Let us know how it goes.

    • Furriner says:

      I bought Lust in a solid because… I’m a cheapskate! I didn’t know about the different concentrations. I got Karma and Tuca Tuca in the 9 ml spray, and they were pretty strong, though. I also bought Orange Blossom in the solid. None has so far been for me yet. I tried The Smell of Freedom but didn’t buy. It wasn’t too bad once it dried down.

      • Robin says:

        As a general rule, Lush scents are pretty darned strong…most of them I’d rather have in weaker forms.

  5. AmyT says:

    I haven’t tried Lust on skin, but I had a sniff of the candle and found the indole absolutely overwhelming – the face I made when I recoiled made the SA giggle.

    • Robin says:

      I think my tolerance of indoles has increased drastically. I am probably no longer a good person to ask if a fragrance is too indolic…

    • ladida says:

      Ha! That totally makes me want to smell the candle!

  6. violetnoir says:

    Digging the mini-review, babe! Three reviews in one, cuts the time in 2/3rds so that I can more readily figure out what I want to try and what I don’t.

    In this case, I don’t think I am interested in any of these, lol!

    Hugs!

  7. RuthW says:

    Lust sounds like a possibility, especially if it is layered with something a little tougher.
    I run screaming from anything with Pear.

    • Robin says:

      It needs a nice dark wood.

      Ditto on the pear. Not a big pear fan.

  8. Dolly2 says:

    I do like pear, but I usually try to choose them based on some heavy wood notes, since for me, pear and apple tend to smell like wine coolers!

  9. helenviolette says:

    Thanks for the reviews Robin- a three in one treat- like a banana split :) I need to look up what exactly ambrox is…sounds ambery- which is not my cuppa tea- so I think I can avoid this limited edition. And the other two will warrant a sniff for the heck of it- when I happen upon them.

    • Robin says:

      It is not ambery in the sense that your standard sweet amber accord based on labdanum, etc is.

  10. March says:

    I haven’t quite gotten around to another Malled post, but had to weigh in on the Jo Malone — scrubber! Was not really thinking about it/the notes either way … and I like pear. I like Petite Cherie, which many folks don’t. The JM seemed intensely Glade-like to me, verrrry strong, the sort of thing that haunts you outside BBW. Maybe it’s the musk? Could not get away fast enough.

    The Lust one sounds … I sorta want to try it, masochistically, since I love jasmine. If I could stand to go in the LUSH store. (Am I the only person who thinks their stores smell dreadful?) Wah wah.

    • Robin says:

      I like Petite Cherie too. And there is probably some freesia scent I like. But not this one. The only reason it was not a scrubber is that like most JMs, it faded pretty darned fast.

    • monkeytoe says:

      I have the same problem at Lush (and the Yankee Candle aisle or Bath and Body Works)–too many things all screaming and smashing into each other. It is the scent equivalent of a marching band rolling down a mountain while playing a Sousa march.

      • mough says:

        I LIKE that image and analogy! Fabulous. Possibly drunken as well as going down a hill… Thanks for the smile that gave me.

    • Tama says:

      The secret to Lush is to take yourself outside once you have tried something on, and THEN smell it. I bought a jar of Karma Kream and my pal Liz couldn’t smell it until we got about 1/2 a block away.

  11. Merlin says:

    Hi, I’m just weighing in to say I like the pear and freezia – think its light, bright (ish) and pretty while having some decent lasting power. I wasn’t enough in love to buy it & cant afford ALL the perfume I like. Also, its very possible that I might be the kind to like glade as a fragrance! Some have said that fragrances I love smell like insect repellant! Oh well…

    • Robin says:

      Always happy to see a fan show up and defend something I’m not pleased with, thanks!

      (and did not think this one smelled at all like insect repellent)

      • Merlin says:

        I have been told both my hypnotic poison and addict smell like insect spray. Gotta get me some of that insect spray!

        • March says:

          Those people are wrong! Those syrupy sweet scents are excellent! How about regular Poison or Rush? Yum.

        • Robin says:

          Well, the first weird thing about that is that Hypnotic Poison & Addict don’t exactly smell alike.

          • Merlin says:

            Perhaps the person in question has had a variety of insect sprays…LOL!

  12. I think I need to try Norma Kamali’s Jasmin.

    ;-)

    • Robin says:

      Dab, don’t spray! Same goes for most all her fragrances.

      • March says:

        Heh. I made that mistake with … is it Incense?

        • Robin says:

          Incense is STRONG.

          • Joe says:

            I’ve got serious issues with that NK Incense, but I’m saving my 5ml decant of it for the rest of my life. Drop by drop, it should last another twenty or thirty years.

    • March says:

      Robin’s just teasing you. You should definitely spray on, oh, five or seven sprays. Right before work would be good.

      • Robin says:

        Hey, don’t joke: 5 or 7 sprays of something by NK might actually kill you.

  13. Merlin says:

    Don’t think I could manage anything stronger than A La Nuit! I’m a jasmine sissy! ( :

    • Robin says:

      Oh, on the contrary, I think *most* people find even ALN too strong!

      • Merlin says:

        Aah, I kinda liked being a jasmine sissy!
        I find it strong, though not very very long-lasting. A spray to my throat is suffocating. I like to spray something more airy along my arm, like sensuous or Paul Smith’s rose,( or I guess Pear and Freezia would work,) and then add a shot of it to either wrist (a brutal jasmine full stop, at the end of a sweet or flowery sentence), the effect is quite nice.

  14. monkeytoe says:

    Only a few of the Lush/Gorilla scents are showing up on the website. Do the shops have more of them?

    • Robin says:

      I don’t know, to either question. I do know the US launch schedule was slower than UK.

  15. memechose says:

    I really like english pear and freesia on me.. But then again I am someone who loves fruity florals. In terms of what to buy…Its all about the skin after all :) but agree on another 13, seems like ambrox is the “oud of 2010″.. molecular overload this year…. Ps it is a synthetic ambergris…in case anyone doesnt know.

  16. Joe says:

    Hmmm… I love these multiple “capsule” reviews.

    You made me MUCH more interested in Another 13 than I was — which was not at all. Still, at that LE level, who knows if I’ll ever smell it. Maybe samples of Escentric 02 and 03 are in order.

    JM Pear & Freesia is still on the list of things I’m curious about; I do like the line, generally, but I’d probably spring for Petite Cherie EdP if I want to own some pear.

    Lust sounds like something I’ll steer well clear of. Sarrasins and BK Love & Tears are way to heady for me as it is.

    • Robin says:

      No idea how popular Another 13 is, or whether their name alone will sell bottles? Be interesting to see how long it takes Barneys to sell out.

    • boojum says:

      On me, Escentric 02 smelled like carrots and tonic water. Not that that’s a bad thing….. ;D

    • sayitisntso says:

      Petite Cherie is a lovely scent but it’s well-known on a lot of fragrance boards for ‘turning’ well before its time. Most people seem to think that the fragrance molecule which yields the pear note is responsible for the scent being so volatile. If you take the leap, get a 1.7 ounce bottle, so you’re not too heartbroken if it turns rancid on you.

  17. kaos.geo says:

    Dear Robin.. Thank you for these reviews!
    I got to smell both the Jo Malone and the Lust on my recent Miami vacation (at aventura mall they have both stores!)

    I have never tried Jo Malone before, but the two I liked the most were The Freesia and Pear and the Lime Basil and Mandarine.
    I dutifully took two samples back home to my mom (although I can picture myself wearing the lime/basil layered over some musk or vetiver) Well my mom liked the Freesia but didn’t go gaga over it. The Lime turned akward with her body chemistry. I agree that the Freesia is subtle and yes, after a while it goes into nothingness. I truly believe these are overpriced!

    Regarding the Lust.. I tried them all but found them ALL either too sweet(which equals feminine-girly to me) or too generic.
    Still they are VERY giftable as the price bracket is certainly right.

    • Joe says:

      kaos: I think Lime Basil Mandarin is really great even without layering it over anything. It was one of my first niche samples/decants so I still have a soft spot for it. I do like a few JM scents even though they’re not very edgy.

      • kaos.geo says:

        I will try it on skin a bit more and see… perhaps my body chemistry is the one that is clashing…

      • mough says:

        Hey Joe,

        I have a pile of little 9 ml glass decants the JM saleswoman kept giving me of LB&M; if you ever run out, or want an easy-to-carry size, I’m your man. So to speak. I’d be glad to rolf that soft spot you have for it! Mough

    • Robin says:

      P, the price for the 30 ml bottles isn’t that bad, but most of them are not long-lived.

      You did not like the JM Black Vetyver Cafe? I thought you’d like that one.

      • kaos.geo says:

        Robin you are right, the thing is that my income is in pesos, so I tend to multiply everything by 4, resulting in alarm hehehehehe

        I think I tried many fragrances in a short time… I MUST return to Miami and try again! ;-) your suggestion is duly noted

        • Robin says:

          I love the BVC but it is so short-lived I have never bought it…so perhaps not worth a plane trip to try it, LOL…

  18. mikeperez23 says:

    I actually adored the pear notes in the Jo Malone. But. That was it. The rest of the fragrance seemed intensely dull.

    I still am not sure I know what Ambroxan smells like. Is it like gaiac wood (which I am certain I am anosmic to?)

    • Robin says:

      See the footnote above…that will take you to a good description of what ambrox smells like.

  19. Tama says:

    I’m pretty much a jasmine freak and you know I get along just fine with sweet so I will definitely try Lust. I never got past the tester strip with the Jo Malone, though.

  20. megatronyc says:

    I tried this in July, was given a sample at boutique, Neroli and Oud have been refilled, it was VERY DULL and LINEAR, as if you took the boring wood base of the most boring men’s scents , and bottled that accord. ho hum, they told me it was going to be called Ambrox13. SCRUBBER.

    • Robin says:

      I think it was going to be Ambrox 13, then Another magazine came along and wanted a fragrance so they gave it to them.

  21. megatronyc says:

    IT IS LOUD…..

  22. hongkongmom says:

    1) NO
    2) NO
    3) NO…..but I am think of jelly belly Jiucy pear flavour…delish!

  23. lovethescents says:

    The only one I’m really interested in trying is the Jo Malone…I don’t expect to love it, but I’m leaning more towards it now since you called it “darkish”…..thanks for the mini reviews!

  24. fleurdelys says:

    OK, this has nothing to do with the reviews – call me crazy, but I can’t get past the name Gorilla Perfumes. It calls to mind a big silverback male gorilla, then I start thinking about what a gorilla must smell like, and…well, let’s not go there. I love gorillas, just wouldn’t want to smell like one.

    • Robin says:

      I think I am not so easily put off by company or perfume names…I have yet to meet a perfume that I wouldn’t buy just because of the name.

      • fleurdelys says:

        Dinner by Bobo is another one. Makes me think of “Bedtime for Bonzo”, and that makes me think of Ronald Reagan. However, I LOVE HdeP’s 1740 Marquis de Sade (always wish someone would ask me what I’m wearing so I can say it out loud).

    • mough says:

      I have the same problem with Juliette Has a Gun. I just can not take that name seriously. At the time I was looking for an oud, and I heard she/it/they had a good one, but I immediately blew over it, shotgun style, and put it into my outgoing box based on the Name Alone. Shame on me.

  25. Chanel says:

    I love Lust as I love strong jasmine scents! I’ve tried it several times while at Lush but always end up buying something else. Their Flying Fox shower gel smells the exact same, so for those who think the perfume is too strong maybe try the shower gel. I also quite like the Tuca Tuca solid, absolutely lovely!

    • Robin says:

      Their jasmine henna stuff for hair is also wonderful.

  26. maggiecat says:

    Love the mini-reviews! I also love hearing the differnet points of view. I love JM’s English pear and Freesia, even though I’m not a huge fan of pear scents and wouldn’t normally seek them out. i do like freesia though and found this combo delightfully different. On me it becomes a skin scent vaguely reminiscent of Philosophy’s Amazing Grace after as while, which I don’t mind. I gave my husband JM’s vetiver for his birthday and he almost kinda liked it (I love it and that’s what counts, right?) Still looking for B scent to try – and maybe some Lust as well, since I loves me some jasmine. Thanks Robin!

    • Robin says:

      LOL — that is exactly what counts! Do try B Scent & Lust. I do think they’re doing a great job at Lush — I look forward to trying whatever they make.

  27. Na says:

    Shampoo! that’s the word I was looking for when I smelled Pear and Freesia.
    Didn’t hate it but neither did I consider wearing it as a perfume.

    • Robin says:

      It’s really hard to do pear, IMHO, without smelling like shampoo or body wash :-)

  28. Subhuman says:

    I tried Lust recently, being neither a particular fan of jasmine nor of the Lush chain in general. For better or worse, Lust is jasmine with a capital “J”, and I decided it wasn’t my kind of thing at all. Unfortunately, some of the perfume spray landed on the sleeve of my leather jacket, and the smell lingered for a solid week. And it was DIVINE. I say “unfortunately” because I am now massively jonesing for a jasmine perfume with an undercurrent of leather, and am thisclose to going back to Lush and buying a small bottle of Lust just to spray some onto my jacket collar. (I had the same problem with Mugler’s Alien, another nuclear jasmine. Didn’t like it in the store, but my jacket sleeve smelled like heaven on Earth. WTF?) If this change of heart keeps up, I might be wafting Karma before long.

    As an aside, I do appreciate the fact that Lush makes interesting, well-constructed perfumes at a reasonable price point, with notable quantities of natural essences and oils therein, and that they don’t categorize their scents by gender, actively encouraging customers to pick whichever they like. (The SA at my store made a point of telling me that they’ve sold Lust to a number of men as well as women, which I believe. It’s not girly in the slightest, and surely there are jasmine lovers among the Y-chromosomed?) I’m impressed with their business model and aesthetic, and find it refreshing after another wearying trip to the Upscale Department Store with its rigidly defined gender boundaries and snooty SAs.

  29. Robin says:

    I would really like to try the Lust solid — keep forgetting to do that. But still, I think I like the lighter jasmine in Silky Underwear better, although it’s a more conventionally feminine scent due to the sweet powder.

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